Review by Duke Nukem

"The first game for N64 is still awesome!"

The very first 3D platformer is still one of the best. Here, Bowser has stolen the 120 Power Stars which protect Peach's caslte. He has abducted Peach & trapped her followers in paintings. You know, after all this time you think Peach would have better security than a bunch of stars. Anyway, now Mario must save her. This game provides ultimate freedom. You have full access to moves, as well as full ability to roam the area. The worlds are huge, and it'll take a while to get from point A to point B. Mario has a wide variety of moves, including a trip slide & a Triple Jump. Each of the worlds is located inside a painting, which Mario can jump through. Inside, he must complete 7 objectives to earn 7 stars. This game is very fun with lots of mini-games, including the infamous Penguin race.

THe graphics are beautiful. The first fully 3-dimensional video game, this is a masterpiece. Although it can be tough to position the camera, everything is flawless. The response is top-notch, as are the sounds & music. Even the original theme is brought back in here. You can even play with Mario's face in the beginning! Even with all these changes, the game still retains the traditional Mario feel. Once you collect a certain amount of stars, you can access new worlds and fight Bowser. He appears 3 times. The first time you meet him you should have no trouble. He tells you how to defeat him. The second time is harder, since you have to stay on top a platform over lava while Bowser shakes the thing. In the final battle, Bowser has new moves, and he shrinks the battlefield some.

There are some badpoints in this game. First, the camera doesn't always show the best point of view. Second, the power-ups. While Mario has 3 new powers: The Wing Cap, which let's you fly, the Vanish Cap, which let's you become invisible, and the Metal Cap, which you are basically invincible, it just doesn't seem right. It would've been cool if they kept the Fire Flower and allowed you to shoot fireballs in 3-D. The last bad thing is Yoshi. While he is in the game, you can't ride him. I don't see why the developers put Yoshi in the game, since he's practially useless.

Overall, this game is still one of the best platformers around. Crash & Spyro can't compete, and many people say only DK64 can top Mario. That either says a lot about the game itself, or the developers of the clones. I'll let you take your pick.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/25/00, Updated 02/25/00

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