Super Mario RPG Remake Preview
I’m a huge fan of Super Mario RPG: The Legend of The Seven Stars. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve played through the game. Ten times? Fifteen? More? To say I’ve kept a close eye on the remake is an understatement. After spending a few hours with the new Super Mario RPG, I’m pretty psyched. It seems like Nintendo nailed this one. It feels like fans of the original will be quite pleased when the game launches later this month.
The chunky sprites have been replaced by proper 3D models, which look terrific. Mario looks weirdly squished, which is utterly faithful to Seven Stars. All of the characters I’ve met so far are idealized dead ringers, perfect glow-ups of their former selves. With one curious exception. Perhaps you remember the 3D renders on the box art of the original game. Or (sigh) you hadn’t been born yet. Mario RPG now features cutscenes at key moments. New meetings, Star acquisitions, things of that nature. Somehow, these scenes capture the vibe of some long-lost 90s CGI children’s show. It’s slightly off-putting, but also perfect? I’m so glad the cutscenes look this weird, is what I’m saying.
Box Art Come To Life
Seven Stars had a combat rhythm wholly unlike other RPGs of the day. Battles moved fast, the systems were simple, and the challenge was mild. So far, the new battle rhythm is even breezier. Timed hits ripple outward, smashing into the rest of your opponents. A new gauge builds towards high-powered Triple Strikes. Even the general pacing feels faster. I can’t speak to the overall difficulty just yet, but battles feel great. I’ve already found myself wasting time in dungeons, looking for more fights. I’m not anticipating a sudden spike in difficulty or anything. I am hoping for some new wrinkles here and there. Maybe some secret bosses? I’m cautiously optimistic at present. Even without any new challenges, the upgraded battle system is still a pleasant surprise.
I’m not as impressed with the music so far. Something about its close adherence to the original score leaves me sort of bored. I know the soundtrack is new, but it sounds too much like the original music. It’s not bad at all, it just doesn’t leave a strong impression on me. If I’ve got a tune from the game stuck in my head, it’s still just the original track playing. I haven’t heard the whole score yet, but I suspect my initial impression won’t change much. I’m always happy to be proven wrong of course. I just wish some of the new music took some more chances, maybe did something unexpected or unusual.
Too Familiar Tunes
There are other tiny differences I’ve logged up to this point. But for the most part, this version of Mario RPG feels like a faithful recreation of the original game. The unusual characters, the snappy dialogue, the weird bosses. All of it blends beautifully with my collected memories of the original game. I’ve liked all the changes I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure yet if they’ve changed enough, or too much, or what. But the time I’ve spent with the game thus far has me pretty neatly hooked. Whether you’ve got fond memories of Seven Stars or not, you’ll want to keep an eye on this one. The Super Mario RPG remake is shaping up to be a real gem.
***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***