Super Mario 64 is one of the most loved 3D games of all time. It is just a master class of brilliant design, so you don't need me telling that the game is great. We know that. However, with this review, I'd like to share my own thoughts on why I think the game is so great.
Relive how Mario brought gaming into a brave new world
It seemed like the perfect day for Mario. He had just received a letter from Princess Peach requesting that he come to her castle to eat a finely prepared and baked cake waiting for him. However, upon reaching the castle grounds, there was no pomp and circumstance. Entering the castle, Mario heard the roar of Bowser, taunting that he had imprisoned Princess Peach and her Toad helpers within the castle walls via the power of the stars. What is Mario's misfortune is players' delight, as without Bowser getting involved, we wouldn't have an excellent 3D platforming adventure to play!
Super Mario 64's overworld hub is Princess Peach's castle and the surrounding expanse of greenery, trees, and the castle moat. It is the latter area that is essentially a danger-free and risk-free training ground for beginning players to get accustomed to the controls. There is no fear of losing a life because one doesn't have a full grasp on controlling the camera, moving Mario around, or their coordination in a 3D space is off. A player has as much time as they would like to freely explore the castle grounds before marching across the bridge above the castle moat and entering into Peach's domicile.
Super Mario 64 started the collect-a-thon approach to platformers. That said, the game is the most basic in this approach, only requiring the player to go after and collect the game's Power Stars and sometimes also red coins. Collecting enough Power Stars opens the way to new rooms in Peach's castle, leading to new levels to explore and gather even more Power Stars in.
|Mario zeroes in on his good, old buddy, the Goomba.|
|No time to stop, so just run for it!|
|Some say the gloves are for fashion, but sometimes|
you never know when you're going to end up in a snowstorm.
There is an incredibly amount of variety in Super Mario 64's objectives to get Power Stars. Some are as simple as performing relative minor platforming challenges to reach a said Star, while others require a little more footwork and using one's old noggin. Whether it's collecting eight red coins in a given level to spawn a Power Star, finding a secret exit in the Hazy Maze Cave's titular hazy maze, blasting Mario from a cannon into a piece of wall to reveal a hidden Power Star, using perfect timing to nab a Power Star from the tail of an electrifying eel, or solving a pyramid-related puzzle in the desert world, Super Mario 64's array of objectives will have players participating and partaking in a seemingly endless variety of activities.
|Other times the gloves are great to |
get one's grip and just hang out.
|An example of one of Bowser's obstacle-laden levels.|
Super Mario 64 immensely revolutionized 3D in gaming, and it's a testament to the game's superb design that so much of it still holds up today. The controls are tight and fluid, offering an amazing amount of control and influence the player can put to Mario's movements. Mario has myriad acrobatic abilities to utilize, from easy to achieve back flips and long jumps to more complicated maneuvers such as wall kicks into wall jumps and side jumps. In the case of side jumping, those aren't needed to beat the game. Instead, they're more a way for advanced players to show off their skills and platforming prowess.
|Sometimes the camera can be your best friend...|
or your worst enemy. Par for the 3D platformer course.
|Mario would use these mushrooms to get high,|
but he's already pretty far up this mountain.
|The ultimate course in Super Mario 64, Rainbow Ride.|
Super Mario 64 was considered a masterpiece of 3D gaming and a revolution to the industry back when it originally released. For the most part, outside of some camera issues that pop up occasionally, whether just minor niggles or some things more severe, Super Mario 64 is still one of gaming's best. Now that it's on the Wii U Virtual Console, a new generation of gamers can grow up knowing that when 3D platforming is concerned, Mario may definitely be considered king.
[SPC Says: A]