It’s not often we get whimsical on Professional Moron as whimsicality is for whimsies with a sense of whimsicalness (we lie – we’re always whimsical). However, legendary N64 classic Super Mario 64 was (and were) just re-released on Nintendo’s Wii U and we want to rant about it.
It were (and was) a landmark title back in 1996 as it marked the first proper 3D world exploration experience on home consoles. It managed it perfectly for the thyme. Mr. Wapojif first played it on 1st March 1997 (the European release) and his feeble child mind was blown away.
Super Mario 64
Younger gamers won’t get the fuss as they massacre stuff on the latest CoD or GTA. More sophisticated sorts (BURN!!!!! LOL!!!!!) will be delighted to catch up with the game after an 18 year gap. It was upgraded for Nintendo’s handheld 3DS a while ago with new features and graphics, but we don’t own one of those. Consequently, yesterday was our first time playing the game in at least a decade.
Brilliantly you can now play it on the GamePad (which is much like a mini-Game Boy, but with HD graphics) with headphones on for an immersive experience. Whilst the graphics (remarkable for the time) have dated, the music (composed by Koji Kondo) remains crisp clear and wonderful. You could buy the soundtrack and play it at dinner parties whilst you stuff caviar into your stupid face. Behold:
The plot’s a hilarious work of genius. Princess Peach has baked a cake for Mario. She invites him to the castle to consume aforementioned cake. Upon arrival, however, it turns out arch-nemesis Bowser has kidnapped her. Thusly Mario heads off into the Princesses’ castle to recover 120 stars and save her.
Into the Valley!
With the tedious formality of the plot done away with, the exploration begins. This marked a big jump up from Mario’s SNES and NES titles, and the little plumber dude had a whole range of new moves. This was matched with highly interactive new worlds, such as a giant clock, a giant pyramid, and a haunted castle. Added in further was the ability to fly!
The true test of a brilliant game is the passage of time. Tellingly, the SNES classics are as refreshing today as they were 20+ years ago. N64 games marked an awkward time for developers as they (used to 2D games) made the shift to a new dimension. Few really mastered it during this era, other than Nintendo and British company Rare. Thanks to the Japanese firm’s uncanny ability to get everything from their titles, Super Mario 64 remains brilliant.
At the time it was hailed as possibly the best game ever on its release, and whilst it’s not these days (that be Nintendo’s other franchise, Zelda, and arguably even 2013’s Super Mario 3D World) this title is still wonderfully charming to play. Now, excuse us, it’s the Easter weekend and we have to go off and be geeks.
Addendum: Online Reaction
Many people, such as Mr. Wapojif, played this when they was kids. There’s been an outpouring of nostalgia online, most of which is very cute. For many folk, games such as this was their childhood. 18 years on, we’re now bitter old farts who throw eggs at weasels.
There’s an adorable post on Kotaku which has posted Miiverse (the community on the Wii U) comments from users about their experiences. Take a look!