Warning: opinions that may question your nostalgia. Please prepare your all-caps, extremely insulting comments. Thank you.
I still remember the first time I got my Nintendo 64. My brother and I had finally saved up enough for the console, put the money in our Buzz Lightyear piggy bank, and we were off on our journey of adolescent consumerism. There was no shortage of obstacles along the way, including the fact we left our piggy bank on the roof of the car, the fact that the console was sold out everywhere, and the fact that the place we finally got it was actually on fire. True story.
And I loved my N64, best known for its robust library of games such as Super Smash Bros, Star Fox 64, and that game where you play as a walking glove. And, of course, who could forget the iconic game packaged in with every N64 console, Super Mario 64, a release that revolutionized the classic video game platformer by bringing it into the 3rd dimension. I would spend almost the entire summer playing it, never going outside and therefore not exposing myself to sunburns, poison ivy, and fresh air. I think I made the right choice.
However, I decided to boot up Super Mario 64 recently and was, frankly, shocked. The controls felt clunky, the levels seemed repetitive and, weirdly enough, it was difficult and frustrating at times. How did I even beat these levels when I was six years old? I couldn’t tie my shoes yet. I couldn’t ride a bike yet. I couldn’t even balance a checkbook. OK, to be fair, I still can’t do that.
This made me come to quite a realization: Super Mario 64 may very well be the most overrated game of all time.
Now, before you storm my post-criticism bunker with torches and pitchforks, please allow me to elaborate. You see, Super Mario 64 was amazing for its time. It felt like a natural progression of the platforming genre, it had an appealing cartoony aesthetic, and was simply a blast to play. But that’s the word to focus on: was. For its time, there was a reason that Super Mario 64 was a gaming phenomenon. However, much like myself, while Super Mario 64 was bright and promising in 1996, it simply didn’t age well. Man, that’s a downer.
The simple fact is that there are so many amazing modern versions of the Super Mario 64 formula. Between Super Mario 3D Land, the Super Mario Galaxy games, and Mario’s Call Of Duty: Mushroom Kingdom Siege, you can still experience all the greatness of 3D Mario with much better controls, graphics, and missions. OK, I made the last one up. But you’d play it, wouldn’t you?
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Noa Kosanovic