Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #22 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one of the most popular and famed games of not only the 90s but of all time. It is a classic game for the Nintendo 64 and is probably the most well-known Mario game along with Mario 3 and Mario World, I am of course talking about Super Mario 64!
Super Mario 64 was a platform game released in 2000 for the N64 and was the first game in the Mario series to go 3D. In doing so the game adopted a more open-ended style of gameplay instead the liner style that was part of the 2D games. This allowed for exploration and more varied gameplay and to accompany this new dimension of gameplay there was a camera system put in place to follow Mario that could be controlled and adjusted to fit any given situation.
Super Mario 64 is a 3D platformer where you take control of Mario and travel through several courses in different worlds. Each course is an enclosed world in which you’re is free to wander in all directions and the worlds are filled with enemies that attack Mario as well as friendly creatures that provide assistance, offer information, or ask a favor. The aim of the game is to collect stars and you do this by collecting stars in each course; some stars only appear after completing certain tasks, often hinted at by the name of the course. These challenges include defeating a boss, solving puzzles, racing an opponent, and gathering coins. As more stars are collected, more areas of the castle hub world become accessible. You unlock doors in the castle with keys obtained by defeating Bowser in special courses. There’s also many hidden mini-courses and other secrets to find, most containing extra stars needed to complete the game entirely.
Some courses have special cap power-ups which give Mario special abilities. The Wing Cap allows Mario to fly; the Metal Cap makes him immune to most damage, allows him to withstand wind, walk underwater, and be unaffected by noxious gases; and the Vanish Cap renders him partially immaterial and allows him to walk through some obstacles such as wire mesh, as well as granting invulnerability to some forms of damage. Some courses contain cannons that Mario can access by speaking to a pink Bob-omb Buddy. After entering a cannon, Mario can be shot out to reach distant places. When the player has the Wing Cap equipped, cannons can be used to reach high altitudes or fly across most levels quickly.
In this game Mario’s physical abilities are on a much higher level. This time round you can make Mario walk, run, jump, crouch, crawl, swim, climb, kick, or punch using the game controller’s analog stick and buttons. Special jumps can be executed by combining a regular jump with other actions, including the double and triple jumps, long jump and backflip. Another new move would wall jumping which is jumping from one wall to another very quickly to reach areas that are too high to get to normally. You can also pick up and carry certain items, an ability which is used to solve various puzzles, and swim underwater at various speeds. Mario’s life energy slowly diminishes while underwater, representing how long he can hold his breath.
Super Mario 64, what can be said about the game that hasn’t been said already. It’s legendary and loved by many. I didn’t own this game on my N64 but I did play it my friend’s house a lot. I remember the game very vividly in my mind. The introduction to the game with the music and seeing Mario jump out of that pipe in 3D was pretty badass. If I wasn’t playing in specific levels I’d just be jumping around the castle trying to explore or drowning Mario in the moat (I’m so nice haha). When I did attempt to play actual levels my level success varied between good and downright terrible. The earlier levels I fared a lot better in simply because they were easier but when it came to the later levels and boss encounters I sucked. As I’ve said before in previous blog posts I was never the smarted kid so when it came to strategy-based gameplay I was very slow and would normally die before figuring it out. Add to that the fact in platforming games my timing and jumping was never too good so it led to a lot of stupid defeats. I guess that’s why I never played this game for too long and would just stick to the stuff I knew how to do.
One my favourite missions, I love trying to take the kid away and watching the mother penguin chase after me haha.
Even though I wasn’t very good at this game I still have fond memories of Mario 64. It was a great-looking game for its time and sported some nice and colourful graphics and took all the basic stuff from Mario’s 2D games and gave them a fitting 3D upgrade. The music was also very good with so many memorable tunes and jingle, I’ve always loved the main theme from this game, it’s so great and catchy! My favourite world was Cool, Cool Mountain because I love most snow-based levels in games plus the missions here were great especially the one where you had to deliver a baby penguin to its mother or the one where you slid down a massive slope on your ass trying to reach the finish before the time ran out.
So in conclusion Super Mario 64 was one of the best games I had the fortune of playing during its initial release. It was certainly a massive change converting from 2D Mario to 3D Mario, luckily the gameplay and presentation was up to par. While the game hasn’t aged too well because of it’s now stiff controls and questionable camera I’d say try it out if you want to see why Mario is good these days. It’s all thanks to this game! 😀
Well there’s another game review done only 8 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