Super Mario RPG – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure
Developer: Square Enix, ArtePiazza
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Super Mario RPG – Review

Site Score
Good: Visuals, Still a lot of fun, Short but sweet
Bad: Clunky controls at times
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(0 votes)
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Back in 1996, Mario decided to leave his regular platforming adventures behind for his very first RPG endeavor. This brand-new title was dubbed Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, and it was developed by Square and saw a limited release in Japan and North America. In this original spin-off, Mario once again set out to save the princess, but he had to battle Bowser’s fearsome grunts in the form of turn-based battles, and there was a semi-open world to explore. Legend of the Seven Stars was an immediate fan-favorite, and it also served as the inspiration for the Paper Mario series. Now, 27 years later, this title is getting pushed back into the limelight, albeit in the form of a remake. Our inner child was ready to go out adventuring with the iconic plumber once again, and we truly hoped this title withstood the test of time.


It seems to be business as usual in the Mushroom Kingdom when Princess Peach once again finds herself kidnapped by Bowser. Mario is once again on the job, and he makes quick work of the spikey-shelled miscreant. Sadly, this time the story doesn’t immediately conclude with a happy ending, but things get shaken up even further when Exor, a massive sentient sword, falls through Bowser’s humble abode. Not only do Bowser, Mario, and Peach get catapulted in different directions, but the sword also destroys Star Road, sending the seven stars it contains in different directions. Not only will you have to find the princess, but you’ll also have to restore Star Road, and drive away the Smithy Gang, who are also tied to Exor.

As a whole, the story is a lot meatier than most Super Mario adventures, and the game does flesh out the story via many dialogues. The narrative still remains quite simple so both younger and older gamers can enjoy it, but we did enjoy this way of story exposition. This narrative also includes a few original characters, further fleshing out the already well-known Super Mario universe.


Back in 1996, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was a rather cute-looking RPG title for the SNES. The remake opted for a visual style that was reminiscent of the original, albeit with current-day standards in mind. You’ll be treated to a colorful and attractive bite-sized RPG with many familiar faces, as well as a few new ones unique to this adventure. The adorable character models bring the world to life, and the many enemy models will immediately look familiar. Of course, for this adventure, a new big bad evil was added, as well as some new villainous foes.

Even though the world of Super Mario RPG is rather limited when it comes to exploration, it was still a lot of fun seeing the different environments and the secrets that could be found here and there. Every environment is unique, and there are still a lot of cool smaller details that will surely make you smile. Perhaps this was us just looking at the game with nostalgia goggles on, as the new visuals perfectly overlap with how good we always remembered Legend of the Seven Stars looked like in our mind.


The sound design of the game is still great. Super Mario RPG boasts an upbeat soundtrack that knows when to tie in a few more dramatic tunes when the in-game situation desires it. We did notice that a few tracks loop a bit too quickly, which can become rather annoying if you decide to stick in a certain part of the world longer to explore or grind for some additional experience. The SFX are decent, and it’s satisfying to hear so many iconic Super Mario SFX in an RPG adventure.


Super Mario RPG is a fairly old-school RPG experience, with Nintendo’s mustachioed plumber in the lead. This title is a remake of the 1996 SNES title that only saw its release in Japan and North America. In the game, you’ll go from one small area to the next, while fighting baddies, gaining experience, and collecting a few items in the process. The game is very straightforward, and as this is still a game revolving around Mario, you’ll also find a few platforming segments and a couple of mini-games. Unlike the original, you can also pick the ‘Breezy’ difficulty setting, which dials down the difficulty a bit.

Truth be told, the game is actually very easy in terms of mechanics and how everything works. As you battle more and more enemies, you’ll gain experience, and when leveling up, your base stats improve, and you can pick another upgrade as well. The latter allows you to focus more on general damage, magic damage, or an increase in HP. You can, for example, opt for raw attack damage with Mario while focusing on Magic damage with Marble. This creates a more balanced party, where one may dish out normal damage while another does area damage via spells. There are also a few gear options along the lines of weapons, an armor piece, and a trinket.

In terms of combat, those who have played many of the Paper Mario games will feel right at home here. Battles are fought in a turn-based format, and you have the standard options of performing standard attacks, using items, and casting spells. The twist here is that when attacking or casting a spell, you’ll have a very limited window to press the attack button again in order to deal additional damage. This is also the case for defending, when pressing the correct button at the right time, you may nullify all incoming damage. This way of battling does keep the player more engaged throughout battles, and it may even reduce the difficulty of some tougher fights.

If we had to judge Super Mario RPG as a very modern title, it would be considered very short for an RPG. You can beat Super Mario RPG in roughly ten to fifteen hours, depending on exploration, grinding, and how much time you spend playing some of the mini-games. While this may sound very short, we actually enjoyed this bite-sized RPG that doesn’t overstay its welcome. The flow is spot-on, the battles don’t take too long, and it’s simply a lot of fun to explore the small areas where Mario and his companions find themselves.

As this is a remake, there are some improvements compared to the originals outside of the clear visual overhaul. Menus are more accessible, there are small QoL improvements, and even the controls feel a lot smoother. On the original, you had to make do with the D-Pad of the SNES controller, and now you have proper 3D movement with the joysticks. We did still struggle to land some of the trickier jumps in the game.


Super Mario RPG has withstood the test of time, and this remake makes the classic SNES title look better than ever. With a few QoL upgrades and tighter controls, the game is ready to win over a younger generation of gamers, as well as those who were already actively gaming when the SNES was still reigning supreme. We loved the new visuals, the original characters once again made us fall in love with them, and we enjoyed the bite-sized adventure from start to finish. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a Super Mario fan, we suggest you look no further.

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Aspiring ninja.


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