The 3D transition that set the standard
Published by SegaSlayer33
Super Mario 64
It's 1996. The world says it's final goodbyes to the 16-bit era, as the world enters the last years of the 2nd millennium. Games are becoming bigger, faster and more realistic as the gaming industry races its consoles to become the best the world has ever seen.
I was ten at the time. My brother had just purchased the Sega Saturn, and I looked to do the same. Nintendo had been quiet for the last year, adding fuel to the dwindling flame that was the Super Nintendo. So when the Nintendo 64 came out, I was the first one I knew with the console. I then purchased a game called "Super Mario 64"
I put the game pak into the console and turned it on. I waited for 3 tedious minutes, then went towards the console. I had a fiddle with it, then realized that the damn thing wasn't plugged in. I put the plug in, and the second I did, the TV made a noise so loud that I jumped back 4 feet. I never forgot those words...
"Its a-me, Mario!"
Super Mario 64 was a launch title for the Nintendo 64, that was released in 1996 in Japan and America and to the rest of the world in 1997. The Nintendo 64, named after its 64-bit processing power, was the 3rd home console from Nintendo and was the final home console to use ROM cartridges.
In Super Mario 64, you control Mario as he goes to the castle after receiving word that Peach had baked him a cake. However, when he gets there, the Castle has been taken over by Bowser and the Power Stars, which have also been stolen by Bowser, have been hidden inside the castle's paintings. Help retrieve the Stars and restore order to the Mushroom Kingdom!
Super Mario 64 set the standard for 3D gaming. It had amazing graphics for the time, a fantastic soundtrack, great controls and an easy to use camera that allowed you to view the environment around you with ease.
As you turn the console on, you are greeted by the game title, with "Its a-me, Mario!" ringing through. You are then invited to press start, which allows you to choose 4 save files to play on. The data is stored in the memory pak inserted into your controller, meaning you can continue your game on different game paks. You are also given an options tab on the bottom of the screen, where you can:
Score: Wanna know which Star you're missing? Wanna prove to your friend that you know more secrets than him? Wanna see which world that you have yet to explore? The scores option shows all the levels and which stars you have obtaied in them.
Copy: Do you long for more Stars but your brother won't help you? Want profile 1 to have more Stars than profile 3? Copying files can be the solution to both!
Erase: Is it time to start your adventure again? does your friend no longer have a need to hog your memory pak space? Do you simply want to sell it on eBay? The erase option is for you. Just make sure you want it gone, because you will never see it again.
Options: For all your sound and language change needs.
The gameplay for this game is absolutely stunning. The worlds are vast, yet detailed in a way that makes you want to explore. It makes you curious, it makes you explore every nook and cranny looking for things to accomplish. The titles of some Stars make you want to search every possibility to find the secrets, the rewards and help save the castle.
Mario also has some new moves. Not content with simple jumping that served him in the 2D world, Mario can now perform a impressive array of actions. He can do somersaults, jump off walls and complex attack combos to take down enemies. Mario can even use a diving tackle to catch allwho run in fear of the Plumber's fury.
Thanks to power-ups which can be unlocked during the course of the game, Mario can fly, become transparent, Surf on Koopa shells and turn to metal. All these fancy moves make controlling Mario an even greater joy.
The camera angles are superb, with the ability for true 360 degree view. And it is easy to use. The camera takes the form of a Lakitu cam, which can float all around Mario to give you the best view of your surroundings.
The Stars themselves are a pleasure to obtain. The seretitive nature of some of these things really challenge your abilities as you strive to collect all 120 of them. The things you must do range from using youreslf as a cannon ball to blast down a wall to catching a rabbit bent on the sole purpose of pissing you off trying to. The Stars help you to unlock other levels in the game, but the game stays true to it's roots with rewards for obtaining 100 coins, among other things. How it changed video games
Super Mario 64 set the benchmark for its generation. Any game desgner who wanted to make a master game for the next 5 years had to ask themselves "Is it as good as Mario?" Most weren't. But those who were owe it to Mario for seting the standard that they had to abide by. Gaming was now about 3D worlds that were fun to explore. Mario showed us that and, i a sense the way he did 11 years prior, made video games what the were from then on out.
Super Mario 64 also made a breakthrough with its camera. An outstanding 3D world is one thing, but the thing that made Mario 64 great was the ease of navigation around this world was. Games couldn't just have one fixed angle any more: They needed to be easily moved to allow a better gaming experience.
Super Mario 64 also showed to the world that franchises could make the leap to the 3rd dimension. It paved the way for Zelda and Metroid, and ultimately, this is how the Mario vs Sonic era ended. Mario could survive in the 3rd dimension, Sonic couldn't until much later, and by then Mario was the King of the platforming genre, a genre he showed could live on in the 3rd dimension. Graphics: 9.5
Although the graphics look like they were made by a five year old compared to today's standards, at the time this kind of quality had never been seen in a video game. The worlds were vibrant, Bowser made little kids cry. AND big kids. The graphics were simple yet brilliant, and, like the rest of this game, set the standard that would be followed for years to come.
Not the best storyline, but I give it points for not having a good storyline. It means that the game wasn't limited by a storyline that could of taken away the freedom and fun of a great game. Mario doesn't need a long storyline to own, it needs a simple one that doesn't constrict what is possible in a great environment.
The best of the best. These controls were the best of any 3D game on the N64 I have played, and better over it's DS counterpart. The use of the control stick instead of the d-pad really made the controls better than anything that had been seen at the time. The camera was perfect, and the gameplay, as we all know, was outstanding and showed that platforming games still had a future. The sheer variety of levels and large environment have since become an industry standard thanks to Mario.
Sound: 9.5 The Super Mario 64 Theme
One word: CLASSIC!
The music, once again, set the standard for the industry. It suited the mood, was cheerful and exciting at the right time, yet had great emotion for a game of the time. It still makes me think back when I hear the water music
This game will keep you occupied for yonks. The reward for ending the game is epic. Meeting Yoshi on the roof, getting 100 lives and enhanced triple jump made it all worthwhile. I have to admit, finishing that game had to be the highlight of my video game "career"
A game that ruled the 3D gaming world for years, the contribution to the developing of the 3D industry is amazing. It brings us video games the way they are today, and even now it stands out as one of the best games of all time. The greatness of this game and what it has done for us now cannot be understated. It is just that good of a game.