Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Guy in Plaid: Super Mario 64.

(( So here it is: My first review. I hope you guys enjoy! Feedback on how to make this better would be appreciated! :D ))

      The Nintendo 64. Although it was the last fifth-generation console to hit the market, it’s superior hardware made it a force to be reckoned with. In it’s six year lifespan about 33 million consoles were sold with a solid library of games. In total, 387 games were released, 84 of these games were exclusive to Japan, 47 to North America, and only 4 in Europe. There are two launch titles that were released in every region. Pilotwings 64 and Super Mario 64. This review is about the latter.

      If you haven’t played Super Mario 64, where have you been all this time? In my opinion, Super Mario 64 is the best 3D platformer out there and by far the greatest Mario title in the franchise.

It’s okay Super Mario World, you were good too.

Alright. Let’s get to the actual review stuff:

The Story: 
      Much like any other Mario game, there’s a very basic story only there to unify the game. It starts with a letter from Princess Peach inviting Mario to come over to the castle to eat a cake she made for him. We then see a warp pipe appear in the castle courtyard and Mario jumping out. The player is now able to take control of Mario and start the game.

Full 3D? Now we’re playing with power!
      Upon entering the castle, Mario finds out that Bowser has trapped Peach and the other castle inhabitants inside paintings with the use of the 120 Power Stars, now being guarded by his minions which are also in the paintings. Mario has to recover the Power Stars scattered through 15 unique worlds in order to defeat Bowser and save Peach.

The Controls:
      One of the main reasons Super Mario 64 is a good game is because its amazing controls. The control stick moves Mario, the A button is used for jumping, B for attacking, Z (L on Virtual Console) for crouching, and the C buttons to adjust the camera. Our pudgy plumber has learned a couple of new moves since his 2D days which can be preformed by pressing A, B, or Z in certain combinations. Mario can now preform backflips, crawl, long jump, wall jump, and even breakdance (though, I don’t ever find it useful to break it down in the middle of a battle).
Who needs to stomp enemies when you can just serve them?
      The one problem everyone tends to have is with the camera. Our cameraman for the adventure, a friendly Lakitu, thinks he knows what camera angle the player wants. This means that any time Mario faces a different direction, the camera shifts. We can change it back, but once you start moving, Lakitu disregards our suggestion and starts moving the camera again. Personally, I was never bothered by this. Usually, Lakitu is trying to help us see something. Most of the time, the camera is changing so we can see the next part of the stage. If you get used to this minor flaw, you’ll eventually forget about it.
 You’re the reason this was never guaranteed a perfect score. I hope you’re proud.

The Gameplay: 
      Super Mario 64 is polished to a shine. Everything is super smooth. Princess Peach’s Castle acts as a hub level. It’s a pretty awesome hub level if you ask me. There are tons of secrets inside and outside the castle. The hub level almost as much fun as the missions!

This place is huggggggggggggeeeeeeee!

      In total, there are 15 unique worlds, plus bonus levels. In each world, there are 6 missions plus the 100 coin star. One moment you could be in a pyramid, the next could be on a flying ship. The non-linear gameplay makes every playthrough different and enjoyable. For the longest time I did not know that I was supposed to go to the Boo world before going to the basement worlds. All the levels are similar in difficulty depending on which part of the castle you’re in. The game doesn’t penalize you for exploring the castle. In fact, The game wants you to  explore. Throughout Mario’s journey, he’ll find hidden areas that activate cap boxes. These caps are vital if you’re trying to get all the stars, but are easy to miss if you don’t explore.
The Music: 
      Koji Kondo does an excellent job with all the music in the game. All the new tracks are beautiful and catchy; plus there are many classic Mario songs remixed in unique ways that sound new and nostalgic at the same time. Who would have thought that the Underground Theme would sound so cool as a jazz piece?

I LOVE this song.

      While collecting 120 Power Stars may sound like a chore, each mission is unique enough that you don’t get bored easily. I’ve played through the game 4 times and have fully enjoyed each playthrough just as much as the first time I played it. Some missions get quite annoying. But with 120 missions to select from, it’s easy to skip one and move along.
      To conclude this review, if you haven’t played Super Mario 64, you should. This is one of those games that everyone should play. It’s a major piece of gaming history. This is one of the best games on the N64 and by far the best launch title ever released. The game has aged well and is better than some of the shit being released today.

I guess I should come up with some sort of rating system. here’s how I’ll judge the games:
Gameplay and Replayability will be most important.
Controls after those.
Story and Music next.
Graphics are least important. Unless they’re super good or downright garbage will I mention this in a review.
Each Category can be awarded a maximum of 4 points.

The Judging:
Gameplay: 3
Replayability: 4
Story: 3
Music: 4
Graphics: 4
TOTAL: 18/20

Next time: I feel as if I’m flying a real plane, because that’s what Shigeru Miyamoto said.


  1. This is one of my favorite games ever. So many memories went along with this game for me.

  2. I bought Super Mario 64 for my Wii before I sold it. Now I have it on my emulator :)

  3. Fantastic I remember playing this game when I was growing up. Great post.

  4. Dude, SM64 is the bomb. Its game play (along with all mario's) is just perfect. Actually entertainig unlike most games out today.

  5. No way! I played this the other week because school is out so I have had nothing to do really at my apartment, I beat a few levels and put it down and picked up Banjo Kazooie

  6. I honestly prefer Super Mario World... ¯\(°_o)/¯

  7. I'm still playing NES Super Mario Bros

  8. Takes me back to the days of mario 64, zelda and mario kart :D following just for the nostalgic value!

  9. Great Days playing SM64, I played it every day back then

  10. Even beyond the normal replay value, if you get it on a emulator, this is a game that is really fun to TAS. So many dumb things you can do and test. :D

  11. didnt care much for it on 64

  12. i played this everyday after school as a kid

  13. Great game. I wanna see more interesting games reviewed though. Everyone knows how great this game is.

  14. Awesome haha bringing back more memories will have to start playing again also, I think i even have an emulator for SM64

  15. very much a classic of my genration

  16. @Skaerf: Na man... I got a PS1 first but changed to N64, better and more sturdy.

  17. It makes me really really sad (not to mention embarassed) that I've NEVER played SM64. This review does make me want to play it though; if only I still had my N64...

  18. This was one of the most awesome games on the 64 that ever had the chance to play. I really miss this era. +Followed for more.

  19. Great review for such a great game. Thanks for posting this up! Nostalgia attack.

  20. I love super mario 64, remember playing it as a kid at my friends place, nice memories.

  21. I love the Mario Bros. game series.

  22. I used to play this game, it was the best!! i really enjoy it!

  23. Awesome. Super Mario 64 has been done, though I suppose you do need to start there if you're eventually going to rate all the N64 games.

  24. this game was the best one on 64 after oot and majoras mask

  25. mario is the best

  26. He is Mario. That's all this review has to say, haha. I did like the remake on the DS though. Except Luigi did make the game easy mode on a few levels...

  27. I just nostalgiad so hard it physically hurt