Well, where to begin? I guess I'll start by saying that 'Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars' was the first RPG I played and completed, which was a VERY long time ago. It's also the reason I ever got interested in RPGs at all, and it's safe to say that if I had never played SMRPG before, I probably wouldn't be a member of EoFF today. It's sort of funny how things turn out. Anyway, on to the review. All scores will be out of 5.
| Story |
I'll start with the story first. I will warn those who have not played this game yet that there will be some spoilers here, but since the game's been out for 12 years, you don't have an excuse for not playing yet.^_^ Anyway, the game begins as Mario yet again approaches Bowser's castle to save Princess Toadstool from the evil Koopa's clutches. After a subjectively dramatic fight all the way up on the chandeliers (and sending said chandeliers falling to the ground along with Mario and Bowser on them), a massive sword with eyes falls into the castle, sending Mario, Toadstool, and Bowser flying in random directions. Cue the title screen, then you find Mario conveniently falling down the chimney of his house. When he comes around, you are approached by Toad, who then starts with the tutorial of the game. After some leveling up, you meet one of the two playable characters unique to the game: Mallow. This little puffball has the amazing ability to control the weather (and most of his special attacks revolve around that), and can cause a downpour when he cries (which is rather often, because he's a big crybaby). After a while longer, you meet the other playable character unique to SMRPG: Geno, a living doll whose skills and attacks revolve around his use of guns and beams. As the game progresses, you meet plenty of unusual characters to keep you interested (or at least slightly dumbfounded) and plenty of plot twists and side quests too keep you busy. You'll eventually meet back up with Toadstool and Bowser, and they will join your party as well. The story revolves around collecting Star Pieces to repair the Star Road, where Geno is from. However, members of the Smithy gang possess them. Obviously, you need to defeat them to obtain them. The final star piece is held by the final boss of the game. All in all, I felt it was a great story, but then again, I played this when it came out, back when I was 6 years old. But to this day, it still keeps me interested. It was an interesting, fun, and unique game.
| Music |
The next thing I'll address is the music. For a Super Nintendo game, I think the music was pretty good, though a few BGMs were annoying and repetitive at times. However, some of them were fantastic and nostalgic at the same time, as some songs are remakes of older Mario releases from the NES, not to mention some of the original tracks from SMRPG are nice as well. Anyway, my opinions aside, the soundtrack for the game was composed mainly by Yoko Shimomura, who also composed music for Legend of Mana, the Kingdom Hearts series, and Parasite Eve. There are also songs arranged from the Final Fantasy series, by Koji Kondo (also known for composing the music for some of the original Super Mario games, Legend of Zelda games, and even some of the songs from the Super Smash Bros. series) and Nobuo Uematsu (obviously known for composing music for the Final Fantasy series.
| Graphics |
The graphics of this game were nothing short of spectacular for an SNES release, with isometric 3D backgrounds and well-done character sprites, that almost look three-dimensional. There really are no rough edges in the graphics either, they look smooth and appealing.
| Gameplay |
The gameplay was pretty typical for an RPG, and that's fine. However, this is where I think the game falls short. Don't get me wrong, it's good, but I do think there could have been a little more added to make it better. For example, the level cap is only 30, unlike the level 99 cap in most games. To me, this caused a lack of expansion upon the characters' stats and special attacks, which I thought could have been extended. Despite that, there is a bit of a unique twist to leveling up. When you do level up, not only do you get a stat boost and the occasional new attack, but you also get to pick to pick an extra boost in your HP, Attack, or FP (Flower Points). It's a nifty addition, to be totally honest, but it doesn't make up for the lack of level-ups. I'll admit I'm just being picky at this point, but I do enjoy powerleveling and grinding, believe it or not. However, the abundance of minigames make up for the somewhat-lacking leveling system.
| Overall |
Overall, I feel this is an excellent game that any fan of Mario or RPGs should play. My opinions on this game are totally influenced on the nostalgic value this game has to me, so you may or may not agree with my final score.