2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

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2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 20th, 2019, 10:33 pm

Super Mario 64 is an update (grade changed from B+ to B-) and Namco Museum is new.
Was I right or wrong with these?

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby jon » March 21st, 2019, 12:27 am

I too was intrigued by the idea of open world games, what are now termed "sandbox" games, which sounds really lame. This was back in the mid 90's. Of course at that time, I thought the "Ultra 64" (does anyone even remember that's what it was called for 2 years while it was delayed) would be amazing. Now back to sandbox games. They suck, and 3d is a boring, tedious waste of time. What I didn't realize at the time was that I only like my 3d in small doses. I've been wondering this for a while now. Was 3d even worth it?

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby Gentlegamer » March 21st, 2019, 8:49 am

Proof that Dave has lost it.

SM64 is an A+ for N64, and in no universe is it lower than Shadows of the Empire.

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby velcrozombie » March 21st, 2019, 10:38 am

jon wrote:...3d is a boring, tedious waste of time. What I didn't realize at the time was that I only like my 3d in small doses. I've been wondering this for a while now. Was 3d even worth it?

Maybe I could understand this point-of-view in the mid-90s when 3d was ugly and clunky and 2d had reached new heights, but countless classic 3d games have been released since - and I say this as someone who started playing on NES back in 1986 and probably still prefers 2d overall. You remove 3d, you remove Resident Evil, Silent Hill, God of War, Devil May Cry, most of Grand Theft Auto (and Rockstar's other franchises), Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, the recent FromSoft games (Demon/Dark Souls, Bloodborne and now Sekiro) Crash Bandicoot, half or more of Zelda, many of the best Mario games, the Witcher series, Bayonetta, the Batman Arkham games, Gears of War, Halo, the Team Ico games, the Hitman series, Tekken, the entire first-person shooter genre...and this is just obvious stuff I came up with in two minutes (so it ignores the smaller franchises and the one-offs) and doesn't even deal with the hybrid 2.5d stuff or the "3d on a 2d plane" games. I don't think most people would have to dig very deep to come to the conclusion that 3d is worthwhile.

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby Atariboy » March 21st, 2019, 11:26 am

For a recent physical compilation you may be unaware of, there's SNK 40th Anniversary Collection for the Switch. It has the arcade games I've listed below and some NES games as well.

    Alpha Mission
    Beast Busters
    Bermuda Triangle
    Chopper I
    Guerrilla War
    Ikari Warriors
    Ikari Warriors II
    Ikari Warriors III
    Munch Mobile
    Ozma Wars
    Paddle Mania
    Prehistoric Isle
    Psycho Soldier
    Sasuke vs. Commander
    Street Smart
    Time Soldiers
    World Wars

It's coming to the PS4 soon, which quite possibly may end up the version you'd prefer (The arcade games I highlighted showed up after release as free DLC and weren't on the cartridge, but hopefully will be on the disc when it hits the PS4 here soon).

It also includes Crystalis and the NES versions of Alpha Mission, Athena, the Ikrari Warriors trilogy, Guerrilla War, P.O.W., and TNK III (All on the cartridge).

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby DrLitch » March 21st, 2019, 9:25 pm

Mario 64: Old game, horrible graphics, substandard and sloppy design and aged very quickly. However, many folks considered the game fresh, new, fascinating, and awe inspiring. It ended up being widely regarded as a classic, an A-grade game, and certainly was a system seller. It is worth noting it was released in 1996, 23 years ago. Take nostalgia out and most games we grew up with are not very good any more and require beer goggles/rose tinted glasses.

We should not be giving a pass to 8bit or Atari 2600 games and a fail to N64/PS1 era games. PS1/N64 titles look horrible and are awkwardly antiquated in many cases. I cannot think of one game, apart from maybe Symphony of the Night, that I would wish to experience again today. Despite that I sure as heck have fond memories of Final Fantasy VII/IX, Vagrant Story, Ocarina of Time, Shadowman, Soul Reaver and so on... Nostalgia has to count...

Back on topic, it just so happens that Mario 64 was not a game I particularly liked back in the day, a B- is actually quite fair :lol: .

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby ptdebate » March 21st, 2019, 10:35 pm

I'm gonna have to differ with you on this one Critic. SM64 is a sublime game and should certainly rank an A+ on the 64, which is comparatively starved for titles of its caliber. I've always thought your Ocarina of Time review to be astonishingly low as well - and let's not talk about your MM review for 3DS. Nevertheless, we all come back to the site for a good discussion and reviews like this certainly inspire that.

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby Matchstick » March 22nd, 2019, 1:01 am

I'm getting to the point in my life where I consider myself old as dirt. Grew up with arcades and Atari consoles, and was quite fond of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3 on the NES. Never cared much for Super Mario World, but I think it's because I played Sonic first.

With that little bit of backstory out of the way, Super Mario 64 is my favorite game in the entire series. Took me a long, long time to warm up to it, and I didn't even buy it when I bought my system. Shadows of the Empire was my first N64 game purchase, followed by Turok, MK Trilogy, and Blast Corps. Like The Critic, I would see the in-store kiosks running Mario 64 from time to time, but it just never grabbed me the way it seemed to hook so many people.

Years later, once the price of a used cartridge had dropped to about $20 at FuncoLand, I took the dive. Took me a few days to get into the right mindset, but once I started to get a feel for the game (and its wonky, every-shifting camera) I was all-in! Couldn't stop until I gathered every star, and once I did, I started a new playthrough, just for the heck of it.

I love the quirky, jazzy soundtrack, and appreciate the subtle musical callbacks to older Mario tunes. I also like how the music dynamically changes through the levels. Perfect example is Jolly Roger Bay, which has three different versions of the level's song, depending on whether you're on dry land, swimming, or exploring the underwater cave. I also liked how Mario could sneak up on sleeping enemies, causing the music to shift to a soft lullaby tune.

I did well with the game's controls, probably because I had played a bunch of N64 games prior and had a good understanding of the controller. I always play with the camera zoomed all the way out, and feel like Mario, himself, controls well, with a good sense of momentum and weight. I wouldn't describe anything in the game as glitchy or unpolished, and considering the era in which it was created, it was nothing short of groundbreaking. Though I believe the OG Crash Bandicoot may have made its debut shortly before Mario 64 was released in the US, Nintendo had been tweaking the game and ironing out the kinks for years before the completed game dropped, the completed Japanese version releasing about six months prior. I remember looking through older issues of GamePro and Nintendo Power and comparing screenshots of the earlier versions of the game with the final, and the differences were night and day.

I think Nintendo just knocked it out of the park with Super Mario 64, and, for me, the game surpassed my expectations in every possible way. Probably because I didn't have high expectations to begin with, but all the same, I was more than satisfied then, and I do feel like the game has aged very, very well. I consider it a true landmark game, one of those ones where I'll never forget where I was when I saw it for the first time, or the first time I got to play it for myself.

As The Critic has stated in some of his other reviews, mid-90's gaming on the then-current systems (Saturn, Playstation, N64) just has a certain feel, a certain "something about it." And as the updated review states, Super Mario 64 still has that certain Nintendo charm. I'm not even the biggest fan of the "Big N," but I can't disagree with the statement that, yes, that certain charm does mean a lot.

I can understand why others don't appreciate the game in the same way I (or certain others on this forum) do, and that's quite all right. If it doesn't flip your switch, you have your reasons, and I respect them. For me, though, there's a true timeless quality to the game, and to this day, it's one of the few games my wife and I can experience together, anytime, for any reason. The other night, we were getting settled in for the evening, and I just popped the game in, jumped into Jolly Roger Bay, and swam down to hang out with the eel, just because. We wound up playing the game for hours, just jumping around and bringing back an avalanche of memories for the both of us. Only a handful of games in our collection have that effect, but man, this is certainly one of them.

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » March 22nd, 2019, 11:17 am

Well said, Matchstick.

I agree with everything...except that I can't play that game on the original hardware. When you combine giant pixels with primitive blurring, it all looks like someone made a world out of oatmeal. Soggy oatmeal. That's hardened into flawless crystalline straight lines.

This isn't the aesthetic they were going for. Or actually an aesthetic. It doesn't belong in the same sentence as aesthetic. Aesthetic took out a restraining order, and it's not allowed to even live in the same neighborhood.

Add in the intense primary colors, and it should have a lead paint warning for your eyeballs. A B-? Anyone who can give Mario 64 on the n64 a score that high has reached a higher spiritual plane. You really can see inner beauty, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether the GBA should have even attempted to run a Need for Speed game.

But, somehow, all of that ugliness transforms into the world's best and most inviting playground whenever I play it on a smaller screen. Or in a higher resolution. I mean, it even looks like it's all made out of toys. If I start Bob-omb Battlefield, I'm going to be playing the game for at least 5 stars before I wake up and rejoin the real world. No other Mario game has had that effect on me, besides 3 and 3d world.

I'm hoping Odyssey brings it back.

PS: At this point, with so many amazing games available, the folks who still hate all forms of 3d gaming aren't fooling anyone. Half were just unable to figure out the controls in the first fifteen minutes, and it broke them. Seriously, I've got the world's worst sense of direction, and with only a few exceptions, I've never had trouble helping mid-90's cameras follow the action. Own up to your weaknesses, and meet the game's limitations half way. You'll be better for it.

The other half just lose their minds when everything isn't simple twitch based math or easily expressed in eight bits. They're the kind of gamers who count good character writing as a negative, think immersion is a curse word, and get personally offended whenever someone points out the lies and horrible human rights record of their favorite political candidates.

Because it isn't worse.

Seriously, it's got to be the early access beta build of an evil robot uprising, because there's no way an OS that primitive is their final form.

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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby Atariboy » March 22nd, 2019, 11:23 am

Not sure anyone's interested, but I love Super Mario 64.

I became a N64 owner in 1999 and I probably didn't play Super Mario 64 until probably the year afterwards after borrowing it from a friend. I wasn't too impressed at the time and thought it looked primitive compared to something like Ocarina of Time. It seemed like a solid game, but not a great one like I had thought when drooling over it in magazines back in 1996.

Fast forward 2 or 3 years later when GameStop was clearancing out N64 games, and I bought a copy almost out of obligation. Played it with a friend that was familiar with it and we alternated turns, and I fell in love with it. I didn't even find the camera an annoyance or terribly high maintenance. It just all clicked.

I've since bought each Virtual Console release and the DS port, and loved them all. The VC releases even look great thanks to 480p rendering, removal of the blur filter, and higher quality connections (Particularly the Wii VC release since N64 games on the Wii U have the brightness turned way down).

I'd love to see Nintendo do a remake of this along the lines of what we've seen with Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Make it extremely faithful to the original's level design and gameplay, but with a modern camera and a full graphical overhaul.

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