Friday, October 24, 2008

Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64





2D side-scrolling plat-forms are classic gaming. Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even Shatterhand are hallmarks on how plat-forming should be done on the second dimension. However, when the Nintendo 64 and Playstation came out with its ability to form 3D characters and levels, what would happen to characters that made fame being two-dimensional? Some made the jump very horribly, like Earthworm Jim and Bubsy. Then again, Bubsy wasn’t that great to begin with. The only game that comes to people’s minds on how to jump to the 3D is Super Mario 64. So, is this a hallmark in gaming history? Or is it just a joke?

The story is basic Mario. The princess invites Mario over to her castle to eat some cake that she made. After getting to the castle, Mario sadly finds out that Bowser has taken over the castle, and has taken all the stars and hid them in the paintings inside the castle. It is up to Mario to go through the paintings, get all the stars, and beat Bowser to save Peach. It’s basic storytelling where the heroic knight needs to save the princess who is captured by the dragon. So, a knight wears blue overalls?

The game is in the form of what else, a 3D plat-forming game, where you control the plump and short Mario as you go across huge lands and get the golden stars back from Bowser. The challenges are always different, and are just a blast to play through, though some of them might enrage you for a bit. You do get multiple things to help you out, like cannons, a sea monster, and power-ups in the form of hats. The first power-up is maybe the most memorable, the flying cap, where you can fly around the level for a limited amount of time after jumping 3 times. The second power-up is the metal cap, where you can turn into Metal Mario and become super heavy to get into deep abysses and be invincible. The final power-up is the invisible cap, where you can go through certain walls and, well, be invisible.

The levels in the game are tremendous, even though you only collect ten stars in each level, and they are all in one level. It keeps it interesting and fun to play, to see if you can get all 10 stars. There are also secret levels to find, which are also tricky, yet fun to play. For the time, the graphics were amazing, and they still hold a charm that can never be taken away. I know some people in my class say it’s a bad game because the graphics were bad, and they just doesn’t know what they are talking about. The music is also fun to listen to, and is full of calming themes, but there are also its lively themes, which are heard through most of the levels. Let’s just say Mario 64 has a great soundtrack. This whole game has the charm of the old 8-bit Super Mario Brothers game, where it has a timeless look and will never get old.

Even though this is just a game that rules all around, there are some edges that just aren’t that smooth. Now, this is just a small gripe, but for most 3D plat-formers of today and old, they seem to suffer from awkward camera control. It’s not horrible, but it does get a little weird in some places. The next thing is how hard the wall-jumping can be. It seems like with the camera control, it’s always hard to wall-jump up to large areas, or jump from a high plat form to a plat form, which is lower down.

All and all, this is just a super wonderful game. There isn’t much you can say about what’s bad about it. It’s almost a flawless game, and is always highly recommended for a purchase for the Wii Virtual Console, or if you are getting a Nintendo 64. Mario will always be one of the best franchises in history.


This game gets a 9 out of 10.

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