Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
Mario 64, the prime product for the commercial maiden voyage of the Nintendo 64, puts the player into the magical world of Mario (where the streets are paved with gold stars) as never before. The engrossing, immersive cinematic viewpoint of the player-positionable "Lakitu-cam" is largely responsible for this. (It follows Mario and lets the player view the true 3D action from almost any third-person angle - including up, down, and all around.) And what a world we have here.Mushroom Castle is vast, with chambers sealed by doors requiring certain amounts of Star Power to open. Initially, only a few rooms are accessible to Mario. Inside these opening rooms, and scattered throughout the various realms, are signs that explain the basic moves or relate helpful navigating hints. After these are perused, a simple jump into a painting teleports Mario into a new world filled with dangers, puzzles, and stars to collect. Once in each new world, expect anything - the cosmos of Mario has a new look and feel, with vast, fully navigable mountainsides; castle strongholds; islands in the air; surreal, 3D moving-platform courses in underground chambers; walking bombs that trundle up and say boom; scary-looking eels that swim silently through wavering underwater environments; objects to climb, pick up, or throw; cannons to climb into; narrow suspension bridges to cross; and breathtaking, don't-look-down drops to avoid. One particularly psychedelic realm is accessed only when the player takes control of the camera and looks up at the castle's main hall ceiling. An artificial sun of sorts washes out the scene in a blaze of light. And when the blinding indoor sunburst clears...Mario is flying, looping, and banking through wide open skies occupied with clouds, rainbows, rings of spinning coins, and a handful of impossibly tall towers. It's a jaw-dropping scene straight out of REM sleep; a child's dream of flight in candy-colored polygons. Players may find themselves going back to this world again and again just because of its feel. It's that good.
Mario - who has apparently been spending a lot of time with the Russian Olympic team - is in new and top form. No longer content merely to run and jump, he sports a whole gaggle of new moves, including punch/kick combos, the aforementioned flying abilities, fairly graceful swimming techniques, a breakdancing-style foot-sweep, a running long jump, a somersaulting pound-the-ground attack, a wall-kick rebound that would make Jackie Chan proud, a belly-slide attack (reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies), and a truly spectacular standing double-gainer backflip - which wouldn't have been out of place in The Crow. Like I said earlier, I'm not the biggest fan of Mario the character, but the sheer range of his control options have made me at least a follower. As a side note: A nice gameplay touch is the thoughtful use of the versatile Nintendo gamepad. A very slight forward pressure on the controller lets Mario tiptoe oh-so-quietly forward - who knows who or what might be trying to sleep? And in Mario's universe, there are definitely some Whos and Whats that shouldn't be woken up until Mario's ready.
Everybody knows that somewhere in The Good Book of Games there's a common law stating that the play's the thing...but I'm going to commit a mortal sin here and tender a little heresy: Even beyond the sheer gameplay, the experience is the thing in Mario 64. With realms so vast and detailed, and yet so graphically
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Super Mario 64
The story, in a Koopa shell: Our hero, Mario, receives a note from Princess Toadstool inviting him to Toadstool Castle for a cake...but when he arrives, the castle is deserted and a nasty, disembodied voice tells him to get lost. Yes, Princess Toadstool has yet again gotten her royal keister in the sling, and the bad guy gang of Bowser, Boo, et al, have overrun (and apparently redecorated) Mushroom Castle - hanging a collection of magical, wobbly-membraned paintings/portals that portray scenes from the fantastic worlds to which they're connected. Via Mushroom Castle's enchanted murals, players will find vast alternate worlds: Snowing planes of slippery ice slopes; mist-shrouded lagoons containing sunken ships; archipelagos of airborne islands; haunted castles wrapped in perpetual midnight; and red, seething expanses of lava-flooded obstacles. These worlds are slowly filling with monsters, the Princess herself is missing, and only one man can set things right.
Now somebody out there is probably thinking, "Mario, again. Mama mia!"
The measure of a video game - one of them, rather, for they are legion - can be taken by the degree to which it provides an entertaining challenge, breaks new ground, and/or overcomes current designs, assumptions, and prejudices. If a game can best those that came before it in some way, that's good; if it can do this while offering a wholly new type of experience, that's great; and if it can so irresistibly draw a picky, opinionated, jaded game reviewer (like Yours Almost Always Perfectly Truly) into deep, emotional concern for the well-being of one dumpy little plumber, whom he never cared much for in the first place...well, that's revolutionary. Hard-core, demento gamers and media types knew it a year before its release, game deity Miyamoto-san certainly knew it as even as he designed it, and the collective mind of Nintendo (who essentially launched the Nintendo 64 platform around this title), knew it before anyone.
