It’s been a long wait for a proper follow-up to Super Mario 64, the game that shifted the videogame landscape forever back in 1996. But one glimpse at Super Mario Sunshine and it’s clear that Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s head games brain, has spent those six years conjuring up the kind of stunning Nintendo GameCube debut that the Mario series demanded.
Super Mario Sunshine kicks off with Mario packing enough red t-shirts and blue dungarees for two weeks’ wear, and jetting off with Princess Peach for a much-deserved holiday on a sun-kissed tropical island. But the rest and relaxation don’t last long. A dastardly vandal has been polluting the beautiful landscape – and to make matters worse, he’s the spitting image of Mario himself! His moustache no doubt bristling with rage, Mario sets out to clear up the island – and clear his name.
What that means for you is an eight-centimetre disc loaded with the greatest Mario adventure yet, as you run, leap, bounce, slide and climb your way around an impossible expansive and utterly beautiful 3D world, soaking up both the glorious sun, and hour upon hour of that instantly gripping Mario gameplay.
But no Mario adventure would be complete without a stunning innovation – and in Super Mario Sunshine, it’s that curious water-filled pump strapped to the portly plumber’s back. On the one hand, this hydro-powered device is Mario’s means to hosing down the muddy mess that the mock Mario has created – and its powerful spray is accompanied by some of the finest watery effects ever witnessed. But the backpack can also be used to jetpack around the crystal clear skies of the island, help Mario somersault while clinging onto ropes, propel our dungareed friend across ponds as he stands on lily pads… and perform a host of yet-to-be-revealed secret functions during Mario’s quest to restore the power of Shine to the island.
Mario will be bumping into many of his old friends during Super Mario Sunshine – joy of joys, he’ll even be hopping on Yoshi for an enemy-squishing ride around the island. And he’ll be showing off a range of new moves, including an impressive spinning jump, and an improved belly-slide that takes advantage of the mud slicks coating the landscape.
As usual, Mr Miyamoto is keeping this game’s biggest secrets under his Mario cap – and you can be sure Super Mario Sunshine will blaze as brightly with brilliant set-pieces, stunning worlds and tip-top secrets as every Mario adventure to date. For Nintendo GameCube owners, the future looks very bright indeed…