Super Mario RPG Remake Review
A Wish Come True
In 1996, Mario made a bold jump and landed gracefully in a wonderful RPG developed by Nintendo and Square Enix. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released for the SNES and managed to captivate many players while introducing newcomers to the genre. More than twenty-five years later, the remake of this charming game was announced for Switch. Super Mario RPG Remake is extremely faithful to the original game, with the biggest changes in the form of reworked graphics and a rearranged soundtrack. Featuring fun mini-games and a lovely story full of adorable characters, the game will surely captivate more fans while allowing returning players to enjoy the story of the seven stars once more.
Super Mario RPG Remake starts with Mario breaking into Bowser’s castle to rescue Princess Peach from his claws. However, an unexpected set of events ends the brawl of these lifetime rivals as a giant sword falls from the sky, throwing everyone away. This initial setting allows the story to focus on other antagonists while having some well-known characters play roles different from their usual ones. As Mario, players are tasked with finding Princess Peach and bringing her back home. However, as the story progresses, a new threat appears as Mario and his allies discover that the giant sword is linked to a bigger scheme that may prevent wishes from coming true forever. This unfolds into a glorious quest to collect the seven stars, which is simple but works neatly to give players a journey full of hilarious remarks and magic in this 13-hour adventure. While the story is great, this remake feels like a missed opportunity to expand a bit more.
The marvelous cast makes this story notably magical, including well-known characters and new additions to the series. One of the two new playable characters is an insecure and mysterious creature called Mallow who grew up with the tadpoles. He joins Mario to stop evil while he looks for his origins and family, being naive and adorable throughout the whole game. The other new character is Geno, a puppet who comes to life due to the magic of the stars and is tasked with restoring Star Road. This toy is an excellent companion who motivates everyone and is even very powerful in battle. The role Bowser plays is also unforgettable since he joins the cause simply because they have a common enemy, but seizes every chance to tease Mario and make it clear that they are not friends. It is hilarious and delightful how the writing portrays his pride and his lack of sympathy for others. Peach is also a great addition to the main party. She is no longer the princess who needs to be rescued and is a great ally on the battlefield as she is the best healer. New enemies such as Booster who desperately wants to get married and Smithy who has an army of live weapons also aid the party while being likable in their own right. Yoshi and other famous characters are also featured as secondary characters, with their inclusion being more than welcome.
Super Mario RPG saw Mario and his allies fight against their enemies in turn-based battles for the first time. Well-timed button presses changed the outcome of the actions, dealing critical damage to enemies or notably reducing the damage received. Each character and weapon have a different moment to trigger this special effect, so players need to learn how to master each weapon. Players must also master blocking enemy attacks. However, the scarce enemy variety leads to perfect defending in no time. This remaster adds powered-up versions of the bosses that can be challenged once the game has been cleared, which is welcome given how easy the game is.
There are special moves that require Flower Points to be used. Flower Points are shared among the party, forcing players to decide how to spend these points as these abilities can do drastically more damage than normal attacks. The number of Flower Points can be augmented by finding certain items scattered across the world, motivating players to explore every area and treasure box, even those that seem hard to reach. Each character has a unique set of skills that make them special. For example, Mario jumps and launches fireballs while Geno uses elemental magic. Players can personalize the growth of their characters since they can give a little extra boost to certain stats every time characters level up.
The adventure includes several fun mini-games and puzzles within the dungeons, making the journey very enjoyable. Activities such as collecting coins while driving a mining cart or deducing a secret code to open a door make each new location memorable. Thanks to this variety, the game never feels boring or repetitive. After clearing them, Mario can return to each mini-game to try to get high scores and receive rewards in exchange. Figuring out the notes of the melodies of the composer using tadpoles or racing on Yoshi’s island are some of the endearing activities that Mario encounters on his journey. All the mini-games are simple enough to be understood quickly and provide a very fun time.
The reworked visuals are the biggest change in this remake. Managing to combine vintage and modern, the remake looks cute and astonishing while maintaining the essence of the 1996 game. It is impressive how all the scenes were faithfully reproduced frame by frame. The reimagined models of characters make them look more adorable than ever, while their animations and abilities make combat look more impressive. Kingdoms are colorful paradises worth exploring and the world as a whole seems truly magical.
The game is also a treat for the ears throughout. The music composed by Yoko Shimomura is extraordinary, featuring a varied set of tunes that fit every moment while feeling like an upbeat celebration throughout. The rearranged versions include modern sounds that offer a new take on the melodies composed so many years ago. The game uses some iconic sound effects that appear in other Mario games and new ones that work fantastically with the visuals. Voice acting would have been an interesting addition to this version, but the game still feels complete without it.
Super Mario RPG Remake is a classic, must-play RPG designed for casual RPGamers and hardcore fans alike. Even those who know the Italian plumber through his platforming antics should give this game a chance. The charming story is a heartwarming journey, and the gameplay is fun and captivating. The new art makes it feel modern while keeping its essence. While there was a missed opportunity to expand the story, Super Mario RPG Remake is still a fantastic experience worth playing.
Fantastic combat with timed attacks
Great upbeat music
A charming cast
Cute reimagined visuals
Lack of significant enemy variety
No significant content added