The first three dimensional entry in the Mario franchise, Super Mario 64 follows Mario as he puts his broadened 3D movement arsenal to use in order to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of his arch rival Bowser. Mario has to jump into worlds-within-paintings ornamenting the castle's walls, uncover secrets and hidden challenges and collect golden stars as reward for platforming challenges.
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To finally have played the first 3d Mario was a curious experiment, with controls and camera issues aside, it still holds ups pretty well, of course i'll never have the nostalgia as other people do, but you can see playing all that inspired many of my favorite 3d platformers years to come, the ground zero for such genre (and somewhat for collectatons) couldn't have been better. It was a mostly pleasant time, and now i can understand why people liked it so much.
My umpteenth abandoned attempt to get through this and at this point I think I have to admit to myself that I just do not like this game, and didn't even back when it was groundbreaking. I just am not super interested in the semi-open-ended level design of the big console 3D Marios (Odyssey is as close as I've gotten to genuinely loving one of them), and I would say that I simply prefer 2D Mario to 3D Mario except that I finally played 3D Land a couple years ago, and that game sure blows 64, Sunshine, Galaxy, and Odyssey clean out of the water. (Haven't played 3D World yet, never had a Wii U.) 64 in particular has aged pretty badly, between the horrendously awful camera and Mario's wonky, uber-slippery movement. I'll always have a lot of respect for it, but...yeah. Not for me.
[REPLAY] Super Mario 64 is one of the quintessential 3D platformers. It set the stage for a myriad of fantastic game design practices that are still used to this day. It's a game that almost effortlessly brought an already established legend into new axes. There are almost no other 3D platformers that match or surpass this. While I don't think Mario 64 is flawless, I recognize it as one of the founding pillars of video history. It's a game as important as the Super Mario Bros. of 11 years before it. From it's wide range of movement options with Mario, to it's dynamic environments that change from moment to moment, to it's sand-boxy progression that almost allow to progress as if wading through water, Super Mario 64 is extremely fun and satisfying.
---------That being said, I've seen there has been a backlash against it. Part of that backlash I can agree with. Mario's movement is more momentum based then I remember, and can cause some frustration. The camera system can show it's age, especially in the later levels of the game. Finally, some stars can be outright headache inducing to get. However, to say that Mario 64 is “bad” or that it has “aged like milk” is to exercise insanity. Super Mario 64 is a triumph of 3D gaming, and it still plays like it. So long-jump to your nearest store, and pick up this Nintendo classic. - [08/10]
Basically as good as it gets. Tough but fair and full of secrets. Nothing touches this in terms of the improvisational options and unfailing responsiveness with regards to mobility. Can only imagine how earth-shattering this was at the time, now it's simply a perfectly proportioned playground.
Perhaps the ultimate overrated 3D platformer. Much of the coherent and charming style of SNES Marios and future 3D Marios are lost by forray into 3D. Unfortunately the level design doesn't make up for the loss. Even if you play really well, there is so much weirdness in the movement that it is mostly frustrating. I think most 3D platformers are more interesting in terms of worlds, and more fun in terms movement.