3D gaming is now more common in gaming than what we saw days gone by, but more common are games that began as 2D games being transferred to 3D. Some have been great and some completely awful, but one of the most successful transfers from 2D to 3D and still to this day is Super Mario 64, this was released in 1996, developed and published by Nintendo, but does it still hold up today?
Princess Peach has sent a letter to Mario inviting him to the castle. Mario arrives and she’s kidnapped by Bowser…AGAIN…AAAAH!!! Yeah the story hasn’t evolved at this point. The game starts with Mario outside the castle, at the time was absolutely mind-blowing, controlling Mario in a 3D environment is amazing, Nintendo didn’t need to do a special kind of way to introduce the game, just plop Mario in a garden and that’s it, and it’s so innovative, that’s how you do innovation.
After you get used to the controls and the environment, you enter the castle and realise that Peach is kidnapped…AGAIN…F***!!! The first floor has a number of doors, you can go into any door if you have a certain number of stars, and if you’re starting the game you have none at the moment. When you go into a door, you enter a room to find a painting, jump on it and you can go through it. The best thing about the game is that whenever you enter a new world, there will be a number of objectives to do, doing one objective in the world counts as a level, this is absolutely perfect, this gives the game high longevity, and this is the method that Nintendo used for Sunshine, Galaxy 1 & 2.
Some objectives are simple to do but get to the other worlds and you have to resort to walkthroughs, but I wouldn’t recommend it, I’d recommend properly exploring first. You have a world of bob-ombs, world of thwocks, world of snow, water world (Kevin Costner missing), desert world, cave world and even fire world which looks like Hell for the bad toads. When you collect a certain number of stars you can enter a special door to battle Bowser, collect more stars and battle him again and you’ve completed the game, but you haven’t fully completed the game 100% unless you collect all 120 stars.
Again, you must complete objectives of the world to gain stars, when you get a new objective, it’s just a sentence now find out for yourself, it doesn’t give you an explanation on what to do and you can easily get lost, and I love it for that, exploring every part of the world is the best way of playing a 3D adventure game, Super Mario Sunshine was the last 3D Mario game to do this, Galaxy 1 & 2 go in a more linear take. The graphics, even though the game was released in 1996 has aged like a fine mature wine, it still looks impressive, in fact, some Nintendo 64 games developed by Nintendo have aged well, however all PlayStation games haven’t really aged well, so props to you Nintendo.
The music is incredible, so memorable, and so classical, these are the tracks that do justice for the game, my favourite being the end credits, still gives me Goosebumps. The controls are perfect; it’s so easy to move around Mario with the analog stick, you can punch enemies and blocks and has some new moves for Mario’s 3D adventure, like wall kicks, butt stomps, back flips, side flips, black flips, sliding and crouches. Overall, a true classic, a game that revolutionised 3D gaming more than any other 3D game at the time, it’s replayablilty is higher than Bob Marley (I don’t know), it’s my favourite 3D Mario game of all time, yep, I like this better than Sunshine, Galaxy and 3D World combined.
And that’s better is that there’s going to be a fan-remake of this game and it looks so awesome, In fact this could be my most anticipated game of 2015…or 2016…or when it gets finished, think about that, the game I’m excited for is a fan-remake. It’s graphics have aged well, the controls are amazing for the time, usually they’d have tank controls but this game and most 3D Nintendo games gave you a lot of freedom, the level design is incredibly creative thanks to Shigeru Miyamoto, it’s colourful and vibrant, if you give this to the younger generation they’d still enjoy this as much as you did.
If you have a Nintendo 64, or a Wii, this is a must have game to own. But, Nintendo did re-make the game for the Nintendo DS called Super Mario 64 DS, but that’s for another day.
You can get it on the Nintendo 64 and Virtual Console.