Review by k0nartist

"Video Game Innovation!"

Introduction
I will be reviewing the game Super Mario 64, one of the first games ever created for the Nintendo 64 platform. What one may describe as a major step towards video game innovation, Super Mario 64 is based around the cast of the most famous video game characters ever made, the Mario Bros. and Friends. Mario's beloved Princess Toadstool has been captured from him again (take a random guess who would do such a dastardly deed) by Bowser. In doing so, he placed over 100 stars randomly placed around the castle, and it is up to Mario to find them all and save his true love from the grips of the evil maniacal Bowser.

Gameplay
The creators of Super Mario 64 used a revolutionary technique in the style of gameplay, 3D third-person storytelling. The user is able to make Mario do an assortment of moves: from jumps (wall jumps, triple jumps), to riding turtle shells, to being blasted out of a cannon. This style of play is not only exciting, but very ''clean'' as well. The controls are easy enough to memorize, and the moves are simple enough to pull off, but not in a manner to affect the difficulty of the game. The creators did a very good job in that aspect, as well. The first few levels of the game will be easy enough that one can beat them without much difficulty, but still force them to learn some new tricks that they can use furthermore in the later stages of the game.
[rate: 10 / 10]

Story
Any avid gamer has the expectations that if the title has the word ''Mario'' on it, that is must be a good game with an interesting plot. And this one is no exception. Bowser has hidden a large majority of the stars in pictures throughout the castle. If Mario was to jump into the picture, he is whisked off into a magical land that is inhabited by all the usual Mario Bros. creatures: goombas, green turtles, red turtles, paratroopas, etc. You are forced to use Mario's tactics, moves, and special hats (refer to game guides for more info) to find the stars throughout the level. Though the levels aren't really entwined with one another, they all fit together in the fact that they are located in the castle. The creators of Super Mario 64 cooked up an excellent idea, and incorporated it into the game perfectly.
[rate: 10 / 10]

Graphics
The graphics for Super Mario 64 are unbelievable. I loved the colours they used. It gave the game a cartoon look to it, but were also very pleasant to look at. The textures used in each level were unique, but fit in perfectly with what the level was supposed to portrait. It gave the snow level a ''winter feel'' and the lava level a ''boiling feel'' even before I explored the level at all. The character's skins were excellently done. My visual interpretation of what Mario looks like was matched by what was produced in the game. The size of the characters was also proportionally done well to lead to what one would interpret from them. For example, when Bowser is first shown in the game, he is enormous. One might look at that as not being visually correct, that he should be smaller, but I felt that it added to affect at what one perceived when looking at him: almighty and powerful. Super Mario 64 deserves a pat on the back for its excellent graphics.
[rate: 10 / 10]

Sound
The sound was one of my favourite aspects of the game. The creators brought back some of the old sounds from previous Mario Games, such as the unforgettable opening tune in the original Mario game, and also added a lot of other new, catchy tunes. I just wish this game was remade so that the dialog was actually spoken by the characters, instead of having to read the text. This sort of takes away the excitement of plot build-up from younger gamers, who are too lazy to read all of it. Even with that, the sounds that were included in the game, such as Mario's ''Here We Go!'' phrase was just plain cute.
[rate: 9 / 10]

Play Time
To this day, I still haven't beaten the game, and it is almost five years later. Not that it is saying the game is too difficult (quite a lot of people have successfully beaten it), but I sort of lost interest in it after about 2 years of constant play. It is still a game though, that I would be willing to bring out and play against, because it is that enjoyable. Neat rumours that have gone around (like how if you climb the lavafall in the fire level you can become Luigi) add to the excitement of playing Super Mario 64.
[rate: 10 / 10]

Final Statement
Super Mario 64 is a game any gamer needs to have in his / her arsenal. It is part of video game revolution, and should be experienced by all. It gets my recommendations.
[FINAL RATE: 10 / 10]


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/22/03


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