Super Mario 64 isn't what people make it out to be

Posted by Elyk247 (371 posts) -

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?

Mario takes flight

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.

#1 Edited by Elyk247 (371 posts) -

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?

Mario takes flight

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.

#2 Posted by thevigilanteoflove (514 posts) -

I just recently played Super Mario 64 from beginning to end, getting all 120 stars in the process, just about a year ago, and I don't think I could disagree with you more. The control is amazing, especially given that it was a launch title for a system that came out in 1996. The puzzles are engaging and it is just plain fun to play. As great as Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are, I think they owe most of their credit to the people who basically made the modern 3d platformer with Super Mario 64. The controls are so satisfying, and it is a fucking blast to jump from thing to thing without worry whether you'll make it or not. The camera could use some work today, but for the time it was great. They created that style of camera and even incorporated into the story in a creative way. I really think the game is great.

#3 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

Oh... I thought this was going to be. "MARIO 64 IZ ART! sorta deal before clicking... but yeah, fuck that penguin level, I may love penguins but I freaking hate that level!

#4 Posted by tyxja (281 posts) -

I love Mario 64, but fuck that lava level in the basement.

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

Uh-huh.

Online
#6 Posted by DarthOrange (3892 posts) -
#7 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

You did not just go there.

#8 Edited by believer258 (12184 posts) -

Super Mario 64 hasn't aged as gracefully as some other games, but most games from that era didn't. If we look back at the other 3D console platformers released in 1996, we have... Crash Bandicoot? Which didn't age so gracefully either. Remember that this was a time when developers were still trying to figure 3D out. A whole lot of the mechanics you take for granted in modern games, particularly camera control, were hardly even coming into their own back then. The very fact that SM64 is playable and even fun these days is a testament to its quality, though I would hardly call it exemplary of 3D platformers. No, as far as I'm concerned 3D platformers didn't even peak with a Nintendo release.

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Elyk247 said:

There was so much shit to see in that game, as was Super Mario 64, but it was just more interesting.

Why? Why was it more interesting? Seems like you could elaborate.

#10 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1210 posts) -

Rainbow level was the best.

Hey do all blogs get posted in the forums? I want to make some blogs, but I don't want everyone to see them you know? Because I want to post mostly pictures and stuff for myself.

#11 Posted by iAmJohn (6134 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

Hey do all blogs get posted in the forums? I want to make some blogs, but I don't want everyone to see them you know? Because I want to post mostly pictures and stuff for myself.

It's optional.

#12 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1210 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

Hey do all blogs get posted in the forums? I want to make some blogs, but I don't want everyone to see them you know? Because I want to post mostly pictures and stuff for myself.

It's optional.

Does that option appear after I post it or what? Because I can't find it.

#13 Posted by SpaceRunaway (873 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER: When you hit post, it appears in a window.

#14 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I could not disagree more. As far as I'm concerned, no game has managed to nail the feeling of exploration, freedom and experimentation as well as Super Mario 64. Ever. there is a constant stream of "look over there, what is that? How can I get to it? What does it do?" moments, far more than Elder Scrolls has ever accomplished. I've never been able to get very far in the Banjo games, because they don't have the finess and economy of design that SM64 has.

It's also my favourite game, so call me biased if you like. It doesn't really matter, because I can back it up with a very considered opinion.

#15 Posted by WarlordPayne (705 posts) -

I never really cared for Super Mario 64, it's far too repetitive. It may not have bothered me so much if they just let you stay in the level until you collected all the stars, but getting booted out after each one then going through the first half of the level again and again as you collect them all was terrible.

It has had a tremendous impact on the industry so it definitely deserves credit for that, and the levels were really fun the first couple of times, but just thinking about slogging through that game again makes me tired.

#16 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -

I appreciate what it did but I though it was shit for the most part.

#17 Posted by Flawed_System (384 posts) -

I loved Super Mario 64, but I can also see where you're coming from. There's no population (aside from toad in the castle) outside of the worlds and in the worlds there isn't exactly a plethora of enemies. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it when I was younger (haven't played it in a long time).

#18 Posted by Robot_Moses (110 posts) -

Personally, I never had any fun with the 3D platforming Mario games. Super Mario 64 was a kinda cool novelty for the time, but has aged terribly, mostly because the fundamentals were never really there. Don't get me started on Sunshine.

