Owners of the Nintendo 64 back in 1995 longed for their first showcase game – one that could be used to show off their expensive investment in Nintendo’s new hardware.
After a little wait, Super Mario 64 came along and it ticked all the boxes of the platform’s starved gamers and more. What made the N64 unique at the time was its rather unusual controller with a ‘3D’ analogue stick on the centre prong with all manner of button formations in support. Super Mario 64 was developed around the pad with the analogue stick used to control Mario in a 3D space within a fantastical colourful world.
The back-story is typical Ninty. Bowser has imprisoned Princess Peach in her castle. Controlling the titular Italian plumber you must gain access to the castle’s deepest recesses by collecting power stars that gradually open areas that were previously un-accessible – three floors, a basement, a moat and a courtyard all require searching in the quest to rescue the princess.
Though a little dated graphically (it has been out a while), Super Mario 64 still has oodles of charm, atmosphere and playability. This is a title that all emulators of the Nintendo 64 want to get right and it appears on many of the little handheld consoles, such as the Anbernic range, to show off what the console and emulator can do.
There have been many sequels from the Nintendo camp to Mario 64, but as always, it can be argued that the original is the best and one to go to, even though the graphics on the N64 do present the game a little blurred - a charm of the host system we have all grown to love.
This article first appeared in the very first issue of Fusion magazine that you can buy right here: