Retro Review: Super Mario 64- 20 year anniversary review (Anniversary: June 23rd, 2016).
This is an unused review for Grapeshot: Macquarie University Student Publication (Vol. 8; Issue 5: 'XO')
It’s been twenty years!? God I’m getting old.
The Nintendo 64 is arguably (for many of our generation) the first ever console that opened up our minds to the immersive, imaginative wonders of video game storytelling.
Super Mario 64, a launch title for the console, follows Mario exploring Princess Peach’s castle, searching for 120 power stars across fifteen platform levels, from toxic mazes to Bob-omb Battlefield, so as to defeat Bowser and rescue the Princess (aka, like many early Mario games).
While the story may follow a similar formula, that is the only thing formulaic about this classic. The game’s scope was gargantuous for its time, showcasing the bright future that was to come with gaming. It is an early pioneer of 3D graphic design, open-world gameplay, and, most impressively, 360-degree camera control, the likes of which had never been seen before. Without these revolutionary leaps forward, gaming today would not be where it is now.
And yet, despite its age, the gameplay mechanics, story, music and graphics still holds up today, even against contemporary games. Fans and critics call it one of the best games of all time. And they ain’t wrong. This classic is an ageless, one-of-a-kind.