Games To Try Before You Die: Super Mario RPG (SNES)
The genre known as RPG was extremely popular in the 90's thanks to success of Final Fantasy VII for Playstation. When that game came out, it seemed like every character in games had to have some sort of RPG title. Some of them were hits, some of them were a miss. The Super Nintendo on the other hand had some great RPG titles, even before RPG became mainstream. Mario at the point has been in pretty much everything, but we were blown away with this sweet gem, and have yet to see another one since!
What: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is an RPG (Role Playing Game) where you play as Mario to go out and save Princess Toadstool! Oh wait....a sword falling from the sky?!?! Boom! The usual formula of Mario is tossed out the window and here are new enemies planning to take over the world. Gather your characters such as Mario, Mallow, Geno, Princess Toadstool, and even BOWSER. Repair the broken Star Road to make wishes come true again! Wait....who are these characters? Sword? Star Road? Huh!?!!
Why: What are all these new things in the Mario World? SquareSoft is what is new to Mario! This game was created and produced by the leader (at the time) of successful RPG games. Squaresoft is responsible for the Final Fantasy series which gives them tons of credit. It's Mario mixed with Final Fantasy, and it rocked!
The RPG element in the game was great. Easy to learn and wasn't confusing, thus making it easy for younger players to enjoy. Many RPG games are plagued with a tough learning curve with mass amount of customization. Not really a bad thing, but it would not have worked with a Mario RPG game. Especially since Mario is marketed towards younger players.
The story is great! A nice play on the usual formula. It even cracks jokes at how high Mario can jump and how it's Bowser's job at this point is to kidnap the Princess and have Mario save her. It's a humorous game that knows when to joke and when to take the story seriously. It introduces many new characters that sadly we have never seen again since this game. Mallow was a cry baby but had a great 'find your parents' storyline to it, and Geno was just and overall bad ass and a slew of crazy bosses and enemies that were tough to beat, but enjoyable. This game will always be one of my favorites for the Super Nintendo.
It's really to bad that a Super Mario RPG 2 wasn't made here in a America. What we got instead of that was the Paper Mario series, which is fun, but not as great as this game was.
If you have around 50 or 60 bucks, you can grab this one from your local game store or eBay, or simply for around 10 bucks, buy it off of the Wii Virtual Console marketplace. It will be worth all of your dollars.....trust me on this one.