Short but sweet, just like Mallow: Super Mario RPG remake review

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Opinion

As a child, I remember playing Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on a chilly, rainy Sunday afternoon. My stepdad said some foolish words that I will always remember: “Go do your homework! You will never get paid for playing that game.” Well, guess who is getting paid to review a remake of a 27-year-old game?

The remastered version of this classic game was unexpectedly great news when it was announced. No fan of this groundbreaking 32-bit game had any hopes of it getting a sequel or remake. When Squaresoft and Enix merged in 2003, the newly formed company of SquareEnix kept all the character rights and wouldn’t let Nintendo use them. Geno, the protector of Rainbow Road (yes, that infamous Mario Kart race track) and Mallow, the cowardly tadpole, were all trapped behind a logistical nightmare of licensing issues.

The game is nearly an exact copy of the original. There are some improvements, but some letdowns as well.

2nd Gen to 8th Gen

The graphics look amazing. Nintendo took incredible care to make it look close to the original without looking silly. The new cutscenes are a nice touch too; that was lacking in the original with their system restraints. I wish they added some voices to the cutscenes, as most games these days have them. But giving voices to these classic characters could also enrage some shy guys online, so I understand why they chose not to.

Cake-smashing combat

The combat in this game has never been challenging; it’s not the Mario version of Dark Souls. Super Mario RPG was the first game that used timing during combat to let you deal extra damage, a feature that’s now common in modern RPGs. The remake introduces splash damage on basic hits if timed correctly, which I think hurts the game. I wish you could turn it off in the options because it makes combat in normal mode extremely easy. I did not feel challenged until after I beat the game and got to the bonus, more brutal boss battles that were added to the remake. I played the entire game without needing a 1-up mushroom.

Clone of Belome?

When I say this game is nearly an exact copy, I am not lying. The Geno glitch in one of the tougher battles is now a feature. They did remove some character moments though. One of my favourite jokes, when Mallow makes a Bruce Lee reference towards Mario, is missing. Perhaps Nintendo took it out because the reference was a bit of a wilted shroom  in 1996, so in 2023 it would be a rotten mush.

Is it a Luigi or a Waluigi?

If you played the original, you have played the remake. It is a fun game and will keep you entertained for the short time required to beat the story. Is it worth the 80 price? I do not think so, but it is a must-play, so wait for it to go on sale. Or if you can’t wait, borrow your friend’s switch to get in on the action.

Cover photo via Nintendo

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