Saturday, February 4, 2012

4. Super Mario 64 (N64)

In 1996 gamers were entering a new world, the 3d era. No longer were you restricted by two dimensions. You could finally move in 360 degrees of complete freedom… or at least that was the idea. See, before Super Mario 64 came out, this was only a theory, never actually done in practice. Games like Bug! For the Sega Saturn and Crash Bandicoot for the PS1 proved that 3d platformers had a long way to go. Then, Mario 64 came out. As soon as you started up the game you could roam around Princess Peach’s garden outside her castle. Just In this little area, gamers were blown away. You could run, jump, slide, crawl, and swim anywhere your heart desired. This was true freedom of movement. Nintendo did it. They mastered 3d and they wanted the world to know about it. Even the camera, for its time, was highly fluid, as opposed to the terrible fixed cameras of games like Bug! and Crash Bandicoot. Once you get inside Peach’s castle however, it’s apparent that Bowser is up to his old tricks again, and has kidnapped the poor princess along with the castle’s life source, the power stars. To get them back and save the one you love, you have to be a bit crazy… you have to jump into the castle’s paintings. Yes, in each painting is a whole world waiting to be explored and saved from Bowser’s minions. This was an innovative idea from Nintendo. Of course, once you're in the paintings, the standard Mario rules still apply, hop and bop on enemies’ heads and make precision jumps to get to your goal. Mario 64 is best 3d platformer ever made, and it’s the greatest game on the N64.

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