I love the Gamecube. Well, I should say, I love all that is Nintendo. Good or bad, their products are just exquisite and worth my time and money. I’ve own all of the American console releases and when the Gamecube came out, it was a must to have over Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox. Most games that came out on all three were all Gamecube for me unless it was only for a particular platform (wait til I get to Final Fantasy XII). Seeing that cool and quirky intro for the system and having that comfortable and one of the best controllers of all time in my hand, playing games on Gamecube was the best time for gaming.
There never was a doubt that a Mario game wouldn’t be release for the system. Knowing how Nintendo likes to refine things and change and experiment with a game’s mechanics, it was going to be a fresh take on playing a Mario game. Super Mario 64 introduced analog control working in 3D games and set the industry a blaze in this revelation. Sony and Microsoft bought in 2 analog sticks and as time went on, we have come to a standard control design we hold in our hand.
Super Mario Sunshine though introduce something so odd but yet so wonderful. Water. Well, I should say, the way water is used in this game. Placing Mario in a bright and colorful world surrounded by realistic looking water at that time was something you didn’t see in games. The sound effects that came out of Mario’s Fludd (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device) was neat to hear and had a nice timing to it. With Mario’s Fludd, you had the task of cleaning up tropical Isle Delfino, after it has been mucked up by some shadowy figure that looked like Mario.
A game about cleaning? Yes but also challenging. As you clean along the land, you’ll find secrets, characters, and solve puzzles and fight bosses. It was just a “jump on the enemy” Mario title that most would expect. It felt like a what a Ghostbuster game really should be but not. You’ll acquire new powers, juices for Yoshi, and collect Shine Sprites. With 7 or so levels in a area, getting by the minimum wasn’t to hard a task but for true players who wanted everything, you were going to work for it.
One of the mechanics I enjoyed was the FLUDD Hovering. I would jump in the air and hover around as the water shot straight down and help clear areas. It felt relaxing and sometimes helped me out of a jam. The execution of it was so well, I would do my best to master the landing on platforms without looking at my shadow. This game has so much fun and originality to it.
What I truly love about this game is removing my safety net for special levels in Sunshine. When FLUDD was taken away and I was left to my platforming skills, the real Mario game started for me. It was my proof that Nintendo knew that if you want these special sprites, you were going to work hard for them.
It was the sweat in my hands. The tension of landing my jumps from off timing on my parts. It was the dying over and over and starting from the beginning because I wanted to learn the level design. It was the thrill of success when I finish one and knew that I had more to look forward. These levels knew that they were off limits to kids and those who hate difficulty.
I would play this game in the dark because I wanted the colors of the levels and the focus on the special levels to keep my eyes on the marvel this game has. Since the soundtrack was just glorious, it was relaxing but when that FLUDD less level came up, I knew it was time to tackle those developers mind. The challenge was real.
I did finish as much as I can and although I didn’t get everything, I did finish Sunshine. After beating it and playing other games, I would visit from time to time and do any left over stages. The new challenges I found astounded me and wish I stayed with it longer. Though I did have to move on, it became one of my favorite games of all time and it still is.
That alone has been a favorite moment of my lifetime.
Then there’s Metrod Prime, Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, Eternal Darkness, Tales Of Symphonia, Twilight Princess, and The Game Boy Advance attachment. Those are for another day (well, not Windwaker since I did one….but that doesn’t mean I can’t do a part 2 for it…..heheheh)