Review – Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

This Is to Help Us Forget They Didn't Put Geno in Smash

Overview

Developer Square Enix
Publisher Nintendo
Genre JRPG
Platforms Switch (reviewed)
Release Date November 17, 2023

The plan set forth by Nintendo to have every Mario game ever available on the Switch continues with Super Mario RPG. I didn’t think this would happen, considering Square Enix left Nintendo long ago for a more powerful system for their games. But it seems I was wrong. Super Mario RPG has been on my radar for some time. The blend seemed unnatural. Let’s spend some time together, and talk about this remaster while we wait for a re-release of Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Knock, knock, knockin’ on Bowser’s dooooor

Content

Violence

Foes are attacked with shells, toy guns, chain-chomps, fists, umbrellas, and even some party members are thrown. It’s all comical, and cartoony.

Review

Many readers already know the story, because they had it growing up, emulated it, or watched a thousand YouTubers complete or speedrun it. But just in case you’re the rare gamer like myself and didn’t have Nintendo in your living room, let me make a quick summary. Mario is trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser as usual, then all of a sudden a giant sword stabs itself into Bowser’s castle, and evicts everyone. To overcome this threat, Mario must join forces, and gather seven colorful stars.

What the overall quest lacks in complexity, the journey makes up for with an abundance of whimsy and charm. This is by far the best Mario story I’ve experienced. As far as RPGs go, it doesn’t break the mold, but it tells a solid, fun story. I was excited to see how they used the various Mario characters, and I was blown away by how many new types there were. Mallow and Gino were instant favorites. Their designs are unique, especially Gino, the toy brought to life. 

The locales were colorful and visually appealing, especially with everything looking sharp and clear in the remaster. The adorable character models and dioramic landscapes are now among my favorite Mario titles. I love the cutscenes with Mario transforming into his enemies to tell of his encounters to others, as well as the exaggerated faces from Bowser. Many of the cinematic moments have been upgraded to full cutscenes, and they seamlessly integrate through the game.

So, you guys like watching Shark Week?

I found the battling to be the right mixture. Enemies are on screen, and can be avoided. Getting a feel for the timing both attacking and defending felt the same as Sea of Stars. The telegraphs were easy to spot, and executing them was a fair challenge to master. Some bosses had their own mechanisms that spiced the fight. One boss uses buttons similar to the player’s controller to determine which function would be canceled for that round; items, normal attack, or special attack.

The greatest part of Super Mario RPG is the interspersed platforming. Before Final Fantasy VII, Super Mario RPG did the minigame story segments first. Jumping on barrels down river, hiding behind curtains to avoid being spotted, impersonating a gold statue – there are so many little moments that engaged me as a player, and broke up the story into bite-size chunks. And while it’s not platforming, some fights don’t end in the conventional way. I was surprised by how many times a boss fight ended in an unexpected manner.

Original Koopa from SNES version. The years have not been kind…

I can’t think of a single moment where I wasn’t doing something I had experienced before. The side quests were even done well. My favorite comes from sleeping in an inn with three ghosts challenging you to find their flags hidden around the entire game. The tadpole music notes were hard, but with my camera function I managed to figure it out without a guide. That’s how much fun I was having. This game is nothing short of amazing. It’s as tightly packed as Undertale, with the greatest video game mascot used by a great RPG developer. With the added fidelity, I think this is the perfect way to experience this classic.

A copy of this game was generously provided by Nintendo.

The Bottom Line

 

Definitely no reason not to play this game.

 

9.5

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Johnathan Floyd

Writer, Editor, President, and overall complete goofball.

1 Comments

  1. Bilal Islam on December 31, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    Bro, why are you spelling it “Gino”

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