A classic and fun RPG that has since been overshadowed
Please note that this review was done on the Wii, using the Gamecube controller.
If you love all things Mario or Square RPG's, definitely don't miss out on this game. Just don't walk into it expecting the style or scope of RPG's since its release, and you won't be disappointed.
Super Mario RPG is a really mixed bag, graphically. Some of the towns and environments look great, and I love the simple, cartoonish style similar to Super Mario World. However, character designs (especially for the enemies) are fairly weak and don't hold up well. The animations are decent, but nothing really stands out. Overall, you won't want to tear your eyes out, but even by the time's standards, the game is a little bland visually.
Classic Square stuff, and easily the high point of the game. It's still a blast years later, and the combat system's introduction of unique button presses for special attacks helps keep you involved. My only complaint is that the isometric viewpoint can sometimes lead to some frustrating puzzle elements and jumping problems, but those problems are very sparse. If you enjoy classic RPG's like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger, you'll enjoy the gameplay of SMRPG. However, later Square RPG's definitely have a bit more depth and playability, but old-school game fans will still find a lot to like here.
Super Mario RPG is a fun, if slightly dated, classic. Given that I easily put thirty hours into the game (exploration and mini-games add a ton of replayability), it's well worth the money. I'd recommend this to any Mario or RPG fan.