Super Mario RPG Nintendo Switch Review

It’s somehow different but also the same, and maybe it comes with some good potential.

By R3GR3T, Posted 15 Dec 2023

Good ol’ Nintendo, some of us love them, and some hate them. However, we all know Nintendo for their extremely lengthy history of games and console releases also for some of their blunders. Now, Nintendo has been around since many of us were born, 1889 to be exact, and they started with handmade playing cards. The technological age had to hit eventually and this company evolved with the times around the late 1900’s, and they gained massive fame with their release of Donkey Kong.

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Granted, Nintendo kept a constant running pace and released many iconic game series like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Fire Emblem, Pokemon, and the ever-unforgettable Super Mario Games. Like with many of their games, they kept going forward with either new releases or remakes of old releases to keep the flame of nostalgia burning bright, this brings us to their latest bit of fuel to the fire, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. This old dinosaur was initially released way back in 1996 for the SNES, but Nintendo wanted to breathe new life into this title with a 2023 remake for their current console, the Nintendo Switch, as just Super Mario RPG on 17 November.

Your adventure in Super Mario RPG starts off the way a good majority of Mario’s adventures begin, a peaceful day being ruined yet again by Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. Mario springs into action and heads to Bowser’s castle… You know, the usual. Though this is pretty much the typical story introduction when it comes to Mario, what sets Super Mario RPG apart is that it’s not just another arcade game or 3D Open-World Explorer, it’s all of the above and a JRPG. So, buckle up and get ready; this will be a weird and wacky ride as you try to save Princess Peach using a totally different playstyle.

Right off the bat, you’ll have to sneak past a few Terrapins while you get a quick feel for the controls but like with any JRPG, the first battle is unavoidable as you’ll be thrown into turn-based combat. You’ll have the typical JRPG Turn-based combat layout to keep in mind but it also comes with a few twists, you’ll still have a view of each party member’s HP but there’s no turn counter to see who’s next to act, and instead of mana, you’ll have flowers. Yes, it’s a bit over-simplified, which pushes Super Mario RPG quite deep into casual territory since it won’t require much strategy or thinking at first.

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Keep in mind, that the initial time in Super Mario RPG is purely just for introductory reasons and to give you time to get a feel for the controls. Just as you think you’ll have a fun stand-off with Bowser, a giant sword drops down from the sky while shattering a giant star and cleaving straight into the castle, sending Mario flying back to his house. Things only get worse as there’s a new enemy in town, a horde of living weapons you’ll have to stop while hunting for the 7 Star pieces.

Exploring the world is pretty straightforward with instanced areas where you can go from one to another, exploring each area is a different story though. A battle can take place at any time if you run into a Goomba or a Living Weapon, or even the occasional and completely absurd enemy types that make no sense but somehow still work in the Mario universe. This is where it helps to build a decent party as you go and get that sweet EXP for level-ups.

In a combat scenario, you can choose Attack, Special, Item, and Other. While this might seem simple, much more is going on than meets the eye. Running with the ever-present Basic Attack will do some damage, but timing your button presses on the attacks as they take place will net you a nifty damage boost. Special is where the magic happens, at the cost of flowers, you can use certain skills for healing, buffs, and even more damaging attacks. Items are pretty self-explanatory in this regard; you might not always have the skills to do what you need but consumable items are your best friend in any situation if you have enough of them on hand.

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Next is the shining star of Super Mario RPG, Triple Moves. Chaining together your button presses on attacks will charge up a bar over time that gives you access to unique and over-the-top attacks called Triple Moves, what makes them so over the top is the cutscene that accompanies each one and this is a nice touch for those who are dedicated to dealing the most damage possible. However, if that’s not quite an option for you, there are other ways to keep your attacks interesting.

Welcome to the wonderful world of weapons and environmental attacks, since you’ll be able to buy and equip various weapons for your party members, these weapons also change how their attacks affect enemies. With weapons like a glove that allows party members to throw Mario like a projectile to simply kick Koopa shells for some extra hurt, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from and keep changing things up until you’re happy.

This brings us to some of the more obscure things in Super Mario RPG, like Flowers. This is essentially mana, and you’ll need this to use Specials. Worry not, you’ll find more Flowers throughout the world and these will permanently boost your FP, more Flower means more Powers. However, the other thing to keep in mind is the value of the Coins you’ll find. In typical RPG fashion, you’ll come across shops where you buy new gear for your party members, but nothing in life is ever free, and the same can be said about Super Mario RPG. Some Coin farming might be necessary but it’s well worth the effort in the end.

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Life in Super Mario RPG isn’t all grind, well, not entirely. On your journey to find the 7 Star pieces and to defeat the living weapons, you’ll find all sorts of weird and whacky monsters, some of them fit the typical layout for the Mario universe quite well, while others seem completely absurd, but they all come together in the best way to make the game what it is. However, in any RPG setting, lore is a key point to have because of how it expands the story and gives you some extra insight.

While Super Mario RPG doesn’t have this crazy lore system to track down, it does have a Monster List. This nifty little tool will keep track of every monster you’ve encountered along with their weaknesses and a little extra information on them. This might be more useful for the hardcore players out there, but the extra information is always nice to have and builds nicely on the universe as a whole.

Now, this goes without saying but Super Mario RPG isn’t the normal Mario setup, it’s closer to an unexpected adventure while making allies in odd places. Bowser might always be the bad guy but sometimes his goals can align with Mario’s in the best way and they can make a hell of a team, so just keep an open mind and keep your playstyle flexible enough to survive the adventure that awaits you.

Super Mario RPG, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Open-World, Fantasy, NoobFeed

Super Mario RPG is technically a remake of the original game but it got some much-needed work done to bring it to the future, and the visual side got a complete revamp. The character models still have that classic Nintendo vibe but the color palates used don’t make them stand out too much, it’s almost as if they’re just barely part of the background which makes the gameplay fairly easy on the eyes. However, as can be expected in Super Mario RPG, you’ll get to explore a massive cornucopia of different lands with many different enemies to face off against but it’s a blast to do so. Sadly, Super Mario RPG does suffer from some late-game menu frame rate drops which can make managing your party a bit of a drag.

Crazy visuals and fun battles aside, there is one thing that shines brightest in Super Mario RPG, the music and sound effects. Like with any new Mario release, the music and sound effects also get an upgrade and Super Mario RPG is no exception. The background music is what drives the many different environments forward while bringing them to life, and while it can become stale after a while, simply jumping to a different area will likely give you something new to listen to. It all brings everything to life while building a great atmosphere to explore and enjoy, even if there is no voice acting.

Overall, Super Mario RPG is one of the few remakes that can practically speak for itself; it’ll get hold of you and somehow keep you going for the sake of finding the next part of the story. It’s a well-done remake in just about every sense, from the environments to the different enemies, while maintaining that infamous Mario silliness through it all. The only downside is that there will definitely be a lot of reasons to do it, and voice acting would’ve made this release a star in its own sense.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Switch
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Nintendo
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Role-Playing
Release Date: 2023-11-17

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