RevieWorks I - Mario RPG

As this is a media forum I assume it will be alright for me to post this here. Enjoy.

Mario RPG

It’s surprising upon reflection that I played this game as many times as I did. If there’s one thing I normally hate it’s a beloved character in a shitty genre-crossover.

I guess the game saved itself by not taking the Mario theme too seriously. At one point even Bowser joins the party. I must say that when I was a kid I genuinely laughed out loud at some of the scenes portraying Bowser’s interaction with the rest of the gang.

I was a little disturbed by one Marrymore scene though. When I was a kid I was Ghetto Fabolous, so my controller didn’t work unless you put three heavy books on top of the connector. On my first game, during the scene where you collect Toadstool’s Barbi-esque collection of accessories, the D-pad inexplicably went on the fritz. About thirteen minutes later I was staring at an image of Bowser and Mario playing yaoi.

This is kinda like how the
highschool football team
claims it’s not gay if you
say “Good game”

Minigame variety has never been better presented on any RPG. I’d say 3/5ths of my replay value came from the minigames and collecting Frog Coins.

And all of them were enjoyable, so long as you don’t count jumping on tadpoles a minigame. Almost the entire second-to-last dungeon is a minigame/battle test that you can’t even completely explore your first time through. The only gripe I have is that unless you know beforehand which doors contain your main characters’ (Mario, Geno and Mallow) ultimate weapons you could get stuck with an UltimaParasol and a damn worthless Adamantium Claw of Tinfoil Doom +4.

Which reminds me. Mallow, although lovably soft, was worthless aside from his healing spells. I hate that. I only get three party members and one of those HAS to be Mallow. Otherwise I’m stuck either building up Toadstool’s ineffective group heals or buying 7.3 asstons of halucinogenic mushrooms from Toad at the final dungeon. I know they were halucinogenic because sometimes I’d see “Got a Freebie!” at the top of my screen and Mario would suddenly notice that he’d only imagined eating one.

I guess one good thing to be noted about Mallow is the entertainment value of his Psycho spell.


The battle system, though simplistic, just plain worked. Every spell, item and attack had a Timed Hit bonus. You could double or triple the effectiveness of attacking if you learned the timing. Spells also required timing. With Mario’s Jump spell it was possible to go up to 99 jumps. No-one I know ever got past 20, but a giant cement block told me it was possible so I believed him.

The enemies started out familiar, but upon entering the sewers I was treated to an assortment of grisly and sometimes downright scary creatures. The most disturbing was a man-sized frog that shot sleep-inducing jelly from it’s crotch.

This game also sports the Greatest Boss Theme Ever. Whoever Smithy’s bassist is needs to be hired by *Incubus. It’s the best use of bass ever to come out of a cartridge-based console.

Mario RPGs world map, though linear, had enough variety in scenery to please the ADHD portion of my brain. I went under the sea and above the stars in my quest to kill an evil metaphor for capitalistic megacorporations. I figure Smithy’s industrial headquarters in Universe X probably looked a lot like the Conglomo building from Rocko’s Modern Life from the outside. Of course, Smithy’s basement didn’t have any neon signs that say “We Own You” on them, but…

Overall this game is an awesome tribute to the diversity of Nintendo. As far as RPGs go, this one ranks right up there with the classics, despite being in a totally unfamiliar realm. For everyone’s favorite pipe-diving little Italian, I give this RPG a strong A-.

*No, I take that back. Not even a good bassist could save those pansies.