Review by ZGDK

""Even After 10 Years, STILL One of the Best Games Ever!""

Chances are if you're a Mario fan you've played Super Mario 64. In which case my review means nothing to you. But if you haven't touched this masterpiece yet read on.

Super Mario 64's story is General Mario fare. Peach is kidnapped by Bowser and Mario has to save her. That's it. This game doesn't need any fancy plot twists or jazz like that. It's a Mario game.

The gameplay is where this game truly shines. Your main objective is to collect the Power Stars scattered around Peach's castle to gain enough power to defeat the evil Bowser. However the game is very open-ended about this. Rather than force you to go from point A to point B in a linear fashion, 64 switches things up a bit by having several levels open to you at once. This makes it so you're free to explore on your own at a non-linear pace. And what a joy that exploration is. Running, jumping, swimming, and such are pulled off with ease and the game is plenty challenging, some levels require you to repeat over and over until the Star is yours. Each level provides you with a unique challenge, whether it is the twisted maze of Big Boo's Haunt, or the dangerous quicksand of Shifting Sand Land, Mario 64's levels never feel like clones of one another.

Along the way you'll be able to unlock three Power-Ups, the Wing Cap, Vanish Cap, and Metal Cap. The Wing Cap lets you fly around levels and is a joy to use, once you learn how to that is. The controls can feel very wonky when you first start playing and could've been spruced up. The Vanish Cap lets you turn invisible and walk through walls and if you're not careful fall to your doom. And the Metal Cap turns you into a block of metal. They're all fun to use, but what I hate is the time limit. Because of this you can't really screw around with the caps as much as you like. The developers could've figured out different ways to loose the Power-Ups rather than the time limit thing.

As I said earlier, the controls are a breeze. I've never been a fan of the N64's controller, but 64 manages somehow to make use of what you've got. The moves NEVER require complex button combinations. Ground Pounding, Long Jumping, etc. are all pulled off with the flick of a button.

I wish I could say the same for the camera. Super Mario 64's camera just doesn't cut it. Sometimes it can go wonky on you refusing to let you move it when you need to. However being the first of it's kind, it's kind of hard to bash it.

Visually this game set the standard for all Nintendo 64 games. And seeing how the game is now eleven years old it's amazing to see how well 3D graphics have come along and how well this game holds up. The colors literally burst off the screen and enemies always have that “I'm gonna' kill Mario” look on their face. In my opinion no N64 game came this close to achieving this level of graphical quality.

Like the graphics, the music is top-notch. Composed by Koji Kondo many classic sound effects sound just as great as they did in past games. And the music? Simply amazing. No song in a game has ever come close to match the quality of the credits music, the Bob-Omb Battlefield song, Cold Cold Mountain or Lethal Lava Land. The music fits the level you're in like the glass slipper fits Cinderella's foot.

THE VERDICT

Mario 64 is one of the best games of all time despite its flaws. It's amazing to see how well the game has held up over time and for that:

8/10-GREAT


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/07

Game Release: Super Mario 64 (US, 09/26/96)


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