Super Mario Sunshine has a lot in common with 1996's Super Mario 64 (for the N64), an incredible game that set the standard for every 3D platformer that's been made since. Just like in Super Mario 64, each level is broken up into multiple sequential objectives. Each one of the levels contains eight episodes, and completing an episode always results in obtaining a shine. The game opens with Mario and his entourage escaping the daily grind of the Mushroom Kingdom by flying to a tropical vacation in the Isle Delfino. But Mario's vacation dreams are cut short immediately after landing at the island's airstrip. A Mario-like maniac has mucked up the entire island, so Mario must do his best to clean up the mesh! Armed with a hi-tech water cannon called FLUDD (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device), Mario sets out to clean the island, clear his name, and solve the mystery. The level goals are often pretty straightforward, as you can solve practically any problem you come across by simply shooting it with water.
Controlling Mario is a snap. Most of his Super Mario 64 moves have been retained here, including the extremely useful turnaround and triple jumps.
The graphics of Super Mario Sunshine are very polished. The game's levels are really large, and the graphics are rendered with an impressive draw distance. Although when you get close to some of the textures, they start to look really low-res and blocky, the graphics are truly pretty good actually. It usually runs at a solid and smooth frame rate, and the characters are colorful and well modeled and animated.
Sound is great too, and most of the game's music is good being an updated version of the classic Mario theme that plays during the levels. There are several SFX during gameplay too.