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How epic is super mario 64?

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Cap'n VG   Members   


Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:39 AM

Many have considered it the best but I really want to know what really made the game the best? How was nintendo able to do it? I've played it and I really love it but I don't know why I love it so much...

#2 L. Spiro   Members   

Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:35 AM

Oh, Super Mario 64. Not Mario Kart 64. Took me 2 days to realize that.

L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 21 October 2012 - 01:16 AM.

#3 asperatology   Members   


Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:46 AM

Because, at the time:
  • Fully immersive in its 3D environment.
  • Easy to learn control schemes.
  • Plenty of entertaining glitches, just like Pokemon.
  • Rules are pretty simple (Just 1 rule)
  • Instant loading.
  • Unlimited tries.

#4 Cap'n VG   Members   


Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

What about the camera? Many believe that the camera played the important part in the game? How is that? And how did they do such a thing???

#5 asperatology   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:13 AM

Search anything about a third person camera. Many people actually find it annoying when you want to view up-close something in Super Mario 64.

#6 Cap'n VG   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:04 AM

How is viewing up close that annoying? It first of all allows the player to see things clearly than seeing it in third person view. You can even adjust the camera in that game so what is wrong with the game's camera? isn't it revolutionary?

Edited by Cap'n VG, 21 October 2012 - 03:05 AM.

#7 asperatology   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:19 AM

Do you want the entire Mario's body blocking the center portion of your field of view? Have you ever pressed C ^ and try to view the scenery? You can look both sides of Mario's body (left or right part of the screen), but never what's in front of Mario. The head's in the way.

Edited by tom_mai78101, 21 October 2012 - 07:20 AM.

#8 Cap'n VG   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:26 AM

Why are you complaining about the center? if at all you can't see the center, you could always jump or crouch to see it.

I still don't understand why you guys feel the camera system is frustrating? Wasn't the camera responsible to explain the reason why the game was made?

#9 asperatology   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:28 PM

No, it's not just the camera itself. Here's a few links:

Here's another player's opinion on the game.
It's mentioned as "boring".
A better article about the camera itself.

Not to break your hopes, but the game is an industry changer. The game is fun for us to play, but to be honest, the game isn't that spectacular nowadays. The basic principles are there still, so you can continue to dig around on Google about Super Mario 64 and such and be amazed by the many things I have listed in post 3.

Edited by tom_mai78101, 21 October 2012 - 12:29 PM.

#10 Cap'n VG   Members   


Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:24 PM

Guess you got a point. But still wouldn't it be great if games like this could give exploring experiences?

I really love the game's exploring path. The fact that more stars can be found in that same place. Simply amazing.

#11 sjhalayka   Members   

Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:45 AM

At the time, on the PC, it was most common to use nearest neighbour filtering on textures because the fancy 3D accelerators were still pretty damn expensive, and so the hardware accelerated bilinear filtering on the N64 was pretty awesome. It was a year or two ahead of its time in terms of the average consumer-level experience, for sure.

This is what I had in my PC when the N64 came out:

The N64 blew it away.

As for the game itself: It's all about the chain chomps.

Edited by taby, 22 October 2012 - 08:50 AM.

#12 Paul Franzen   Members   


Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

For me, the game was revolutionary because of how different it was from what came before it. At the time, I only barely knew what a PlayStation was; I was going straight from SNES to N64. When the N64 promo video came in from Nintendo Power magazine, I had to call my parents over to show them this incredible new world that Mario 64 offered; I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The fact that you could just run around like a crazy person in an "open world," combined with these new "realistic graphics," blew my little kid mind away.

Nowadays the game can't really hold my attention for more than an hour (same with the newer 3D Mario games, actually), but it was a completely new and unique experience for me Back in the Day. That's what made it "epic"--it was so different, and huge, and special. A real technological and cultural advancement for videogames. Fifteen years later, everything that makes Mario 64 special is essentially a standard in third-person platformers and other action games, so it's not likely to impress anyone who's playing it for the first time now.

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#13 Servant of the Lord   Members   

Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:40 AM

Super Mario 64 has thus far been unmatched by later 3D mario games, at least in my opinion.

Some of it's major strengths:

Level design:

Really immersive environments (atmosphere-wise), that were really well designed (gameplay-wise). The levels were free-roaming, not linear. They had someof nooks and crannies with secrets, but not so much that finding a secret was commonplace. Each level had 6 stars to collect, and the level would reset whenever you'd enter it for the next star, and would be altered slightly with different objectives and be really replayable without feeling repetitive. You could go to levels in the order you want, dictated only by how many stars you've already collected. Each time you enter a level, you could choose which star you wanted to go after after you've accomplished the first star.


The music was masterfully done. It'd very much transport you into whatever environment you were in, definitely projecting different emotions and feelings: sadness in the caves, excitement and urgency when requiring speed. The best example of the music is Dire, Dire, Docks. Hazy Maze Cave is another great example, but Hazy Maze Cave's music must really be heard from inside the area and not in isolation, otherwise it just doesn't sound great on it's own, but sounds perfect when inside the cave.

What about the camera? Many believe that the camera played the important part in the game? How is that? And how did they do such a thing???

Movement and Camera:

One of the most important things that bring Mario 64 closer to perfection is how much they refined and polished the movement and camera control. Knowing that it was the most important part of the game, they spent months and months at the very start of development, just working on the movement. They had a flat plane, the rabbit (MIPs), and a wall for Mario to interact with. This is from memory (though I mistakenly called the rabbit 'FLOPS'), but Wikipedia says similar.

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#14 kuramayoko10   Members   


Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:14 AM

Just to reemphasize it:

1) Immersive non-linear levels
2) 7 different missions on each level. You can replay them several times without begin boring.
It also provided a good coop experience between myself and my brothers. Each one would try a different hidden star (and the 100 coin star) and play the same level without fighting over who plays what.
3) Great movement and camera. Remembering that many stars could only be achieved by using the camera correctly.
I remember the days we spent trying to find the sixth star on the snow level. And it was only possible when we changed the camera view on the cliff.
4) Innovative Mario-like mechanics. They implemented different mechanics for the power-ups. You could wear different hats and do different stuff. That was mind-blowing for me.

For me the biggest downside was the boss fight. Fighting Bowser involved damaging the analog stick.
Programming is an art. Game programming is a masterpiece!

#15 Anri   Members   


Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

I never cared much for SM64 back in the day as I was playing Tomb Raider on the Playstation instead.

Saying that, it was a game that show cased the capabilities of the N64 and that machine itself was well designed toward its goal - a 3D powerhouse. For that console, SM64 was at least the "killer app".

As for Mario games...cannot stand them. The controls are annoying enough in 2D, let alone trying to jump platforms in 3D which is 10 times harder to control!

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