I don’t write about video games much, mostly because I don’t play many video games. In fact, the only games I do play are old-school ones. If it’s a newer console than the Nintendo 64, I’m probably not playing it. I’ve played some video games in the recent weeks, including starting a new season in NHL Stanley Cup for Super Nintendo. Let’s go, Canucks! When talking old-school games, though, there’s nothing in my mind that beats Super Mario 64.
Super Mario 64 was part of the introduction of the Nintendo 64 in 1996. It also introduced three-dimensional, open world gaming to many. No longer did you have to go on side-scrolling adventures. There had been many Mario games previously, but you were just moving in one linear direction. Now, suddenly, Mario could run all over the place.
I prefer the look of old-school video games to the modern stuff, and the look of Super Mario 64 is still strong to me. It’s simple and colorful and makes for a nice world to be in. The game play is also right on the money. Part of the reason I don’t play modern games, and this may make me sound like an old man, is that there is too much stuff you have to wrangle. There are too many buttons and too much nonsense. Give me a few buttons and a few things I can do. That’s all I need.
Plus, this is just a simple Mario game. I’ve played later games, like Super Mario Sunshine, but they are too gimmicky. There is no gimmick to Super Mario 64. At the time, it being a 3D world was the gimmick. That means the bells and whistles were limited. The game is a perfect level of difficulty. It’s beatable, and at this point I’ve played it so much I can beat it with relative ease, but you won’t fly through it. You will die here and there, maybe even get a game over or two. Sometimes you will drown, which is super grim.
Super Mario 64 is the best. It’s still the quintessential video game to me. If I am just going to play one game, it’s going to be this 24-year-old beauty for a long obsolete game system. Well, maybe I’ll play WWE No Mercy instead, which is the best fighting game ever. That’s a story for another day.