Hall of Fame Entry #4: Super Mario 64

by Patrick Murphy
Published: Last Updated on

Goomba Stomp’s Hall of Fame is reserved for only those Nintendo titles that can be called absolute classics. Chosen by the crew of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast, these bite-sized capsule reviews reflect what we’ve discussed on the podcast over the past six months. Look for more entries every 25 episodes we record.

Perhaps no transition from consoles was quite as jarring as that from SNES to Nintendo 64, but luckily a familiar face was there to help guide us into the third dimension. It’s hard to explain how just the simple act of Mario running around an open environment, back-flipping and climbing trees, was a revelation. 3D platforming had been tricky to this point, but SM64 nailed it, with intuitive controls (thanks to the N64’s analog stick) and smart design choices- like a shadow to help with orientation- that now seem so obvious, Nintendo showed the rest of the gaming world how it would be done. That they accomplished all this and still made it feel like a Mario game was nothing short of masterful, and despite some out-dated camera controls, the game is still a blast to play today.

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