Released in 1996, Super Mario 64 was one of the first fully-3D platform games to actually work, rather than be a struggle to play.
The Nintendo 64‘s excellent gamepad played a part in that, but also Nintendo‘s skill in refining the controls and camera angles had a bigger impact. 3D platform games previous to Super Mario 64 tended to be very fiddly to play. Nintendo raised the bar and set the standard for others to follow.
Like most Mario games, Mario 64 has a gradual learning curve, starting off very easy, then slowly becoming more and more challenging.
In this game Mario visits (and re-visits) various ‘painted’ worlds and must collect stars that have been stolen by Bowser. Each time Mario visits a painted world things change and the objectives differ, which keeps things varied and interesting.
Mario is very capable on his feet – performing backflips and triple-jumps, as well as wall-jumps, which get him places his normal jump doesn’t. On top of that, Mario can also find and wear special caps (as in: hats) which adorn him with special abilities, such as flying.
Like most Mario games: Super Mario 64 might look like a kid’s game on the surface, but is actually much more than a simple platform game. Any true gamer knows this. It’s only the ignorant who hang on to this unfair belief.
Hugely influential and still great fun to play now; Super Mario 64 is arguably the best game on the Nintendo 64. A remake (with extra levels, revised graphics and extra characters) was released for the Nintendo DS in 2004.