Super Mario RPG is halfway between a remaster and remake

super mario rpg woods

between super mario bros movie And super mario bros wonder, it’s been a banner year for the Italian video game icon – and it’s not over yet. On November 17, Nintendo will conclude a successful 2023 with the highly anticipated super mario rpg, This surprise release brings back one of The Plumbers’ most eccentric adventures, 1996 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars For Super Nintendo. This is a neglected cult classic that is long overdue to get some attention.

However, the question is what kind of treatment such a title deserves. Should Nintendo have re-released it on Switch Online? Would an HD remaster suffice? Or was a full remake in order? If the Switch version is any indication, Nintendo may be a little confused by that question too.

Ahead of its launch later this month, I played for the first three hours super mario rpg (So ​​far, I’ve contacted three-star pieces and teamed up with fan favorite Jeno). This will give me a strong idea of ​​how Nintendo is approaching the release. And based on everything I’ve seen so far, Super Mario RPG sits somewhere between a remaster and a remake. It’s an incredibly faithful refreshed version of a genre classic, although it may be a little confusing to newcomers at first.

an aesthetic freshness

super mario rpg May come with a complete graphical overhaul, but it doesn’t stray too far from the original 1996 release. It’s so close that I was able to solve some tricky puzzles by referencing ancient strategy guides on GameFAQs and YouTube – like a minigame in Melody Bay that has Mario jumping on the back of a tadpole to write a song. The first three hours are an almost one-to-one experience, which is good news for fans who want a very believable experience.

The main difference comes in its beauty departments. The most exciting change here is a newly re-recorded soundtrack, which does justice to the original RPG’s memorable score. Each creation feels more lush and fully realized, bringing some vibrant personality to places like Rose Town and Moleville. Purists can choose to switch back to classic recording at any time via the main menu, which is a nice conservation touch.

In Super Mario RPG, Xeno encounters a boss in the forest.

The big change comes from its visual refresh. Gone are the SNES’s thick sprites and almost claymation-like environments. All has been smoothed out to bring it in line with modern (pre-)Wonder) Look Mario. It turns the world into a colorful cartoon, though Nintendo doesn’t ditch the general design of the original in the process. It still feels like I’m a kid moving my toys around in little dioramas.

Plus, the excellent new cinematics really bring the 1996 release’s best moments to life by breaking out of the limited, isometric perspective of the original. The moment when Zeno comes to life stands out in particular. Instead of seeing him grow from a doll to a living creature in a few blinks, we are treated to a more dynamic sequence where he clumsily stumbles around. It’s a beautiful sequence that matches the way my imagination filled in the gaps earlier.

Mario, Mallow, Bowser and Xeno stare off-screen in Super Mario RPG.

Those modernizations are very welcome, but they highlight areas that have not been advanced. The strangest aesthetic choice is that Nintendo chose to add voices to the characters. When Mallow speaks during a new cutscene, he is completely silent as subtitles appear on the screen. Even Mario remains silent, with no “va-hoo” to fill in the blanks (not an option considering Kevin Afghani has had a strong debut as Mario recently). Wonder, While faithful to the original, it’s an absence that feels at odds with the remaining freshness; It’s all a little too quiet.

a new battle system

While the story and general gameplay feel completely unchanged so far outside of the aesthetic refreshes, combat sees some big changes. The basics of combat are the same here, with time-based moves, random flowers that give bonuses in the middle of combat, and spells that come with their own quick minigames. All of this is reinforced by some simple changes in quality of life. For example, an exclamation point now appears on the telegraph when players must press the button during attacks and defenses. No more guesswork needed.

As an even smaller example, the “Lucky” minigame returns in which players can double their experience points or coins by correctly finding Yoshi in three scrambled eggs. This was a serious gamble in the original release, as it was hard to figure out where Yoshi went each time. It’s much easier this time, as I still haven’t failed in my three hours of play time.

In Super Mario RPG, Mario and his crew battle Koopas.

In general, super mario rpg Seems much simpler than its predecessor so far – and that’s no bad thing. It’s mostly small changes like this that take away some of the monotony. For example, autosave makes it possible for me to not be too far behind after a death. It’s easier to quickly fix your party between battles with a more organized mini menu that groups items together (no need to scroll through 10 mushrooms to find a syrup) and a quick ability menu that lets me Allows the use of healing rain of mallow outside of combat.

The more impressive change comes from a new power gauge, linked to a reworked combo system. When players time the turns correctly, they will be chained together in a combo that will provide buffs the higher the number. For example, successful chains can increase a team’s damage. It will also fill a gauge on the left side of the screen. When it hits 100% at the beginning, players can trigger a Toad Assist which will give Mario and Mallow random buffs or execute a special attack. When Geno joins the party, Toad Assist turns into a devastating triple attack that comes with its own exciting battle cinematic. This is a smart addition that encourages players to learn perfect timing and hone their nuances.

Mello, Mario, and Xeno jump into the air in Super Mario RPG.

Although this is an exciting change, I have encountered a few situations where some of the more outdated parts of the battle remain unchanged. A solo battle against a pair of enemies that could turn me into a useless mushroom lasted more than 10 minutes because I got stuck in a loop when my teammates went down. I couldn’t attack because the enemies repeatedly inflicted status effects on me every other turn. This was a frustrating pain point that indicated there wasn’t much restructuring happening beneath the surface.

off he goes super mario rpg Still in a strange place. It’s still the same great game it’s always been, but I’m not quite sure if it’s a better version of it or not. Here, beneath the modern sights and sounds, SNES quirks stick out like a sore thumb. It’s a project that sometimes feels like a love ode to the original and then at other moments feels like a hastily assembled double-dip (some of the cinematics even take place on a blank gray background that’s half the time). -Seems incomplete). Its success will depend on the strength of the base game. Is the adventure still magical enough in its own right to make up for some of the remake’s nagging flaws? The answer is very likely yes, but I have to find four more stars before I can say anything definitive.

super mario rpg Launching on November 17th for Nintendo Switch.

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