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I Love You, Mario, but Your N64 Game is Shit


Okay, guys, here's the deal.

I learned how to play Super Mario Brothers before I knew how to properly tie my shoes.  I routinely skipped over the warps and still do so to this day in order to enjoy every aspect of the original titles on the NES.  Every summer, I go back and play through a selection of core Mario titles, usually including 1-3, World and some combination of New games along with a Galaxy.  This year, since I finally have a 3DS and Wii U, I will be including 3D Land and 3D World, as well as NSMB2.  Sunshine will be next year.

I cannot fucking be arsed with Super Mario 64.

This is blasphemic heresy in all forms of Nintendo fandom.  I get it.  The game is untouchable with criticism, it was a pioneer in 3D platforming, it's still the best game ever...yeah, no.  Just look at the above GIF and tell me that every memory you have from playing Mario 64 is a good one.  

Not happening.

One reason I still enjoy playing every other game in the series is because of how timeless and smooth they feel.  The controls are consistent and if you fuck up, you feel as if it was your mistake and you simply need to try again next time.  It may take thirty attempts, but eventually you will land the jumps you need to nail in World 8 of SMB 1 and feel like a fucking boss when you finally send Bowser to his death.  This holds true for World and every other 3D entry that I have played up to this point (I cannot imagine I will be complaining about this with 3D World).  

When the Nintendo 64 was released, I adopted the system about two years after launch, initially veering off in the direction of the PlayStation.  Once I got my hands on Mario 64, I spent a considerable amount of time hunting for stars...and I can't remember where I stopped, but by the time several Crash Bandicoots and Ocarina of Time were out, I simply lost interest.  Over a decade later, I resolved to finish what I had started and conquer all 120 stars, if for no other reason than to see Yoshi on top of the damned castle.

 Look, I have played "bad" or otherwise disappointing games before, ones that I don't think lived up to press-generated hype or simply did not agree with my personal taste.  There is no way, however, that Mario 64 deserves all the praise, nostalgia-fueled or otherwise, that it seems to consistently retain to this day.  There is nothing fun about earning at least twenty percent of the stars necessary to 100% the game.  

My blood pressure is rising just thinking about trying to fly through some of the red cap stages.

To further illustrate my frustration, Super Mario Sunshine, unquestionably the most underrated and underappreciated game with "Super Mario" attached to the title, controls like an absolute dream while maintaining many of the same manuevers in 64 that have taken years off my life, yet gets zero respect when stacked up against the rest of the series.  Why?  Did people simply want Mario 128 and were put off by the F.L.U.D.D. device?  Was the Gamecube itself alienating to those who did not buy on day one?

I am honestly open to opinions, because I just don't get it.  Finally earning the 120th star, whatever it was, felt more like work than any grindfest session I have plowed through in an RPG.  I would rather scoop up the Blue Coins in Sunshine all over again than try to hit that goddamn pyramid door pictured above.  Hell, I would take dying 100 times in The Lost Levels because, as stated above, the problem in the NES games was me, not the level itself.

Okay, thanks for reading and let me go grab my flame shield before everyone yells at me.


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About anystrom0one of us since 1:16 PM on 05.04.2015

Gamer since I knew how to tie my shoes. Writer for almost as long, previously seen on Bleacher Report, NSFW Gamer and WhatCulture!

Currently freelancing as a research assistant on an undisclosed book, and as a contractor for Study.com.

Another love is wrestling, as shown here with my friend Matt: Smart Mark Roommates on Youtube

Also, here is David Cage's Willem Dafoe staring blankly: