Super Mario Sunshine released on the GameCube about a decade ago, and it is still considered one of the most polarizing games in the history of Mario. The tale of how some potentially colorblind people pinned a crime on Mario during his visit to Isle Delfino is one shared amongst many gamers. It’s practically safe to say that if you owned a GameCube you will have at least heard of this game at some point or another. Whether it was through Tyler and his friend Josh’s Versus Channel on YouTube or one of the many let’s play out there, it’s almost impossible to be unaware of this game existence. But, does it truly warrant all of the accolades that it received from critics at the time? I mean it certainly looked beautiful, but were they just blinded by nostalgia when they rated it? Perhaps they were, these are the 5 reasons why Super Mario Sunshine sucks.
- Yoshi’s Hydrophobia:
Let me preface this by saying, I absolutely love Yoshi, he’s been one of my favorite characters in the series for a long time and seeing him in Super Mario 64 for his cameo was awesome. Imagine my excitement when I heard that you could ride Yoshis in SMS only to find out that they couldn’t swim. That’s right in Isle Delfino if you jumped into the water while riding a Yoshi he would dissolve into some kind of paint (juice?) type substance causing nightmares to children everywhere as they realize they just murdered a living creature. The mechanic of shooting juice was none too popular, but I fail to see why they had to be afraid of water when they were born on an island surrounded by a major body of water! I was very disappointed by this feature, and it soured a bit of the experience for me especially when you consider it was only done to add a hopping challenge between some boats in the main hub. It was almost as big of a waste of time as the game itself.
- The Pianta:
The infamous natives of Isle Delfino, the pianta are… not very bright to say the least. Originally confusing Shadow Mario for the actual Mario in spite of the solid evidence to the contrary, these guys are morons. You start the game fighting a monster in the airport only to get taken to custody and being forced to clean up the island due to their obvious daltonism because anyone with half a brain could tell they were different people. But, the pianta are probably just pinning the crime on Mario due to their apathy and laziness. Especially if you consider that they will only give you the same shrine sprites that you been legally mandated to collect if you do something nice for them. These jerks are also extremely unappealing with bodies that resemble pears and a palm tree growing out of their heads. They are certainly a polarizing aspect of the Mario universe. I’ll be happy if I never see one of these again, but they keep showing up in every new game.
The Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device or F.L.U.D.D. was the gimmick utilized for the majority of Super Mario Sunshine, and was created for the purpose of altering the gameplay from SM64. This item had its moments of extreme fun such as running around at hyper speed through the water and challenges or even rocketing towards the sky. But, the game was built around this item and instead adding to the formula it actually took away a lot of the moves which made Super Mario 64 so fun. F.L.U.D.D. was honestly more a hindrance than anything and you had to adapt to its use because otherwise you wouldn’t finish the game. Mario couldn’t even punch in this game regardless of if he had the thing on or off. This basically derailed the whole jumping mechanics of Mario and caused me endless grief during the moments which you don’t have it.
- The Levels without F.L.U.D.D.:
These levels were just a kick in the balls to the players. After the game spends hours training your muscle memory to react to certain mistakes by utilizing F.L.U.D.D. the developers decided to make levels in which you specifically don’t have the extra assistance. These levels were notoriously hard and given the fact that Mario had lost a big part of his moveset from the previous games meant that you were effectively crippled in them. I can’t begin to mention the amount of times I fell off a platform because I reacted as if I was wearing the jetpack. They were useless, felt tacked on and were extremely annoying, but the developers at Nintendo sought to incorporate them for no other reason than to add an extra layer of challenge which wasn’t required. Super Mario Sunshine requires you to be equipped with a water pack for over 90% of the game the developers saw a need to include these stages. They honestly did not even make sense; Mario was stuck in some parallel universe where platforms were floating in space and could rotate at weird intervals. It was annoying and pointless, but definitely not the worst part of Super Mario Sunshine.
- The Blue Coins:
The most annoying part of Super Mario Sunshine is reserved for the blue coins which were hidden throughout all of the stages. These items were the reason why I never finished my copy of the game at a 100%. I couldn’t find them and at the time the internet was still relatively young with most guides on the game being incomplete. It was extremely frustrating, I swear that part of me believes the reasons for which they added these coins was to add filler and force players who wanted to finish the SMS completely to buy the guide. They felt tacked on and were often hidden in places that could be considered counterintuitive, I mean I wouldn’t have thought of spraying a blue bird that could barely be seen, and what if you were color blind? I mean seriously it’s almost insulting to see a platformer game like SMS have pixel hunts. I hated those in old school adventure games and they basically ruined the game for me. I’m certain that these feelings weren’t reserved for me either; I’ve met plenty of players who’ve shared the story of being frustrated at finding the blue coins. Similarly to Super Mario Sunshine’s F.L.U.D.D. mechanics these were simply something that did not need to be added, and yet was crammed down the throats of players looking for a new Mario game.
As you can see Super Mario Sunshine made a lot of mistakes, but after you became accustomed to F.L.U.D.D. you could have a lot of fun with the game. I certainly loved many parts of the game, but these were the top 5 reasons why it sucked for me. I might create another list of items that were pet peeves, but did not warrant a spot on this one. Trust me when I say that if you start digging closer, there are a lot of other reasons as to why you would dislike this SMS. Feel free to comment and tell me what other aspects you liked/disliked on Super Mario Sunshine and perhaps they will be included in the next article!