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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Review Rewind

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On 04/10/2010 at 10:27 PM by Phil DiMola

Delving into his past, Phil takes on an adult perspective of a much loved childhood game.

For RPG lovers and anyone looking for a game you can pick up anytime and enjoy.

Before the “Paper Mario” and the “Mario & Luigi” RPG series, Nintendo and Square teamed up to create what I consider to be one of the greatest RPGs of all-time. Released back in May 1996, Super Mario RPG quickly grew to be one of the highest rated SNES games of all-time and often appears on many of the “Greatest Games of All-Time” lists to this day.

As most of you know, Super Mario games always center their plot on the infamous story in which Princess Peach is kidnapped by the horrid King Bowser, sparking Mario to play the role of the hero and rescue his beloved Princess from the clutches of the evil King. Following suit, Super Mario RPG begins exactly the same way, but quickly takes a very unique turn never before seen in the Super Mario series. As Mario battles Bowser for claim over the Princess, a giant sword pierces Bowser’s castle, scattering everyone into the surrounding world and destroying any connecting path leading up to the castle. As the story progresses, Mario teams up with Bowser, as well as three others including Princess Peach, Mallow, and Geno to fight their new common enemy, Smithy, and take back reign over Bowser’s precious castle and restore order to the world once again.

Progressive for its time, Super Mario RPG presented players with a unique game play experience never seen before. It combined elements from the side-scrolling platformers Mario was famous for and the tried-and-true turn-based RPG elements from Square’s Final Fantasy. This created a hybrid game unlike any other seen before.

In addition to the game’s unique story and gameplay, it sports some aesthetically pleasing graphics. Of course they looked absolutely fantastic when the game was originally released on the SNES, but over the years the art still proves to be fun, vibrant, and memorable. The graphics also helped drive gameplay as it provided a unique isometric 3D world for the first time, adding an entirely new element to the game play.

Returning to the game after many years has proved interesting as it has given me a new perspective on it entirely. As a young kid, I remember it being much more difficult than it actually is. This may be due to the fact that I have played through it over 10 times and know every secret and boss by heart … but still.

Bosses such as Jinx the Sensei, Belome the hungry dog, Exor the giant sword, and even Culex the mysterious traveler from another world (and the most difficult boss in the game) were no match for me anymore. Back in the day, each and every one of these bosses provided incredible challenge. This had a lot to do with my inability to manage my stats and level up properly.

Despite the fact that the game provides minimal challenge now, it still plays flawlessly and provides countless hours of entertainment. In fact, I believe the ease of the bosses made it that much more entertaining. Not only did I feel badass breezing through the game, but the mechanics of the battles and the special attacks made every battle exciting, something your typical RPG doesn’t always succeed in doing. Side quests, hidden treasures, and multiple challenges help expand the gameplay and extend the experience.

With interesting story lines, in-depth characters, and fantastic gameplay, this game takes players on a journey that is not only enchanting, but unforgettable. Costing only 800 Wii Points on the Virtual Console, this game is an absolute steal for all gamers.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Jason Ross Senior Editor

04/11/2010 at 04:46 PM

I typically love RPGs with timed attacks, timed dodges, and all that sort of thing. Super Mario RPG was one of my first that does it, and I've always believed it was one of the best. When it first came out on the virtual console, I started a level 3 quest, to play it over again, but I quickly found the biggest annoyance wasn't actually in winning the fight, but losing the "Yoshi Egg" game after, so you'd not gain any experience points.

Sam Wakefield Staff Alumnus

04/12/2010 at 10:20 AM

I was always a bit sad I didn't play this one back in the day.

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

04/14/2010 at 10:17 PM

This is one of my favourite Super Nintendo games. I'm not really into RPGs, but I'm a huge fan of Mario, which was enough to get me into the game. I don't think the graphics really hold up, though. I understand they were a technical achievement for the time, but the glossy look makes it lack the charm of something like, say, Super Mario World.

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