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Super Mario 64

Nintendo 64

Game Review (by Garoth Moulinoski):

For a long time, Mario’s world was always a two-dimensional space. It had length and height, but no width. Everything was paper flat. Right up until this game came around and changed the way we interacted with Mario’s world. Long time fans may have been peeved by the lack of “level goals” or powerups but the game in general is highly enjoyable and one of the reasons for owning an N64.

You can make Mario walk, run, and jump in all 360 degrees. You can also make him crawl, back flip, ground stomp, and double/triple jump. You can have him hang from ledges if need be and wall jump. You can make him slide on his butt or his front. You can make him punch and kick. You can even make him lose his hat (though you will not want to do that). This game gave Mario an arsenal of moves and all without the aid of power ups. Speaking of which, this game has very few powerups. I can remember four: Starman, Winged Cap, Metal Cap, and Vanish Cap. That’s it, and yeah, there’s no Fire Flower Mario. Out of all the powerups, the Winged Cap will be the most used, and will be the one that you will want to use the most (or at least, that’s how I feel about it). It enables you to fly. Metal Cap lets you become heavy and Vanish Cap lets you become invisible (and I don’t remember using it). Enemies can be defeating by jumping on them or by fist-fighting them to oblivion. Instead of your powerup determining how close to losing, Mario now has a life meter (which doubles as his oxygen meter, another first), so you will never see small Mario.

In place of the flagpole goals, or… whatever SMB2 USA and SMB3 used as its goals… this game has Stars. These aren’t the starmen, though, although they’re also in this game; these are like… Power Stars or something. Basically, they act the role of the flagpole. Each “stage” is a hunt for these stars, and getting a lot of them opens up other worlds. Each time you get one, you get thrown back to the “overworld”. It’s better than Banjo-Kazooie’s collectathon.

The graphics for this game are very blocky, very primitive. You can tell what everything is, and you can control the camera around when you need to.

The sound for this game is very varied! Mario has different footstep sounds for different grounds and he has various different voice clips. Enemies often have different sounds they make, helping you to differentiate a chain chomp from a piranha plant. The soundtrack is also varied and well made, although BGM is often reused.

The story for this game is the same as every Super Mario game’s. Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to Mario to save the day. Woopity-woo. Just as in every Mario game, the story is just an excuse to get you to go out and jump on everything in your path.

I recommend this game to anyone who likes platformers, specially 3D platformers. It’s really one of the best 3D platformers out there.