Review by Shadow Flare
Does nostalgia and Mario really mix for a good game...?
Oh no! I'm actually giving a Mario game a bad review. I guess I'm one of the guys who can really pick out a flaw in a game and see it for what it really is. Or maybe at times I'm just brutally honest. No, this isn't blasphemy. This isn't some Nintendo hate. This is just me reviewing this game for what I (and consequently, most of my friends) actually think of it after we've played through it.
Back in the day, I used to love this game. I played it to death, and probably broke over 4 controllers just getting absolutely pissed at some of the trickier levels. It does have its hard moments. Now that I've downloaded it for the Virtual Console, it's brought back a few good old school memories. Some levels have been fun. It's been great whooping on Big Bob-Omb again, and it's been pretty fun swinging Bowser around by the tail and frying him with a huge spiked bomb. And, some parts just haven't been fun. They've been irritating all over again. Still, it's not the actual difficulty of the game that really makes me score this bad, but you'll see why later on.
Graphics I really don't have too much to say on this here. It seems exactly the same as the Nintendo 64 graphics. Pretty good for the time. Actually, back then, I thought that they were excellent. I don't have any complaints here. I guess overall I'd give this category a:
Gameplay No real problem here. Some of the levels are fun. As I stated before, there's a lot of good memories here, and even people who haven't played this before might have some fun with it. Of course, like every game, it gets harder as it goes on. Some of the levels I actually find unnecessarily hard, and at times it can go to ruin the game for me. But still, basically you just walk around as Mario in a 3D world. You can still jump on enemies, but you can punch this time too. The butt stomp and the long jump are new moves added to Mario's repertoire. Plus, you can pick up caps, which can give you the ability to fly, turn into metal (thus sinking into water or avoiding poison), or turn invisible and pass through solid objects. All of these play integral parts in levels and can add to the fun factor. Most of the boss fights are actually pretty easy and fun, plus the fact that you can fight them over and over again really ups the fun factor of the game.
Controls Ahh, now this is where the problems begin. This is why I wouldn't ever actually shell out more than 10 bucks for this thing ever again. The controls are horrible. Bottom line, they suck. Mario really slides around too much in this game, even when he's not on ice. He just doesn't stop when you tell him to stop. His jumps can seem a bit shaky and akward at times, plus the fact that when you land, you usually slide a bit just makes things really, really unnecessarily irritating. The akwardness and lack of bug-testedness of the controls aside, let's talk about the camera angle. This probably ruined the game moreso than the controls. You can never get the camera to really stick in a good position. Sometimes you even get stuck with crappy akward cameras that can make it near impossible to time a jump properly. Plus usually at these times you can't actually change the camera, and you can get utterly screwed out of any progress in a level that you've made. There is a behind view in one of the two camera modes, but it's too close up and follows you around too much. It's really too bad that there wasn't some type of 'Zelda Ocarina of Time' camera mode, because that would have been perfect. The closest thing you can get is the 'Mario' mode zoomed out, but the camera moves from side to side and distorts your view once again. The unrefined controls and bad camera work are the true ruining factors of this game for me, and I proudly give it this score.
Sound No complaints here. Some of the tunes are kinda catchy. Sounds just like it did on the N64.
Replay value Ahh, I'm not really sure what to say on this one. The poor controls and the camera angles make me want to just put in bold lettering "STAY AWAY", but it does have some fun moments. Replaying it just to beat up the enemies again, if not for nothing else can be fun when you've got nothing to do. But when it really comes down to it, I kinda wish I hadn't purchased this thing again for the VC. I don't really have much motive to play it again, but I don't have much motive to get rid of it either, because some of the points above will actually make me turn it on sometimes, if not to prove to others that the controls are really that bad.
Overall, this game rated pretty low for me, just because of the controls. The camera angles, or lack of good ones in this game can really debilitate your ability to play successfully. I'd honestly tell you to spend your Wii points on something else. Then again, it might be cheaper than spending cash on an old 64 and cartridge. Still, if you have the system already and the game, save your points for something actually decent on the Virtual Console. Hey, I hear Star Fox 64 might be coming out soon.
Rating: 1.0 - Terrible
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