Review by VeryInsane

Reviewed: 02/09/09

A Truly Breathtaking Experience that you will remember forever.

It is the year 1996. It has been 5 years since the release of the last true Mario Game, Super Mario World. Super Mario 64 tested the unknown with it's 3D Gameplay. It also provided a question: Is 3D the way to go for gaming? Although there were plenty of 3D Games at the time, none of them were as groundbreaking as when Super Mario 64 itself was at the time.

The graphics, while they are nowhere near as good as they were initially, are still very bright and colorful. Bowser is still a sight to be seen even to this very day, almost 13 years later. The only flaw was, like all 3D Games, it was a little bit blocky. But that one mistake is easy to overlook once you realize that almost every other game at the time was blocky as well. However, there are few mistakes that exist with the graphics, they do what they are supposed to do. Mario had always been known to try to push a console to it's very limits, and this was clearly no exception, despite the fact that it was released the very same day as the console itself.

The story is as simple as possible. Princess Peach has baked a cake for Mario and decided to celebrate his victories. However, it was really a trick as Bowser has imprisoned Peach in the castle and hid all of the 120 stars in paintings. Mario must collect all the stars, and, like every other Mario game, rescue the princess. No Mario game is known for their story, so this could be easily overlooked.

The Sound is one of the things that makes the game. Although there are no known songs that were played in any other Mario Games (Aside from a few remixed levels from the original Super Mario Bros.), this game has some of the more memorable and well-known in the entire series. Almost everyone could remember the music from when you first step into Peach's castle, the one where you are in the Rainbow Cruise, and even when you first face Bowser. This music still provides a powerful effect.

Although everything that has been mentioned in this review is a key reason why this is a great game, it is nothing compared to the gameplay. The old 2D Mario games, how on earth will they work in 3D? Well, they executed it perfectly. They focused on providing free roaming camera, slick and easy to master controls, and just pure and absolute fun. There are quite a few stars that remain a challenge to get the full 120 even if you are a pro at Mario. While it isn't as hard as some of the others in the series, I would say that it is probably in the middle of the series when it comes to difficulty. This is one of the first games to ever use an analog stick. And it became just as instrumental to Mario's success as the D-Pad. The Camera is an easy to use, easy to control in case you have trouble. The gameplay will move from slow and explorative to fast and frantic in a heartbeat if you do not pay attention. Collecting stars is one of the key things that you need to do in the game. Once you collect enough, you can go to brand new places. This inspired plenty of other games that tried to copy it's success in the late 90s, such as Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie. However, the only person to ever be able to capture flawless gameplay so perfectly is the Italian Plumber himself.

I personally believe this one of the greatest games I have ever played, so much so that I have played it countless times when it first came out. This is a definite buy in any way you could find it. So, please do yourself a favor, and buy a true masterpiece.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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

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