Super Mario RPG, the review

A gem of the Super NES era arrives for the first time in Italian and with completely redesigned graphics

Super Mario RPG, a title that debuted on the Super NES nearly three decades ago, returns with a remake that aims to capture the attention of veterans and new players alike. This game, originally a bold fusion of the Mario universe and Final Fantasy mechanics, served as a pioneer for later titles like Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. THEThe move from a 2.5D experience to a fully 3D environment has its pros and cons. While the environments benefit from this modernization, appearing more detailed and enveloping, the character models lose some of their original and iconic appeal. The new graphics, while colorful and vibrant, don’t always manage to capture the unique spirit of the original title. This is also reflected in the storytelling moments, where Mario’s distinctive animations in the original game had a distinctive charm that seems slightly toned down in the remake.

From a gameplay point of view, Super Mario RPG maintains its original formula, with a few but significant changes. The timing-based combat system, a signature feature of the original game, has been slightly simplified, making character animations easier to read and introducing area damage when performing a perfect attack. However, the lack of a hard mode is noticeable, especially considering the evolution of role-playing games in recent decades. Despite some updates, such as the fast travel system and autosaves, the game remains incredibly faithful to its 1996 predecessor. While long-time fans may appreciate this fidelity, new players may find some mechanics dated or less intuitive than the today’s standards.

The return of Super Mario RPG, developed by ArtePiazza, a studio known for its remakes of Dragon Quest, offers European players, previously deprived of this experience, the opportunity to explore one of the most unique episodes of the Mario saga. This title offers a strange but fascinating journey through classic gameplay and light-hearted narrative, typical of Japanese role-playing games of the time. Definitely, the Super Mario RPG remake is a product that walks a fine line between maintaining nostalgia and updating for a modern audience. While some design choices may seem conservative, the game remains a unique experience that offers a blast from the past for longtime players and a window into a classic era of gaming for new fans. Despite some limitations, it remains a significant title that deserves to be played, explored and loved, just like the original.

Format: Switches publisher: Nintendo Developer: ArtePiazza Vote: 7/10