Whatever you may think, I'm truly not trying to hate on Super Mario 64. I recognize it's place in the upper echelon of video games and it deserves to be in the same group. It's just, the game has always irked me and never really found a way for me to enjoy it. Super Mario 64 was great when it first came out, but would we really have to think so now?
I'm not so myopic as to think there is an answer, or that my argument is totally valid and correct. I'm just shooting ideas out at the moment and have only my personal experience of the game to go on. That said, my main gripe is it's awkward controls and in-concise nature.
I absolutely love every other Mario game released to the major consoles. Super Mario World is a game I frequently return to every year or so, during the dry, arid months of new releases. It's a game I can always come back to and enjoy. There is a fun game to be had in Super Mario World, and it has just what Super Mario 64 lacks.
I've never felt fully sure about myself in Super Mario 64. What I mean is, the game goes to great lengths to present problems for you. The snow level with the penguins really cements this in my mind as well. Throughout the level you are forced to slide like a maniac to wherever it is you want to be. Why can't i just calmly and smoothly position myself to where I would like to be? I don't know, and the rudimentary camera didn't help either. But the technical issues aren't my sole problem with Super Mario 64.
Super Mario 64 always felt rather shallow and empty as well. The outside courtyard was pretty, to say the least. But the worlds were never really populated with things I wanted to see or explore. The worlds always felt empty and seemed more like mazes than actual locales to visit.
A great game that comes to mind when i think of this is Banjo Kazooie. The worlds were so lush and vibrant, and each had a distinct feel to them. And not only did they look good, but they were chock full of cool and quirky things to do as well.
However; I'm not trying to compare the two, because I know Super Mario 64 was the revolutionary. And this comes back to Super Mario World as well. There was so much shit to see in that game, as was Super Mario 64, but it was just more interesting.
Really in conclusion, I don't detest Super Mario 64, I just feel a little disappointed when I think about it. It's one of those games that many follow the bandwagon on, because saying anything else is heresy. But, putting all the cards on the table, I never saw Super Mario 64 offer me anything but a shallow game that did little to entice me.