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» NINTENDO 64 » HARDWARE » PS2 » PSOne » XBOX » GAMECUBE » HANDHELDS » SEGA
Jordan (TheGoat) Gauthier February 24, 2001 Review Feedback

Super Mario 64

 Latest Prices
$24.99 half.com (used)

As expected, Nintendo blasted into their latest console, the N64, with their “main man”, the king himself: Mario. Fleeing from giant snowballs while fighting enemies simultaneously, flying through 3-D environments, and exploring the dangerous ocean floor is just a small portion of the gameplay throughout Super Mario 64, and as usual, Mario sets out to do the impossible.

And it starts like this…

 Software Specials
 
 Screenshots

 
Stats

Genre:
Arcade

Release Date:
Available

Publisher:
Nintendo

Developer:
Nintendo

ESRB:
Everyone

System:
Nintendo 64


The journey begins when Mario visits one of his old friends, Princess. When he arrives at Princess’s castle, Mario discovers that the sinister and vile Bowser has kidnapped her - once again. Attempting to save this “damsel in distress”, Mario has to leap through paintings on the wall, which leads to a variety of different eye-popping and twisted worlds in search of the 120 power stars. Gathering the power stars can lead to other treks throughout the castle’s amazing thirty levels. Some daunting adventures in these worlds include: attempting to mount an ancient and colossal pyramid while dodging hair-raising twisters; racing one of your old buddies Koopa Troopa up to the top of a gigantic mountain trying to beat him to one of the power stars; and searching for sunken treasure within one of Bowser’s pirate ships.

What is that?

During your perilous travels, you can discover meritorious and worthwhile items such as Mario caps -these will give you a special ability for a limited amount of time, varying from his metal cap, flying cap, invisible cap to caps that give you access to the games’ secret areas. Take it from me, there is nothing like soaring through the air with the flying cap!

Well, it beats 2-d

You can see how large a leap Mario took from the SNES to the N64. The scenery in particular is an obvious starting point, with some fairly realistic light sources not seen in earlier examples of the series. This game doesn’t just consist of a flat landscape. The fact that stages are complex with cliffs, hills, bridges, water and, of course, enemies just adds to the enjoyment. However, the one thing that kind of annoys me about this game is that most of the structures and characters are made entirely of polygons. I understand that this game was a launch release title but I had hoped that Nintendo would be able to get past your conventional “block-graphic” games - to my disappointment the game is somewhat like a math lesson in geometry.

He can do what now? Mario’s actions and control add to the game’s edge. Sporting his ubiquitous red plumbing suit, Mario is able to perform several moves such as: giant leaps over lengthy areas, tip-toe over willowy bridges, back flip over enemies, double-jump his way up cliffs, and crawl, like a baby, over slippery ridges. While I wasn’t able to engulf my opponents in flames, I was still able to execute a couple of different attacks including your typical punching, kicking, and jump kicking or stomping on your foes. All of Mario’s movements are done with style, grace and are graphically solid. Mario’s moves have changed drastically, shifting from just trampling on your adversaries to a full-out assault. While I was able to jump all over the map, if Mario landed on the edge of something, an error would occur. For example, I jumped from a floating platform to the edge of a floating staircase and Mario would go into this mode of constantly jumping up and down until he fell off. While this was happening, I was not able to do anything besides watch until he perished down below.

Are you telling me I’m not blind?

In many 3-D games, the gameplay becomes more of an annoyance than fun especially when it is not possible to make out what you are doing because of bad camera angles or just plain bad design. This is not the case for this particular game. The gamer has the ability to use Mario’s first person view and third person views. With the game’s controller setup, it is exceptionally easy to change views or carry out moves during the actual gameplay. With the simple touch of a button you are able to change the view to the left, right, up and down. Even though I was able to change the camera angles and views in a diversity of directions, I would occasionally be stuck in a spot because of a glitch in the views and I would be unable to catch sight of anything at all, just a black screen.

What’s in it for me?

Besides the fact that I wasn’t able to change the game’s difficulty level, the game has many levels, which increase in difficulty. The tasks change from flying through circles of coins to launching Bowser into gigantic spiked bombs. Nobody expects the real concept of Super Mario titles to change. The game unquestionably lives up to a Mario title and also has some extra bonuses, one of which is to meet Yoshi on top of the castle after collecting all the 120 power stars. What is the point of meeting Yoshi exactly? It might be the fact that he gives you 100 lives (no questions asked =0). Oh yeah, I forgot, when you enter the game you are capable of molding Mario’s face. Which is nice because everyone wants to mess up Mario…

Sounds check anyone?

I’m probably not the only the person who can recall the “great” music in previous Super Mario titles. It was exasperating and very repetitive. This game, music-wise, isn’t much better. There are only a couple variations of music throughout the game, which eventually becomes tiresome. However, I do credit the sound effects. There is a wide variety of different sounds, such as when Mario performs certain actions, when attacking enemies, etc.

In conclusion, Super Mario 64 is, all and all, a decent title. It gives more of that great adventure game experience fans have come to expect, it has fairly decent graphics, and the sound is o.k. I would recommend that if you plan on completing this game, you buy or borrow it from a friend because it can be very time consuming, especially if you are trying to collect all the stars and secrets.

Game Title Rating
Concept
Good gradual increase in difficulty, and good control.
80
Gameplay
Basically the same as other Super Mario titles.
70
Graphics
Too many “toy blocks” for me.
75
Sound
I’ve heard better, and lack of variety.
64
Technical
A couple glitches, nothing too bad.
84
Overall
Worthwhile to try if you are an adventure fan.
75




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