N64 Review: Super Mario 64
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: N64
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Platform
 # of Players: 1
 Size: 64 Megabits
 Developer: Nintendo
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Controller Pak: No
 Rumble Pak: No
 Transfer Pak: No

 Release Date:
 US: Sep 29, 1996
 EU: Mar 1, 1997
 JP: Jun 23, 1996

Screenshots:

Screenshot

Screenshot

Screenshot

Final Score:
10.0/10

This was the game that changed the world of gaming. Back in the year 1996, we finally got what we waited for. It was Super Mario 64. The first true 3D Mario game and it was a good one.

Mario and his friends (probably enemies too) look better than ever because of the superb graphics on the Nintendo 64. As you can see from the screenshots, the graphics are really realistic. They are really vibrant and colourful. This was the FIRST game on the Nintendo 64, and even now no other game can really top Super Mario 64 in graphics.

Super Mario 64's sound is just as good. The best thing about it is that Mario can talk. YEAH! He says a variety of things when he does some moves such as "Mamma-Mia..." or "Here we go!" It's just amazing. There's also a lot of voice at the beginning and the end of the game.

Happy music is what makes a Mario game. Almost all of the music in the game is happy type except for the music in the battles with Bowser. Some of them are re-mixed tunes from older Mario games such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World. The music makes the game a lot of fun.

As with all Mario games it's really easy to learn at first. Most of the basic moves are very easy. As you progress through the game it gets hard because you have to time your moves at the perfect second. If you fall down a bottomless cliff or something like that you'll die.

As with most of the Mario games there's basically one point. That's to stop Bowser, Mario's arch-nemesis, and save Princess Toadstool, a.k.a. Peach. Mario must go through 15 levels and regain the stars that Bowser stole to lock up the castle.

Super Mario 64 is different from the previous Mario games. Because the worlds are in 3D there no longer is the thing of going to the exit and passing the level. Now you have to collect stars which Bowser has hidden. Some stars are easy to get and some can only be found by completing certain tasks. It'll take a long time to play since there are 120 stars to be found, although only 70 are needed to save the Princess and defeat Bowser for the last time. These basically cap off the differences.

Instead of having powerups, Mario has now a life meter. The life meter will decrease if Mario gets hit by an enemy. The life meter is also used for swimming. Mario will need to take a breath when his meter is going down, or he will have to get coins. Coins can replenish energy on land and on water. An interesting thing to do when you have very little energy left is to jump in the water and then jump back up. This is probably a bug because Mario was not really swimming. Nintendo learned this mistake and fixed it in Banjo-Kazooie, in which Banjo has a separate meter for swimming.

Now that Mario is in a 3D world it would make sense for him to have more moves. Probably the reason he didn't have moves in the 2D days was because there would be no point for them. Mario can now run, jump, swim, kick, slide, and much more better than before.

There are many faces, new and old. It's cool to see old pals (well maybe enemies) like Goombas and Koopas in their new 3D form. And something cool is that almost every Mario enemy or friend is in the game. Some new friends are really essential to the rest of the game such as the pink Bob-omb. Don't get them mixed up the black ones which blow up! Anyway, the pink Bob-omb can open up cannons in the levels which are extremely useful for getting some hidden stars.

Other than new characters there's another new thing. That's the cap switches. There are three different cap switches, they are Red, Blue, and Green. If you've played Super Mario 64 then you should know what to do. You have to find a cap switch and once you've stepped on it you can use the caps of the colour. The red cap is the Wing Cap and it can make Mario fly. The green cap is the Metal Cap and it turns Mario into metal, which means he can sink in the water, be protected from gas fumes, and he is invisible from all enemies. The blue switch is the Vanish Cap, this cap makes Mario invisible and he can go through certain types of walls and all enemies will have no harm on Mario.

That's basically about it. With all these things in Super Mario 64 it's quite a good deal. Now that it is now a Player's Choice game it's a better price than ever. On Nintendo systems usually the first game is the best, and that is kinda proving true. Super Mario Bros., was for NES was the most sold game ever. Super Mario World for the Super NES, was sold out almost instantly. And now Super Mario 64 on the N64 was sold out for months when it first came out. Some people might go, "Mario is a kids game" well if you haven't played it you are missing out on one of the best games ever.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: Super Mario 64 is probably the best Mario game ever. It takes a great leap from Super Mario World the last Mario adventure. And also where's Luigi?