What’s the point of an RPG? I ask honestly, because I’m not exactly sure. I can think of two possible ways to interpret the title “Role Playing Game.” The first is that you play a role in the story and in the creation of the character. The second is that you passively “act” a role already scripted for you. I prefer the former, but Super Mario RPG is the latter.
It’s a story we all know: the Princess has been kidnapped, likely by the aggressive dinosaur, and I guess he’s raping her, or whatever. It’s Mario’s job to get her back. Now, I didn’t finish this game, but I expect that he will do so, and without much deviation from that task. Along the way, some random-ass-crap will probably happen, though it may be hard to beat the introduction to the game, which involves an enormous sword stabbing downward into the vagina that is Bowser’s castle, and taking control of it by vibrating. It’s very much a “who’s your daddy” kind of moment, and Mario wants nothing of it. What the giant sword has done to the princess, we can only guess. How Mario will overcome the monstrous talking weapon is a mystery, but it overcome it will be.
Mario is, of course, Mario. And there isn’t really much wiggle room there. Mario’s traits involve: Bravery, Peppyness, Italianness, Sometime-Cowardice, and that’s about it. He wears red clothing and jumps high. His beauty is in his simplicity, absolutely, but does anyone feel as though they can identify with Mario? He’s not much of a protagonist.
But still, Super Mario RPG is a charmer. It seems like, with their RPGs, Nintendo really lets the wacky cat out of the bag. Lots of weird, weird stuff happens. I enjoy that.