Review by bob742omb

"Great for any N64 collection"

Super Mario 64 was a different kind of game, something new to the Mario series. Instead of it being a "go to point A to point B" It featured a full 3D environment, giving players choices on which stages to do first in certain areas. Other Mario games in the future would follow in this concept, such as Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy. The game certainly isn't a masterpiece, but great in anyone's N64 collection.

Gameplay: 8/10

As mentioned earlier, this game gives players more freedom of how to progress in the game, instead of making players complete certain stages in order the entire game, similar to how the Mega Man games played out, which was certainly different for a Mario game.

The control of this game is quite good, the responsiveness of Mario during gameplay is astounding, as he follows your control spot-on. The issue, however, is the camera. Yes, the player can control the camera, but it isn't a fully-functional 3D camera. Instead, the camera moves at different zooms and angles, making it hard for the player to pinpoint jumps and to see what's ahead. Flying with Mario can be difficult as well, but will not prevent the player from progressing.

The objective of the game is to collect a certain amount of stars to progress in the game. Stars are much like tokens, and the player requires a certain amount in order to reach different areas that give access to more stages. Thankfully, the player does not need to collect all of the stars in order to reach the end of the game, as it would make the game much more difficult to complete and make collecting all the stars an unnecessary chore.

The difficulty of the game is really not that much. Some portions of the game are hard to get through, but nothing to write home about. The horrible camera can make certain parts of the game more difficult than they really are. The fights against Bowser are much too easy, and I feel that more could've been done to them. Each of the 3 fights have a little twist to them, but the objective is the same: throw Bowser against the spike balls around the platform to defeat him.

Killing common enemies is usually just as simple as stomping on them. Other ones, however, require different approaches, such as with Whomps, which must be "ground-pounded" on from behind when they begin their attack. Other enemies, such as Sparkys, can not be defeated, so the player must avoid them.

Story: 3/10

The game starts off with Mario receiving a letter from Peach, telling him to her castle for some cake. It is revealed later Bowser is at it again, and he has taken Princess Peach prisoner! Not all that original or exciting, as most of the other Mario games follow the same general story. The only twist is where he has hidden the Princess.

Graphics/Sound: 8/10

For its time, the graphics are good. The various stages in the game are detailed quite nicely, and it's amazing just how much the N64 can show on one screen. They didn't too a good job on the water, as the water's surface just looks like a bed sheet. Don't get me wrong, the underwater levels look excellent.

Mario himself looks just like... Mario. Nothing too special there, but they pulled off Bowser terribly. He doesn't look that menacing, and his face is just silly.

Animation for Mario is a bit off. In the way he runs, his legs move very quickly, but Mario doesn't move as quick as they do. The animation for other characters was pulled off great, except for Bowser. His animation style was awfully clunky, and more suited for a robot rather than the King of Koopas.

The music is amazing in this game, with plenty of catchy tunes and with great execution as well. You'd never hear this good of music on the NES, and possibly the SNES. I can't really describe specifically how good the music is, so I recommend that you listen to some from this game.

The sound effects are pulled of nicely. It's almost like how you would hear them in real life.

Playtime/Replayability: 4/10

Completing the story should not take too long, maybe a few hours. Collecting all of the stars, on the other hand, will take you a very long time. It's not worth it, all you get is a special sparkly jump and the ability to fly around the outside of Peach's castle. It could also make you never want to play the game again.

After collecting all of the stars in this game, I will never play this game again. Don't get me wrong, this is a great game, but after having to painstakingly collect every last one of them, I just can't play it again.

Final Recommendation:

This game is worth buying, as it introduced a new style of gameplay, and is great for any N64 game collection.

Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/12

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

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