Super Mario RPG Review

Developer: Square Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 1, 1996 Also On: None

RPG’s aren’t for everyone. I’m a living example of this. I’ve never been a fan of RPG’s, and probably never will. As a common courtesy to RPG publishers/developers, I don’t review RPG’s often, because I would almost certainly allow my bias towards the genre to affect my score. That changed when I played Mario and Luigi for the GBA. It was acclaimed by most as a “sequel to Paper Mario�, which was supposedly an unofficial sequel to Super Mario RPG.

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Square and Nintendo teamed up for this title, and was probably the last venture that they underwent before the release of the N64, and the subsequent departure of Square. Combining elements from RPG’s, which Square has always excelled at, with platforming and just random Mario items, make this a unique blend, a truly Nintendo RPG. I might add, it’s an RPG that everyone can enjoy, fans of the genre and people like me.

Coming out the same year as the N64 and Super Mario 64 put it at a disadvantage, but its success was due to the game’s accessibility to fans and non-fans alike of RPG’s. Keep in mind, if it wasn’t for the Mario style, this would be just any other RPG. Whether it’s the graphics, comical Mario sequences, or the sound effects that take you back to other Mario games, this is purely a RPG with Mario cosmetics.

The game starts out like any other Mario game. Bowser kidnaps Princess and you’ll crash his party. When you think you’ve saved her, you’re knocked out of the castle and sent back to your pad. When you meet up with Toad, you find that Mario’s a mute. He’ll have to use bodily expressions to convey his message. From here you’re off to Mushroom Kingdom.

The battle system is well done, and immediately reminded me of Mario and Luigi’s, which was obviously inspired by this game, but being that between the two games, so much time had passed, M and L’s was much improved and more advanced. Different buttons will correspond with different moves. The basics are jump and punch. If you time your attack right, you’ll get bonus hit points. You can also defend yourself against some enemies if timed right.

The user interface is done rather easily. You’ll be able to access different items and such. One item that will be used quite often is the mushroom, which rejuvenates your health. Speaking of health, being that this is a RPG, you have HP, instead of a health meter or hearts. If your HP runs out, you’re dead. You can use items in-battle, so don’t freak.

As for replay value, you won’t find much here, aside from a few side quests. Does that really matter when the game will take you tens of hours to beat? I only wish that Nintendo would follow their tradition of porting SNES games to GBA, but this time with one that I’d actually like to play on the road: Super Mario RPG. This is a worthy investment of time and money for any SNES owner.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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