Review by Yakuza

Reviewed: 03/16/01 | Updated: 03/16/01

Innovative and popular among most players, but is it really that fun to play?

Yakuza’s review to the Nintendo 64 game Super Mario 64. The game was made by Nintendo, probably the most known gaming company in the world. And of course Mario (more famous than any other tv-gaming character, I guess) is the hero.

I don’t really enjoy SM64 (now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it!) and since I don’t like it so much the review is of course not going to praise the game. I know a lot of you out there will disagree with me (some of you’ll even hate me after this :) and still think SM64 is still the same great game as you thought even after you read my review, but this is how I think. Super Mario 64 obviously have a lot of fans out there, but I’m not one of them. Oh well, I hope we can be friends anyway, at least we’re all gamers, right? Peace!

Many people have told me that my previous review (Sunshine’s) was not so good (not only you Kontrix :) Actually one of the worse they’ve seen and unfair. Right, I agree with you, it was not so well written etc, but I still think it wasn’t unfair. From everywhere, I hear fans of SM64 saying it’s one of the best games ever. Personally, I think this game is overrated. Actually, I think it’s the worst game in the Mario serie ever. I’m serious, SMB 1 is better! I can’t imagine why so much hype was wasted to this game! I’m going to be as fair as possible when I review this game, trying to see it from every angle of advantages/disadvantages etc. Please read the full review so you understand what I mean.

Super Mario 64 was done by Nintendo for their new system back then (Nintendo 64), that was released a year later than the playstation console. The game was the first with Mario as the main man in a 3D graphic gameplay, so it was really something different. So everyone was wondering how it would do in 3D perspective instead of 2D, and immediately the world started the hype for it as soon as the first facts and statistics about the game started to leak from sources of the company. Everyone was interested in it, and no one could avoid the hype that was everywhere. At last, in 1996, Nintendo finished it and let it out. And most people were satisified.

Now, why am I so negative to this game then? Well, here’re the catagories (hopefully explaining my thoughts.

”Dear Mario, please come to the castle. I’ve baked for you/Princess Toadstool-Peach” is the first line you read. Mario dresses real quick and runs away for the party. When he enters the castle, he hears a dark voice laughing at him. He spots Toad (the humble servant of the realm) and asks him about what’s going on. Toad tells him that Koopa invaded the castle and as always he’s kidnapped the princess. As Mario, you have to defeat Koopa, rescue the princess and restore peace to the land. It’s the same story as 10 years back. Still it’s okay, at least I’m not sick of it yet... :P

Oh well, the storyline is not SM64’s strength since it’s a regular platform game. So I guess it doesn’t really matter. (I won’t consider this catagory in the overall score).

Score storyline: 7.5/10

Ok, I must say the graphics are good, but not superb. There are a few other games for the Nintendo 64 that’s better (like Zelda, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong racing and a few others). But I’m not going to take away the credit for SM64, the graphics fine. Considering that the game was made 1996, this is kinda amazing. Big and sometimes huge enemies/bosses, with the classic animations. Fitting colors (the different levels are all very nice animated), decent backgrounds for all stages, etc. There are no real special effects but oh well, they’re not needed anyway for a game like this. Even if the graphic’s not as amazing as 5 years ago, it’s good and not many games reach up to this standard. Good work, Nintendo!

Score Graphic: 8.8/10

Hm...updated music of the old classic themes, with some quicker beats etc. Now, some people may think this is just an advantage (keeping the old songs) and some might see it as a disadvantage. Myself, I’d rather have seen they’d skipped the old songs and made a new soundtrack. Ok, that’s a lot to ask for, but some new innovative music wouldn’t have been wrong. I mean, everyone have heard those classic themes before and the risk is that you get tired of them. It’s difficult to say what kind of music it would have been (hard to find any music that’d fit for the mario series) but overall, I don’t think Nintendo won something of keeping the old songs left. Oh well, if you still enjoy listen to the same songs again (which I doubt) I guess you’ll think it’s okay, but I don’t like it. The sound is ok, with a few minor disadvantages, like the ridiculous sounds and noises Mario makes when he’s getting burned, about to fall down from a platform, aiming for a long jump, or whatever. Someone maybe just think’s that’s fun, but I don’t. The sound while knocking enemies down are quite cool though, and most of the noises are okay. But I don’t enjoy the music.

