I agree with Jeff Gertsmann because the graphical glitches make Super Mario Sunshine more frustrating for me to play sometimes. It's still a great game overall, but it's not as great as Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. If you look at the other ratings, you can see that the other 3D Mario games were mainly in the nines range on GameSpot. I know that Tom Mc Shea gave Super Mario Galaxy 2 a perfect 10 a few years ago.
Super Mario Sunshine Review
On its own merits, Super Mario Sunshine is a solid game with a really distinctive look and some great moments, but it also has its fair share of shortcomings.
Nintendo's software lineup has always revolved around a core group of major characters who appear in games that, more often than not, turn into system sellers. You always get the impression that games featuring these characters are going to be given a little extra polish to ensure that everything comes together just right, even if it means that the game has to be delayed for months or years at a time. So, inevitably, games like Super Mario Sunshine are eagerly anticipated. Super Mario Sunshine is the first truly major release on Nintendo's GameCube, and it is the first starring role for Nintendo's most recognizable character on the system. Once you get past the excitement over the fact that the latest Mario game is finally here, you'll find a game that's generally pleasing but heavily reliant on a few new moves that seem more like gimmicks than gameplay innovations.
Super Mario Sunshine opens with Mario and his entourage escaping the daily grind of the Mushroom Kingdom by flying to the paradise of Isle Delfino for a holiday. But Mario's vacation dreams are cut short immediately after landing at the island's airstrip. It seems that the island is covered in graffiti and pollution, and the person responsible happens to look enough like Mario to lead to a sitcom-style case of mistaken identity. Mario's sentence is to clean up the island with the help of FLUDD, a water cannon that you wear on your back. Along the way, princesses will be kidnapped, ooze will be washed away, and large numbers of "shines"--the game's equivalent to Super Mario 64's stars--will be collected.
Super Mario Sunshine has a lot in common with 1996's Super Mario 64, an incredible game that set the standard for every 3D platformer that's been made since. Of course, previous Mario games were also outstanding, so Super Mario Sunshine has some big shoes to fill. It attempts to fill them by not straying far from the previous game's formula. The new game's equivalent of Mario 64's overworld castle is the town square. The hub area is large and nicely detailed and has enough different routes to the game's different level entry points to keep you from having to spend any serious length of time running from one place to another. It also has a rather large collection of secrets to uncover. Aside from the hub area and brief intro and finale sections, the game contains seven levels. Just in like Super Mario 64, each level is broken up into multiple sequential objectives, meaning you'll have to reenter each level multiple times before you're finished with it. Each one of the levels contains eight episodes, and completing an episode always results in obtaining a shine.
There is a total of 120 shines in Super Mario Sunshine, but you can finish the game with less than half that number. The level goals are often pretty straightforward, as you can solve practically any problem you come across by simply shooting it with water. Each episode starts with a brief look around the level that almost always shows you exactly what you need to do within a couple of seconds. Some of them are as simple as getting to a certain spot in the level and fighting a boss for the prize or racing another character to a specific place in the level. Others, such as the goals that let you surf on the back of a small squidlike creature, feel more like minigames.
Also making the transition from Super Mario 64 are the red coin challenges--you'll simply be sent on a scavenger hunt looking for a certain number of these coins. Each level has at least one mandatory red coin collection goal, and some of them must be performed within certain time limits. Each level also has one goal devoted to chasing the evil Mario clone around and hosing him down until he gives up and gives you a shine.
There are also a lot of goals that lead you into caves and other enclosed areas. Entering one of these areas triggers a brief but overused video of the Mario clone stealing your water cannon and whisking it away. You're then sent into one of several different obstacle-course-like levels that feature a bunch of floating and moving blocks textured to look like wood. These courses become more and more difficult as you progress through the game and have the ability to bring back that classic sense of platformer frustration that occurs when you see the goal, know exactly how to reach that goal, but can't seem to piece it all together and actually pilot Mario to it. Occasional technical issues also make for quite a bit of frustration, such as clipping problems that cause you to fall through objects or get you stuck inside walls or fences. While a few level goals truly stand out and will remind you of why you love the Mario series in the first place, many of the game's goals--particularly the red coin challenges--are simply tedious, and completing them feels more like a relief than a reward. The fact that you'll have to backtrack through each level at least seven times to complete the game also isn't much fun, even though the levels do change slightly from objective to objective.
Controlling Mario is a snap. Most of his Super Mario 64 moves have been retained here, including the extremely useful turnaround and triple jumps. Mario's boxing skills don't come into play, however, as all his physical attacks have been replaced by the water cannon. The water pack comes with two standard nozzles. The cannon nozzle lets you spray water a short distance in front of you. Using the R trigger will activate your water cannon, and pushing the trigger in partially will let you spray on the move. Clicking the trigger in all the way plants your feet but gives you the ability to aim the cannon. The other standard nozzle is a dual hover nozzle that lets you lift off into the air. This is handy for making your way across gaps or adding a bit of height to your jumps. The pressure won't last forever, though, so you can't just stay in the air until your tank runs dry.
As you proceed through the game, you'll find other nozzles that can take the place of your hover nozzle. The rocket nozzle blasts you high into the sky but won't let you hover, and the propeller nozzle lets you launch yourself along the surface of the ground or water but never really plays a meaningful role unless you're bent on finding every last shine. You'll also eventually get to ride on Mario's dinosaurlike sidekick, Yoshi, but unfortunately he seems like he was thrown in as an afterthought. Yoshi is only useful for his strange ability to spit fruit juice all over the place, which in turn is used for only one required puzzle and a handful of optional ones.