Super Mario RPG - Review

Mario... and RPG? Maybe it works.

By: Jade Falcon

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 9
   Music/Sound 6
   Originality 8
   Plot 2
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 8
   Visuals 9
   Difficulty Ridiculously Easy
   Time to Complete

15-30 hrs.



   I never would have thought the day when Mario and RPGs were combined. In 1995, I bought SMRPG the week it came out. I love Mario, and I love RPGs. I didn't know what to expect in SMRPG though. What I got was a very imaginative game by a collaboration of Square and Nintendo.

   In all of the game, the battle system is what I don't like. You run into an enemy on the map, a la Chrono Trigger, and you get whisked away to the battle. The first person has a diamond of buttons appear. In each, there's items, attack, magic, and other. The magic in this game is limited, and everybody shares "Flower" points. Sure, most of the magic is cheap, and most of the "ultimate" magic spells are virtually useless. Oh well. It's a beginner's game.

   The interface in SMRPG is excellent, just like any other RPG. It's easy to navigate. You can see the enemies before you battle them. No excess menus. Everything's good here.

Mario in Princess's bedroom
Mario, what were you doing in here!?!?  

   The soundtrack brings back many classic tunes with lots of unknown ones. Lots of the music is boring and repetitive. Same thing goes for the sound effects. You have your occasional bang and hop and whatnot, but there just seems to be something missing. Overall, there are several memorable tracks, but most aren't worth it.

   SMRPG came out in the age of the innovative RPG. You actually get to do many other things besides running around talking to people, and getting into battles. You can actually jump, run, and go in eight directions. There are many, many frustrating (at times) situations where you have to make the perfect jump, but they aren't too bad. At least the Princess and Bowser get to join your party, and fight someone else.

   The plot is like any other Mario game in the beginning: Bowser captures the Princess, Mario rushes to save her. But, a large sword crashes into Bowser's castle and the world's dreams are taken away. With the help of a cloud puff, a wooden wizard, a large turtle, and a princess, you journey to take back Star Road. I love that plot, don't you? It's Mario, but more.

   Translation is sharp and fluent. It was Square's best-translated game at one time, I believe. You won't get confused on what people are saying because it's poorly translated. "Save the Princess" topics are popular in the U.S., and that's probably why we have so many of those types of titles in the U.S. I'm glad that they translated the casino conversations well, since that's one of my favorite parts of the game. Overall, the translation will not get us poor Americans secrewed up with trying to figure out what some Japanese term is supposed to be.

Mario's house
Mario's pipe is your pipe  

   Despite it's simplicity, SMRPG is fun to play through several times. I especially love fighting Culex (the guy with FF4's battle music) over and over again. Culex is actually harder than Smithy. Anyway, you'll get addicted enough to play it many times.

The graphics were awesome, to say the least. Everything was in lush 3-D scenes, and all the characters were fully 3-D also. They are also "cute", which I don't really mind, but they are some of the best graphics the SNES has ever put out.

Being a Mario game, and an RPG, I didn't expect it to be very difficult. The game didn't dissapoint. It's the easiest RPG, even game period, I have ever played. It was meant as a "beginner's" RPG, and that shines through. The max level is 30 and you can't carry more than 29 items. Still, it was a very fun game.

Some battle graphics
Some battle graphics  

You can probably find SMRPG anywhere for a fair price. If I were you, I would get it. If you're saving your money for upcoming games, however, don't worry about missing it. It's a beginner's RPG, and if you don't like Mario, it isn't worth it. SMRPG is a good combo between RPG and Mario. There will be a sequel released, hopefully soon, and I hope it's alot harder and that it lives up to its predecessor.

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