i’d mentioned earlier this year that i had been stuck on pokemon gold for ages because all the copies of the game i had had dead batteries. similarly, i was prevented from playing the original mario RPG, super mario RPG: legend of the seven stars for the SNES until i finally took matters into my own hands and replaced the battery myself.
i’d played the paper mario game for gamecube, so playing mario RPG was a definite step back. the game originated the subsequent spin-off series’ action commands during battle, but despite getting to play as certain members of the mario universe for the first time (although there is one painful omission), the rest of the game played out with very few surprises. as i’ve found with the other mario RPGs, it always feels a bit weird and unnatural to have characters other than the familiar ones we know and love from the classic platformers, although for this game square did a pretty good job of coming up with a host of new enemies and side characters that integrate well enough. i’m not a fan of mini-games and sidequests, but the game made them tolerable by keeping them in the background for the most part. and the general level of easiness of the game (with the exception of the beginning, which is actually a bit harder than you’d expect) ensures that level grinding is never an issue. as with other RPGs although you do get 5 characters to play with, there’s really never any motivation to use the two you don’t want to, although it is nice that the characters you don’t use level up the same as if they had participated in battle.
the biggest drawback for me was the annoyance of having platformer-type stages thrown in every once in a while. while i thoroughly enjoy platformers in general, the isometric view more often than not makes it frustratingly difficult to tell where ledges, etc. actually are supposed to be or how far you should jump, and there’s way too much “try and die” gameplay involved. ugh.
not much more to say. i’ve already checked out some of the other mario RPGs, and although i’m finding them on the whole to be only marginally more interesting than the average RPG, they do tend to be packed with charm and that special brand of nintendo whimsy. i’m really looking forward to seeing my main man ‘uigi team up with his older bro and delving more into the paper mario series as well, so perhaps i’ll be pleasantly surprised.
mario’s RPG links:
– themushroomkingdom.net has a good section on the game, including details on the nintendo cameos and a comparison of the japanese version.
– speaking of the nintendo cameos, here’s a link to a video of the link cameo and the samus cameo.
– PDF of the manual at replacementdocs.com
– random site with a nice compendium of secrets in the game
– entry at mariowiki.com including a list of all the psychopath skill quotes
– entry at wikipedia.org