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Monday, July 19, 2010

Second look at an old game - Mario 64

I like many people played Mario 64 when it first came out, it was the one game that had to be bought with a Nintendo 64 at launch. From the first time I saw the game on an import N64 in a Software Etc store I was amazed by everything it did. For the longest time for me at least this was 3D platforming perfection, I even considered it my favorite game of all time. I remember playing through this game 4 times in a row getting all 120 stars each time until all the save slots were filled with perfect runs. After that my Nintendo 64 eventually faded into the realm of not being played in favor of other systems and I eventually packed it away and never thought about it again.

Well a couple weeks ago as I was preparing to move I came across my N64 and some of my games. I decided to hook it up and try some of them out to see what I thought now. The one game I knew I had to play was Mario 64. I popped it in started a new game and went to battle Bowser for the first time in a long time. Well let me tell you this, this game Mario 64 does not stand the test of time. I played it for about 30 minutes and it has so many things wrong with it I can't even begin to list them all. I'll briefly go over some points starting with the camera. Yeah we all know that era of gaming 3D movement was new and the camera was almost always an issue and still to this day it's a tricky thing to get right. But using those yellow C buttons to move the camera is just so clunky. It wasn't great back then but Nintendo had the best camera system in place out of all those early 3D games but playing it now it's just garbage. The movement isn't anything to write home about either, Mario is very unresponsive at times and more often than not the weak jumping gets you into a near death situation that you cannot get out of which results in death. The worlds are bland and unattractive from a graphics stand point. I know the N64 wasn't known to have the sharpest clearest graphics with all that fuzz and blurriness in most games but even with the way it looks Mario 64 is still the best looking game on that machine. I think it's because they kept it simple and didn't try to have a super detailed world. I know that may sound like a contradiction but I feel both ways about the way Mario 64 looks.

In the end I should of never put Mario 64 back in that old Nintendo 64 and just lived with the memory of it being a great game that I loved instead of soiling that memory with the crap that is contained in that cartridge.

And a side note the game I consider my favorite of all time now is Super Mario Bros 3

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