Review by Legendofmario18

"Fun 3-D Mario game. But where was the damn cake?"

Introduction: Super Mario 64 was released when I was only six years of age. I got this game when I was seven and I loved it. This game was the first ever 3-D game in the Mario series.

I will use a 1-10 scale in rating the game.

Story 5/10
The story was a little repetitive. Super Mario 64 begins with a letter from Princess Peach inviting Mario to come to her castle for a cake she has baked for him, however, when he arrives, Mario discovers that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the princess and her servants within it using the power of 105 of the castle's 120 Power Stars. Many of the castle's paintings are portals to other worlds, in which Bowser's minions keep watch over the stars. Mario searches the castle for these portals to enter the worlds and recover the stars. Ok, it was average, but the problem was it was the same old story line: Bowser kidnaps Peach, the Princess. Now this time he uses the power of the stars of her castle? Hmm... strange, but I've always been a person who will tell you: The story has no effect on my overall score.

Controls 3/10
Oh, they are lousy controls. You do several moves by jumping with A and B punches. Using the control stick is a pain in the butt because it makes it hard for Mario to perform some of the moves. You triple jump with the A button being pressed three times, and side jump by moving the stick to the side while jumping, which can be rather confusing. But what really killed the controls rating was the God awful camera. I hated the camera with the passion. Apparently, Lakitu is filming you, but he likes to move around carefree obviously. There are several times where you are trying to go ahead, but the camera will not cooperate. Bottom line: It sucks! Yes, it truly does. I hated the camera, which made the controls lousy. Which hurt the overall score a little....

Gameplay 9/10
This is the heart of the game. Super Mario 64 is a 3D platformer where the player controls Mario through several courses. Each course is an enclosed world in which the player is free to wander in all directions and discover the environment without time limits. The worlds are filled with enemies that attack Mario as well as friendly creatures that provide assistance, offer information, or ask a favor (such as pink "peace-loving" Bob-omb Buddies). The player gathers stars in each course; some stars only appear after completing certain tasks, often hinted at by the name of the course. These challenges include defeating a boss, solving puzzles, racing an opponent, and gathering coins. As more stars are collected, more areas of the castle become accessible. The player unlocks doors in the castle with keys obtained by defeating Bowser in special courses. Some courses have special cap power-ups which augment Mario's abilities. The Wing Cap allows Mario to fly; the Metal Cap makes him immune to most damage, allows him to withstand wind, walk underwater, and be unaffected by gases; and the Vanish Cap renders him partially immaterial and allows him to walk through some obstacles such as wire mesh, as well as granting invulnerability to some forms of damage. Some courses contain cannons that Mario can access by speaking to a pink Bob-omb Buddy. After entering a cannon, Mario can be shot out to reach distant places. When the player has the Wing Cap equipped, cannons can be used to reach high altitudes or fly across most levels quickly. There are many hidden secrets to the game, most containing extra stars needed to complete the game entirely. This is a very unique way to play a Mario game: For once, it wasn't level-by-level platforming. It was more of an exploration adventure type of game, which is why I gave it a high score.

Graphics 9/10
The graphics were sharp for the Nintendo 64. The land looks nice in 3/D and the enemies look amazing. Mario had a few flaws, a few too many polygons, and his hands looked fake, but they were still great. I personally thought Bowser looked a little too fat...and he looked a little goofy, lol. However, they were still great, but not perfect.

Sound 6/10
The sound was fair, just above average. I thought the music was decent, it was ok. I liked the tune throughout the castle, but they could have changed it a little more throughout the game. Maybe have a different tune for every room. Anyway, what hurt the score was the sound effects. They sounded goofy, and did not sound anything like a hero. In fact, when Mario would punch an enemy, it sounded like someone jumping on a trampoline. They did not match up with the action at all. Other then that, I thought the fights with Bowser had excellent music and sound, so it got the score from that.

Difficulty 5/10
Another somewhat weak point. The game was relatively easy: You only need 80 stars to fight the final version of Bowser. And to unlock the secrets, you only need 105 stars, so you really do not need all 120 stars at all. But getting all 120 stars is not that bad, there are a few tricky stars, but it's easier then it sounds. The stars begin having a pattern to them. It's not that bad, could have been more challenging.

Overall 7/10


-Something type of gameplay for the Mario series
-The final showdown with Bowser
-The graphics are nice.
-New use of the "cannon"
-Fun to play.


-The damn camera...
-There is no cake like Peach promised!
-The Penguin race!
-The last level...
-Chasing rabbits is no fun...

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/05/09

Game Release: Super Mario 64 (US, 09/26/96)

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