Super Mario, a very solid platform series that started in 1985.  For a long time, Mario was associated with specifically platform games.  Going from point A to point B, jumping on enemies.  After a while, this formula gets a little stale.  In 1996, Square Enix took on the task of turning Super Mario into an RPG game.  Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars was the product of this and became my favorite Mario RPG, but does the game still hold up today?

…Samus?

Super Mario RPG is an RPG with a semi-3D play style.  The camera is fixed in an isometric viewpoint, where Mario can move in eight directions.  Though the game feels 3D, many still consider Super Mario 64 as Mario’s first true 3D outing.  While most RPGs at the time had random encounters, the enemies that Mario faces in battle are visible on the playing field.  When Mario makes contact with them, he’s transported to the battle field, and a battle ensues.  The battle system is pretty simple, with physical attacks, items, and special moves.  What makes the battle system unique is the introduction of timed hits.  Timed hits, like the action command of Paper Mario, are executed when the attack button is pressed again during the right moment of an attack, making the attack do more damage.  The battle system is quite simple, since Square, the developer, wanted to make Mario’s first RPG outing a game that could be enjoyed by veterans and newbies alike.  The game progresses in normal RPG fashion, going from town to town, dungeon to dungeon.  Each location is interesting and is filled with secrets, mini games, and fun boss fights.  There are characters in this game that never appear in any other Mario game, which is a shame because Geno, one of your party members, became a fan favorite and is often requested for Smash Bros.  The cast of characters, heroes and villains, is one of my favorite casts for any Mario game, and the dialogue between them is golden from start to finish.  My only qualm with the gameplay is when you have to platform.  Isometric platforming is never easy, and it gets frustrating at some points in this game.  Luckily you don’t have to platform all the time, so it’s only a minor issue.  The controls are fine, simple platformer controls that change to RPG controls in battle.  I only have one issue, and that’s when you have to move quickly.  The isometric view can make me disoriented easily when I’m required to move Mario around precisely in short amounts of time, but that’s more of a problem with the view than the controls.  The gameplay is great for the most part.

The Axem Rangers, a fun boss fight

The graphics were amazing for the time.  Released in 1996, this was one of the last Super Nintendo games.  The graphics look quite advanced, and I think that this could pass as a 2D N64 game.  Everything is very detailed and I’ve always thought highly of the graphics.  The music is also fantastic, as is the music for most of the SNES RPGs.  So many famous tracks, including the Forest Maze, which is the unofficial theme of the entire game.  The music and graphics are still great today.

Mario and Mallow in battle

Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars is my favorite Mario RPG, and one of my favorite games of all time.  This game is nearly perfect, and I have no problem saying that it has aged very well.

Wow.  This Article is going to be released a few days before August 30th, but on that day, it will have been a year since I started writing for Retroware TV.  It’s been an incredible year, and I hope to give you guys many more years of articles.  I would like to give special thanks to Mike Anthony, Cyrus Burris, John Delia and everybody else on the site for making this year awesome.  Here’s to many more!