Nintendo took the gaming world by storm when they released Mario 64 upon the unsuspecting populous. I’m not sure if there was any one gamer out there that wasn’t amazed by what the game had to offer. It broke the 2D mold (which was the norm at the time) and allowed the gamer to roam freely in a fully realized 3D world. Carrying the platformer scene into an entirely new dimension, the title paved the way for hundreds of titles to follow its footsteps. The extra dimension allowed for big hits such as Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot to make a splash in the industry. Without Mario 64’s excellent shine and execution, such recognizable titles may not have ever existed. Pushing the technology envelope to the max (well at the time at least), Nintendo, in true Nintendo fashion of course, redefined an entire genre and changed the landscape of gaming for an eternity. The gaming world was forever changed and even up to this day, hasn’t thought once about looking back. Now the company that started it all is coming back with its second offering, does the Big N still have what it takes to rule an industry, or has its ship sailed?
Nearly five years had passed and people were beginning to wonder where the mustached plumber was hiding. Sure we they had their fill of cutesy spin-offs such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart and Mario Teaches the Lambada, but they weren’t getting what they truly wanted, a sequel. After all this time, after all the waiting, a true sequel starring the World’s favorite plumber has been born and its name is Mario Sunshine.
I was really anxious to get my hands on this one and to be honest; it was the main reason that I acquired a GameCube in the first place. Let’s face it, chances are that it’s the reason you bought one too. I’m not sure but I don’t think that I can recall anyone waiting in line to buy a GameCube so that they can show off that awesome game of Tetris Worlds to their drinking buddies. There’s just something about Mario that gamers of all ages just can’t resist. Perhaps it’s the way he throws his fireballs or that damn catchy theme song of his, there’s a strange aura about him that makes him irresistible.
As odd as this may seem, the game’s title actually makes lots of sense once you dig into the game’s story. Mario has decided to take a well-deserved vacation to the isle of Delfino and he’s brought his best gal with him. However, once they arrive on the island, it’s learned that a Mario look alike (we’ll just call him the MarPoster) has been defiling the land and in the process, has ruined Mario’s good name. His filth has also caused the land to darken, thus removing the sunshine from the once bright island. Mario actually gets arrested and is sentenced to rid the island of the filth that he supposedly spread, that’s when the game really gets fun.
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