Super Mario RPG For Nintendo Switch Leaks Online Ahead Of Imminent Launch
Super Mario RPG was an odd game when it came out back in 1996. Taking the beloved Mario characters and placing them into a Final Fantasy-style JRPG required a lot of world-building and characterization that simply didn't exist for those characters before that. It was Squaresoft's final game for the Super NES in the US, and it makes use of the SA-1 expansion chip to offer impressive graphics and sound compared to other SNES games.
The decision to remake this beloved classic was a surprising one to most people when it was announced back in June 2023. The re-made game isn't actually out yet—it doesn't appear until next week, on the 17th—but some folks have already gotten their grubby mitts on the title and have begun digging into it to discover its secrets. If you never played Super Mario RPG and are looking forward to it, don't worry; we're not going to spoil anything here.
Other people might not be so scrupulous, though. As you'd expect from a classic JRPG, the game is rich in story and has a couple of surprising twists and turns throughout. Less surprising is the identity of the game's developer, revealed by a copyright notice attached to eShop pre-orders. It's ArtePiazza, a name that may not be immediately familiar to you. The studio has been around a long time, mostly working alongside Square-Enix.
ArtePiazza has experience remaking classic JRPGs, as it was behind the Dragon Quest re-makes published for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. It also has experience with the Unity Engine, which powers the Super Mario RPG remake. According to Twitter user OatmealDome (above), the game runs on Unity version 2021.3.15f1. While that's an older version, it likely doesn't make any difference for the aging Nintendo Switch hardware.
Incredibly, despite that the original game is over 25 years old, it seems that some familiar names show up in the credits for the new release. That includes event designer Taro Kudo, co-director Yoshihiko Maekawa, and composer Yoko Shimomura. Shimomura once said that doing the original Mario RPG soundtrack was a turning point for her career, and the game includes an option to toggle back to the original SNES soundtrack if you like.
The characters and settings from Super Mario RPG have continued to serve as inspiration and backdrops for Mario games for the last 27 years. If you're a fan of Mario, even if you've only played newer games, you need to pick this one up and give it a run-through because it is truly a formative title in the mustachioed plumber's history. You can snag a pre-order for the digital or physical version over at the Nintendo eShop.