A fan project for Super Mario Sunshine, called Super Mario Sunburn, has finally been released. The project is built on Super Mario Sunshine, but improves a number of aspects to make it a game that can easily be played today without the woes you usually feel from playing games made in 2002.
As you can see, the biggest overall improvement is the seamless experience of playing in an open world here. The only reason that there’s a screen between areas is to allow you to choose which mission within the area you want to take on. this is important, but also shows that Sunshine might have had this built in somehow, and that we were simply being fooled by clever UI overlays. It would have been nice to be able to explore the game’s world like this back in 2002, because it shows you how each area links together much more effectively.
The other great change that Super Mario Sunburn brings is ability to collect multiple Shines in a single mission. Some areas have multiple Shines in, and once you’ve collected one, you need to head back to the main area, and restart that area. This is a mechanic that has always been part of the Mario franchise, but only with the functionality removed to you start to see how much it gets in the way. Just the main hub alone has a huge number of Shines to uncover, and restarting the area each and every time must have been a nightmare, not that I can remember it anyway.
On top of these two core changes, there are loads of other fixes and alterations in Super Mario Sunburn. The game includes some brand new levels to explore and conquer, keeping it fresh, and gives the whole world a new feel that’s more in line with the real world today.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to go back to Super Mario Sunshine, but don’t want to dig out your GameCube, then this is your excuse to jump in and play it at long last. You can download the game from the project page here.
Let us know what you think of Super Mario Sunburn in the comments.