I always got the feeling that this game was seen as a classic. I never owned a Gamecube growing up, but I’m pretty sure I remember my friend having one and playing Sunshine a bit (although he was way more into Zelda and Smash).

Eventually I got round to playing Sunshine the other year when Nintendo released a triple pack on Switch. It was fun! I loved the aesthetic and interesting water spraying mechanics. However the other day I had a friend round and we were emulating the game, taking turns to beat levels. It struck us how frustrating the game was at points - especially those platforming levels in which you lose the FLUDD. You really notice how slippy and floaty Mario feels in this. In Mario 64 and Galaxy, the movement felt so precise in comparison and you knew exactly how the character would react to your inputs.

The levels too seem quite harsh at points. The Ricco Harbor level which introduces the rocket nozzle has frustratingly narrow platforms with constantly spawning wind enemies. My attempts to get back up to the top after falling off felt like cheating - i.e. lining up the rocket to land on different ledges rather than going all the way around the map again. I couldn’t tell if that was what the developers intended.

Overall I do really love the game, but it feels like an awkward transition in the 3D Mario series. As if Nintendo were trying to innovate with new mechanics before they’d perfected the basic 3D platforming. Is it just me, or do others feel the same?

  • magic_lobster_party
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    2 months ago

    It’s a bit hit and miss. Some parts are glorious. Other parts are just frustrating.

    There’s too many parts that are “Oh you failed this jump? Now you need to start all over again”. I’m thinking especially on that Yoshi mission in Ricco Harbor.

    Or that lilly pad bonus level on that island that you must bring Yoshi to, but Yoshi can’t swim so you need to ride those slow ass boats. Ensure you don’t miss any jump, because then you need to start all over again.

    The visuals are incredible for its time. The water is one of the most beautiful on that generation.

    It’s a game that could’ve benefited from being easier, or at least be more forgiving. I just want to soak in all the visuals.

  • @otp@sh.itjust.works
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    242 months ago

    Weird game: People who haven’t played much

    Hidden gem: People who beat the game at Any%

    Cruel and evil game: People who’ve 100%ed it (or are close to it)

  • @Varyk@sh.itjust.works
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    2 months ago

    I feel like you’ve nailed my experience with the game.

    Lots of fun, good themes, strangely difficult at arbitrary spots for seemingly no reason.

    I still regard it as a classic though, for how innovative yet defining it was.

  • ElectricMachman
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    152 months ago

    The trouble I have with Sunshine is that when I play, I wish I was playing SM64

    • @OmegaMouseOP
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      32 months ago

      Lol! Do you just feel that 64 is a better game, or has better level design?

      • I feel the same way as the poster. I was expecting acrobatic movement like in 64. But so many of platforming puzzle revolved around the FLUDD. Kinda glad Galaxy and Odyssey returned to more about Mario himself.

        • KubeRoot
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          12 months ago

          I mean, galaxy is a lot about the funky power ups, and odyssey has a lot of cappy-based movement, right? Not that those are bad, I quite enjoyed odyssey’s movement myself.

          • ElectricMachman
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            12 months ago

            Genuinely couldn’t be bothered with Odyssey after a while. That was a game with just too much to do

            • KubeRoot
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              22 months ago

              I think I agree, in a way. I beat the game, played for a bit, then just didn’t pick it back up again. I don’t need to 100% it, I can be satisfied with the fun I had, I don’t need to try to squeeze out every little bit.

      • ElectricMachman
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        32 months ago

        It’s more about feeling. The platforming feels crisp, the levels feel the right size, the controls feel responsive. No other Mario game has quite matched SM64’s mobility, not even my beloved Galaxy games

        • @OmegaMouseOP
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          12 months ago

          That’s fair, although I’ve always considered Galaxy to have a pretty good moveset. What was it missing compared to 64?

          Odyssey gives you an insane level of movement, which I love. It’s fun to just run around levels.

          • ElectricMachman
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            22 months ago

            Oh, nothing was missing. In fact, Galaxy’s one of my absolute favourite games ever, and it feels fantastic.

