Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars holds a special place in the hearts of gamers worldwide. Its unique take on the Mario universe, captivating characters, and innovative battle system make it a cherished game for many. So, when Nintendo announced that they were remaking this beloved title with new visuals, mechanics, and a revamped soundtrack, fans like myself were overjoyed. However, alongside the excitement, there was a hint of anxiety. Would the game’s original charm be lost in the process?

One of the defining aspects of Super Mario RPG is its silliness. The game isn’t afraid to revel in physical comedy and eccentric characters. From Mario’s pantomimed retelling of events to battling against a two-tiered wedding cake, the game is packed with delightful absurdity. The fear of losing this personality in the remake loomed large.

Surprisingly, in the early stages of the remake, things seemed promising. Bowser’s vocal barbs and Mario’s pantomime remained intact, showcasing a commitment to retaining the original humor. Even the giant knife named Mack, whose reference might be lost on many, was cleverly renamed Claymorton, incorporating a sword-based pun. However, it was the level-up screen that truly won me over.

In the original game, when a character leveled up, they would appear out of a pipe, their stats would be displayed, and the player would choose a boost in HP, physical attack/defense, or magic attack/defense. The remake, on the other hand, introduced a delightful change on this screen.

When Mario was the sole member of the party, he appeared on a lit theater stage, surrounded by empty space. While unusual, I didn’t think much of it initially. However, when Mallow joined the party, the real magic happened. As Mario leveled up after Mallow’s arrival, I was greeted with an unexpected surprise—a dance party.

Every time a character leveled up, the entire group boogied down in celebration. Mario did a little sidestep, Mallow swung his fists with pure joy, Geno shimmied his cape, Peach swayed her arms, and even Bowser joined in with rhythmic stomping. This impromptu dance party made leveling up an even more joyful experience than before.

This new addition showcased the deep understanding that ArtePiazza, the studio behind the remake, had for Super Mario RPG. While ArtePiazza’s RPG credentials from working on Dragon Quest and SaGa games speak for themselves, it was their grasp of the game’s personality that truly impressed me. Super Mario RPG’s charm doesn’t solely rest on its mechanics but instead on its distinct tone.

The level-up screen with its vibrant dance celebrations exemplified ArtePiazza’s ability to incorporate new ideas seamlessly while staying true to the game’s spirit. These celebrations were a fresh addition, not present in the previous games, yet they felt like a natural part of the characters’ world. It was as if they had always been dancing to celebrate their friends’ growth, hidden from view until now.

Throughout the game, ArtePiazza continued to demonstrate their understanding of Super Mario RPG’s original vision. They captured what the game set out to achieve in 1996 and added their own touch of brilliance. Witnessing the team’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the game’s magic left me eagerly anticipating any potential sequel that they might undertake.

If the level-up screen showcases the kind of creativity that ArtePiazza brings to remakes, then the possibilities for a sequel are endless. Super Mario RPG fans will undoubtedly be ready to join in the dance once again if it means continuing the adventure in a world filled with joy and offbeat charm.

Nintendo

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