View Full Version : [GAME] Super Mario RPG - Please Comment

04-07-2009, 08:41 AM
Note: I referance America in this review, as the other forum I post my reviews on has mainly English and Irish members. I know most of ye are American, but I'm Irish and Super Mario Rpg came out for the first time ever a few months back in Europe on the Virtual Console. Also note, that Super Mario RPG is 800 points in American regions (I think).

RPG = Really Plausible game?

Rarely does a game developer give the rights of one of their game series to another developer, and even more rarely does the game turn out successful and fun. Zelda CDi springs to mind. Super Mario RPG is an exception to this rule tough. Nintendo gave the rights of Mario to Square for a Mario RPG game. (Square made all the Final Fantasy games on the SNES back then) Who would have tought that it would have been one of the greatest games of all time? It has even spawned two new Mario RPG spin offs, the Mario & Luigi series and the Paper Mario series.

It begins off like every other Mario game ever. Bowser kidnaps Peach and brings her to his castle. But for the first time ever, the game starts off in said castle, ready to rescue Peach. One boss fight later, you beat Bowser and rescue Peach. The end. Nah, you really didn't think that was the end, did you? A large sword named Smithy comes crashing down into Bowser's castle, sending Mario, Peach and Bowser flying off in all directions all over the world. It turns out that the bridge to Bowser's castle is broken and to fix it, you must collect these 7 star pieces. This means teaming up with Bowser, Peach and two new characters, Mallow and Geno. Because Smithy is a greater force than Bowser, in fact, Smithy is more evil and powerful than you might think...

The title screen to Super Mario RPG

Whilst it may not be the most original story, at least it's better than the snore-fest that was the other Mario plots. It does actually have several plot twists as well so you're kept on the edge of your seat. Also, Geno and Mallow are two great new characters and make up for the lack of Luigi. But we'll talk more about them later.

The gameplay turns normal RPGs on their head. (At least back then it did) Instead of encountering enemies randomly, like in the Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy games back then, you can see enemies walking around and choose to encounter them or not. This fantastic idea has been implemented into several other games series like the Star Ocean series. It really helps keep the game more fun instead of running into dull battles every two seconds. But luckily, Super Mario RPG's battles are by far, not dull.

Mario and Mallow fighting Belome

When in battle, you use one of the 4 face buttons for different actions (Y for special attacks, X for items, A for normal attacks and B for fleeing battle and defending) This streamlines and simplifies battles, but don't shun the idea yet. It works brilliantly with Super Mario RPG and doesn't make every battle a chore. It was such a good idea, it was also implemented into other game series like the Breath Of Fire series.

The last innovation is one that hasn't been used enough in RPGs after Super Mario RPG. The time button pressed sequences. It works out like this; every attack has a different animation. In certain attacks, you press a button when it reaches a certain point in the animation. If performed successfully, you can get an increase in attack power for the attack. It also works against enemies, so when they're attacking if you press a button at the right time, you will reduce the amount of damage inflicted on you. It may sound confusing at first, but becomes second nature before you know it. And, like all of Super Mario RPGs other innovations, it has been carried onto other games like Final Fantasy VIII (Tough I think not enough games use this feature, I love it)

The soundtrack, with Mario, Peach, Mallow, Geno, Bowser and Yoshi on the cover

The characters are all different and split into clichéd RPG roles easily. Bowser is the powerhouse. But as you shall find out later on, he's really a big softy inside, but acts tough around Mario to keep up his image. Mario is your all-rounder in battle, he doesn't talk in this game, but instead when he wants to get his point across, he has the ability to act out what happened. It's really funny to see Mario's act of the story. Mallow and Peach are both white mages, and they're both cry-babies. But strangely enough, Mallow provides one of the biggest plot-twists in the games. Finally, Geno is you're black mage, and is such a popular character, people were begging for him to be in Brawl, but Squaresoft own him, not Nintendo.

[Review continued on next post]

04-07-2009, 08:42 AM
[Review continued from previous post]

As you can tell from my synopses of the characters, the game can be pretty funny, scratch that, the game can be really funny. In fact, I would say it could be the funniest Mario game yet. See it to believe it.

The graphics in this game are interesting, to say the least. They give a 3D spin on the Mario franchise before Super Mario 64 was even in the air. As you can see in the pictures, it mixes top down and side on elements, to get a strange angle. But remember, I said strange, not boring or annoying. It looks great, and I would say, it would suit it better than a top down view like in Final Fantasy I - VI. My only problem is the platforming sections, which is the highlight in previous and future Mario games. In this game, however, the platforming suffers thanks to the camera angle. You can never tell how to jump. You’ll often fall of platforms when trying to jump onto other ones, it's extremely irritating! But luckily, there's few platforming sections, but when there is, you just wish you could skip it. I use the analogue stick on the classic/GameCube controller when playing this and I find it hard when platforming. I can only imagine the poor souls in America and Japan, a few years back, with only the SNES control pad, God that must have been atrocious.

Mario can jump even when out of battle

The level design, apart from the platforming sections, is gaming gold. Off the top of my head, I can think of Nimbus land, the cloud level, inhabited by cloud people, and Monstro town, a town inhabited by monsters that would love to chop you up, but don't! There are other fantastic level designs, but there are too many to mention. God, I love the level design, it's up there with Super Mario Bros 1.

The music in this game is godly. As I type, the tune to Booster tower is stuck in my head, and trust me, that's a good thing. Square made masses of new songs for the game, and you can even hear remixes of old, classic, Mario tunes. And you can't talk about Super Mario RPG's music without mentioning the Hidden Forest theme song; I'd recommend buying the game for just that song. No, really, I would.

Overall, Super Mario RPG is one of the best games for download on the virtual console. It's the first time it's out in Europe ever. And it's one of those games that has aged very well.

+ Immensly fun
+ Really funny
+ Great music
+ Really innovative
- Platforming is a bit hit and miss

Just buy it. Now.

04-07-2009, 08:43 AM
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04-07-2009, 10:20 AM
Awesome review, I give your a review a 10/10 and I agree with your score on the game. It's not perfect but it's a solid RPG/platformer that breaks a lot of molds and is fun to play even today.