So, I decided to throw Super Mario 64 into the good ol’ N64 with the goal of actually completing it this time; Yes I’ve never completed it before! I first played this game when I was 9 or 10. My dad who was living in the U.S at the time brought us to GameStop (we were visiting on Holiday during the summer). I don’t know why but I asked could we get a PS1 (even though we were there for only 3 weeks) with the explanation that it would always be there when we came to visit. Thinkin’ on my feet! To my surprise he was like “sure”. But then I saw the N64 and was just like…IWANTHATINSTEAD. And that was that.
The games we got were Shadow of the Empire (Great game), Pokemon Puzzle (Another great game) and of course Super Mario 64 (hdlkashdakshd). Since I had a Mega Drive (Genesis) back in Ireland I wasn’t too interested in SM64 since I was like “OMGZ LIKE SONIC IS SOOO MUCH COOLER DAN MoRIO”. I played a lot of Shadow of the Empire before even considering popping in the cart to check it out. Being about 9 or 10; I was absolutely awful at it. I never got past the first floor and just spent my time running around Whomp’s Fortress. But that was fun for a kid. I ended up playing it a lot!
Years later at the age of 15 or 16 I got pretty big into emulation. At some stage during my emulation craze I downloaded a Super Mario 64 ROM (…or maybe I didn’t…sorry Ninty). I don’t remember much except that I know I used a walk through for a lot of it and of course that I never completed it. I definitely emulated it a few more times on various devices. Although often what happened with emulation is I would start loads of games and never finish them. It was definitely emulation that sparked my overall interest in the Mario series. Most ROM packs would of course come with the Mario games and they would be one of the first games I would use to test the emulators.
About 3 years ago (due to the interest sparked by emulators) I started collecting old video game consoles. I eventually got an N64 for cheap on a local advertising site and then hunted down a copy of SM64. I got 56 stars this time around before giving up 😦 I still found the game quite difficult. I didn’t bother with stars I had never gotten before. I was a bit of a sham to be honest. I convinced myself it was the level design. Which is a common complaint about SM64 when compared to (say) the Galaxy series. It’s believed that it’s not at all obvious for the player where some of the stars are. I’ll get to my thoughts on this later.
So, When I picked the game up AGAIN about 4 weeks ago I vowed to do it right.
My palms were sweaty
Knees were weak, arms felt heavy. Vomit on my sweater already
So yea, this time I did it right. I read every line of dialogue. I read every post and talked to every NPC. I actually thought about the names of the stars too. I even scanned through the manual online. And that’s all that needed to be done. I was finding stars I would have just given up on before. There was not a single star I hit that took more than 5 tries to get and if it did it’s because I knew what to do but just kept dying because I suck!! So I’m going on record of admitting I was wrong about the game. The level design is fantastic, it’s the gamers that suck! haha. Oh of course with all that said there are secret stars which are designed to be very hard to find. I actually ended up finding a ton just by exploration.
What I just described, that approach to the game is my advice for anyone out there who’s considering playing this game again or for the first time. Do exactly what I did and you should not run into trouble. You should definitely get enough stars to complete the game. I’d also recommend taking notes. I’ve a notepad dedicated to games where I just jot things down I think I’ll forget. Which is a lot of things….because my memory sucks.
Of course everything else about the game is great. Mario controls really well. His jumps are tight. Who doesn’t love the music? In fact here’s two of my favourite remakes of two tracks from the game. The first is Smooth McGroove’s rendition of the lovely “Dire Dire Docks”:
Next is Super Mario Galaxy 2’s remix of “Bomb-omb Battlefied”, it’s so snazzy
One of the catchiest songs ever written! Some other of my favourites are the castle music and the song that plays when you’re on the slide in peach’s room. Oh and Bowser’s Road!
Something I didn’t think would hold up is the visuals but in all honesty the game is as good as it needs to look. There was no point while playing when I stopped and though “Omg this is no fun, these graphics are old!! >:-(“. In fact It’s a shining example of how unimportant graphics can be for games which focus on the game play. Imagine that, games that focus on the game play.
Now, something that did frustrate me was the camera control. I really would have preferred full 360 control. Sometimes the surroundings blocked me from continuing to pan the camera left or right. It was annoying when it occurred. I don’t tend to get angry when I play games though so I guess it was annoying in a funny way. My girlfriend has to listen to me go mental. Then we laugh! Honestly that’s the only bad thing I can think of.
TLDR; A masterpiece, pick it up and play it. Do it right by reading the manual, reading in game instructions and signs. Talk to NPCS and think about the star names. Whether you’ve played it before or not I think it’s a game mostly anyone can enjoy. For those who have never played it before, be prepared to pump hours into this one.
I would give this game 10000000AAA/10 or 97£6%
THIS GAME HOLDS UP MOTHAF****R
If you would like to request I try out any old games and give my thoughts lemme knowwww
Now. You have a good day.