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Super Mario 64 (1996) Game Talk


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 Location: All Game Forums / Video Games / Super Mario 64 (1996)
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  Alex
Alex
Moderator
 
Tell me one logical reason why this is not the most influential game of the 90's? What an incredible adventure. Amazing graphics, awesome sound and music, cool puzzles and great battles. Simply the best (unless you prove me otherwise). 02/17/2011
5:45 pm CT


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  Nelson Schneider
Nelson Schneider
Moderator
 
I won't deny that it was very influential, but not over the course of the entire '90s. That decade was divided in half between the Golden Age of the SNES/Genesis rivalry and the Fall of Nintendo with the N64 and the PlayStation debacle.

Mario 64 is very influential, much like many Oscar-winning movies are influential: They do a lot of things that have never been done before, but nobody really wants to play/watch them. They just aren't good entertainment. All N64 (and PS1 and Saturn) games weren't ready for prime time when it came to polygonal graphics, thus they all featured 3D graphics that looked like ass. While Sony and Sega had a variety of 2D games that still used sprites, Nintendo went whole-hog into 3D and shoehorned it into games that didn't really need it.

Mario 64 defined a new genre at the expense of abandoning the genre that made Mario popular as a character. Along with this brand new genre came hideously-deformed polygonal models (I don't know how you can think that Mario 64 has good graphics compared to the games in the series that came immediately before AND after it), a camera that is flat-out broken, and touchy analog-stick controls. To the Mario series specifically, Mario 64 brought gimped, time-limited power-ups and the world's most annoying voiceacting.

There's a reason Nintendo has been refining 3D Mario games to more closely resemble their 2D precursors: Mario 64 was a failed experiment. If you want to play Mario at his best, fire-up Super Mario World or New Super Mario Bros. Wii. If you want 3D Mario at his best, Mario Galaxy 2 provides a crystal clear example of what Mario 64 should have been but for lack of experience with new tech.
03/07/2011
4:30 pm CT


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  Alex
Alex
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I guess that is where we differ. I love watching old movies and I still think they are better than most of the newer Oscar winners (Hurt Locker as best picture? Orson Welles would be laughing). There is something about certain games that just has pure gold brushed all over it. Mario 64 is one of those games! 03/07/2011
7:46 pm CT


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  Nelson Schneider
Nelson Schneider
Moderator
 
Well, you kind of made my point. Hurt Locker is crap, but it won awards. Mario 64 is crap, but it won awards. Same deal.

And I don't really care for old movies, but NOT because they're old. With movies, the technology only matters inasmuch as it makes special effects that don't completely suck. Where I get hung-up in watching old movies is the horribly corny acting that was everywhere during the dawn of cinema. I watched the classic and modern versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still back to back and, despite a few problems, preferred the modern version because the acting was better.

And to reiterate my other point: Nintendo admits that Mario 64 was not all that great everytime they produce a new 3D Mario game, as they are becoming less like Mario 64 and more like Mario World in 3D.
03/08/2011
12:50 am CT


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  Nick Barry
Nick Barry
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yes, the corny acting is definitely why modern movies are better.  We are past that point in history with movies, and I am very happy.

As far as Mario 64, it was a good game for the technology available at the time.  The graphics were good, again, for the time period.  They have come a long way since as you would expect, and Nintendo going back to their Mario roots with New Super Mario Bros. Wii is absolutely awesome!
03/11/2011
12:43 pm CT


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  Nelson Schneider
Nelson Schneider
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But I really don't think the graphics were good 'for their time.' They were cutting edge, but not good. The movie Lawnmower Man had some pretty cutting edge CG when it was made, but it still looked like garbage.

Instead of pushing for polygons before polygons were really ready for show, Nintendo should have made another 2D, sprite-based Mario game on the N64. Not only would it have been a better game, it would have spared us the torture of all the me-too copycats that pumped out terrible 3D platformers on the N64 and PS1.
03/11/2011
2:38 pm CT


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  Alex
Alex
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So then what both of you are saying is that only new games can be the best games of all time because they have better graphics, better play control, better stories, bigger budgets, and better promotions. So why do you guys have classic games on your lists? 03/11/2011
2:52 pm CT


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  Nelson Schneider
Nelson Schneider
Moderator
 
No, I'm saying that polished games are the best games of all time.

The best Mario game of all time is Super Mario World, the last 2D Mario game made before Nintendo rebooted the series on the DS and Wii. New Super Mario Bros. Wii comes close to matching its predecessor but is lacking a bit of the gameplay polish that was in SMW (such as the ability to throw shells straight up, and the ability to take Yoshi into any level).

Mario 64 was the first 3D Mario game. It's comparable to the original Super Mario Bros., to which I also didn't give a very good score, because both games are rough, unpolished, and ultimately not very fun.

Generally, newer games have the potential to be the best, but they aren't because developers don't refine existing concepts, but constantly add new concepts that come out half-assed.

And when it comes to remakes, they are almost always better than the original version. The Game Boy Advance version of Super Mario World is even better than the SNES version due to the fact that Luigi has different physics and collecting all the Dragon Coins actually does something.

I haven't played the remake of Mario 64 on DS. I'm willing to predict that it's a LOT better than the N64 version... but I have no desire to play a game like that on a 3" screen.
03/11/2011
5:44 pm CT


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  Nick Barry
Nick Barry
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I rate games based on how good they were for the time period or console generation.  Obviously it is hard to compare NES games to Wii games.

So how do you rate Mario 64 and original Super Mario Bros in terms of difficulty?  Does a harder game automatically equal unpolished?  I welcome the challenging Mario games.  Personally, I've only played a little Mario Galaxy, but it seemed to easy to me, and therefore not quite as fun.
03/11/2011
5:51 pm CT


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  Nelson Schneider
Nelson Schneider
Moderator
 
I tend to rate games based on lasting appeal. It is hard to compare NES games to Wii games because most NES games have not aged well.

I don't generally take difficulty into account unless it's 'cheap' difficulty (commonly known as "Nintendo Hard"). Mario 64 is WAY easier than the original game. SMB does get dinged in my opinion for not having unlimited continues and/or the ability to save or use a password. Despite having the patience of Buddha, I do NOT have the patience to repeat the beginning of a game over and over and over just to get another shot at the later, more difficult parts.

Mario Galaxy isn't much easier than the old Mario games, it just has a reasonable save system to prevent tedious replaying. I don't know about you, but when I buy a game, I expect to be able to play through the whole thing instead of just getting very familiar with the first two levels.

It's also worth noting that most of our professional game reviewing colleagues had their asses handed to them by New Super Mario Bros. Wii and were moaning about how difficult it was... yet I managed to beat it without the Super Guide ever appearing.
03/12/2011
12:50 am CT


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