Even more amazing: I'm still playing it, and I'm not planning on stopping anytime soon. I doubt I'll write about it after today, though--outside of an eventual "Great Gaymathon" review, I mean--so I thought I'd wrap things up with a post about the five aspects of this GameCube title that I've come to love the most. Here they are:
1. The secret stages--Everyone seems to say these FLUDD-less levels are by far the best in the game. I don't entirely agree with that (because I think a number of the "regular" ones are stellar, too), but I definitely agree they're pretty great. Sure, they make my palms sweat as much as any other game I've ever played, but that just adds to the ecstasy I feel when I finally conquer one.
2. "The Sand Bird is Born"--Speaking of sweaty palms, when I first encountered this Gelato Beach stage, I was pretty sure I'd never beat it. That was OK with me, though, as the idea of playing it over and over and over again brought me more joy than you can imagine. What can I say? There's something magical about a level that takes place on the back (and side) of a soaring bird made of blocks of sand.
3. "The Wilted Sunflowers"--I wasn't sure if I should include this stage or the "Wiggler Ahoy" one from Gelato Beach when I started writing this post a few days ago. Because I already covered Gelato Beach in the bullet point above, I decided to go with this one, which is part of Pinna Park. Plus, it involves toppling egg-shelled turtles in order to revive wilted sunflowers. That said, I consider both of them to be surprisingly (and pleasantly) unique takes on the "boss battle" formula.
4. Noki Bay--As much as I love Gelato Beach and Pinna Park, I'm pretty sure Noki Bay is the first world in Super Mario Sunshine that quite literally caused my jaw to drop. To say it's gorgeous is like saying Peach's voice (particularly in this game) is grating. By the way, if the designers and programmers at Nintendo could pull this kind of thing off all the way back in the early 2000s, I'm pretty sure they'll be able pull off some similarly amazing things with the Wii U in the coming years.
5. Yoshi--Yes, Yoshi's inclusion in Super Mario Sunshine is, for the most part, pointless. (Or so I've been told--I'm not sure I'm far enough into the game to say that myself with any assurance.) Still, I'm glad someone pushed for him to be included, as I find riding the little fella around Delfino Plaza to be a joy unto itself.
I know some of you are big fans of Super Mario Sunshine. If that aptly describes you, what are some of your favorite aspects of this summery three-dimensional platformer?
See also: previous 'Bye-Bye, Backlog' posts