Review by DarkECOJak
"Nothing Wrong With Kickin' It Old School"
It may be old, it may be outdated, and it's graphics are now looked upon as "blocky". But that doesn't keep it from being one of my favorite games of all time. Nintendo's mascot is one of the earliest hero figures I remember from my childhood of plopping myself down in front of the T.V. and making him run through each level. When I first found out that Super Mario 64 was being released with the highly anticipated N64 system, mine and everybody else's fanboy dreams came true. I'm not scared to admit it, I love Nintendo! In my eyes, no other game has stood the test of time as well as Mario 64. You'll soon find out why.
In the late 90's Nintendo released this game with high hopes, and it delivered accordingly. Moving Mario from his old 2 dimensional roots to a brand new 3D world was an astounding achievement to everyone who first picked up the N64's oddly-shaped controller. Watching Mario moving around the screen in every direction meant 2 things: we were in for a great platformer, and they finally did a 3D game right after all these years.
Mario arrives at Princess Peach's (Toadstool for the old schoolers) castle after receiving a letter to come and share the cake she baked for him. Not the most exciting story, I admit, but upon entering the castle, Mario learns that Bowser is once again involved. He's kidnapped Peach and stolen the castle's power stars and given them to his troops inside the castle walls, which Mario can enter via paintings hanging in different rooms to access different worlds. Inside, Mario must overcome the challenges in each level to collect the stars and put Bowser's ass in it's place. The further you get, the more of the castle opens up for you to explore.
The whole game is based around you collecting the stars, but as you progress, the levels get more challenging and attaining the stars becomes harder to do. Luckily, Mario has an arsenal of different moves at his disposal. Not unlike his previous adventures, jumping is crucial to the gameplay. Jump three times for a high-flying triple jump to reach obstacles you couldn't before. Anyone who's played Super Mario Sunshine knows about wall jumps, but new to the series (at the time) was the ability to kick, punch, and even what appears to be a breakdancing sort of move. The levels were some of the best animated environments for it's time. Mixing the old Mario feel with the proverbial snow, water, and hot magma levels that are so frequent in games these days. Even the old baddies we all love have returned, like the Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and my personal favorite, Chain Chomp!
With all due respect, anyone who hasn't played this game can't truly be considered a gamer, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. All I have to say is that anyone who has played Mario 64 knows the very best part, SWINGING BOWSER BY THE TAIL! For the first time ever, Mario could grab the gigantic lizard, swing his ass around and aim for one of the four bombs on the side of the stage. Such a gratifying feeling. Veterans will remember the much talked-about quote Mario says as he throws Bowser which sounded more inappropriate the more you heard it.
It's been many years later now, and Super Mario 64 DS hit store shelves a while back. I suggest picking up a copy if you've never played the original. It's essentially the same, except certain objectives have changed, and of course, you get to play as Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi. So any way you look at it, Mario fan or not, this game is excellent. With great music, awesome visuals, (again, for it's time) and memorable gameplay, Super Mario 64 still remains one of my favorite games of all time. I guess I'll always be a Nintendo Fanboy at heart.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/18/08
Game Release: Super Mario 64 (US, 09/26/96)
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