The Verdict in 2017 - Mario Sunshine

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Posted by liquiddragon (3526 posts) 2 years, 7 months ago

Poll: The Verdict in 2017 - Mario Sunshine (416 votes)

1 Shine 8%
2 Shines 10%
3 Shines 23%
4 Shines 37%
5 Shines 22%

I'm wondering what the consensus on Mario Sunshine is today. I didn't own a GC until '08ish so I didn't get to dig into it until much later. Although I think it's a decent game, the lack of polish expected from a core Mario title seemed strange. It also felt quite clunky for a series known for it's simple, quick and responsive execution of its move set. I also never became totally comfortable with FLUDD either.

In the end, I had my fill of Mario Sunshine after collecting 45 Shines. Today, I would rate it 3/5 Stars, what about you?

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#1 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1631 posts) -

Maybe I just need to play it again, but I don't have great memories of this game.

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#2 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (3017 posts) -


The core is solid, and the game does a lot interesting things that no other Mario game has even tried to do. The whole single parent father/son storyline with Bowser and Bowser Jr. is something you'd never expect to see in a Mario game, and the game establishes an excellent sense of place that no other Mario game has.

You think about other Mario games, the locations are usually very abstract. The Galaxy and 3D Land/World games consist entirely of levels with no discernible tangible location, essentially just Mario levels suspended in a void. Mario 64 levels exist within paintings without any greater connection to world locations, once again Mario levels surrounded by a void of nothingness. The 2D games are just a bunch of themed areas strung together.

Sunshine, on the other hand, establishes a coherent and believable central location that really ties the whole game together very nicely. Every level exists on the island and feels like a place that would exist on a resort island. It feels much more like a lived in place than any other Mario game, and that really creates this great feeling of visiting a location rather than simply running and jumping through a bunch of themed Mario levels.

Despite this, the game suffers from a lack of objective variety. More so than any other 3D Mario game, Sunshine relies far too heavily on repeated objectives. There are like 3-4 coin collecting shines per level, with several other repeated objectives over the course of the game such as the shadow Mario chases.

Some better variety in the objectives would have elevated it closer to the other 3D Mario games, but even still it's a good, if not great, game.

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#3 Edited by whitegreyblack (1980 posts) -

Super Mario Sunshine is the Mario game that made me realize I outgrew Mario games. I keep thinking I should try it again, but it has never happened. I've also never played a Mario game since.

However, I've kept buying all the Mario games since then, with the hopes of one day getting deep back into the series... so I guess the joke's on me. Mario won. Give the man(?) 5 shines.

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#4 Posted by ajamafalous (13820 posts) -

It's my favorite 3D Mario game by quite a ways.

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#5 Posted by LeSieg (23 posts) -

I really love Sunshine for the unique world and places that it creates. It invents such a fun interesting world that I really enjoy running around in.

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#6 Posted by vocalcannibal (407 posts) -

I will always love this game. Aesthetic goes a long way with me, and Sunshine is beautifully designed.

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#7 Posted by csl316 (15004 posts) -

It's a cool, fun game. I'll give it 4 stars since it's been a while since I played it.

Granted, the only 3D Mario game I'd give 5 stars is Galaxy 2.

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#8 Posted by Brackstone (942 posts) -

It's my favourite one. As others have said, it's the aesthetic and cohesive environment that make the game work so well, and I honestly quite like the way all the hubs are designed for repeat visits.

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#9 Posted by MindBullet (711 posts) -

The style of it and the memories I have of watching one of my old friends play it on the Gamecube makes me nostalgic, but I recently tried to play it and I kind of hated it. It just felt... Bad. Maybe I got too used to Mario Galaxy or something?

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#10 Posted by Slag (8159 posts) -

Never got the hate for that game. Definitely not groundbreaking like the older Marios, but it was a great evolution on the Mario 64 formula

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#12 Posted by UltorOscariot (221 posts) -


Easily my least favorite 3D Mario. Really disliked cleaning up the stages, and really disliked that a lot of abilities were tied to your limited water resource.

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#13 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

Its pretty good, 4/5.

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#14 Posted by Atwa (1690 posts) -

Super Mario Sunshine is a fantastic game! I really feel that the entire negativity for it on Giantbomb is really created by Jeff alone, and he doesn't really like Mario games that much.

Pound for pound it has some of the best platforming ever.

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#15 Posted by Justin258 (15689 posts) -

Best 3D Mario.

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#16 Posted by gamer_152 (14778 posts) -

I've not played it in a long while, but I did see it recently run through at ADGQ. It's still my favourite 3D Mario. I think that aesthetically it's such a vibrant and powerfully positive game, and the combination of FLUDD alongside the usual jump moves gives the platforming a depth and fluidity that the other 3D Marios don't quite reach up to.

