Review: Super Mario RPG lets a classic shine on the Switch

This came out almost three decades after its release in 1996 Super Mario RPG The remake gives the classic a well-deserved second chance on the Nintendo Switch. Square and Nintendo’s unusual project not only impresses with its witty humor and quirky level design, but I also think people will find it better than they remember.

Screenshot of Mario jumping in the Super Mario RPG
Image via Nintendo

When Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Originally released on the SNES, the game’s risky genre mashup was quite mind-boggling for many players. However, some may consider it a hidden gem, even though it is responsible for the creation of other popular RPG series such as: Paper Mario And Mario & Luigi. The Super Mario RPG A faithful adaptation of the cult classic, the Nintendo Switch remake reimagines the entire game from the ground up with beautiful high-resolution graphics that breathe new life into this creative take on the side-scrolling plumber.

I came across this for the first time Super Mario RPG when I was eight years old. When I visited my uncle’s house in 1996, I accidentally stumbled upon the SNES cartridge while rummaging around his room and was completely amazed by the strange piece of art. Decades later, I’m shocked at how well the game’s story still holds up. In particular, Super Mario RPG has a hilarious script that kept me laughing constantly. One of the game’s opening scenes sums this up perfectly. Mario celebrates his quick victory after defeating Bowser in battle. However, King Koopa decides to take his rival with him when he goes down and also cuts off his chandelier. Both characters then burst into tears as they plunged into their danger. Super Mario RPGs The biting humor is fast-paced at every turn of the plot and this is the funniest the franchise has had to offer in years.

In the game, players control the Nintendo mascot in turn-based battles. On the surface, the combat mechanics feature the usual physical attacks, spells, and items. What surprised me, however, is how engaging the combat system is, even though I’m 26 years old. Whenever you make an attack against an enemy, you can double your damage if you press the attack button at the right time. However, since every attack and spell has a unique animation, determining timing isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can also block all damage taken from enemies by pressing the defense button one second before your opponent lands a hit. This system kept me busy and on my toes throughout the game’s campaign. Also because the enemy types are constantly changing, great Mario role-playing game keeps you up to date with the mechanics.

Screenshot of the combat system in Super Mario RPG
Image via Nintendo

Fight in Super Mario RPG is incredibly fun. If you time your attacks successfully, you will deal damage to all enemies at once while also having a random chance to refill your health or magic meter. Certain battles can even end with a random mini-game where you can double your experience points or coins. In an adorable shuffle game, you have to guess which egg Baby Yoshi is hiding in as an example. These combat gimmicks provide a fresh take on the traditional RPG formula, so combat never feels boring. The quirky systems extend to the game’s overworld as well, as hidden chests and various secret interactions are a joy to deal with. For a game from 1996, you can see how much love Square put into creating a unique, sophisticated world for their crossover project with Nintendo.

Super Mario RPG It also strikes an interesting balance, being deep enough for experienced RPG players but not too complicated for casual fans new to the genre. For example, the game has a fairly simple level-up system. After reaching enough points, all you have to do is choose between physical, HP, and magic stats. You strengthen your characters primarily by unlocking new armor and weapons. This split system allows you to repair your characters at any time if they become too weak due to their stats. I also think the equipment system is more rewarding as I always looked forward to finding a new town or a hidden chest to level up my character.

In Super Mario RPGThe Mushroom Kingdom falls into despair when the monstrous sword Exor crashes into Bowser’s castle. In an exciting twist, Mario goes on another adventure to save Princess Peach, not for the millionth time. Instead, he can team up with Bowser, Peach, and newcomers Mallow and Geno to repair Star Road and defeat the nefarious Smithy Gang.

Screenshot of the Tadpole Pond in Super Mario RPG
Image via Nintendo

Although the plot is not deep, it is one of the best due to its lively characters and quirky story Super Mario Campaigns in franchise history. Super Mario RPG also features some of the most diverse level design since the release of Super Mario World in 1990. Whether it’s a rocky mountain town run by mole diggers or a tropical pond home to dancing tadpoles, each section of the campaign is full of whimsical locations.

Speaking of bizarre, Super Mario RPG is also one of the strangest games in the long-running franchise. You can feel Square’s influence on this project, as the iconic Japanese studio wasn’t afraid to create bizarre enemy designs. When I played the remake on the Switch, I was impressed by how weird the game was willing to get. Seriously, you can take on a dinosaur in a top hat and a four-eyed cat with a long tongue. This game often feels more like a Final Fantasy game, which makes it all the more interesting.

As far as accessibility is concerned, Super Mario RPG has a difficulty level of “Breezy” or “Normal”. Breezy is the game’s Easy Mode, which significantly reduces the challenging battles. Players who are not used to RPGs can use this mode to jump into the campaign comfortably and without any problems. On the other hand, Normal Mode offers a pretty good challenge as the game has different difficulty levels throughout the story. During my playthrough I had to spend a few hours grinding because I didn’t have enough levels and was easily defeated by bosses.

Image via Nintendo
Image via Nintendo

The only thing I would caution some players against is relying too much on the game’s Easy Mode. I think it’s an excellent accessibility option and will allow players of all ages to engage with the roleplaying game. However, I found the mode to be a bit too long to easy when I tried it. Luckily, Nintendo lets you turn the mode on or off at any time. So if you get stuck on a boss or feel like the game is getting too challenging, you can easily turn it on. But I just found out that leaving Easy Mode on for too long can be detrimental as your characters quickly become overwhelmed and you start destroying enemies. So if you’re specifically looking for a challenge, be careful not to leave the more accessible setting on for too long.

Super Mario RPG is also beautiful. Although the remake carefully recreates every pixel of the original game, Square’s quirky designs and use of vibrant colors stand out in the HD reimagining. Super Mario RPG It looks particularly beautiful on the Switch OLED as its colors jump off the screen. This is especially true for the triple-move group attack segments in combat, which trigger a beautiful cutscene where Mario and his party members come together for a devastating attack. Because the game meticulously recreates the original, I think it’s rare that the remake is better than the original. Rather than reworking everything to modern standards, the game’s original art direction remains intact and is more of a restoration that shows how the game was always intended to look.

Image via Nintendo
Image via Nintendo

Super Mario RPG breathes new life into an SNES classic, allowing players to relive one of Mario’s most unique and adventurous titles on the Switch. The remake provides an accessible entry point for newcomers to the role-playing genre while also providing a challenge for experienced players. Even though it’s decades old, Super Mario RPG With its witty humor and hilarious story, it still impresses today. The game’s addictive combat and quirky combat systems also make it one of the best games in the world Mario Franchise.

Super Mario RPG will be available on the Nintendo Switch on November 17, 2023.

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