Title: Super Mario RPG
Developer: Nintendo, Square
Platform: Nintendo SNES
Release Date: Mario 9, 1996
How we got the game: We got it on the SNES Classic and also have it on the Wii virtual console, as well as the original SNES cartridge
Prepare to just have me absolutely gushing about this game. It’s one of my absolute favorites and it will never get old!
Super Mario RPG is an old classic. We were super excited when we found it was on the SNES Classic. We have the game on the Wii virtual console if we ever wanted to try playing it again, but it’s cool to play with the old controllers again.
Super Mario RPG features classic RPG elements in a Super Mario game. The story is linear with a large map to follow and explore, with battles following the typical RPG formula with attacks and party members.
You, of course, play as Mario, as you go through your journey trying to save Toadstool and then the rest of the world. As you journey further you meet new people who join your party. You end up with five members total with three being able to battle at once.
Battles allow all party members to gain experience, even those who aren’t actively battling. Members level up when they gain enough experience, increasing their HP, attack, defense, and special stats. The further you move along in the story, the stronger weapons and armor are available to you, along with accessories to ward off status ailments or increase stats as long as the character wears them.
It’s easy to allow your team to work together in any given group of three since they all level up together whether they’re active in battle or not. Mallow and Toadstool were great at healing the other members of the team, so they weren’t used together much. Still, the team possibilities were pretty good.
Toadstool and Mallow were both great with magic power, yes, but Mallow could also be geared toward more fighting with his magic while Toadstool had more healing capabilities. Mario was the classic, balanced-all-around character, and Bowser was the tank with his high defense. Geno had the highest attack power, but wasn’t so great with the defense stat. It’s always interesting trying to figure out which characters to use for which boss battles. I kind of wish that all five could be used in battles together, but I suppose that would be overkill.
Even as a kid, I had always enjoyed this game’s graphics and music. The world was always vibrant, with each area having its own unique style, and the character models were great. Even though they were mere pixels, the character sprites had some surprisingly distinct and accurate facial expressions. Mario especially was wonderful, considering he was the silent protagonist!
I agree each area was vivid and unique from other areas. The monsters as well as the inhabitants of the world had cool styles and were nothing like anything from Mario games today (aside from the toads, goombas, etc). Mario, as silent as he is, is a sassy fellow in this game. He tells a good amount of stories in this game and it’s always amusing.
Yes, just seeing him and the other party members mime out parts of the story when explaining key points to NPCs was always great to see. There’s even a running joke in the game with the characters falling on their faces, similar to when we would “facepalm.” The music is fantastic as well, with each pieces matching the mood of the area we were in. It was composed and arranged by Yoko Shimomura, who notably worked on the Mario & Luigi series as well as composing tracks for Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U.
The music, like most video games, are songs that just get stuck in your head. They’re fun to hum along with and upbeat. The battle music was fantastic as was the music for when a battle was won. Every time we won a battle, both Kris and I immediately started singing the song each and every time.
Bowser is at it again! He has kidnapped Princess Toadstool and it’s up to Mario to save her. But that’s only the beginning of the story. Mario defeats Bowser pretty quickly but then his castle is taken over by Smithy. Mario teams up with two new friends, Mallow and Geno, as well as Bowser and Toadstool to defeat Smithy and save Star Road, thus saving the world.
The storyline itself is a little cliche, but it works. Smithy, in his plot for domination over Mario’s world, destroys Star Road, the place where wishes on shooting stars were granted. With the Star Road destroyed and its Star Pieces scattered over Mario’s world, wishes are unable to come true anymore. Geno, a star spirit, has been tasked with finding the Star Pieces and repairing the Star Road. Mallow is a young “frog” who is searching for his true home, finding his place both in the world and with the team of heroes. Mario and Bowser form a truce for the first time and Toadstool, before she was known as Peach, proves how formidable she is on the front lines.
…That about sums it up. You explained it much better than I ever could.
Yes, the story and gameplay are rather linear, and there’s not much of a variety in terms of switching out party members, but this game is one that I can replay over and over without getting bored. The graphics and music are wonderful, the writing is fantastic, and the characters are amazing. I can’t gush about this game enough!
This is the definition of a classic. There’s nothing too special about it, but the overall game is just so much fun and upbeat. We’ll be playing this one again in due time again… and again.
Super Mario RPG gets…
5 out of 5 lives.