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#17 Posted by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

My favorite 3D Mario. I loved Galaxy, but it didn't have the same charm for me as Sunshine. Sunshine's world was a place I wanted to spend a lot of time, and that's something I hadn't felt in a Mario game since Super Mario Bros 3.

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#18 Posted by clagnaught (2140 posts) -

"It came out on the GameCube and who owned a GameCube, I mean even the Mario game is him running around with a water gun, like is a game where the selling point is you run around with a water gun going to persuade me to buy a GameCube, come on now, and Nintendo keeps re-re-releasing the same old ass games and has barely bothered to re-release games from the N64 or GameCube so of course the only way I have to really play this game is to go to eBay or something and buy a used GameCube and a used copy of Super Mario Sunshine, and why would I do that in the year 2017, so of course I haven't tracked down and played Super Mario Sunshine, so I don't have an actual opinion on this game" Shines out of 5 Shines

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#19 Posted by WillyOD (353 posts) -

All I remember was hoping to like it (what else is there after the excellent Mario 64) but I never got into it. I tried. Could have been end of a GameCube era kinda thing, but probably the game just wasn't that good.

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#20 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15748 posts) -

I haven't played Sunshine in more than a decade at this point, so grain of salt and all that. Based on childhood memories though, I remember thinking even in 2002 that it wasn't as good as Super Mario 64, and that some of the mission design in that thing was kinda infuriating, especially since so much of it revolved around spraying things with Fludd. Still hardly anywhere near bad, it just has the misfortune of being the follow-up to one of the best and most important games ever made.

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#21 Edited by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -

Hmm Idk what I was expecting but I'm quite surprised by the result. Usually, even if I don't agree, I can totally see where people are coming from but man, this game's got some issues, ones that are very hard to ignore. I thought most people would lean 3 shines like I did. ? Not sure which is more revealing, that 60% thinks it's a really good game or that 40% thinks it's a bit dodgy. Does make me kinda want to see a bit more of it though.

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#22 Posted by shivermetimbers (1721 posts) -

I remember not liking the clean up sections of the game and liking the new aesthetic compared to traditional Mario's fantasy versions of snow, lava, and ice.

This game is 15 years old. I'm just gonna let that sink in a bit...

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#23 Posted by glots (4384 posts) -

Never played the game nor owned a Gamecube, but I'd still be interested in a feature where @danryckert plays it a bunch, since that's a thing he has stated he wants to do. Maybe I'll have to wait 'till Extra Life 2017...

Sidetracking a bit, but I'd really want a Random Console Game Feature...get to it, GBeast!

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#24 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1631 posts) -

@glots: if you're after a return of Load Our Last Save I'm totally OK with that.

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#25 Posted by mems1224 (2511 posts) -

I never played it. We had a GameCube but I never beat a single game on it. That was around the time I "aged out" of Nintendo games.

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#26 Posted by TheMadMan007 (42 posts) -

Easily one of the worst Mario games. My best friend swears up and down by this game. I remember hating it when it came out and never got past the first few levels. Then I played it a few years later and still couldn't get past how awful it controlled. My friend pleaded with me to give it one more shot. 2016 was the year I sat down and gave it a earnest shot and finished it. Got more than the minimum shines to finish the game as I wanted to see what made this my best friends favorite Mario game... sadly, even after finishing it, I can't see what people find "charming" in this game other than it's more colorful that it's 64 counterpart. The levels all feel very much the same, and the only memorable part was the roller coaster boss fight. I'd play 64 a hundred times over than play Sunshine ever again.

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#27 Posted by BelowStupid (496 posts) -

I love 64 and Galaxy was fine. I still find myself trying to like Sunshine more than I do because it's so similar to 64. The camera is just too clunky 3/5 shines.

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#28 Posted by Luchalma (548 posts) -

I haven't played it since 2003 or so, but I really really liked it. Even at the time I thought it wasn't as good as Mario 64 but it didn't need to be. It was weird, different and fun. I've been wanting to go back and play it again for awhile.


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#29 Posted by DanishingAct (414 posts) -

Never been much of a mario guy, but I loved sunshine. Respect the hell out of the series, just never clicked for some reason. I think the tropical vibe made it work for me. I dunno.

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#30 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (7838 posts) -

It's been years since I've played it, but from the look of that AGDQ run, it looks just as good as I remember. I'd give it 4, but I'll knock one off because I've not played it in so long.

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#31 Posted by glots (4384 posts) -

@glots: if you're after a return of Load Our Last Save I'm totally OK with that.

New LOLS would do as well. I got real excited when they did Ninja Gaiden last year, but sadly that just seemed to be a one-off.

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#32 Posted by Wwen (127 posts) -

FLUD was cool and the movement was fun, but some of the level design was pretty bad and getting all the shines is a special hell for people who enjoy pain.