#19 Posted by habster3 (3600 posts) -

I really, really enjoyed Super Mario 64, but I totally understand what you're saying. About three years ago, I went to a hotel that still has 64s to rent out, so I rented one out and played this game a little. My biggest problem with the game was the sparse population of everything. For example, consider the first level; remember how big and varied the level seemed back then? Played it again and you'll notice the low amount of enemies and general lack of population. Still love the game, but the OP has a good point

#20 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

I always felt that Super Mario 64 was just far more technically competent than Banjo Kazooie, and its accessibility is another boon against BK. Love both of those games, though I feel that Super Mario 64 is still probably the best 3D platformer.

#21 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

@Elyk247: Super Mario 64's worlds may not have looked distinct enough for you, but having played both games fairly recently, Super Mario 64's gameplay held up a whole lot more than Banjo Kazooie's did.

#22 Posted by Animasta (14719 posts) -

Honestly I first played SM64 like 2 years ago and it still holds up.

#23 Posted by kurtbro900 (116 posts) -

The sad thing is, one day someone will make a post like this on a forum somewhere about Portal, and I just can't deal with that.

#24 Posted by Clinkz (1118 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

I always felt that Super Mario 64 was just far more technically competent than Banjo Kazooie, and its accessibility is another boon against BK. Love both of those games, though I feel that Super Mario 64 is still probably the best 3D platformer.

I disagree. I still believe the graphics in Banjo-Kazooie were much more detailed and vibrant than Mario 64. This is coming from a life-long Banjo-Kazooie fan, but that game was easy. So I actually believe it is more accessible than Mario 64 because some of the levels in Mario are downright infuriating but that might have just been the controls.

#25 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

I played the updated DS version of Super Mario 64. Over ten years later, I found it to be even better than I remembered (partly because of the updated visuals I'm sure).

#26 Posted by Dayve86 (54 posts) -

I really liked the game at the time, but about half of the worlds I didn't really care for. I felt the same way about Sunshine. Galaxy 1 I found much better with only a few worlds that I didn't really like. Galaxy 2 blew me away, loved every second of that game start to finish (even the perfect run, nice challenge to end the game).

#27 Posted by crusader8463 (14428 posts) -

Never really got into it. Thought it controlled terribly, and was just all around uninteresting to play. Was the first Mario game I played and did not enjoy it.

#28 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

I played it when it came out and still thought it looked and played like shit.

#29 Posted by PixelPrinny (1050 posts) -
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.

It's also a game many "follow the bandwagon on" because they played it and loved it. But if convincing yourself that these people must be crazy and only do it because of social norms helps you feel better about your own opinion of the game, then all the power to you, I guess.

#30 Posted by Zippedbinders (1034 posts) -

As a piece of gaming history, Mario 64 absolutely deserves the praise it gets. As a Mario game, however, it falls flat in a variety of ways. I'd personally rank it the lowest out of all the core Mario games, 2D or 3D. It lacks the world imagination, music, and fluid control that I have come to expect from that franchise.

Its still one of the better platformers from that generation, but its been surpassed by many other games and doesn't match the greatness of its 2D predecessors.

#31 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@Clinkz said:

@Little_Socrates said:

I always felt that Super Mario 64 was just far more technically competent than Banjo Kazooie, and its accessibility is another boon against BK. Love both of those games, though I feel that Super Mario 64 is still probably the best 3D platformer.

I disagree. I still believe the graphics in Banjo-Kazooie were much more detailed and vibrant than Mario 64. This is coming from a life-long Banjo-Kazooie fan, but that game was easy. So I actually believe it is more accessible than Mario 64 because some of the levels in Mario are downright infuriating but that might have just been the controls.

I'm more talking about the controls in BK and the frame-rate slowdowns. Camera control was definitely better in Mario. I also was able to complete SM64 as a kid and was never capable of completing BK, despite playing it two or three years later.

#32 Posted by Catarrhal (859 posts) -

@CaLe said:

I played it when it came out and still thought it looked and played like shit.

Same here. Ryan Davis is right; Super Mario Bros. 3 is the pinnacle of that series. Always will be.

#34 Posted by DeF (4977 posts) -

your thread title is quite misleading since you never really get into what "it's made out to be".

from what I've read over the years, Mario 64 is made out to be THE blueprint for 3D third person platformers and interaction in 3D games. nothing you said in your post really goes against that.

I don't think anybody really claims it's the ultimate, definite 3D platforming experience with a fantastic world or something like that since this is what you seem to argue. I'm a Banjo guy myself so that's not even the issue.

#35 Posted by Deusoma (3032 posts) -

I always felt that Super Mario 64 was kind of shit, really, but then platformers were never really my favourite genre.

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