The good and bad of Super Mario Sunshine, on episode 120

Our latest podcast looks at the ups and downs of Super Mario Odyssey's immediate precursor.

With Super Mario Odyssey due out in just a few weeks, now seems like the perfect time to look back at its immediate precursor: Super Mario Sunshine. This also happens to be the 15th anniversary of Sunshine, and this episode has actually been in the works since well before Nintendo announced Odyssey. Handy how these things line up, sometimes.

Mario has slugged it out through some 3D adventures since 2002, of course, but Nintendo (and director Yoshiaka Koizumi) has drawn a direct line of succession between Sunshine and Odyssey. In this episode, we go back in time 15 years and, in rediscovering Mario's GameCube outing, come up with a better understanding of why it's taken so long for Nintendo to create another 3D sandbox Mario game.

Sunshine isn't a bad game, but it feels weirdly unwieldy for a core Mario title. Nintendo has become quite particular in the years since, and it seems pretty likely that they haven't wanted to revisit the Sunshine style until they could amend some of the issues that bogged down the game. Hopefully Odyssey delivers.

MP3, 42.8 MB | 1:29:04
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Episode description: Taking a break from our string of glowing Mario retrospectives, we have a not-so-glowing look at vintage Mario. Yeah, 2002 is vintage now. Henry Gilbert and Sam Claiborn join us to discuss what's great about Super Mario Sunshine… but  mostly what's not.