Review by ShadowGuardian9

Reviewed: 12/13/06

I knew I recognized this game!

Nintendo’s Mario has been one of the most famous video game personalities in history. Appearing back in Donkey Kong, he wasn’t a huge name, but after Super Mario Bros. hit the NES, Mario’s career and legacy skyrocketed. After multiple sequels on both consoles and handhelds, Nintendo was ready to take their mascot into a whole new dimension. Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 was Nintendo’s opportunity to try new ideas and bring Mario into full 3-D. Marveled as the beginning of modern-day 3-D platformer games, Super Mario 64 was quickly a top seller and legendary game. After a few console cycles and sequels, Nintendo’s ready to bring one of their most treasured heroes back to his roots with the return of Super Mario 64, now downloadable for the Wii.

Mario’s journey begins upon the plumber’s exploration of Princess Peach’s castle, which has been taken control of by the Koopa King Bowser. By exploring the many worlds of the game, Mario must collect the Stars that allow him to explore the castle and rescue the princess. Before Super Mario 64, Mario’s abilities were rather limited. In this game, though, Mario’s simple jumps are much more elaborate. Running with the Control Stick or jumping with the A button is simple, but Mario can reach new areas by timing jumps correctly or inputting button combinations. Mario became a much more talented character, as his acrobatic attacks and spins showed how much fun exploring the tremendous worlds can be.

The game cannot be played without either a Classic Controller or a Gamecube controller, which may set some gamers back on cash, but if you possess either one, controlling Mario is pretty simple. Being the father of modern-day 3-D platforming, Super Mario 64's camera set it apart, where exploring the areas became more important than simply running and jumping. The camera can be a problem, though. The original N64 controller didn’t use an analog stick for camera control (it only used four C buttons) so the camera doesn’t go 360 degrees. It only goes in small increments. A tap of the C-Stick on the Gamecube controller or right analog stick on the Classic Controller will only push the camera so far. This can be frustrating to anyone who has played platformers on any of the dual-analog controller consoles, but catching on isn’t too difficult. Running from a stop is a bit cumbersome, but the controls are still easy to control, and soon enough, jumping, climbing, and flying is simple.

As far as all the other classic games for the Wii go, Super Mario 64 is quite affordable. At only 1000 Wii Points ($10) you get one of the most legendary and fun games for the N64. You could always buy the Super Mario 64 DS game (which does get some better graphics, minigames, and new controls) or play the game on a Nintendo 64 console, but these ideas are a bit more pricey. Super Mario 64 is an incredibly affordable game, and being that it’s incredibly fun to play, you really can’t go wrong.

+ A port of a groundbreaking platformer
+ Playable with both Gamecube and Classic Controllers
+ Pretty cheap

- Semi-stationary camera can be frustrating
- Not compatible with Wii Remote

Super Mario 64 was an amazing game on the N64, bringing 3-D platforming into a brilliant light and outside of a few emulation problems, the game holds up quite well. The wondrous and huge worlds keep their challenge and uniqueness, with the differences in each of the worlds being a welcome remembrance. Controlling Mario is good, although the C-Button camera can be frustrating. But considering how great the original was (and how affordable the Wii game is) it’s quite difficult to not recommend this game. The legendary platformer hasn’t lost much of its charm, making this a prime reason to check out the Wii Shop. At a mere $10 for this groundbreaking title, what is there to lose? Super Mario 64 keeps nearly all of its original glory as a landmark title, and is definitely worth buying.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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