Aug 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Super Mario Sunshine

August 26th, 2002. My entire 2002 summer vacation was spent anticipating this day. I couldn't wait for the release of Super Mario Sunshine on the Gamecube. I spent countless hours imagining myself playing through the next Mario adventure. Looking back on it the hype and expectations I had for Super Mario Sunshine were definitely met and may have even been outdone.

It all started with the August 2002 covers for Electronics Gaming Monthly. The magazine was doing a special report on Nintendo and gave covers to the 3 Games that ended up defining the console, Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, & Legend of Zelda: WindWaker. Out of the three games that EGM put on the cover I was most excited about Mario. I remember after reading the article I ran to Electronics Boutique (Remember that?) and preordered Super Mario Sunshine. Super Mario Sunshine is one of two games that I've ever preordered in my life. The other one being Zelda: Wind Waker due to the free copy of Ocarina of Time that came with a preorder.

I believed so much in the Gamecube at the time that I couldn't be disappointed in Mario's Gamecube adventure. The way I see it is Nintendo has a stable of characters that they can use at any given point in time. Mario defines Nintendo. Super Mario games on any console define the console I'm playing. Super Mario 64 defined the Nintendo 64, Super Mario World defines the SNES, Super Mario Sunshine defines the Gamecube. You won't find a lot of glitches and bugs in a Super Mario Game. These games are given that extra amount of attention before they're released.

Back to Super Mario Sunshine. I remember putting $20 dollars toward my purchase when I preordered it. I spent almost every weekend of my summer putting money towards my preorder ($5 dollars here, $2 dollars there) until the game was paid for. By the time I had it payed off I began imagining myself buying the game. I saw myself waiting in a long line until the cashier asked about preorders. I'd skip the line and hand him my slips to receive my copy of the game. That made me feel so good.

I called EB on August 26th and they said the game would be in stock on the 27th. I was a bit salted, but I could handle waiting another day. I mean after all I waited the whole summer. When I finally had the game I remember enjoying it a lot. I didn't get all 120 Shine Sprites, (Those blue coins were annoying), but I came close. I don't think Super Mario Sunshine has gotten the right amount of credit it deserves. Sure it got good reviews, but it always gets perceived as a step down from Super Mario 64. I'm here to say Super Mario Sunshine is a great game that should be mentioned in the Videogame Hall of Fame. Long live Super Mario Sunshine

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