Review by Ofisil

"Why Shigi? Why?"

Super Mario 64 is a Platform game developed by Nintendo. I like very much Nintendo, the Mario Series and Shigeru Miyamoto as a game designer, however my opinion isn't affected by these facts since I'm not and I will never be a fanboy who is obsessed with something only because of its name… long story short, I don't like the “Greatest Platform Game Of All Time”!!!

Story: N/A

Once again Princess Toadstool, (she'll remain Toadstool forever for me, I don't like the new Peach name), is kidnapped by Bowser… that's what happens when your castle is guarded by short talking mushroom wimps! Did you expect a different plot? Of course not, the plot here is forgettable and doesn't affect the gameplay.

Graphics: 7/10
Design: 6.5/10

One thing I loved in this game, (for about 2 hours), was the overall look of it. After years of playing Mario games in 2 dimensions we finally see the Mushroom Kingdom in all its 3D Glory. For one of the first N64 games it looks quite good. The models are quite simple without special effects and stuff like that but they look good due to the fact that the game looks like a cartoon, so everything is nice and simple and of course full of color. The entire gang of little critters and cute creatures from the Mario series are here and look great. The same goes for the levels, the grassland, lava land, desert land, snow land etc. It would be nice if there were some new worlds and not have the same areas again but… it's a Mario game. But like I've said this is one of the first N64 games many things are absent. Little or no lighting effects, only a few special effects and that's it, but that is nitpicking, the game looks quite good, don't worry about that.

Sound: 6.2/10
Music: 7/10

It's a Mario game and that is obvious from its music themes. Nice, happy tunes similar to classic Super Mario music. There are some completely new themes and some revised\remixed versions of the oldies. I can't say that I like the music of SM64 so much as I love the old ones but at least the music is not irritating and fits like a glove to the game. The sound effects are good too although the voice acting done for Mario gets a bit irritating after a while. Generally no complain from that section…

Gameplay: 5.5/10
Replay Value: 2/10

Lets see what's so revolutionary about this game. We have Mario in a 3D world, you move him everywhere you want with the analog stick. Mario is fast, moves easily and in all directions, SO??? First of all the level design sometimes doesn't let you enjoy that. There are a lot of levels after the first 4-5 that require careful and slow movement, because with the slightest wrong step you'll fall in lava or the void. And that's where the next problem comes, the camera. I know, I know, I know… it's an old game, etc, etc. But that doesn't mean that I will leave the problems the camera creates. First of all Mario moves in all directions but the camera doesn't rotate with him, something that means that when you turn back you can't see where you're going and secondly although you can manually rotate it most of the times the camera returns to its place or do whatever it wants.

The good thing in this game is the fact that it is one of the first truly 3D Platform games, unlike Crash Bandicoot where you where restricted to move in a straight line. Here you can go anywhere you want, but is that fun? First of all there aren't many things to do in the game, there isn't any true exploration like many classic games of the past with secrets in every corner. The objective in each stage is to collect some Stars. Each stage has more than one and each time you find one you unlock the next mission. Some Stars are obtained by killing the EXTREMELY easy bosses, some by searching around, some by finding all red 8 coins, some by doing some stuff like racing against a Koopa or a Penguin. As a concept that ok with me, but the overall design of the game makes the Star collecting a chore, a very boring one too! Oh, and guess what… that's all the game really offers! The challenge of finding all stars is actually the main game and I don't like it one bit.

-Many objectives per stage
-Good graphics, it feels as if you are in a cartoon
-Easy and responsive controls

-Boring after a while
-Collecting all Stars doesn't really add to the game
-Very easy bosses
-Very bad camera

Also Play:
Spyro The Dragon (Playstation)

Overall: 5.7/10

I'm not the typical hater that flames a game that he doesn't like or just because it is uber famous in order to sound cool and all! I'm usually quite harsh even with games that I like, so I'm not the typical fanboy either, so even though I've been playing Mario games all my life my honest opinion is that SM64 isn't a good game. Maybe it became popular due to the advertising, the Mario\N64 fanboys or because it was the right game for the right time. If in your country game rents aren't possible, avoid buying without trying it out from a friend or something.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/17/09

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

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