Score music/sound: 6.2/10

As SM64 was the first Nintendo project for the N64, they introduced the new control pad that could move 360 degrees, so in fact you can move Mario any way you like. The control is innovative, cool and fine, but on the other hand sometimes it’s a bit difficult to move as you want, running over bridges and gaps could be annoying since you fall down sometimes. But oh well, you can live with that. I’d like to give Nintendo credit for their ingeniuty and smart ideas, it’s not easy to bring over a 2D series format to a 3D but they suceeded quite well. I like the freedom that’s in the game; you can move as you want and do many kinda moves. Nope, there are no problem with the controls and maybe that’s SM64’s strength.

Score control: 9.1/10

The game is not so hard to beat, but to pick all stars is really difficult. Try that out and you will be stuck in front of the tv and you’re in for a ride. But I don’t see the fun in looking for stars that is not needed. I’d never dream playing the game to get all the stars (even if I got 83 now). The game is based so that you first must find a star to break the seal on the next one, where you can get in and grab another one. When you have enough stars, you can open up the door and enter the next level of the castle. Keep doing this and finally you’ll come to Bowser. Not so varying, but it’s ok. To find all the stars, you have to be smart, skilled and maybe have some luck. But beating the game is not so difficult.

Score challenge: 7.7/10

SM64’s big weakness; it’s not fun to play (that’s what I think). Running around looking for stars is quite boring, and to get them sometimes could be very very frustating (for example when you try to fly to an Island with a canon, and you targeted wrong with a half inch.) The bosses are also boring, and the music makes it even more drag. There are just a few levels (about 15) that makes it not varying, and with just those levels to play, you will get bored. The only fun in the game is playing against Koopa at the end. I hate the snow-worlds and the water-worlds. Swimming around under the surface takes so long time and gliding on the ground is annoying). I know some of you enjoy playing SM64 out there(even if i can’t see why). Maybe I just don’t like the gaming type, but I don’t think that’s where the problem is.

Score gameplay: 2.2/10

(That’s right, I give it 2.2/10 in gameplay dudes! Hate me or not, but that’s my opinion).

For anyone that loves investigating games and find every little thing there is to discover, you’ll love this. Personally I just get tired. I haven’t replayed the game once after I beat it, and that’s a sign that I don’t think I’d enjoy replaying the game again. Since I haven’t replayed the game, I can’t be too hard, maybe it’s not that bad. I give it avarage score, with a little -.

Score replay: 6.4/10

Graphic and control makes the score a little bit higher. Don’t believe all the hype about this game if you ever start thinking about buying it. No, there are much better games out there. This game could have been better. I know, I’ve been comlaining a lot now, but I think a team like Nintendo with their main man Shigeru could have done a better game. This was supposed to be the best game for Nintendo 64, and that’s why so many bought it(like me.) No, Super Mario 64 is not a good game, how much I want to say that. I don’t really know why, but it’s not fun to play it. The basic plans to make a fun and easy platform-game as it was to the first game, has suddenly changed to a game ”good on the surface” with nice graphic and ”the incredible 360 degree movement pad” just to be a bad and drag game down to the core. Now you think I hate Nintendo and try to make them fools just because I got a playstation, but that’s not how it is. I love Nintendo and their games, especially the Super Nintendo with their great games. (Like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Lufia 2, Zelda 3, Breath of Fire 2, Final Fantasy 3, yeah the list could be done long.) But I must say I was disappointed.

Overall score: 5.8/10

TOTAL SCORE(score on a line between 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10): 6/10

One line synopsis: ”Innovative and popular among most players, but is it really that fun to play?”

Gameplay 2.2/10
Audio 5.3/10
Graphics 8.6/10
Controls 9.1/10
Story 7.5/10
Replay 6.4/10
Challenge 7.7/10
Overall 5.8/10
Total 6/10

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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