Many consider Super Mario Sunshine the black sheep of 3D Mario games.
The game was innovative, but in a way that didn’t resonate with fans. While we can argue all day about the unique controls and mechanics, there’s no doubt that the game featured some great level aesthetics.
Again, many maybe didn’t enjoy the levels because the game’s gimmick made platforming difficult or downright infuriating.
That said, the world of Isle Delfino was a fun one to visit because it connected the various levels in a way that we didn’t see again until Super Mario Odyssey. Even that game didn’t provide players with the connectivity Mario Sunshine provides as you can actually see other levels from locations in the world you are playing in.
With all that in mind, what is your favorite Super Mario Sunshine level?
Super Mario Sunshine Levels: Aesthetics or Gameplay?
I immediately jumped to two: Sirena Beach and Pinna Park.
Aesthetically, Sirena Beach is just gorgeous. This level features a resort-like hotel on a beach at dusk. Many of the Shine Sprites are inside the hotel, but the times you get to spend outside are just sublime.
I thoroughly enjoyed the aesthetic of this level, but the Shine Sprites were difficult at times. There is a lot of tight platforming and wonky camera angles within the hotel that I found myself frustrated a lot.
Still, there was something relaxing about basking in the beach environment at sunset that just made this a fun one to visit, if only to do that.
Pinna Park, on the other hand, was actually a fun level to visit because of the gameplay. This level is an amusement park set on a smaller island just off the main Isle Delfino.
While some of the Shine Sprites reside outside the park on the beach, Mario finds the majority of them inside the amusement park. The level requires Mario to ride the attractions in order to get a Shine.
One such objective had players riding a roller coaster to destroy a mechanical Bowser with water-propelled rockets. You revisit this mechanic later for another Shine that requires you to ride the coaster and pop balloons with the rockets.
What Do You Think?
Look, I get it, Super Mario Sunshine isn’t your favorite 3D Mario game. You likely have excellent reasons as to why that is the case.
In a bit of a scorching take, it is one of my favorites in the franchise largely for personal reasons. The game was a nice constant during a move to a new state when I was 11.
I still think there are many who at least enjoyed the island and its various worlds simply for the aesthetic or maybe even for the gameplay.
So, which Super Mario Sunshine level is your favorite? Do you prefer that level for the aesthetic, gameplay, or both? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to our Discord channel to share your thoughts.
Be sure to check out our banter regarding your favorite worlds in Super Mario 64.
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