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

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

Postby Retro STrife » March 22nd, 2019, 1:09 pm

Interesting.. people have been clamoring for the VGC to re-review SMB64 for years.. I have a feeling this reduced score isn't what they had in mind! I support it though. The original review (B+) along with the B+ for Ocarina of Time, were two big factors on why I started trusting this site for reviews back in the day. It was the first time I had seen reviews that didn't give those games godly status, and I respected that.

I got an N64 around 2001.. I can see why Mario 64 was incredible when it first came out in 1996, since we had never seen anything like it on consoles before. But by the time I played it, I thought it was just incredibly overrated. I beat the game, but wasn't that big a fan. So I like the B- score, although, like some people mentioned, the only issue might be how it matches up to other N64 scores.

Now if only you could re-review the other 3D Mario games and reduce those too...

By the way, the screenshot you picked for the review looks a little too sharp -- I wonder if it's a newer HD version (or emulated in HD), rather than the original N64 graphics.

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

Postby Matchstick » March 23rd, 2019, 3:06 pm

Retro STrife wrote:The original review (B+) along with the B+ for Ocarina of Time, were two big factors on why I started trusting this site for reviews back in the day. It was the first time I had seen reviews that didn't give those games godly status, and I respected that.


Here's the thing, though - a "B" is not a bad grade! At least, in my eyes. Seeing a game like Ocarina get a "B+" score I don't think should ruffle any feathers, as that is still a great grade. Breaking it down to the industry standard 100 scale, that equates to about an 88 or 89. Not bad!

I've never been the biggest fan of Ocarina, really, or any Zelda game past Link's Awakening. My wife bought Breath of the Wild for the Switch and loved it, and while I was happy that she was happy, and content to watch her play it, it wasn't really my thing. I also loved the look of Wind Waker, but as far as playing the game, it just didn't grab me. I don't hate the games (not by a long shot) but they just don't appeal to me that much. Ocarina getting a "B+" is fair because, if I were reviewing the game, I would probably give it something along the lines of a "C," just based on the merits that it's a game I don't feel strongly about in either a good or bad direction.

I think this is where The Critic's opinion lies with Super Mario 64. He doesn't have to love the game, and he doesn't. He likes it for what it is, but sees that it has faults, and in his opinion, hasn't aged well. Reading the content of the review, a "B-" sounds almost generous! But there's no denying the impact that the game had on the industry, and comparing it to what came later (Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64) seems a little unfair. This is not a site for contemporary reviews, and the scores for each system seem to reflect the overall quality of games across the system's respective lifetime. It's a luxury for the reviewer, as each system's library can be viewed as a whole.

Through that lens, yes, Super Mario 64 struggles a bit against what came later, but is that really a fault? Plenty of gamers probably have a soft spot for the original Super Mario Bros., even though Super Mario Bros. 3 is considered the superior game. The developers had to start somewhere, right? I would expect the overall quality of games available for a system to increase as time goes by, and in many cases, this is what happens. Nobody wants to buy a game system, day 1, and be told, "Enjoy it, because it's all downhill from here."

Super Mario 64 did its job back in the day, and in my opinion, boy, did it ever. Though it may not be as "good" as later games on the N64, no other N64 games had the impact that the first few launch titles did on me at that age. Having never seen true 3D graphics before, I was stunned (and a bit overwhelmed) by the size of the worlds in Mario 64, and the scale of Mario against the enemies and his surroundings. My first N64 game, Shadows of the Empire, made my jaw hit the floor when I saw the opening Hoth stage, with the true sense of scale of the Snowspeeders against the massive AT-AT walkers, all taking place in a large, open environment. Definitely a "Brave New World" moment if there ever were one, and at that moment, I clearly understood that there was no going back, and everything related to gaming was going to be different from that point forward.

Certainly a case of, "You just had to be there," but I feel sorry for the younger crowd that wasn't. A true turning point in gaming, one that I don't think has been matched since.

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

Postby jon » March 23rd, 2019, 4:22 pm

I believe SM64 is great game. Perhaps I remember it more fondly because I did play it in ‘96. Strange, I really like the graphics in this game. The problem is it just rubs me the wrong way thinking about how jacked up I was about the N64 after playing SM64, which when evaluated as a launch title, has to be one of the biggest home runs anyone’s ever hit. While playing SM64 in ‘96, I thought oh cool, this systems awesome it should have some great action games and sports games I’ve got it made having an N64. That deception alone makes me want to hate this game. When actually evaluating the game, it’s great but has in my opinion a lack of go to levels.