            I just personally feel 64 feels perfect, in ways that no other 3D platformer (let alone any 3D Mario) has matched. If I could try Galaxy with a regular controller, though, that might change things. (I know you can play it on Switch, but you still need to point at stuff, and it’s not ideal)

  • @ch00f@lemmy.world
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    142 months ago

    Never beat it as a kid, finally 100%ed it when 3D all stars came out.

    Honestly? If feels very rushed. Elements like Yoshi are hardly used, the final boss stage is short and finicky, the pachinko machine is 100% broken, and the blue coin collection is needlessly difficult and unrewarding.

    I think when I first played it I was blown away by how good it looked, but playing as an adult, I’m more just disappointed in how messy and unrefined it can be at times.

    • @OmegaMouseOP
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      62 months ago

      Oh god the pachinko machine… I salute you for 100%ing the game! Yeah Yoshi feels pretty pointless considering Mario has a more diverse moveset without him.

      Graphically I still think it’s pretty impressive - the heat shimmer and water in particular. Crazy considering when it was released.

  • @wetsoggybread@lemmy.world
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    132 months ago

    I prefered the gamecube version over the switch version because I cant run and spray at the same time. The gamecube had analog L and R buttons and the switch has digital so theres no gradual on/off its just “oh you want to spray then no moving for you” and I lasted all of 20 minutes on the switch version

    • @bionicjoey@lemmy.ca
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      82 months ago

      Insane to me that they didn’t give the switch analog triggers. Every other console ever has had them.

    • @OmegaMouseOP
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      62 months ago

      Oh that’s interesting! Explains why I always had difficulty chasing down shadow Mario on Switch

      I’ll have to check if it’s possible to use analog triggers with the SN30 Pro+ on Dolphin…

  • @reddig33@lemmy.world
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    72 months ago

    One of the few games I actually played all the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the environments, puzzles, and animations were really well done.

    • @OmegaMouseOP
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      12 months ago

      Yes I definitely agree with that. I loved the variety of environments, and the animations felt ahead of their time for a game from 2002. Well worth completing. How long ago did you play it, out of interest?

  • @zod000@lemmy.ml
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    62 months ago

    Your experience mirrored mine, except that I also played the original. The game had some good ideas and mechanics, but it was frustrating and one of the few Super Mario games that I didn’t even want to finish.

    • @OmegaMouseOP
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      32 months ago

      If I’d played it when I was younger, I don’t think I’d have made it very far to be honest! I’ve probably got a bit more patience and experience nowadays, hence finishing it on Switch. But I’m in no rush to 100% the game unlike some other Mario games (which tend to actually be fun to complete).

      • @zod000@lemmy.ml
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        32 months ago

        I am the opposite. When I was younger, I have significantly more free time and certainly better reflexes.eye-hand coordination. I doubt I could come close to beating any of the more challenging NES games that I did when I was a kid (not that Mario Sunshine was in that era).

        • @OmegaMouseOP
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          42 months ago

          Yes you’re right about having more time and better reflexes back then, but at the same time I feel like I pick up on cues and understand more what the developers intended for the player the older I’ve got. I remember playing the same levels over and over as a kid and eventually losing motivation to continue (this is somewhat balanced out by the fact that yes, I’d have more time, and also I didn’t have as many games - so I had more incentive to keep playing one to completion). Whereas nowadays I’ve got more patience and I can work out ‘oh I’m probably meant to go that way’ based on my experience of playing lots of different games over the years. I’ve built up more of an intuition for these things.

          That said, I’m not sure I could beat many NES games!

  • ArxCyberwolf
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    52 months ago

    Ricco Harbor is a chore. Those damn clouds that keep knocking me off the sky platforms are the worst, especially when I’m near the end and get launched. I’m enjoying the rest of the game though the controls are definitely a lot looser than other 3D Mario games.

  • @JakenVeina@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    I remember when Toonami gave it a 10/10 and I agreed wholeheartedly.

    I’m probably a lot more willing than the average person to forgive the occasional part that sucked. All games have them, so I try not to hopdbthat against a game that has plenty of non-suck to offer.

    Lord knows Sunshine has a few. Fucking Plinko.

  • @smeg@feddit.uk
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    42 months ago

    I missed it at the time and played for the first time recently. It was great fun, but yeah pretty difficult mainly due to how slippery Mario is. I did feel less bad when I watched a GDQ speedrun and even the runner fucked up!