Review by mighty mosquito

"But I really want to ride Yoshi around!"

Yes, it's the first game on the N64 ever, Super Mario 64!

Story (7)
Hehe! Funny! Princess Toadstool has invited Mario over to have some cake that she baked especially for him. When Mario enters the castle, guess what! His nemesis, Bowser has stolen all of the castle's power stars, and of course, the princess is nowhere to be found. Hmm, now where could she be? Anyway, your job is to recover all of the power stars and save the princess by defeating Bowser, King of the Koopas.

Gameplay (7)
Sorry, Yoshi fans, but you don't get to ride Yoshi around in this game. Yoshi's substitute is a Koopa shell which you can ride around on if you kill one of the various Koopas located throughout the game. Anyhow, when you start up the game, Mario's face will pop up and you can tinker around with Mario's facial features (example - give him a Pinocchio nose). Once you press start, you can lode a file and start playing :). There are 15 different courses to complete in this game (give or take) and each course contains 7 power stars. The levels range from a hot lava land to a snowy mountain to a world inside of a clock. There is lots of variety and you never get stuck on one level. Also, you do not have to do the courses in the order that they're supposed to be done. As long as you have the correct amount of power stars, you can complete them whenever you feel like it. Instead of there being a small Mario and a Super Mario and a Flower Power Mario, Mario is one standard size but his capabilities are limited to what kind of hat he is wearing. The Metal Cap lets you sink and walk underwater and the Wing Cap and the Invisibility Cap. Well.. it doesn't take rocket science to figure out which those caps do. Also, it is dangerous if Mario should happen to lose his cap... Mario's attacks are the classical jump attack, and the punch/kick. In quite a few courses, there are cannons which Mario can jump in and fire himself to a different section of the level. Also, in every level there are coins to collect. Collecting 50 will give you an extra life. Collecting 100 will give you something even better! Also, should Mario happen to lose all of his lives, no big deal, you will be given the standard 4 lives and be placed just outside Peach's castle. Good gameplay.

Graphics (9)
This game's graphics aren't too great and flashy but considering this game came out 6 years ago, these graphics are pretty good. Nintendo did a great job of introducing decent 3D graphics. Mario and some of the other characters including Toad and Bowser are looking more realistic than they have ever looked before. The detail of the characters combined with 3D graphics equals a great looking Mario. The atmosphere of the castle, courses, and stages are captured effectively. Some downsides to the graphics are that it can get a little glitched up at times and the camera angle easily gets screwed up. It's more frustrating than it sounds.

Audio (9)
The sound in this game is excellent! The sounds and phrases Mario makes in this game including the classic ''It's a me, Mario!'' are great and it wraps you into the mood of the characters. Bowser's laughs are even better than Mario's phrases. It gives you the sense of doom closing in all around you. The noises surrounding you during gameplay are also pretty good. For example when an enemy is nearby and coming to attack you or when you are defeating an enemy. The music in this game is not that great but still good. It can get on your nerves sometimes but it's not as bad as some.

Fun Factor (8)
The best part about this game is that there are many power stars to be retrieved and not a single one of them is too difficult or frustrating to do. This keeps a lasting appeal of the game. I didn't really get into this game as much as some other 3D Platform games. It's not like you count the minutes until you play this game next. If you're expecting the Super Mario game from the SNES system only in better graphics, don't be too disappointed. The SNES game was better than this one. Enough said.

Challenge (6)
Not one of the more difficult games on the Nintendo 64. Many of the power stars in this game are easy to collect and the bosses (including Bowser) are pretty easy to defeat. If you are really good at this game, you could beat it in a little over 3 hours. Actually, come to think of it, you don't need too many more than half of the power stars to defeat Bowser and recover the princess. However, if you are a Yoshi fan, you may want to acquire all power stars. I'm not telling you why!

Replay Value (9)
Since this game has relatively exciting gameplay and doesn't take too long to complete and isn't a frustrating game, it will be fun to replay it again once more. Maybe twice. Also, the slides in the game are fun to slide down over and over again. You could be sliding for over an hour and you wouldn't get bored. That is something else that is fun to do over and over again if you don't feel like completing the whole game again.

End Notes
I suggest you rent this game first. If you have a seven day rental and you play games a lot, you shouldn't have too many problems beating it in that span of a time. It will be difficult to beat it in a three day rental, however, even though I told you it is possible to do it in a little over 3 hours. If you liked this game and think it has high replay value, by all means, go ahead and buy it!

This game set the standard for all Nintendo 64 3D Platform games. Too bad many of the other games were practically the same as this one. Well done Nintendo!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/19/02, Updated 10/19/02

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