(Note: This really does belong on this forum, as topic may vary too much for it to belong in the obscure `Gaming`forum... it also gets a bigger discussion going.)
Well, two very long nights and countless daytime hours later I have to say... THIS is the kind of thing I bought a GameCube for. Superbly addictive gameplay all wrapped up in beautiful visuals and audio that stand out from the crowd.
For anyone who, like me, was expecting what would essentially be Mario 64 with bells and whistles and not a lot more (not a bad thing as such), be prepared for quite a shock.
Mostly because oh damn is this game bloody hard at times. Not in the bad, frustrating "oh look, I'm dead again because I didn't know that was going to happen. Now I'll have to play for half an hour just to get back there" way of Resident Evil, but simply because it seems to require a lot more skill than anything has done for years. I'm sure people will agree that at points Mario Sunshine becomes and redefines the meaning of `hardcore` for modern platform gaming. And quite where some of the more bizarre and surreal parts of the game come from... well, let's just wonder what exactly Miyamoto-san grows in his garden. Watermelon festival? Abstract `crayon-drawn 2D` animated skyboxes (2D Trains and planes...)? Squid racer?
Post your favourite or even least favourite (if that's even possible) things from the game here... now! Try not to be too spoiler-ish though, k?
Me, I'm sticking with the water as standout feature right now... Ocean + turbo nozzle = jaw-drop.
Also, new for discussion - Is The Legend of Zelda actually running on the same engine as Mario Sunshine..? Just look at the palm trees in particular and generally clear, sharp but simple visuals. Remember (for anyone who hasn't seen this months NGC Magazine)... Zelda IS NOT actually cel-shaded. The cel-shading technique technically refers in part to the JSR/JGR method of `black outlines around characters etc.`Which Zelda has none of. In fact, aside from the water and the higher-than-usual standard animation, if you watch the videos closely you see it's more like a normal 3D game with exceptionally crafted models and simpler textures.
And in fact, looks a huge deal like Mario Sunshine. Mario 64 and Zelda:TOoT shared their game engines too... it would make sense to lower development times if they used the Mario Sunshine engine as well. Anyone who has seen the sunflowers outside Pinna Park will understand where the debate on this came from, as well as why the technique used in the cut scenes may be giving something away.