Week #8: Super Mario RPG

The lazyhandheldman’s weekly handheld game recommendation is inspired by subreddit SBCGaming’s “Game of the Month”. Today, my recommendation is Super Mario RPG.

Super Mario RPG

Release: 2023 (based on Super Mario RPG SNES version (1996))

Original console: Nintendo Switch

Developer(s): ArtePiazza, Square Enix

Publisher(s): Nintendo

Genre(s): RPGJRPG

Series: Super Mario

Recommended handhelds to play: Miyoo Mini Plus (for SNES version), Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo Switch OLED

Best for

  • People who want a relaxing JRPG with more actions

The Switch version of Super Mario RPG is not entirely the same as the SNES version. It adds new mechanics for more action, new exclusive character for different tactics and smooth Mario’s movement.

However, unlike common JRPGs with deep story and extreme grinding process, Super Mario RPG is more like a relaxing title with funny and simple story and gameplay. It adds action into each “attack” and “defense” command, so you don’t find it like grinding chore at all.

I must admit that Super Mario RPG is not only a great game for kids, but also an adult with not much time. Playing across a map is a breeze, to the point that I can play it along with the Fire Emblem series, which requires attention for each chapter.

  • People who love Mario, and/or are fans of the SNES version

Super Mario RPG is one of the most sold units of Nintendo, so it is reasonable to have a complete remake for the Nintendo Switch, which has been sold for more than 130 million units. You can expect far better graphics and new additional contents for the Switch version, not to mention that it is easier to buy the Switch game than the SNES cartridge.

Even if you don’t know the 1996 version, you can try it if you love Mario. The world inside Super Mario RPG is lively and colorful, with so many things remind you of the world of Super Mario.

The first Super Mario Land title is so underrated

Worst for

  • People who hate “action” mechanic in JRPGs

Many people are looking for a turn-based RPG for one-handed gameplay, because they want to sit back and chill, but the “action” mechanic of Super Mario RPG kinda defeats this purpose. As a result, you may not want to play thisgame.

Classic first party Nintendo games aren’t usually the best storytelling, and Mario is always a game intended for kids. If you’re looking to immerse into a game with best story, avoid anything start with “Mario”.

Recommended handhelds to play

I recommend to get the Switch version for Nintendo Switch, mostly because of numerous of QoLs added to the remake. If you want to play the nostalgic Super Mario RPG, a simple Miyoo Mini Plus or RG35XX is all you need to enjoy, as JRPGs really shine on portrait retro handheld emulators.