[Review] Super Mario Sunshine For Veterans – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 08/09/2020
  • Price: £49.99 / $59.99 (As part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars)
  • Review code provided by Nintendo

Video Review

Introducing The Super Mario Sunshine Switch Review For Veterans

Well, everyone.  We finally got our wish.  Super Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo Switch.  Mario is back at it again with less moves then you ever thought Mario could have, and what he can’t do F.L.U.D.D. will fill in for, making this Mario akin to his appearances in the New Super Mario Bros. games.  It’s a little disappointing, but, I think it was worth it.

Right At Home

Super Mario…you know the rest

Super Mario Sunshine BELONGS on the Switch.  I have gone on for years believing that Super Mario Sunshine would not feel at home on the Switch and fervently argued this point with other gamers who felt differently.  From the time I first stepped foot on the Delfino Airstirp until Bowser fell from his huge hot-tub, I realized I was completely and totally wrong.  Super Mario Sunshine FEELS like a game for the Nintendo Switch.

While we may be missing the Pressure Sensitive R button for different levels of spraying, the system by which they split run-and-spray and stand-and-spray between ZR and R respectively is one of the greatest changes to this game.  Having it divided between 2 buttons really helped me conquer more obstacles and felt like it controlled very well.  It was absolutely a welcome switch from the pressure sensitive R button and while it may be a bit weird at first, getting used to it will vastly improve your opinion on this game’s spraying controls.

Only the spraying controls.

F.L.U.D.D. Focused

Poltergust Was Better

Sunshine is the strangest game in the Super Mario series because of how little agency they give Mario in this game.  Super Mario 64 taught us just how many ways Nintendo wanted you to be able to jump, punch, slide, and flip to get to each ledge.  Sunshine Mario has less than half of those moves and resembles his appearances in New Super Mario Bros. games more than he does Super Mario. 

Yes, this is done because F.L.U.D.D. is the focus of Mario’s move set but it makes the whole game feel like Mario was never the originally intended protagonist.  He feels more like the afterthought, attached to give the game some notoriety because Nintendo couldn’t figure out how to make F.L.U.D.D. marketable.  This is VERY evident when considering just how frustrating this game is when you take Mario’s toys away.

-Mario Losing A Life Theme Played On Various Horns-

Images you can FEEL!

A return trip to Super Mario Sunshine may only remind the player just how dodgy the controls are in this game.  With Mario feeling like an afterthought, his controls, physics, and movements never looked finished in this game.  We couldn’t tell on the Gamecube because the original quality wasn’t very good, but now that we can see every crease and crack in the foundation due to our HD screens, and more precise controller options, we can all agree:

Super Mario Sunshine’s controls are not that good.

It’s not a matter of ‘getting used to them’, they just aren’t very good.  Returning to Sunshine only solidifies this as you fall off the very same cliff for the 45th time, or accidentally do a turn-jump instead of just trying to jump away from a projectile, or you slide off a slightly angled piece of geometry because it was at the PERFECT angle to trip you up.  You begin to realize that maybe the controls were never good in Sunshine and that is in no way a bad thing.  But, it does dampen the experience of this good game and almost make you want to put it down in favor of either of the other 2 titans in 3D All-Stars.

Final Thoughts

Oh, boy….

Super Mario Sunshine is a fine game.  The controls keep it from being good.  But the fun levels, cool environments, interesting use of F.L.U.D.D. keep it from being bad.  I’m just glad everyone who wanted a Sunshine Switch port finally got one so we can all realize just how lukewarm this Mario title truly is.

Pros:

  • Spray controls changed for the better
  • Fun to play when physics work
  • Introduced many beloved characters

Cons:

  • Physics are not good
  • Mario relies on F.L.U.D.D. far too much
  • That friggin’ Lilli pad level
  • The pachinko level

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