Review by BlueInferno83

"Perfect"

When was the last time you went on a vacation? When was the last time you let your mind wander and you allowed yourself to break free of the everyday confines of life? When did you last have a chance to relax and see different sites? Just sit back and imagine this: You are traveling underwater, swimming towards an abandoned ship; you are walking across a desert, trying to keep the ghosts away from you; you are walking through a magical forest, attempting to unravel some of the mysteries of a strange kingdom, run by a tyrant; you are attempting to keep balance, knowing at any moment you could slip through the icy cracks and meet your demise. Welcome to Mario 64. It was my great pleasure to play this game. I can't think of anything I would have rather done in 9th-10th grade than sit back in the chair, grab a bowl of Cheetos and a coke, and play this game for hours. Mario 64 is a very special game. It takes a classic character, Mario, and throws him into an entirely different world. This isn't your traditional linear, 2D Mario game. This is the real world. With interactions between characters, stars to find, and puzzles to solve, if you want to play this one, you better get going. The princess is waiting to be saved.

What makes Mario 64 so special? I don't even know where to begin. I don't put the word ''flawless'' on many things. But I do believe this game is flawless. It was the first N64 game I purchased, and the one I played the most, right up until the day I sold the system. You travel through a multitude of different lands, exploring, using your mind to solve riddles and unlocking the key to saving the princess and preventing the Mushroom Kingdom from being thrown into disarray.

This game is very unique. You enter a castle, and jump into paintings (yes, jump into paintings) to travel to different levels. This is a different concept than any that I have ever seen. I love this refreshing makeover that Mario games over went. It all started with Super Mario 64. This game was the first of the Mario series to feature the type of game play shown in the modern games. Super Mario 64 combines the best of both worlds, employing action-RPG with the Mario feel.

Let me just say a word about the graphics -- wow! The graphics in this game are astounding. I could see this game coming out for Gamecube, and the graphics being just as acceptable. The backgrounds and the characters are beautifully illustrated and you can tell a lot of work and detail went into making this game. Remember the cartoon of Mario? Well, I think this game came the closest to recapturing the feel that I had from watching that show. The characters are masterfully recreated, right down to the smallest detail.

The music and sound affects in this game are mind-blowing. I enjoyed this game on a number of levels, but the music added a great feeling of enjoyment to the game. Would this game have been as great without this soundtrack? Yes, probably. But it does not matter. The music had a Mario series feel, but was kicked up several notches. I absolutely loved it.

The truly unique ''cap'' system really had me impressed as well. You could wear caps to make yourself solid and to fly. There was another one too, but I forgot what it was. :P Instead of doing a boring, traditional item use option, they have blocks where you can fly or become solid if you contain the cap.

This game is very long and challenging. It is not for beginner game players. I think just about everyone (myself included) will need the assistance of a game Manuel or a walk through in order to complete this masterpiece. This game provides the player with their money's worth, I can definitely tell you that. There is non-stop action, puzzles, and just a whole lot of fun. Who would have thought that we would arrive at such a spectacular game when Mario started out knocking bricks with his head and unclogging pipes.

In Mario 64, there is a life meter instead of just the traditional mushroom making Mario taller and stronger. It is similar to that of Mario II. This is another vast improvement of the game. It is much easier to play and not get frustrated over getting killed in one shot.

Before I wrap this up, I want to comment on the face stretching exercise in the beginning. That was the funniest thing I had ever seen! I spent so much time on stretching his face alone. What were they thinking when they created that? Did the creators get into the magic mushrooms? I don't know, but I won't complain. That opening segment to Super Mario 64 became classic...well, in my easily amused mind, anyway.

Here is what it all boils down to: Super Mario 64 is a classic. Some consider it to be the best Mario game out of the entire series. I would have to say that I am one of those people. I believe this game broke new ground in gaming, not only in the Mario series, but also in other games of the era. It is easy to become deeply entranced within the story and keep your mind focused on the goals set out for you. It allows the player to play a game solely for the fun of it. This game is fun, as well as challenging, so it provides hours and hours of pleasure. This game is not in danger of dying down any time soon. It is one of the greatest games ever made, in my humble opinion.

That wraps it up for me. Would I recommend anyone to play this? Well, if I have to answer that, then obviously you haven't read the review carefully. So find a copy of this game and go play it...NOW! And be sure to thank me when you're having one of the best gaming experiences of your life.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/04


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