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Super Mario RPG

Square & Nintendo
Traditional RPG
  • May 13, 1996
  • March 9, 1996
A- 73 total ratings
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Square & Nintendo's Classic Collaboration

A Super Mario RPG review Author: alrightya Published: October 27, 2003
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When Super Mario RPG was announced, it was a shock to us all. So you can imagine the shockwave that was sent through the gaming world when it was announced that Squaresoft would be developing it. In the twilight days of the SNES' life, this proved to be the perfect title to bid the system a final, heartfelt farewell. Not many games came out for the system after SMRPG, and the ones that did were nowhere near as well designed or as fun as SMRPG. It was the first and last partnership between the two companies, until they recently settled their differences.
This game is a traditional RPG, where as each character takes a turn to attack. Something completely different from every other Mario game to date when this title was released, we've since seen a second Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and are about to see a third, Mario and Luigi. The battles were actually quite enjoyable, although very easy, it is a Mario game afterall. There are no random battles, which in my book is a huge bonus to the game. You see the monsters and can avoid them if you'd like. I didn't avoid them, the battles are the best aspect of this gem of a game. Each character has unique weapons that are taken straight from the Mario world, and the new characters have their own attacks as well.
Like any RPG, there are special attacks and each character has there own, 5 or 6 depending on which character you use. Mario, of course, has his standard fireball attacks and jump attacks, it wouldn't be Mario without them. You have the healer's, Peach and Mallow, and the fighters, Mario, Bowser, and Geno. The system is quite innovative where as each share the power source to use these special attacks, FP, Flower Points. Instead of each character having a certain amount of FP, the group shares them so you must use some strategy when deciding whose special attacks are best for certain situations.
Levelling up also has a nice feature. You level up by collecting exp. points after every battle like any other RPG, but every time you level up you pick a certain area where you will develop more attributes then the rest. You can pick to build more Hit Points, Attack Points, or Defense. It's all up to your personal preference for each individual character.
Outside of battling, you get to do a few actions that most RPG's don't let you perform. It wouldn't be a Mario game without the ability to jump, and this is a Mario game, right? Mario has the freedom to jump over gaps, and certain areas require a few skilled jumps to move forward in the adventure. There is a world map, but you don't actually travel it, you just point and select a location and Mario goes there, no wandering a world, which is one of the downfalls I see with this game. I like wandering from point A to point B on my own, and finding things on the way.
There are even some of those world-famous hidden treasure boxes hidden throughout the world, and in Monstro Town there is a Pandorite that tells you how many hidden treasure boxes you still haven't found, so keep trying to get them all. This game even has invincibility stars that let you just touch the monsters and collect the exp. points without having to battle them, just like in the Mario games.
This game is also filled to the brim with sidequests and mini-games. There is a highly addicting gameboy you can buy and play Beetle Mania at any time. You can hunt for beetles, race Yoshis, and ride a minecart, as well as many other games. The sidequests are great. You can try to find hidden treasures, fight a sensai named Jinx, which is one of the "tougher" fights of the game, still easy, and yes, you can even fight a famous foe from the Final Fantasy world, you will have to play to find out who it is for yourself. Just don't sell your shiny crystal and you will know what I am talking about.
Overall the gameplay is very good. My only quirk with the gameplay is the world map. It definitely has a world map, and it is a nicely detailed map, but I would like to have had the freedom to roam it on my own. Battles are also a bit too easy, including the final battle.
It starts off like every other Mario game we've ever played. Bowser kidnaps the princess and you, as Mario, comes to the rescue. You defeat Bowser and just as you are about to reach the Princess, a giant sword named Exor crashes through Bowser's keep. From there the story takes off. You must once again save the princess, and then heal the star road.
You will team with old friends, new friends, and even your nemesis will join your team. Or according to Bowser, you will join the Koopa Troop. It is an interesting plot for a Mario game, but compared to the likes of Square's previous releases, Chrono Trigger and FFVI, you will be left wanting more of a plot. It is a Mario game, so a deep plot like either of those games wouldn't make sense for the little Mario fans out there. For veteran's of RPG's, the plot is a little less then what we would've expected from any other Square title.
This is where this game truly shines. It is the best looking SNES game that there ever was. Square outdid it's FFVI with the Graphics of SMRPG. The world designs, the character designs, and the battle animations were as good as they get on the 16-bit market. The Mario world has never looked better. I was one of those people who were a little disappointed with the direction Nintendo went with Paper Mario. After seeing SMRPG, I was not to thrilled with the graphic design of Paper Mario, and I still prefer the graphics that Square provided with SMRPG.
The bottom line is, the graphics are perfect. No SNES game has even come close to outshining this game in terms of graphics.
The music is above average, but nothing compared to other Square musical masterpieces. A lot of catchy tunes, as well as a few that sound familier to other games in the Mario world. The best song is of course the secret battle with the Final Fantasy villian, remember what I said earlier, don't get rid of your shiny stone. One little game is when you try to compose a song with the great Toadofsky.
The sound effects are good, what you would expect from a Mario game. The main flaw with the music is, no matter how catchy a tune is, it becomes repetitive after a few minutes and there aren't that many different songs throughout the game. Certain areas of the world have similar music. Not what you would expect from a Squaresoft RPG, but far from bad.
Replay Value
You will play this game more than once, it may only be twice that you play it, but it will be more than once. It is a fun and enjoyable game, albeit a bit too easy. The experience is a good one while partaking of this adventure. Once you beat it, you will play again for the mini-games and finding all 39 hidden treasure boxes.
This game certainly has it's flaws. No freedom on the world map, repetitive music, very easy battles, and a plot directed toward the kids rather than the veterans of RPG's. Overall, the game's greatness far outweighs the few flaws this title has. Don't let the final score fool you, it is a great game that everybody must experience.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "The best looking SNES game there ever was, and a very enjoyable game to play."
A- dotted line Average Reader Score (Based on 73 ratings) | Rate it Now
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Vapid Buttmunch
Member since October 27, 2003
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