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Super Mario 64 was a launch title for the Nintendo 64 and released in 1996. It was developed and published by Nintendo. An enhanced remake of the game, Super Mario 64 DS, was released in 2004 as a launch title for the Nintendo DS.

Plot

Bowser has taken over the Princess Peach's castle and taken the Power Stars and hidden them in other worlds hidden in the walls. Mario must rescue the Princess, acquire the Power Stars and defeat his nemesis.

Why It Rocks

  1. When you boot up the game you're greeted by a 3D model of Mario's head, which you can edit to a certain extent.
  2. Mario's first 3D game.
  3. Numerous worlds to explore, including Peach's castle.
  4. Extremely fluent control, made possible with the N64's analog stick.
  5. Mario has a lot of new moves that take advantage of the 3D setting such as long jumping, wall jumping, back jump, and ground pound. You can use Peach's Castle to practice Mario's new moveset in a safe place.
  6. Shigeru Miyamoto designed the levels and physics around Mario's 3D movements capabilities, not the other way around.
  7. First game to implement the camera system.
  8. Due to hardware limitations, the Nintendo 64 can't produce enough enviorments in 3D to have as many levels as previous Mario games. Nintendo solved this problem by instead making the worlds bigger and having multiple objectives in them. These worlds are open ended allowing you to explore and obtain the Power Stars in whatever order you want, with a few exceptions.
  9. 120 power stars (150 in the remake).
  10. Since you only need 70 Power Stars to reach the final boss, you can ignore the missions you don't like.
  11. Mario now has a health bar which can be replenished by grabbing coins.
  12. Collecting 100 coins in each world will net Mario a hidden power star.
  13. Finding the 8 Red coins in each world gives you another power star.
  14. The enhanced remake on the DS allows you to also play as Yoshi (whom you start off with), Luigi, and Wario.
  15. The remake features several new worlds and missions that only certain characters can accomplish.
  16. The remake also features tons of mini-games and multi-player gameplay (Some of these minigames were also playable in New Super Mario Bros.).
  17. Despite the drastically different gameplay due to shifting to 3D, it still feels like you're playing a Mario game.

Bad Qualities

  1. Camera control is primitive and clunky and often won't cooperate in closed areas. This was because 3D gaming was still new and developers still didn't quite know how to make camera controls at the time and because the Nintendo 64 controller only has one analog stick so camera has to be controlled with the C buttons.
  2. 100 Coin Stars are rather tedious to obtain and If you die you are kicked out of the level which means you have to start from scratch each time you die.
  3. No Luigi (though he does appear in the remake).
  4. 3D movement can be more difficult in the DS remake due to having to use a D-Pad to move around, using the touch screen controls make movement more frustrating. This can somewhat be mitigated by playing the game on a Nintendo 3DS and using the Circle Pad to move or the Wii U GamePad's analog Stick if played on Wii U Virtual console, however you can go in only eight directions using this method.
  5. When Mario gets hit by fire he runs uncontrolably for a few seconds which can cause him to fall into a bottomless pit.
  6. Most of Mario's iconic Power-ups are gone.

Reception

Being one of the very first 3D games made, Super Mario 64 is considered by many to be one of the most important video games ever made as it made 3D gaming popular and set many standards for it at the time. Over 20 years later, it is still considered a remarkably good game despite showing its age and suffering flaws many early 3D games had.

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