Review by WhatTheDeuce92

Reviewed: 03/26/07 | Updated: 12/10/12

The greatest game of all time returns on the Wii's Virtual Console

Ah, Super Mario 64, the memories. The game was originally released in 1996 on the Nintendo 64 as a launch title. A second version of the game was then released at the launch of the Nintendo DS in 2004. Now, 10 years after its Nintendo 64 release and two years after its Nintendo DS release, it is released on the next-generation system, the Nintendo Wii, as part of its Virtual Console. I've completely beaten each version of the game, and MANY times on the original Nintendo 64 version. Amazingly, to this day, the game still stands out as one of the greatest games of all time, if not the greatest, and it's just as fun as it was 10 years ago.

Story: 10
I will obviously be reviewing this game as an older game, because judging it as a new game is ridiculous. Back when this game was released, games didn't exactly have much of a story, as they are revolved around today. So, for its time when stories were just starting to become developed, this game's story was quite good. Princess Peach has been captured by Mario's arch-enemy, Bowser, along with all of the Power Stars concealed in Princess Peach's castle. Now, Mario must venture through the castle's walls and paintings to recover the Power Stars and eventually take down Bowser to save Princess Peach.

Gameplay: 10
Amazingly fun would be the two words to sum up the gameplay. In Super Mario 64, you must go around the castle collecting all 120 of the Power Stars. There's 15 worlds you can enter through paintings, walls, and other miscellaneous things, each with 7 Power Stars in each. That adds up to 105, which means that there is also 15 more Power Stars hidden around the castle for you to find. You collect these Power Stars by doing various things, such as collecting 100 coins, racing people, and many other fun things. All in all, it's fun and will keep you busy. Controlling Mario is very easy. You have certain obvious controls from past Mario games, such as jumping. However, there are new things that Mario can do, such as wall kicking, long jumping, and butt stomping. Since this is the first 3D Mario game, you also have control of the camera, which for its time was very well done, but of course over the last 10 years, it has advanced.

Graphics: 10
When Super Mario 64 was originally released, no games could compete with its graphics. Even today, the graphics still look amazing. In fact, Super Mario 64 on the Virtual Console has the best graphics of all three versions. The Nintendo 64 version had amazing graphics for its time, and the Nintendo DS version tried to make it look better, but in my opinion didn't. The Nintendo DS version's graphics looked slightly blocky, but hey, I'm not reviewing the Nintendo DS version, am I? The Virtual Console version took the graphics from the original version and made them look better. The worlds are in higher quality and look slightly more detailed.

Sounds: 10
If you've played the Nintendo 64 version(or even the DS version for that matter), you should remember the fun, cheerful music. Everything from the castle music to the final Bowser fight music sticks in my mind. Also, this was the first Mario game to feature the voices of Mario characters, even though it was only Mario and Peach who talked. Mario's voice is slightly annoying, but I think it suits him well.

Play Time/Replayability: 10
Getting 120 stars is no easy task. Even if you're someone like me who has played and beaten the game many times, it still takes a while to get all 120 stars. Still, somehow through all of the time it takes to beat the game, I still always find myself coming back for more. This game will last longer than many of the games on the Wii's Virtual Console, and the fun of playing it never stops.

Final Recommendation
Simply put, you must get this game. Replaying this game was one of the best feelings I've had since getting the Wii. A fairly lengthy game for 1000 Wii points, which is $10 in US money, is a very good bargain that you should take advantage of. There is very few games I would give a perfect score of 10/10 to, but this is an exception. This is probably my favorite game of all time, so I think you should get it now!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Super Mario 64 (US, 11/19/06)

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