Review by Dranis

"Mario’s debut on the N64 was very good and fun!"

This is Mario’s first game on the N64. It’s a pretty fun game overall. However it isn’t close to being a really great game.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics look really nice especially for a first generation game for the N64. Mario’s movements look great, especially his different jumps. The enemies look like how traditional Mario game enemies are supposed to look like. The background and environments in some areas don’t look that good though. The camera is also great for providing different kinds of views. Although sometimes the camera may shift into a bad view it can be easily corrected.

Music/Sound: 7/10
The music in this game is what you would expect from any Mario game. However, although some of the tunes are nice others aren’t really that good. The classic Mario theme is still a classic though. I enjoyed most of the music. The sounds that Mario make when he does certain actions or something happens to him are good though and then there is Bowser’s evil laugh. The sounds used are mainly cartoon-like, which are expected from a Mario game.

Play Control: 8/10
The play control is all right but it takes a while to get used to it but shouldn’t take too long and after getting used to it the controls should feel nicely. There are different jumps to execute and some of them will be really easy to execute while others may take some practice to get used to. Also some players may find themselves running Mario off the edge when they are running in somewhat small areas with no walls to block them but of course that’s where walking or crawling comes in. The camera controls are easy to learn and mostly intuitive to use in certain situations

Story: 2/10
It’s the same old story from the Mario series again. However the Mario series have never been known to make good stories anyway. Although they can use the traditional Mario story again since its tradition, they should add some more twists to the story since the story is getting very boring. But oh well… Mario’s all about gameplay anyway.

Gameplay: 10/10
The game itself is fun and the strongest point in the game. This is a platformer like the old Mario games only this time in 3-D. This game contains revolutionary 3D platforming gameplay as well as a great camera system. You have to go through different stages in order to obtain stars and certain areas can only be accessed when the player obtains a certain number of stars. There are hints to help hint you towards obtaining the star. You can perform different jumps in order to help you through the game. Also there are other fun things to do other than running and jumping through the stages. There are also caps, which you can only obtain by hitting a switch to fill in the matching blocks, which gives you a certain power. However, I still prefer the old power ups of the Mario games for NES and SNES but hey… doesn’t hurt to do something new once in a while so I don’t really mind. But swimming does get really annoying since it’s really slow and some players may get frustrated due to the size of the level that they have to swim around to find the star but it doesn’t take away much from the fun that can be had from this game. The challenge in order to beat the game normally is pretty low. The real challenge is trying to find all 120 stars in the game, which is pretty hard. Overall the gameplay is really good and had very few flaws.

Replay Value: 9/10
The only replay value is trying to get 120 stars. After that there isn’t really anything left to do and people may not want to replay some of the stages in the game. There are some parts that people may want to replay though since this game is really fun. People who want to strive for 120 stars may also play a while. It is fun to go through and try to find and collect all the stars and I know I enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall: 10/10
This game is really fun and changing it to 3D doesn’t lower the fun factor in the series by much. The story didn’t affect my rating much since the Mario series weren’t meant to have much of a story anyway. The old Mario games were more fun though in my opinion but Mario 64 is nevertheless, greatness. Also after finding 120 stars you’re pretty much done with the game but it’s still fun to fool around or play the stages again. Overall this game does deserve its score mainly because of its great gameplay.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/28/01, Updated 06/11/01

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