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Monday, December 25, 2023

Super Mario RPG (2023)

After nearly three decades of fans demanding a proper continuation for Super Mario RPG, Nintendo made an ambush announcement in 2023 that a remake was being made and that it would release before the end of the year.  Sure enough it did, and it was a quality job, appeasing fans of the original and ensuring it would win over many new ones to boot.  The game adds a few  new features and some tweaks to the core design but is very faithful to the original overall, even retaining most of the silly animations and jokes from the original.  Additions include some new fully-animated cutscenes, a couple new battle mechanics in the form of the Action Gauge and Triple Moves, Combos that grant cumulative bonuses for successful timed attacks and blocks, "special" enemies that are tougher than their normal counterparts but drop Frog Coins when defeated (making them considerably less tedious to farm), and quite a bit of new postgame content to provide new challenges to seasoned players.  The Action Gauge gradually builds as you go through battle, and once it's full you can unleash a Triple Attack - a flashy animation that does heavy damage and has unique animations and effects depending on who is in the current party.  Perfectly timed attacks will also gain added effects (such as normal attacks also dealing light damage to non-targeted enemies), while perfectly timed blocks completely negate damage.  The game now also shows little meters and indicators for most of the special move minigames that lacked them before, and timing seems to be a bit more forgiving overall, making it easier to hit goals like the 100-jump challenge.  True to the original but with plenty of flair of its own, ArtePiazza outdoes themselves again with another excellent remake of an RPG classic.

Developer: ArtePiazza
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 2023
Platforms: Switch