Monday, April 13, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 288 - Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of my all-time favorite games but I've never actually written about it until right now, so this will be fun. Come with me on a journey as a dumb kid who didn't like RPGs all the way up until my grown ass man days when I still love Mario RPG. Read more and watch gameplay here.

Super Mario RPG came out at a time when I didn't really "get" RPGs yet. My friends were obsessed with Final Fantasy 3 (6) and Illusion of Gaia and Secret of Mana, but I tried to play them and they didn't ever click. Then in 1995 / 1996 Nintendo Power started running previews of Super Mario RPG and I instantly fell in love. The game released in May of 1996 and we ran to the local grocery store - because grocery stores used to have VHS / video game rental sections back in the day, kids - and I was the first person to rent it. It was magical.

I rented it several times over the next few months and I'm not sure I ever actually beat it. Back then I was a dumb kid, plus an RPG noob, and everything was a major challenge for me. I remember getting the official Nintendo strategy guide for my birthday in July in '96, which was a special treat. It wasn't until a couple years later that I actually bought my own copy of Super Mario RPG and I was able to beat it then.

In college I remember playing through it via an emulator and every time I got a bonus during battle - where your HP gets randomly refilled or you get a free item or something - my roommate would mimic the "nifty" sound effect every single time and we'd giggle about it. 

In my adult years I've played through it several more times on various platforms - Wii virtual console, SNES classic, etc. - and it's still absolutely fantastic. I have realized, however, that despite my early struggles playing it as a kid, it's pretty much baby's first RPG. It's really, really simple and easy and straightforward. It's also really, really short compared to most RPGs, particularly SNES RPGs. Short and easy isn't a terrible thing, though, as the game is still ridiculously fun and charming and looks and sounds amazing and is still one of my absolute favorite games.

I did a full LP of Super Mario RPG back in 2015 that literally NO ONE WATCHED. I beat the whole game in around 10-11 hours and even did bonus stuff. It was back when I had a crappy microphone and didn't know what I was doing, but darn it, I'm still proud-ish of it.