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

Postby ptdebate » March 24th, 2019, 12:32 pm

jon wrote:I believe SM64 is great game. Perhaps I remember it more fondly because I did play it in ‘96. Strange, I really like the graphics in this game. The problem is it just rubs me the wrong way thinking about how jacked up I was about the N64 after playing SM64, which when evaluated as a launch title, has to be one of the biggest home runs anyone’s ever hit. While playing SM64 in ‘96, I thought oh cool, this systems awesome it should have some great action games and sports games I’ve got it made having an N64. That deception alone makes me want to hate this game. When actually evaluating the game, it’s great but has in my opinion a lack of go to levels.


Do you not like wrestling games? Because N64 has those in spades.

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

Postby jon » March 24th, 2019, 7:17 pm

I played the N64 wrestling back in the day. Especially Wcw NWO. They’re decent but not my cup of tea. You have to remember to go back in time. The system (Ultra 64) was supposed to come out in 1995. At that point Nintendo had no equal and they were expected to crush the competition for the 3rd straight time (NES & SNES). So the thought that it would’ve gotten outsold by the PS1 3 times to 1, and that 3rd party publishers would run away from Nintendo as fast as they can was inconceivable. Basically that’s why the PS1 got a ton of action games. The N64 turned into this weird sort of party system that you’d break out with friends.

Alucard1191
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Re: 2019/3/20: Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Namco Museum 64

Postby Alucard1191 » March 24th, 2019, 9:46 pm

I don't want to get super verbose... but Mario 64 is very much A+ material. It is still, to this day, one of my all time favorite N64 games. It has aged much better than Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, and is definitely a better game than shadows of the empire.

My 2 cents, take it for what it's worth.

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

Postby ActRaiser » March 25th, 2019, 9:12 pm

Funny, for me when the N64 came out with only Pilotwings and Mario I could have cared less.

However, when Shadows of the Empire came out, I jumped at it. I purchased Shadows before even owning an N64 as the consoles were out of stock at the local Walmart but the game was available. Flash forward a few years and I eventually picked up Mario when it was on sale. I enjoyed it but frankly was Marioed out after World. For me, personally, World on the SNES wasn't as good as Super Mario 3. And then you had much edgier fare on the Playstation which suited me fine. The N64 was my go-to-system but only because of Goldeneye and Mario Kart 64 for its multiplayer awesome sauce.

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

Postby Matchstick » March 25th, 2019, 9:58 pm

ActRaiser wrote:For me, personally, World on the SNES wasn't as good as Super Mario 3.


I've always felt the same way. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I believe this is because I played Sonic the Hedgehog at a friend's house first. When the time came that I got the SNES and the copy of Mario World that it came with, I thought it was OK, but nothing great. I owned SMB / Duck Hunt and Mario 2, while my neighbors had Mario Land for the Game Boy as well as Mario 3 on the NES. I would take all four of those games over Super Mario World. Not that I didn't like anything about it (the ghost house levels totally rule) as I did have the patience to beat through it and look for secret stages. That being said, I always thought Mario World was just Nintendo "going through the motions," something that they've unfortunately been known to do quite a bit over the years.

Super Mario 64 was the opposite of that. While World was met with a shoulder shug, 64 knocked my socks off when I laid eyes on it the first time. The fact that, after the re-review, it is now the lowest-rated mainline Mario game on this site is a damn shame. I thought the old "B+" review was perfectly acceptable, but man, that new score really stings. Not that there aren't other reviews on this site that I disagree with (the scores of Mutant Football League and F-Zero GX come to mind, and don't even get me started on the text of the PS2 / PS3 Ghostbusters reviews) but something about a game as influential as Super Mario 64 inching down into the "average" category just leaves me shaking my head.

Critic, Critic, what have you done...

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

Postby CaptainCruch » March 29th, 2019, 3:29 am

I like that you re-review games, but when I read a re-review I always wonder what the original review was like... I'd to see some way to access the original review as well, just to see how your opinion has (or hasn't) shifted over time!

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

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 29th, 2019, 3:40 pm

Captain -
I heard what you're saying, but I typically don't like the original review and would prefer it went away.


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