Nintendo Switch Review: Super Mario RPG

Is this remake worth getting? Yes or Geno?

Mario, Bowser, and Peach partner up to repair the wish-granting Star Road in this approachable role-playing adventure. Team up with an oddball group of heroes to save Star Road and stop the troublemaking Smithy Gang. This colourful RPG has updated graphics and cinematics that add even more charm to the unexpected alliance between Mario, Bowser, Peach, and original characters Mallow and Geno. Enter (or revisit) this world of eccentric allies and offbeat enemies in an RPG for everyone.

The original SNES version of Super Mario RPG was a rare treat for those back in 1996. It was a collaboration between Nintendo and Square-Enix (Square at the time) which combined the world of Mario with the turn-based combat and RPG features from Square who was famous for a certain series called Final Fantasy…It was well received but sadly never got released in Europe, for reasons known only to Nintendo themselves. I wouldn’t get the chance to play it until 2008 when it released on the Wii’s Virtual Console.

I was a big fan of it and the other Mario RPGs like Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. Still this was the first true Mario RPG so it rightly deserves a remake after all these years. Knowing the original very well, I went in to see if they had made the right decisions to preserving the core experience while adding quality of life improvements or not. I can gladly say they have delivered on this.

The original game can be a bit tough, which I’m sure Nintendo were aware of. So they’ve added in a nice easy mode for newcomers as well as the original difficulty mode. The game still includes save boxes but also autosaves if you lose a battle or forget to save frequently. There’s also new combination moves you can use with your party that can either launch heavy damage attacks or heal your whole team, depending on who is in your party.

You will get 5 playable characters but can only use 3 in battle so deciding which line-up is best for you is paramount to success. Hitting A at the right time will increase damage or block attacks, but timing it can be difficult depending on what weapons you have equipped for your party and the attacks coming your way. Practice definitely makes perfect here, especially as the latter bosses do take some considerable damage to overcome.

The visual upgrade is staggering. It looks so damn adorable and is such a leap over the original with everything from the character models to the environments getting a much-needed update. I will say that the framerate does tend to drop in certain towns, but other than that the performance is solid and I didn’t come across any bugs other than the actual enemy ones in the game. The script is still as funny as it ever was and the soundtrack is also impressive throughout.

The Verdict

Super Mario RPG is the remake that delivers what I had hoped. It brings the SNES classic to a new generation with quality-of-life changes and an amazing visual overhaul that make it a must-have for any Switch owner.

Score: 9.0