Super Mario Sunshine isn’t bad, it just came before its time

Super Mario Sunshine

When Super Mario Sunshine turns 20 on July 19, 2022, Kate wants to shorten a few things about how the game will become such a big hit as it is today, maybe…

ALRIGHT, LISTEN. Whenever I’m in a polite company and I mention enjoying Super Mario Sunshine – Yes, even though it insists on collecting ten thousand green coins, even though Its sometimes annoying camera controls and maybe even because of its goofy voiceover – everyone tended to turn towards me, the circles on his face exposed, spewing alcohol everywhere like a faulty faucet, and then all the women The women in corsets in the room all fainted in terror and I was forced to pay their medical bills for saying something so horrible.

Do you know what games were added to Xbox Game Pass this week, a feat that usually means a game that’s popular or loved enough to warrant Microsoft splurging on it?

PowerWash Emulator.

I mean, come on! It’s just Super Mario Sunshine with less story! Put your single circle back!

So here’s my thesis: Super Mario Sunshine was simply born in the wrong era. It captured something humans seem to love innately – making sure something is very clean – and focused on the gameplay around it, which angered many people, even though TikTok is currently is full of videos about perennial but still unsatisfying labor, like cleaning pools and installing thatched roofs. I’m not joking about either of those things.

We love power washing, just as we love peeling off the clear plastic of a new TV or installing a screen protector on a phone that is free of air bubbles. An empty slate is extremely satisfying. So when Mario is tasked with cleaning up all the goops on Delfino Island, even if he doesn’t come on his own, it’s not all that different from imagining the ultimate power that Power Wash Simulator offers. grant!

People, for various reasons, are attracted to work simulation games. Only recently have those games been shortened to their rudimentary nature, away from story-driven work games like Harvest Moon and Slime Breedersand more towards “do one thing for its sake” games, like House Flipper and Truck Simulator. It’s zen. It’s relaxing. It seems odd, and it might be. But you know what? I work at a desk all day. I can dream of a life where I can not only go out, but also do the laundry.

Mario never really gets to work. He’s a plumber who never takes a plunge; His main daily activities seem to mainly involve jumping and fighting, both of which are not really Work. Super Mario Sunshine doesn’t just give him something do, in the end, but it also requires him to do its job well. Sure, there’s combat, and honestly, those bits are often a bit bad (usually because they involve putting together an elaborate gimmick), but the slime-cleaning aspect never gets old. .

I think, if Super Mario Sunshine came out today (which it did, with All-Stars), and probably if it offers a first-person FLUDD mode, people might appreciate it a bit more. But apparently, twenty years ago, in 2002, the world wasn’t ready for a game about cleaning.

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Do you agree with me? It’s okay, we can still be friends. Let’s discuss Super Mario Sunshine in the comments!

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