[Review] Super Mario 64 for Beginners – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 18/09/2020
  • Price: £49.99 / $59.99 (As part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars)
  • Review Code provided by Nintendo

Video Review

Introducing The Super Mario 64 Switch Review For Beginners

Super Mario 64 must feel like a huge departure from Mario’s more recently released adventures.  Imagine the shock of experiencing the majesty in design and graphics that was Super Mario Odyssey, looking forward to Mario’s next outing, only for it to look like a fax machine threw up on your TV screen.  But, this game is more than just graphics that, for some reason, are making a return in 2020, it’s about adventure, it’s about collecting, and it’s about a long-standing feud that has withstood the test of time and has now expanded into 3 dimensions.

He Just Wanted Cake

It’s just a cake, Mario.

Super Mario 64 begins with Mario exiting a pipe to meet the Castle’s front entrance.  We are then treated to Mario reading a letter from Princess Toadstool inviting him to the castle for some cake.  After we meet the Lakitu Bro which will act as the camera for the whole of the game, Mario is free to set off!  Explore the courtyard of Toadstool’s castle: climb trees, jump, slide, get acquainted with the controls because eventually you have to enter the castle. 

Upon entering you are met with a sinister laugh, and an even more sinister voice yelling from afar!  Who is this mysterious character?  If you’ve ever played a Mario Bros. game, you have a pretty good idea.  After this character’s spiel, you set off!  Hop, skip, and jump your way to the door with the star symbol that lacks a number and become familiar with your first world of the game: Bob-omb Battlefield.  Soak in the music, read those signs, bust those signs, and feel free to use any of the several ways to attack and jump to defeat those Goombas.  You’ll need to learn all you can to get all the Power Stars back!

Grab ALL The Hats

WHOOSH!

At first glance, Super Mario 64 may look like every single game developer’s first attempt at creating their first game but that shouldn’t stop you from fully immersing yourself in it.  There are so many areas that you can enjoy, or completely skip altogether unless you’re going for a 100% complete game.  The need for only a certain number of Power Stars to move on to new areas of the Castle only shows this game’s want to keep you playing.  Don’t like Tick Tock Clock?  That’s cool, you could play any of the other areas and STILL gather enough stars to make it to the final battle.  There is no shortage of stars to find to help you keep going.

Super Mario 64’s controls are intuitive, immersive, expansive, and slightly sloppy.  The amount of options you have for movement and attacking allow you to traverse the world however YOU want without needing to use moves that don’t work for you.  If you prefer to leg sweep [Duck + attack] as opposed to simply punching things [B] then you can do that.  If you’d rather Jump and Dive [Running A then when in air B] instead of Long Jumping [while running Duck + A], then you are free to do that! 

Super Mario 64 is more about options for EVERY player than it is getting from Point A to Point B.  There are so many ways to traverse the world, you never feel like there is only one way past a gap, one way to jump over boss’ heads, one way to defeat enemies.  There are very few situations that will force you to use only one type of control or movement, but they are few and far between.  You will always feel like gaps, enemies, and obstacles can be met from any direction you want to take them.  That is one of the greatest parts of this game.

Final Thoughts

Down boy! DOWN BOY!

Super Mario 64 is a game about a first 3D adventure, Mario’s First 3D adventure, and it never feels like the player needs more experience in order to meet the requirements of the situations presented in this game.  This game wants you to experience each level, each jump, each movement, WITH it instead of expecting you to already be familiar with the 3D space Mario now occupies.  This was Mario’s first 3D outing and Super Mario 64 knows that, and will never ONCE make you feel like you’re an outcast for feeling like this is your first 3D Mario adventure, too!

Pros:

  • Exploring hub world is fun and never boring
  • Many decisions for jumps and attacks
  • Environments are beautiful

Cons:

  • Bowser Battles
  • Penguin races
  • THOSE FRIGGIN’ BOWSER BATTLES!!

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