Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Spoof Review  

Who Else Willingly Walks Into a Sewer Pipe?
by JuMeSyn

15-20 hours


Rating definitions 

   The Scene: 75 years from now. An old man is surrounded by hyperactive children at a family gathering. Formerly dozing, he has been rudely awakened more than once by a foot placed in his face. Tired of the children displaying their energy on the Zoom video game system, he uses a carefully programmed device to emit a high-pitched squeal that conveniently is undetectable to his aural implants. When they have all come to a stop, he motions them into a circle with him at the center, displaying his age with the ‘come hither’ motion of all fingers moving back and forth towards his body. This motion has been an obscene one in use with street gangs for 40 years.

   The old man begins to speak:
Can’t a man take a nap any more in peace - Fine, you little punks. If it keeps you sitting still I’ll talk about one of the games I used to play!

   A little girl by the name of Wilma speaks up:
Great-great-grandpa, you can play Dragon Quest XXXII: Stop the Inflation with us if you want to! All you hafta do is move around a lot!

   The old man retorts:
You crazy kids, thinking I can do anything you can! Sure I can play that fancy new Dragon Quest, the second the government pays for my joint augmentation! Until it does I don’t move anything I don’t have to! You hear that cracking? It’s my arthritis acting up again! I haven’t been able to cope with these damn newfangled video game systems since the Wonder Wii came out and I tried jumping across a canyon and I broke my leg! NEVER AGAIN!

   A very young boy the old man has forgotten the name of speaks:
Gweat gwanpa, I wanna hear abou’ a owld game!

This is a battle… and THIS is a battle dyed brown.  Any questions? This is a battle… and THIS is a battle dyed brown. Any questions?

   The old man is stopped from his threatened rampage against the modern world.
Oh, yes, I was going to talk about that. Hmmm – I know! I’ll talk to you about Super Mario RPG. Now THERE’S a game I’m glad I didn’t have to bounce around the house to play.

   A young man several years too old for primary school speaks:
Geez, grandpa, I know about MARIO. He’s been in everything, in every genre – he’s like the Matt Damon III of video games!

   The old man keeps from snapping back only by the greatest application of willpower.
Yes, yes, I know Mario goes sailing around Saturn now on the back of an interstellar blimp! But he wasn’t always like that! Super Mario RPG was the first time that plumber did an RPG, and no one knew what to expect! Hell, even Mario Kart was pretty new in 1996 – nobody knew Mario would go on to star in Metal Gear Solid when Konami was bought by Nintendo! It was a different world!

   The young man speaks up again:
Are you gonna go on about how waterproofing electronics makes your eyes sting again now?

   Old man: Just because YOU don’t get bothered by that crap… but I have to finish this now before I get too tired! So, Super Mario RPG; would you believe that seeing your enemies onscreen instead of having them be random in an RPG was pretty new in 1996? Well, it WAS. You punk kids and your ability to snipe them from a distance or call in all your friends and have a big knock-down, I can’t believe it.

   The girlfriend of the young man speaks up:
Mister, please focus. I’ve only been around you twice, but I’ve already heard five rants on how much the modern world makes you mad! Don’t make us even more depressed about being stuck around here than we already are!

   Old man: Bah, I guess you’re right, whatever-your-name-is. So there are these non-random battles in SMRPG, and then the actual fighting was BRILLIANT for 1996! Everyone thought just hitting commands was enough in RPGs, but then this game made you have to time your button presses! Ha, it was so hard to figure out that hitting the attack button at just the right time would increase the damage…. Zzzzz… urk. What was I talking about – oh yes, those turn-based SMRPG battles with rewards to the one who could push the buttons at the right time! And the flower points for magic attacks are shared between the group, so that’s different than the rest.

   A boy named Juha speaks up:
Grandpa, what did it look like? I’ve seen pictures of some old games – is it true that the characters had big heads? And did you actually have to READ what people said?

Mario is Italian, which means he is subliminally compelled to enter any disco-styled environment, Shyguys be damned! Mario is Italian, which means he is subliminally compelled to enter any disco-styled environment, Shyguys be damned!

   Old man: You and your looks… SMRPG looked damn fine for the Super Nintendo, you scrapper! Yeah, I guess they had big heads – but dammit, they looked like Mario characters! Those spell effects were pretty nifty for the Super Nintendo, and everything was the best the system could do! It wasn’t really 3D, it was that damned isometric crap, but it still works! And the music is swell stuff, I wouldn’t want ANY voices when they were so crappy in 1996! Lucky there aren’t any! Yoko Shimomura, you did a fine job!

   Another young girl asks:
Iso-metric, grampa? Was that before the metric system took over?

   Old man: Heh, I wish. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, Eliisa – you’ll go far. Isometric was a way of making things look 3D when they weren’t really. SMRPG has an overhead camera, but it’s constantly pointing at a diagonal angle. That damned isometric camera…. But it’s the only control issue! And it’s only a pain because isometrics are a pain in EVERY game they popped up for! The controls are streamlined because SMRPG is great for a newbie to the RPG world, y’see? It controls like a Mario game would – no hiccups! Menus are real fast to navigate, none of those ‘I can equip every finger with a different ring and then give my eyes special abilities’ things in the modern world. It’s a nice and easy game too, so don’t go complaining to me if you die because you’re that bad! The maximum level is 30, no overpowered monsters here! You developers and how crazy you like to be with these newfangled challenges….

   An 11 or 12 year old girl speaks:
We GET IT, grampa. Stop talking about how the modern developers make you mad! Finish telling us about this game already! There had to be a story, right?

   Old man: No respect from my descendants, I swear. But hmmm – you’re right, there’s a story. Princess Peach is kidnapped by Bowser, Mario goes and saves her. Great story, right? Bwa ha ha ha! There’s more though! Some giant sword slams right down into Bowser’s castle and proclaims it to be property of the Smithy gang! Well, you’d think they’re a bunch of metallurgists, but turns out they just want to conquer the world! It’s a hoot! Not great stuff, even then, but it’s fun to watch! And I don’t need any more than that! If it took more than 17 or 18 hours to play through the thing would get boring, so it ends just right!

   A visibly bored boy speaks up:
So what else is there? It’s a fun little game from 1996 that looked good – am I missing anything?

   Old man: You’re damn straight you’re missing something! There are minigames galore through SMRPG, and this was before they were slathered in every game you see! Some of them are damn distracting too! Even though there’s nothing in the main story to see again, finding all those minigames and a few extra areas is why you play it again! Oh, and because it’s so short! Kids and their 500-hour games these days….

   An ambiguous voice hidden by restive children:
Is that it, great-great-grandpa? Nothing else we need to hear?

   Old man: Yeah, I guess that’s all. Go run around and yell all you want, I’ll take my aural aids offline. Don’t kick me in the face, you ungrateful whelps! I try and give you a little lesson in your history and they ignore me… I’ll shred your warranties on those Zoom systems you little brats….

   Scene fades out, as a few of the children download Super Mario RPG, play through it at super-speed, and then go back to their Zoom game. The great-great-grandfather mutters to himself for a few hours in between short naps.

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