As the end of the year approaches, Nintendo offers us its latest game, and not the least. Coming from the world of its famous plumber, Super Mario RPG is a remake of the title of the same name released almost 30 years ago. A very good idea considering the success the title had at the time, but also the success of the company’s recent remakes. Except it’s here, Super Mario RPG emerges in a context that can be double-edged.
Since the beginning of this year, the entire Super Mario license has been in the spotlight thanks to the animated film that broke all records, but also thanks to Super Mario Bros. Miracle, the latest opus in the franchise that literally revolutionized the genre. This even has a chance to win the GOTY title at the Game Awards. After all that, Super Mario RPG he knows how to impose himself for the right audience? The answer inside this is.
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So far, so good
Nothing goes right in the mushroom kingdom. Princess Peach has just been kidnapped (for the umpteenth time) by the terrible Bowser. As Mario tries to save her, he is thrown out of the castle by a giant sword called Exor, which destroys the path that led to the damsel in distress. Then a well-known quest begins in which Mario throws himself headlong. To find his love he needs help, which he will ask from the Toads, but which he will also find from unexpected allies.
The characters evolve in a world divided into levels, each with its own challenges. The title is far from as linear as any Super Mario game, but takes its role as an RPG very seriously from the first minutes. Many differences should be noted, such as the absence of dialogues (except written), the turn-based battles or the rather free exploration of the world. The player is not taken by the hand and that is a good thing.
Exploration is quite free, there is no assigned quest and sometimes you have to be patient before you understand what the title expects from us. For the times when a Mario game doesn’t infantilize us, we definitely don’t shy away from our fun. In addition, the mechanics really stand out Super Mario RPG enhance its charm in the long run.
Everyone gets a turn!
Strategy and reflection are required in the game that approaches turn-based combat. There are two difficulty levels available, although even easy isn’t that affordable. The entire dynamic of the confrontations is in reality based on a matter of timing, crucial in order not to lose face. When blocking or provoking an attack, you must manage to take coordinated actions to inflict even more pain or activate your protective shield.
Be careful, a moment of inattention and blows can easily be fatal. You also have to juggle special moves, which require a certain and inexhaustible resource, and objects that affect your team or just one of the characters. It’s always more fun with more people, and Mario’s companions are extremely helpful throughout the adventure. Their skills complement the Plumber’s shortcomings and can adapt to the weaknesses of any opponent.
Finally, we like the way he deals with enemies, especially during the beginning of battles, which sometimes proves to be complicated to avoid. Nothing is ever too serious Super Mario RPG which has a certain humorous and rather mature side. From gestures to dialogue, everything is mastered by Nintendo, which once again knows how to play with its universe to give it a modern twist. The French rental, also a novelty, is very pleasant and will certainly please Anglophobes.
Nothing new under the coconut trees
To sum up, Super Mario RPG is an excellent game for those who like strategy, but there is a catch. Almost everything that makes the game successful today was already present in the original title. It’s definitely a remake, but very few changes are made, in terms of story, environment or gameplay. Nintendo focuses more on graphics and visual modernity, values specific to our time and that we must follow for any production of the genre, but does not add anything important to distinguish the two parts that now bear the same name.
We wouldn’t have said no to new characters or designs that were extraordinary, especially after the roaring success of Super Mario Bros. Miracle which brings many new things. The music also remains in the same vein. In a way that’s good, the score is catchy, sometimes epic and above all cheerful. Despite everything, a touch of innovation could have made it possible Super Mario RPG to really make an impression in an innovative way compared to the first title.
Some flaws also remain, testaments to a different era of video games. For example, we notice the presence of a certain number of invisible walls, a technique that has not been used in games for years to demarcate the playable space. It’s a shame we didn’t add cosmetic elements to hide them, after all the work already done on the 3D environment and animations.
Also nothing that completely ruins the experience, although Nintendo should have aimed for higher standards for a remake. The level of investment in the rest of the franchise has been working for a while Super Mario RPG in an unfortunate shadow, which does not prevent players from enjoying an entertaining and funny game as we want.
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