Mario 64, the prime product for the commercial maiden voyage of the Nintendo 64, puts the player into the magical world of Mario (where the streets are paved with gold stars) as never before. The engrossing, immersive cinematic viewpoint of the player-positionable "Lakitu-cam" is largely responsible for this. (It follows Mario and lets the player view the true 3D action from almost any third-person angle - including up, down, and all around.) And what a world we have here.Mushroom Castle is vast, with chambers sealed by doors requiring certain amounts of Star Power to open. Initially, only a few rooms are accessible to Mario. Inside these opening rooms, and scattered throughout the various realms, are signs that explain the basic moves or relate helpful navigating hints. After these are perused, a simple jump into a painting teleports Mario into a new world filled with dangers, puzzles, and stars to collect. Once in each new world, expect anything - the cosmos of Mario has a new look and feel, with vast, fully navigable mountainsides; castle strongholds; islands in the air; surreal, 3D moving-platform courses in underground chambers; walking bombs that trundle up and say boom; scary-looking eels that swim silently through wavering underwater environments; objects to climb, pick up, or throw; cannons to climb into; narrow suspension bridges to cross; and breathtaking, don't-look-down drops to avoid. One particularly psychedelic realm is accessed only when the player takes control of
Look in the Sky! a BIRD... a plane...No it's me Mario!!
Mario explores Princess Peach's castle and hunts for stars in a variety of differently theme stages. The castle is amazing as you find your self jumping in to different pictures. Each picture leading to a different world. You will need to collect 100 stars to save Princess Peach and 120 to clear everything. Find the last few stars prove the hardest. Special powers are granted to you as you find different caps that grant Flight, invincibility. The flight cap is hand down the best. The platform remains, even by today's harsh standards, a true masterpiece.
There are about 120 stars that Mario needs to collect in order to clear everything but he only needs 100 to save the princess. During his journey, he can put on different caps: a Metal Mario cap, a Flying Mario cap, and an Invisible Mario cap.
Mario 64 is easy consider one of the greatest games ever. The tired and boring 2D mechanics of old style Mario series was reborn in to the realm of 3d with absolute perfection. In this came Mario 64 for build on many aspects of the old style 2D games. This Game single Handed help define 3d games and brought Nintendo's Plumber mascot back in to the spot light for a new era of game play. What is Mario? Mario is fun.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A classic and a must own. Just don't expect it to rock your world anymore.
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Where to begin. Mario 64 was Nintendo's first attempt at moving any of their first-party series into the third dimension, and all things considered they did a fine job of it. Mario controls quite well and has an arsenal of different moves that help you get around the levels. The princess' castle acts like a hub for all the worlds and is full of Toads and locked doors. You'll wander the worlds and the castle looking for stars to unlock those doors and get to the Bowser battles to progress to different floors. Along the way you'll find hidden areas, three different power-up hats, and even a special cameo if you find all 120 stars. Yes, 120. If you want to find it all, you'll be at it for a while.
Okay, here's the deal. Playing this game today is very frustrating for me. I won't apologize for being spoiled by more modern 3rd person platformers with dual analog controls that let you freely move the camera. The camera in this game is your biggest enemy. The lakitu carrying it around apparently still thinks it's supposed to kill you. You can rotate it to preset angles and zoom out a bit or zoom in to look around, but too often there's a bit of precision jumping or a narrow bridge and it's impossible to line up the camera. To make it worse, the game will very likely automatically adjust the camera anyway, making all your struggles moot. To add to this, Mario isn't always the most responsive of characters. He'll jump exactly when you want him to, but whether or not he'll be facing the right direction is iffy. Attacking enemies can be a crapshoot as well since the camera won't always make it clear how far you are and most of Mario's attacks require you to be close to the enemy you're fighting.
Alright, here's the bottom line. I spent that last paragraph bashing the camera and some minor control issues, but this game is far from bad. It definitely hasn't aged well, but considering when it came out, it's a very good first attempt at 3D platforming from big N and earns its title as a classic of the genre. The first few levels are definitely fun and the music is as infectious as ever. Just know that the difficulty spikes as early as the 7th or 8th stage of 15 and THAT is when the camera and control issues will start to become glaring. Nonetheless, it's practically an unspoken rule that owning an N64 without this game is borderline blasphemy, so get it, play it, have fun with it, and leave it at that.
4/5 stars (yeah yeah, stars)
Excellent for its time and still rather fun today, but camera issues and minor control quirks add increasing frustration and rage as the game progresses. Still worth playing.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Super Mario 64 -- Classic Doesn't Get Any Better.
Super Mario 64 is a classic Nintendo 64 game that every serious N64 owner should own. My only regret is that I waited so long to buy it and had to buy it used off of ebay. This game is ranked in the top N64 games ever made. It is up there with 007 Goldeneye, Super Mario Kart, and Perfect Dark (and if you like killing zombies, Resident Evil 2, which I prefer, personally, on N64 rather than Playstation). Super Mario 64 continues the long legacy of great Mario games that Nintendo has put out over the course if its existence, staring with Super Mario Bros (NES), Super Mario Bros 2 (NES), Super Mario Bros 3 (NES), and Super Mario World (SNES). Super Mario 64 is truly a work of art and a classic example of Nintendo's ingenuity and revolutionary style of both gameplay and creativity. It is a must play for all generations to come. Frankly put, Super Mario 64 laid the foundation for all future Mario games (just as Super Mario Bros 1, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, and Super Mario World did for Super Mario 64). My only hope is that future gamers will not forsake games such as Super Mario 64 and the games that preceded it as not worth playing due to their age. To do this would be a great travesty. Before one enjoys the video games of the current era, one must have a healthy appreciation of the games that came before and that laid the foundation for future gaming. This foundation is that which the games of the current era are built on. In short, Super Mario 64 is an awesome game that is highly recommended and (like I stated earlier) a must own for anyone with a N64. Enjoy and GAME ON.