Mario is back to save Princess Peach yet again in Super Mario Sunshine. And unlike other recent games featuring the red wearing wonder, he\'s not accompanied by his brother Luigi, nor is he in the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, the Princess, and many Toads are in an airplane on their way to enjoy a relaxing vacation in Isle Delfino when they find upon arrival that the place is a mess, and Mario is being blamed for it! The local Pianta\'s arrest you and let you go on the condition that you clean it up, find out why the normally sunny island is missing all of it\'s shine sprites, and recover them.

How does it play?

Super Mario Sunshine plays a lot like the previous mainstream Mario title, Super Mario 64. You have a three dimensional, third person view of the world around Mario and you run, jump, and twirl your way around to complete your objectives. You have many moves to choose from, including: Walk/Run from very slow to fast Single, Double, and Triple Jumps Backflip (only while moving; unlike Super Mario 64, you can\'t backflip standing still) New Spin Jump (twirl control stick, then jump) Dive (including repeated dives, which can make you go very fast) Jump/Stomp (while in the air, slam down hard on what\'s below you) Cling to ledges (walk very slow towards one, and you won\'t fall off but cling) Pick up, throw, and kick certain objects Punches and kicks are not in this game, but with FLUDD you won\'t miss them. It\'s the new \'accessory\' for this game. You have attached to your back a miniature talking water pump which can be used in very creative ways. It can clean up the goop layung everywhere (your primary task), halt, harm or kill some enemies, and certain items around you react to water in other ways. There are also nozzles other than the standard nozzle. You start with the Hover nozzle, which is Very Useful for most of the game as you can use a little water to hover over an area and move a short distance until the pack stops and allows you to start again. Later there are two more nozzles to uncover, including the fun Turbo nozzle, and the very useful Rocket nozzle. And, let\'s not forget Yoshi! When you get to a certain point, (not too far in, but not right away) Yoshi eggs start appearing and you can hatch them. He\'s quite a helpful ally - but be careful of water as he will dissappear prompty when he lands in it. Overall you will find the controls quite excellent and intuitive. There are also a few subtle force feedback effects to help make the game feel a bit more immersive.

How are the graphics?

The graphics in this game fit the bill quite well and in typical Mario style. They are clean, have a somewhat plain style to them when you look closely, but somehow have just enough detail to make them look great. The water moves realistically as you\'d expect it to. Everything has shadows as you would expect them, and realistically, too. The graphics are simple, and yet surprisingly good and clean all around. The motion is perfectly fluid as well. No complaints here, really.

What about the sound and music?

I find that the music seems to fit the tune of the game quite well, and is always appropriate for the occasion. Boss music is forboding and familiar, while party or celebration music is appropriately lively and does a great job setting the mood. What more could you ask for? The sound effects are quite appropriate, and silly in that Mario style. The Rocket nozzle somehow convinces you that you are being propelled by pure water pressure, and the normal nozzle sounds like you\'re spraying a water hose. There are also Mario\'s trademark voices similar to Super Mario 64. When you jump, you hear a \'ooh\', \'aah\', and the \'eeh hee!\' when you triple jump. And when you catch on fire you scream \'Mama! OohaahoohWow!\' and other silly and apropriate sound effects. Overall I enjoyed them, and even repeated them on occasion while playing - a true testament as to how well they worked.

How appropriate is this game for Christians?

Well, there is really very little to complain about. The violence is really only of the silly slapstick variety, which mostly involves jumping on people\'s heads (for fun if you choose) or on monster\'s heads if you want to get them out of your way. One of the levels does have ghosts in it, where they tend to get in the way, and with Yoshi\'s help can be cleaned up. There is also a story scene where the \'bad guy\' lies to your character, but admits it in the end. Noone ever said bad guys had to always tell truth, right? With the possible exception of the ghost level, this game is perfectly clean.

Overall & Conclusion

I really enjoyed this game thoroughly, and often found myself smiling at it\'s sillyness and simply fun mechanics, or trying some of the more difficult challenges again and again to try and get it right. In order to get everything in this game - which I have not done yet - will require incredible patience and skill, as there is a lot of hidden stuff here. It will not be easy to recieve all 120 shine sprites, I assure you. There are also some truly difficult levels! I sometimes wondered how younger children could complete this game when an adult such as myself found it so challenging. ;) Nevertheless, it\'s a great game that I can recommend to just about anyone of almost any age - if they can realize that it\'s not just a kids game, even with that \'E\' rating for Everyone from the ESRB.

Final Ratings

Game Play A Sound A Graphics A Interface A Appropriate B

Overall 94%

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