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Chrono_Cross


Koopa Troops
Koopa Troops


Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)

(C)1996, Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

EU Release: March 3, 1997
NA Release: September 26, 1996

Players: 1
Genre: Platformer

With the N64’s release, came a game that transformed how we thought of gaming as we’ve never witnessed a full fledged 3-D game do it right. Many companies have attempted such a goal (even Nintendo themselves), but failed to provide a true 3-D experience. Super Mario 64 was the first experience that lit a torch in the cave of skepticism and failure, to show everyone 3-D can be achieved, yet win the hearts of millions.

Unfortunately, after a decade and a half, and four true 3-D sequels, I find that Super Mario 64 is aging for better or for worse. The storyline has been trade marketed (as this is the first traditional Mario game to explain its back-story), as a defining tack on everything Mario. Peach invites Mario to Mushroom Kingdom for some cake and by the time Mario arrives, Bowser has not only kidnapped Peach but he has infested the castle with his minions and is potentially hidden from Mario’s grasp.

If you were totally isolated from news of Super Mario 64 back in the mid 90s you probably had no idea how the Super Mario universe would work in 3-D as it had never gone there before whatsoever. The game play isn’t as polished as its successors, though it still provides an experience that is still enjoyable for the present day audience.



Roaming over a course of fifteen worlds, you will either come off with an impressed feeling or a mixed one. Most of the levels are fairly linear and provide little to no time to explore. It felt like every mission’s objective wasn’t thoroughly planned and rushed. In multiple levels I only explored so far to reach a star, then turning right around and being forced to go a little further for a different star.

The camera angles are, at best, terrible. Eighty percent of the times I died were because of the camera angles as I couldn’t see Mario, let alone what I was doing in general. Adjusting the camera will either help you slightly or ruin it all together, resulting in an unnecessary, time consuming hassle that can potentially lead you to your inevitable doom.

Terrible camera angles comes with poor physics and decent controls. Every time I get hit by an enemy or even fall off an object I slide backwards as if I’m on ice. Actually, sliding was a big hassle to get used to on ice or not. Unresponsive controls resulted in many failed attempts and deaths as the controller is fairly bulky in my tiny hands to be performing such daredevil tricks.


Super Mario 64’s soundtrack is great if limited. Like most Mario games, the music will have to bobbing your head as every song fits the level’s mood and layout. It being limited makes room for certain songs reused for later levels. A lack of variety that even some of its predecessors possess, makes my stomach feel a tad eery.

Conclusion-

Reading this you may think I’m downright bashing Super Mario 64 but truthfully I’m not. There’s no denying age is on its tail but you have to give credit where credit is due. From a 1996 perspective (as this is the first true 3-D platform game), the complaints listed are legitimate yet unfair. You truly can’t complain about a game when it's the first of its kind. That would be trimming down and complaining about arcade games like Pac Man and Donkey Kong, saying how the graphics and short length makes both of those games awful.

Holding up the complaints against the entirety of the game wouldn’t be fair, whereas not holding each complaint against it would be biased. Ultimately, Super Mario 64 is great game and anybody who enjoys video games should play it. Besides, it only lit inspiration that eventually made the games you play today, exist.

9/10

9- Awesome This game has little in the way of flaws, and is a highly enjoyable experience.



Last edited by Chrono_Cross on May 10th 2012, 7:07 pm; edited 3 times in total


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Post on April 12th 2012, 3:52 pm by NINTENBRO82

I just began playing through Super Mario Galaxy, and it's phenomenal. I definitely plan on purchasing a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2. With those two Super Mario titles in my library, I have absolutely no need to download Super Mario 64 or purchase a copy of Super Mario Sunshine either. Until the next superior 3-D Super Mario title comes along, those are the only two titles anyone should need. I really can see myself playing through Super Mario Galaxy more than once.

Post on April 12th 2012, 4:25 pm by DigiDestined

Nice detailed review Viewtiful Surprised

Post on April 16th 2012, 10:27 am by SkywardL

Hope this gem gets to be a part of the monthly Club Nintendo downloadable games someday.

Post on April 16th 2012, 11:17 am by Biorn the Viking

I have to agree on the camera. I didn't get very far because of camera annoyances. Great review overall, Viewtiful Joe! Smile

Post on April 17th 2012, 2:25 pm by Marth

Good review, Joe. The only thing I really disagree with is the linearity you mentioned. From my experience, the levels here are far more open that of Super Mario Galaxy or perhaps any other Mario platforming game.

In fact, you can collect stars from a different mission from within the mission you're currently in. If that doesn't make sense, I basically mean you can get the star from the Chain Chomp in Bob-Omb Battlefield while you're supposed to be fighting King Bob-Omb. You could do the same with the red coins mission.

You're also free to explore the level you're in, as there's no definitive path to victory in all of them. They all have defined solutions, yes, but you'll need to explore if you want to collect all the stars. You need to collect 100 coins in the main stages to obtain certain stars, which I certainly wouldn't call linear as there are numerous different strategies to do so.

With the exception of a few missions that revolve around racing to the goal, there's no time limit at all. I'm not sure what you meant when you said you're given little time to explore.

With the exception of the Bowser stages (which, to your credit, are entirely linear), you're given total freedom as to what levels you want to complete. No, it's not the most "open" game in the world, but I'd be hard-pressed to say it's linear in the face of a game like Super Mario Galaxy. That game had levels that were almost on-rails whereas you can go wherever you want in most of these levels and there's no time limit to abruptly kill you for taking too long.

Post on April 17th 2012, 6:12 pm by Xiao Pai

I agree with Yoshi Super Mario 64 is nowhere near as linear as most Mario games.

Post on April 17th 2012, 6:12 pm by Chrono_Cross

The same can be said about Super Mario Galaxy 2, though. You don't have to get the designated star in which you are assigned to do, let alone be in a specific world like its 2-D brethren. Whether you take Sunshine or either Galaxy games, this can be applied ten folds.

Sure, Galaxy has some linear levels, but to me not only is that not a bad thing but it mixes up the rest of its formula. You're not always going in a straight line and people often misinterpret the term linear as bad and simple. (Which it's not.)

I am often dumbfounded by people saying the Galaxy games are linear. Let alone Sunshine. Which, by the way, does everything Super Mario 64 does to a larger extent. Take Ricco Harbor, the linearity is almost nonexistent whatsoever due to blue coins and the Shine Sprites being scattered all over the level's layout.

Ricco Harbor is also far larger than any world presented in 64's game. I hear many people say eight worlds isn't enough for a 3-D Mario game but what most don't know is that Sunshine can last you twice, if not three time as much time as Super Mario 64 which, to them anyhow, have "larger" levels. I guess less is more in this case?

It took me over a course of a month and a half, with fifty plus hours of time to finally 100% it. Super Mario 64 only took me... roughly fifteen hours.

So what I'm trying to say is that the levels in 64 are small in diameter and have little to nothing to offer. Exploring each would take five minutes as you don't even have to explore the entire level to get every star. In Galaxy and Sunshine you have to explore everything and is always a blast to do so.

Also, never compare Super Mario 64 to its successors. It's embarrassing. Razz

Post on April 17th 2012, 6:16 pm by Xiao Pai

How can you 100% Super Mario 64 in 15 hours? Surprised

Post on April 17th 2012, 6:29 pm by Chrono_Cross

It's so easy. Don't you think so? D:

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