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August 22, 2,001 - Well, it's finally happened. Nintendo has unveiled the next-generation of the Mario franchise -- the successor to Super Mario 64 as it were. Press on-hand at Nintendo's Space World 2,001 event in Tokyo, Japan caught a glimpse of the anticipated sequel for GameCube during a brief video previewed by designer Shigeru Miyamoto. The footage officially introduced Mario Sunshine as the title of the game and highlighted 30 or so seconds of in-game footage that consisted of some big, interactive environments that would make platform junkies drool and a whole lot of trademark jumping. When it was all over was everyone present speechless and giddy? Well, not exactly -- but there's definitely promise, and as usual Nintendo is keeping the majority of the game a secret at this point.
The environment -- the one previewed, was not at all like what one might expect coming out of Super Mario 64. Instead of bright green pastures and castle backdrops, Mario manipulated what can best be described as a city and suburbia -- a setting much more fitting for a Sonic Adventure. The plumber jumped and flipped up houses to roof tops, ran through quiet roadways and down alley entrances. The size of the area seemed three or four times the standard level in Super Mario 64, and more detailed too. But not so detailed as to be shocking. Rather, some of the texture work on the background areas seemed rather primitive when compared to some other GameCube titles, and the geometry constructing some 3D objects wasn't terribly impressive.