Super Mario RPG:
Legend of the Seven Stars
Remember when Mario teamed up with Bowser, Geno, Princess Toadstool (old school), and that weenie Mallow? And then they fought that giant sword that's always laughing? And it was awesome? Of course you do. That's Super Mario RPG, baby!
I adore this game. A unique combination of the Mario universe (and some gameplay elements), and Square's unrivalled (at the time) RPG know-how resulted in one of the best RPGs in the SNES's vast library. There's certainly an argument to be made that the game lacks the depth of other RPGs from the same era, like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. Each character equips a weapon, armour, and an interchangeable accessory. The "magic" is limited to half a dozen spells per character, and your party can never consist of more than 3 characters (with one always having to be Mario). But what this game lacks in depth, it makes up for with charm.
I remember getting my first real glimpse of this game on "Video and Arcade Top 10" back when I was a kid, and it blew my mind. I thought it looked gorgeous (I still do), and I couldn't believe Mario was teaming up with Bowser. The "King of the Koopas" has been my favourite video game character forever, and I really think this game is the reason why. He's a fucking tank!
This game also introduced Geno. And Mallow, but nobody cares about him. People have been calling for another Geno appearance for 20 years. There were rumours he'd show up as a playable character in Smash Bros Ultimate that sadly turned out to be untrue. This game would have been just fine with a party consisting of Mario, Bowser, and Toadstool. That a one-off character like Geno is so beloved 20+ years after his only real appearance is just testament to how beloved this game is.
I'm joined by my friend Kevin Light this week, and we had a great time revisiting Mario's first foray into the world of RPGs. Check it out!