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#33 Posted by jeremyf (409 posts) -

Jumping around and spraying stuff is really fun, and I like the worlds. But they felt the need to stretch the game to 120 shines to match Mario 64, which resulted in tedious blue coins and bad filler missions. And you can't skip the cutscenes! Also, every time I play it I clip through a bridge or get stuck in a wall or something. Still, overall it's a fun game.

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#34 Posted by shinofkod (175 posts) -

The stuff you do on a 2D plane in that game was awesome, also felt like towards the end the challenge really ramped up to a level not common in Mario. I feel it's really good.

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#35 Edited by Ezekiel (2257 posts) -

3/5, like all the 3D Marios. Best thing about it, of what I remember from all those years ago, were the linear obstacle courses, the secret stages. That's how you do a 3D Mario. Basically, the classic games in 3D. Long, vertical obstacle courses. Not these hubs with open levels that you have to go back into again and again.

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#36 Edited by NTM (11872 posts) -

I didn't play much of it, but I've always felt Sunshine was an inconsequential Mario game; it really didn't feel like the next step of Mario 64 if you will, in terms of my excitement level. I have most of the well-known GameCube games, but Sunshine was a game I only rented and I saw my friend play a bunch. I can't really say how good it is, and though I say it seemed inconsequential, that doesn't mean I think it's bad. I just don't know. That said, Delfino Plaza's music is certainly memorable. I love Super Mario Galaxy! It's unfortunate that I didn't get Super Mario Galaxy 2. I thought it looked too samey as the first, but that's not really a bad thing, and I've heard many times that it's that, but even better.

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#37 Posted by eddiephlash (327 posts) -

Worst 3d mario game

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#38 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

One of the few Mario games I actually loved. I really liked how it looked. It looked so... sunny. It also had really cool mechanics. I really liked all the different water nozzles you could use.

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#39 Edited by leogs (10 posts) -

I remember it being very bad. I mean, reeeally bad, especially compared to what Sony was offering at the time (Ratchet & Clank, Jak or Sly), but playing it again recently, it's a very good game. Maybe I didn't like it before because it's quite hard. And it's a different game compared to SM64 so I think it deserves some praise for that.

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#40 Edited by SaFt (643 posts) -

I still love it to pieces and i think it's better than Mario 64 and Galaxy. It has some camera problems here and there and a bad level or two but other than that it's pretty damn good in my book.

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#41 Posted by DS23 (312 posts) -

It's good, damnit. I don't know why people looked down on it after the fact. It was a fun mario ass mario game.

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#42 Posted by imhungry (1139 posts) -

It's a good game, 4/5 shines. Not the best 3D Mario, but a good one nevertheless. It's got solid movement mechanics and has fantastic levels as well as some unfortunate mission design in some spots, so pretty much like most games. Glad to see most of the GB community is overall positive on it too!

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#43 Posted by YummyTreeSap (1220 posts) -

I've probably tried to play it no fewer than ten separate times and have never gotten more than a few levels in. There's nothing I like about it except looks I guess. Hearing the Delfino Plaza music (even right now, only in my head) makes me miserable.

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#44 Posted by damnboyadvance (4198 posts) -

I've never really thought about just how different from every Mario game it is. It's one of the first Gamecube games I played, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I also never experienced the camera issues everyone else is describing. I can see why others might be turned off, but for me it's a classic.

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#45 Posted by AlmostSwedish (952 posts) -

I've tried replaying it a couple of times over the years, but at the end of the day the level design is just not good enough. It's a shame really, because it has the best movement of any 3D Mario game. 3/5

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#46 Posted by SloppyDetective (1618 posts) -

So I've been meaning to play this again. I ended up borrowing it from a friend and just started playing it tonight. First thing is aiming and camera controls are dated as fuck. It's inverted on both sticks-the inverted c-stick is the hardest thing to get over. I've only played the opening area and the first "level". Seems alright other than that stuff.

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#47 Edited by Ezekiel (2257 posts) -

I don't know why the 3D Mario games make you exit and enter the levels over and over when Banjo Kazooie lets you collect one Jiggie after another. It's tedious.

Edit: Wait, I do know why. It's so they can change the events between Stars/Shine Sprites. I don't think that justifies it.

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#48 Posted by imhungry (1139 posts) -

@ezekiel: It comes across to me as just 2 different design philosophies. 3D Mario games need to you to re-enter levels so that they can change the events like you said, because each level is one large unified area that presents a different sort of challenge depending on how it's configured. The levels in the Banjo games are actually discrete levels broken up (by loading screens) into several areas, and further segmented by gating off Jiggies with abilities earned later in the game which is something only Mario Sunshine has done, and even then with just barely dipped its toes in (with the different nozzles).

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#50 Edited by mattimus_prime (238 posts) -

i didnt own a gamecube so i never got to play it but i have always wanted to. maybe i will buy a copy and find my wii to play it.