Super Mario Sunshine opens with Mario and his buddies escaping from the daily chores of Mushroom Kingdom, their destination is the paradise island of Isle Delfino for a holiday. Mario's holiday doesn't last long as it seems that an impersonator of Mario has covered the island in graffiti and pollution. In the case of a mistaken identity Mario is sentenced to clean up the island with the help of his water cannon, Fludd. During Mario's adventures the princess is kidnapped, the graffiti will be washed away and there will be a large amount of shines to collect, the games equivalent of coins or stars.
Super Mario Sunshine has a lot to live up to with Super Mario 64 being an incredible game that defined the 3D platform genre and all other previous Mario's have also been outstanding. Immediately you can see that Nintendo has decided to play safe and not stray too far from the winning formula. The town square plays the same part in Super Mario Sunshine that the castle did to Super Mario 64, it's nicely detailed with various different entry points which will save you the hardship of walking great distances from one place to another. Sunshine also has a load of secrets to uncover during your adventures. In total there are seven levels to get your teeth into, with each level containing several objectives which does mean you will have to enter each level several times before you're finished. After completing each sub level (episode) you will acquire a shine.
There are a total of 120 "shines" but it is possible to finish the game with less than half this number. Level goals generally consist of solving problems which can be solved by shooting water in virtually every instance. Each episode starts with a quick debriefing on the level and its objectives. Some objectives are as simple as getting to an area and fighting a boss in order to win a prize. Making a return from Mario 64 are the red coin challenges. You will simply have to go and search for a certain number of these red coins. You will always have to find one red coin but some goals may have you looking round for coins within a time limit. Each level will have a goal which involves chasing around after the Mario impersonator while spraying him with the water cannon until he gives up and gives you a shine. There are a lot of goals that lead you into enclosed areas, this will trigger a short video clip of the impersonator stealing Mario's water cannon and making away with it. After this you will be faced with a kind of obstacle course that features floating and moving pieces of wood. Each one of these levels becomes more difficult as you progress through the game. These levels can be frustrating at times due to the nature of these levels and you will find that you will fall through solid objects and occasionally get stuck in walls. These technical problems are by far the most frustrating of the lot because you can be doing everything perfect until one of these bugs kicks in. Many of the goals are enjoyable but the hunting for red coin sections are just tedious and boring. You will also have to do a lot of back tracking through levels in order to complete them; you could have to backtrack up to seven times in some levels.
Thankfully the controls are very easy so you won't have any problems controlling Mario. Some of the moves seen in Mario 64 have been retained such as the triple jump. Mario's normal attacks have been replaced by the water cannon which has two nozzles. You can use the R trigger to spay the water a short distance and by pushing the trigger in only half way will let you spay while moving. The second nozzle lets you take off and hover in the air.