• ToriJ reviews: Super Mario RPG

    Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars is an RPG developed by Square Soft and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo in 1996. It is the only Mario game to be developed by Square as well as the first RPG to be made under the Mario banner. Mario must team up with friends and foes alike to take out a new threat: the Smithy Gang. The gang's leader has stolen the seven star pieces of Star Road and with it the world's wishes. It's up to Mario and co. to get them back so all your wishes can come true.

    The game starts off with Princess Peach being kidnapped by Bowser. Of course, she couldn't even go five seconds without being kidnapped! Then we get a montage of game footage spliced together that's so long it could give the opening to Sailor Moon Another Story a run for its money. When all is said and done we get our title screen and can start a new game.

    No, you don't get to name Mario in this. They really do want your name.

    While Super Mario RPG kick things off with the usual formula of the princess being captured, this time you don't have to travel eight freaking worlds to get her and the castle door just automatically opens for you. Because, you know, villains can't be smart or anything. From here we get our first glimpse into how the game is played.

    The security in this place sucks.

    Unlike other RPGs where you'd just be wandering around until a random battle breaks out, you can actually see the enemies on the screen and can even avoid them if you want. But do keep in mind that if they see you they will chase you down. Once you do make contact with them a battle will ensue and that's when we return to the ever so familiar turn-based style.

    There's a fungus among us!

    We get a bit of a 3/4 overhead view, so it comes across as more three-dimensional. I know that isn't much to gamers today, but back then anything remotely 3D was sort of a big deal.

    Super Mario RPG introduces a function called “timed hits” meaning if you hit the attack button (A or Y) right before striking your enemy, you'll be able to inflict more damage against them. If you hit A right before an enemy attacks you, you can reduce the damage done to you, but it doesn't always work. This provides another edge to battle and doesn't leave you as helpless when it's the enemy's turn to strike.

    Just another day in Mushroom Kingdom.

    Super Mario RPG takes all gameplay aspects from the Mario games and mixes them up with a standard RPG experience. This means you can explore, you can hit blocks for gold coins (which, in this case, is used for currency). You can even find the star that makes you invincible to enemies, knocking them off screen so you don't have to battle them.

    Other Mario elements like the jump of doom and the fireballs can be utilized during combat as special attacks. All your classic Mario enemies are here: Goombas, Koopa Troopas, etc.

    Mario is joined in the game by two new characters named Mallow and Geno. Mallow is a cloud who thinks he is a tadpole for some reason, and Geno is a possessed doll. Mario's long time enemy Bowser also joins his quest to stop the Smithy Gang alongside the Princess herself. Luigi is excluded from the game, sadly. I'm guessing this is what leads Mario to invite Bowser to all his sports games and social events.

    Mario is always in your party so your choices of who from the other four to have with him in a battle is limited to two at a time. Each character you have to choose from has their own uses in battle. Bowser and Geno perform more stronger attacks and Princess Peach plays the role of healer.

    Pressing the X button brings up the inventory. Here we have: Item, Status, Special, Equip and Special Item. Items can range from mushrooms that restore your HP and honey syrup that restores Flower Points (the game's version of Magic Points) and you can toss any item that you don't need to make room, since the space is very limited. Status displays their overall stats and how much experience points is needed to make it to the next level, Special shows you which special moves you have acquired so far, and Equip is for your gear, of which you can even get your hands on things like the Hammer Brothers hammer to equip to Mario. Special Item is for rare items needed to advance the story, and if I need to explain what a Map is you have some problems.

    The game has a great sense of humor and pun moments like the one you see above. Mario even has a funny way of explaining things to other characters, where he not only mimes but transforms into the characters he's referring to. "Mario the shapeshifter!"

    Seeing Mario and Bowser join forces to take out a greater threat for the first time is fun to see, and the game gets points from me for trying to take Peach out of the usual role of damsel in distress and make her a useful member of the party. It's completely ruined in later titles when she's back to being the helpless victim she's always been, but they try, guys. They really do try.

    Cons: There are no glaring issues I can pinpoint in the game that diminished my overall enjoyment of it.

    Conclusion: There's a reason Super Mario RPG set the pace for all Mario RPGs to come after it, and it's easy to see why after having played the game yourself. It's fun, exciting, and it spins the regular routine of Mario rescuing the princess from Bowser on its head. If you're a huge Mario fan, or enjoy RPGs in general, Super Mario RPG is definitely worth checking out.

    Get it.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: ToriJ reviews: Super Mario RPG started by ToriJ View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Pumpkin's Avatar
      Pumpkin -
      I couldn't get in to this game. Was not for shion
    1. Del Murder's Avatar
      Del Murder -
      One of the best RPGs of all time. It's rare that you two favorite video game companies make a game together but that's what happened with Nintendo and Square.
    1. Slothy's Avatar
      Slothy -
      Mario RPG was this rare confluence of awesome things and awesome people coming together to make something even more awesome.

    1. Ayen's Avatar
      Ayen -
      Quote Originally Posted by shion View Post
      I couldn't get in to this game. Was not for shion
      *puts bounty on shion's head* Stand perfectly still, shion, I'm going for the world record. *balances more things on shion's head*
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