Super Mario RPG Review - An Authentic Ode To A Classic
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Super Mario RPG Review - An Authentic Ode To A Classic

Super Mario RPG is one of the wildest games in Nintendo's catalog. Loaded with eccentric characters like a Santa-esque big bad, random bouts of dark comedy--Toad cosplayers tickle as a form of torture and a four-eyed dog swallows you whole and comments on the taste--and moment-to-moment gameplay that is as raucous as it is eclectic, Super Mario RPG memorably capped off the SNES lifecycle. Fittingly, the new Switch version is one of the weirdest remasters I've ever played. Its surface-level appearance as a modern Mario game is merely a facade. Relentlessly faithful to the original, Super Mario RPG is a bold and largely successful experiment.

In fact, it's misleading to refer to Super Mario RPG as a remake, especially in a year where numerous remakes, such as Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, have retooled beloved classics for modern sensibilities. Heck, I'd even say Super Mario RPG is closer to Metroid Prime Remastered. Yes, the graphics here were fully remade--this isn't a touch-up; it's a complete glow-up for contemporary eyes--but everything that gave the SNES game its identity is present. Outside of a few minor quality-of-life improvements, Super Mario RPG is mostly a remastered product of its time--and an utterly fascinating one, at that. With its heartfelt humor, standout personalities, satisfyingly straightforward combat, and an expeditious mindset devoid of the bloat that regularly plagues modern RPGs, Super Mario RPG is timeless.

Almost all truly great stories transcend time. When it comes to video games from the 16-bit era, narrative was often an afterthought. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the writing in Mario's debut role-playing holds up. Endearing characterization deftly builds a world that draws you into the overarching good versus evil story.

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