Review by MechaMrEd
"Looking back from the year 2000, this game is now showing it's age, but can still be fun."
It's now the new millennium... hey, forgive the corny begining, but it's a time for looking back. Some ''Ninty'' freaks (mainly magazines) still think that Super ''Mazza'' 64 is the greatest platformer of all time and second only to err.. ''Zezza''64- ocarina of time. They are wrong. I mean come on, I mean, just because it's by ''Shigsy'' Miyamoto doesn't mean it's the best. It's been overtaken by Banjo-Kazooie and DK64. The Playstation has also come very close to being as good as it (and platformers are not the PSX's strong point).
Come on, you all know the wonderful epic that is Mario64's plot. The Princess has invited him round for a cake, he pops round, but that spiky get King Bowser the koopa has kidnapped her. ''Oh woe is me'' says Mario in his not at all sterotypical accent, and instead of ringing the authorities, he enters the castle and starts collecting stars from worlds to make his way up the castle to kick Bowser's behind. I'd be spoiling the plot to tell you if he succeeds, but I think you can guess. There is a wonderful twist near, oh hang on, there isn't.
The worlds which Mario enters are plentiful, but often dull. They just don't seem real. The baddies die far too easily, jumping in water gives you your heath back, and it's hard to drown. Of course, this game was amazing in it's time, but now, it's very boring at times. However, it is quite a big game, and will take you a while to complete. I'm not saying it's always boring, a lot of the puzzles can be fun and challenging, and the graphics are streets ahead of the PSX (which they should be, the N64 is twice as powerful).
The controls are pretty good, and most of the moves are useful. The worst thing is the camera. You can't just give it a little nudge, it can only be in 4 positions around Mario. And for some inexplicable reason, you cannot do a 360 camera turn around him, the game honks, and you have to go the long way round. Why? The camera is often used to make puzzles harder, and the Mario cam is useless. The look around view is rubbish, as instead of putting you looking through mario's eyes, it puts you behind him, and he obscures your view.
The music is pretty good, with retro Mario tunes spiced up, but it is annoying that there isn't a tune for stage, for instance, the last 2 levels (Tick tock clock and rainbow ride) share the same tune. The sounds aren't bad, but they're nothing special.
The big problem with this game is it's total lack of any characterisation. At all. Bowser laughs, and says some ''evil'' stuff. Mario cannot keep quiet, with a ''whoop'', ''whoo-hoo'' or ''ya-hooo'' accompanying every bound. Imagine if you knew someone like that. Yes, you'd commit them, somewhere safe, with nice padding. The Princess has no character at all, like, why does she like Mario? She'd be better off with Bowser. There are no other story characters in the game really. DK64 is how a story should be, with constant updates on the baddie's sinister plans. Why wasn't Luigi in it? Why? Did they forget? Well, at least the koopa kids weren't in it. They were pethetic. And, next time we want a rideable Yoshi.
So, in summary, this should be in every gamer's collection. If you are buying an N64 (which I wouldn't recommend, given it current state, exept maybe for Perfect Dark. But we'll see about that, shan't we?) I would also recommend you buy it, as it can be fun, and it is a classic. But then, Pong is a classic, but I sooner tell you to shove your head in a gas oven then waste money on that. So, buy it you haven't got it, but don't expect anything too much. Okay? Glad thats sorted. Roll on the sequel (2006 then).
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/01/00, Updated 02/01/00
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