Super Mario Sunshine

released on Jul 19, 2002

Super Mario Sunshine is a Mario action-adventure 3D platformer. It follows Super Mario 64, and is the second 3D Mario platformer. Gameplay features a combination of action and puzzle solving, with numerous stages and multiple episodes to each stage, and plenty of hidden secrets and surprises. This game introduced many recurring characters and bosses in the Mario series, including Toadsworth, Bowser Jr., Petey Piranha, Gooper Blooper, Piantas, Nokis, Shadow Mario, and F.L.U.D.D. Super Mario Sunshine pays homage to Mario's Italian heritage and upbringing, with many of the locations in the game having Italian names and sometimes referencing Italian culture.

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Setting is incredible, fun, tropical; 'handpainted' feel of textures and environments really shine in 3D All Stars. Has a few game design flaws, but still holds up.
That water effect!!! Unmatched in 20 years.

I think about the Delfino Plaza theme weekly.

El pato robótico no compensa los peores niveles de un Mario 3D

I admire the Gamecube's tropical aesthetic turn, and I love this game's sense of place. But if I ever have to do that Yoshi mission again I will kill myself.

It is insane that Nintendo made this as the sequel to Mario 64. Developers simply don't make sequels like this anymore. Mario Sunshine feels like a game made in parallel to Mario 64 instead of building on it.
Sunshine features an almost entirely new moveset, new location, new artstyle. The early narrative focus is also something new for the mainline Mario games at that time. Mario goes to fucking jail and every level is set on this island full of big nosed assholes. It's INSANE. And honestly I really really admire how out there this game is. All of the levels are connected because they're all actual locations on the island. This gives the whole game a sense of place that I really enjoyed. Delfino Plaza rules and the theme is iconic. Never got tired of hearing it. Also while I'm talking about the soundtrack, it's awesome that every level theme song has remixed version with bongos for when you play as Yoshi.
For everything I admire about Sunshine on paper, there's something else that I dislike about it when I'm actually playing it. The move set feels bad. F.L.U.D.D. feels bad too but mostly when you're aiming it. When it's used as a glorified hover, then it's fine. The base move set just feels so janky. It's even more apparent in all the secret levels that remove F.L.U.D.D. It's wild that almost all of those levels feels janky to play because they focus on the concept of having Mario maneuver across a rotating wooden object. It feels repetitive because doing this really isn't all that fun. Especially when you're doing in extreme circumstances like with the Sand Bird.
Mix all of that with a bunch of fuck you levels like the Chuckster level and Sunshine just feels really slapped together. Way more so than any other Mario game I've played. There are so many unhinged decisions that I can't help but respect but overall I feel that Super Mario Sunshine is a low point for the 3D Mario games.
Played the Super Mario 3D All Stars version on Switch
Obtained 73/120 Shines