Not many Australians grew up with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, which was only released on the Super Nintendo in the US and Japan. Instead, many of us learned about this crazy collaboration between Nintendo and a pre-Enix Square in gaming magazines or podcasts. Aussies could finally try this out when it was released on the Wii Virtual Console service in 2008 but by that point, the game’s 3D-rendered graphics looked dated. Now in 2023, Nintendo have given the remake treatment to one of the oddest and most out-of-left-field games in the franchise.
In this turn-based RPG set in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario and Peach have to team up with Bowser and new characters (at the time) Geno and Mallow to collect fragments of the Star Road which was destroyed when a giant living sword crashed through Bowser’s castle. This makeshift party have to face down The Smithy Gang and their robotic blacksmith leader Smithy who has plans for world domination.
The Koalaty Critics all enjoyed this remake with the beautiful recreation of the original game faithful to a fault, with most of the changes being in the interest of the player’s experience, like auto-collecting items and new trio attack moves. The art design and the remastered score, done by the original composer Yoko Shimomura, were praised as was the story of the game which a few Critics found to still be incredibly funny. Interestingly, there was some disagreement on how difficult the game was with some finding it a tough time while others found the game to be an easy experience, although the game does have a ‘Breezy’ difficulty option for anyone worried about getting stuck.
Super Mario RPG is available now on Nintendo Switch
KOALATY CRITICS – AUSTRALIAN CRITICS
Here’s what Australian critics are saying about the game.
Checkpoint Gaming – 8/10 (Luke Mitchell)
“There’s also something to be said about the challenge presented; while you’ll initially find combat to be a little tricky, once you get the hang of it and upgrade your equipment, I rarely struggled with any battles, even major boss fights. Whenever I hit a new town and new shop, I had more than enough coins to simply purchase the best equipment possible for my entire party. This negates the need to grind, which makes for a pretty breezy experience, but don’t expect this 12–15 hour RPG to test you in any way other than the occasional confusing riddle.”
GamesHub – 4/5 (Leah J. Williams)
“In its approach to being a faithful recreation of one of the strangest Mario games, Super Mario RPG is a triumph. The original game was an oddity – but one certainly worth remembering, particularly for modern audiences. In retrospect, it’s fair to say Legend of the Seven Stars was a game before its time.It was critically acclaimed on release yet arguably, it feels like it would be more appreciated amongst modern audiences – particularly those who grew up playing Paper Mario or Mario & Luigi, both franchises inspired by this game.“
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Player2 – A (Jess Zammit )
“This was my first complete experience of Super Mario RPG, and though at times it was very clear that it was a game made for a different time, it didn’t carry the baggage of games that usually fall into that category. There’s more than enough modernisation in this remake to make it feel completely at home in Nintendo’s current line-up, and I hope it unites fans of different genres in their appreciation of this oddball gem of a game.”
Press Start – 9/10 (James Berich)
“Super Mario RPG feels like a perfect time capsule of its era. It’s a microcosm of gameplay conventions that you’d expect from a typical RPG. The writing is quirky and witty, sharpened with an acerbic edge. The cadence of conversations between characters and the way jokes are built feel like classic Final Fantasy or even Earthbound at times. It’s a refreshing approach to storytelling within this world. It helps elevate the otherwise typical story you’d expect in a game like this.”
Stevivor – 9.5/10 (Matt Gosper)
“t all comes together to form a unique take on the world of Mario, more like the bizarro instruction booklet art of the Gameboy era than the meticulously maintained brand guide of modern Mario. In 2023, it’s exciting to see two Mario games released that take such radically new angles on the Super Mario setting – in Super Mario RPG and Super Mario Wonder respectively – that come from such different times. Whether it’s from 27 years ago or only a few weeks back, the result of Nintendo getting a little loose and wild with their favourite plumber is a memorable game for the ages. “
The Beta Network – 8/10 (Anthony Culinas)
“The expressive 3D animations, colourful world design and newly orchestrated music by Yoko Shimomura are also very easy on the eyes and ears compared to the original, offering plenty of exploration and Mario-themed mischief to experience. As throughout the story, Mario and his crew get up to all sorts of weird and wacky adventures which certainly keeps things entertaining.”
Vooks – 4/5 (Oliver Brandt)
“It’s good because the original was good. As much as it frustrated me when I played it, I did think the core experience was solid, the story was fun, and the characters were filled with a lot of charm. It’s also bad because it means some of those frustrations are still there. You’re often left a little directionless, knowing vaguely where to go but having no idea how to get there. Some areas are very maze-like, and navigating them absolutely sucks — that was true in the original, and it’s true here. “
WellPlayed – 8/10 (James Wood)
“Super Mario RPG, in its starry-eyed quest to perfectly recreate Legend of the Seven Stars, stops short of trying to reimagine the impact of the original and settles for a well put together, if essentialist, recreation. In effect, if you’re wondering if this is a good remake of a game you loved, then the answer is a resounding yes. But if you’re wondering how the experience of Super Mario RPG feels in a contemporary market, the answer gets more complicated.”
Read the review.