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Topic: Is Mario 64 over-rated?

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SNES_JRPG

101. Posted:

Yeah what problems do you have with the N64? State all problems.

SNES_JRPG

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8BitSamurai

102. Posted:

SNES_JRPG wrote:

Yeah what problems do you have with the N64? State all problems.

Bizarre controller

  • Analog sticks are infamous for losing tightness after limited play
  • Rumble pak devours batteries, and awkward and clumsy to use with other controller accessories

Poorly designed hardware

Ancient cartridge format

Very, very, limited game library

  • Almost all of Nintendo's close 3rd party developers jumped ship for the PlayStation (Case in point, Squaresoft, Namco, Konami, Capcom, etc.)
  • No RPG's
  • No fighters
  • No shmups
  • Few racing games
  • Very few strategy games
  • No 2D games of any variety
  • Numerous other genres completely missing in any form
  • Despite it's small library, much of it is known for poor quality
  • No Metroid, its Kirby game is generally acknowledged as one of the weakest entries, Donkey Kong was a Banjo knock-off, Yoshi's Story was poorly received, its Mario Kart is commonly thought of as one of the weakest entries along with it's Mario RPG,
  • This is personal opinion, but many, many horribly overrated games, including (But certainly not limited to) Mario 64, both Zeldas, and Banjo-Kazooie

The worst part is, this is just scratching the surface!

/Barricading PS1 bunker

Edited on by 8BitSamurai

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MideonNViscera

103. Posted:

I would imagine the controls in Mario 64 may feel a bit sloppy these days, but I haven't played it since back in the day so I can't say for sure. Starfox 64 is probably still pretty great since it was just a forced movement space shooter anyway, and they never made a better one.

EDIT: Mario Kart 64 was the best, so WTF guy above me. Yoshi's Story is my sister's favorite game of all time, though it was clearly way too "silly" for most.
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8BitSamurai

104. Posted:

MideonNViscera wrote:

EDIT: Mario Kart 64 was the best, so WTF guy above me. Yoshi's Story is my sister's favorite game of all time, though it was clearly way too "silly" for most.

I don't have personal experience with most of the MK's, but when nostalgia is done and over with, I hear that one frequently cited as one of the weakest entries, if nothing else due to horrible rubber banding AI (Though this is present in other MK's).

Edited on by theblackdragon

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Ryno

105. Posted:

@8BitSamurai:

Untitled

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WaveBoy

106. Posted:

8BitSamurai wrote:

MideonNViscera wrote:

EDIT: Mario Kart 64 was the best, so WTF guy above me. Yoshi's Story is my sister's favorite game of all time, though it was clearly way too "silly" for most.

I don't have personal experience with most of the MK's, but when nostalgia is done and over with, I hear that one frequently cited as one of the weakest entries, if nothing else due to horrible rubber banding AI (Though this is present in other MK's).

Mario Kart 64 sucked then and it sucks even harder now. The SNES original was just magical, the N64 sequel felt a little lifeless with it's barren 3D visuals, lack of detail and giant walls of Blurry nothingness like every other N64 game, it didn't carry that wonderful charm over in the transition, something was lost. I gave it a rental but grew bored if it rather quickly, it's an oddity since i went ape sh** crazy over 'Super' mario kart which still manages to holds up quite while. It left such an impression on me, where as 64 was absolutely forgettable.

I also enjoyed Super Circuit on the GBA to some extent, but i never really got into Double Dash, MKDS(overrated imo, i've spent dozens of hours on it and it's probably the 2nd weakest in the series imo. The 3D visuals didn't do it any favors and the Bullet Bill & blue shell weapons killed it.) and MKWii didn't really do that much for me either. I'm optomistic though for the stellar looking MK8 and i still havented touched my 3DS copy of MK7! :P

The Fire Flower weapon looks awesome, just being able to hurl fire balls at your openent to me looks like an insta' win. ;)......Ribbit. :*

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RancidVomit86

107. Posted:

@CountWavula I think MK64 was best when played with a group of friends. Solo it was kinda blah. So I see your point there. Super Circuit was awesome I thought. I really vested some time in it but I'm also in what seems like the rare minority of people who thought Double Dash was the best MK yet.

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SomeBitTripFan

108. Posted:

@RancidVomit86: To help derail this thread further, I have to agree. DD was fantastic. The races were hard, the items were incredible (not to mention the strategy of who to use, and it was just plain fun. If 8 gets a Double Dash mode, I'll jump enough to move the Earth a foot off course.

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8BitSamurai

109. Posted:

@CountWavula
@Ryno
@ogo79

CountWavula wrote:

with it's barren 3D visuals, lack of detail and giant walls of Blurry nothingness like every other N64 game

You have no idea how much I enjoyed reading this. (No sarcasm)

@RancidVomit86
Double Dash is actually my favorite too.

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TwilightPhantom

110. Posted:

I don't think Super Mario 64 was overrated. I remember playing it in 1996 like it was yesterday. It was the game that single-handedly invented 3D platformers as we know them. All 3D platformers that came after Super Mario 64 owe something to it. Spyro, Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Rayman, Epic Mickey etc. Its influence extends far beyond the platforming genre too, and bleeds into other genres as well. Before Super Mario 64, I was playing 2D games on the SNES and Sega Genesis.

After Super Mario 64, that was my transition to 3D and at the time was wonderful to experience something new like that. I was playing SNES when my friend came with a N64 for the first time to my house, but I abandoned it immediately for SM64 because that game was too awesome. Really I don't think I've been blown by a game more than SM64 since then. OoT might have been better, but since SM64 came first, it was arguably more mind-blowing for its time. I had a library of about 30-35 N64 games at the end of its lifecycle and loved all of the games. I have no complaints.

I don't think any N64 game is overrated. It was one of the systems I experienced the best during its day, since I had so many games for it, and knew so many friends with an N64 too with their own games. There are very few games on the N64 that I played that I didn't enjoy. The only one that comes to mind is "Hey you Pikachu" which I played at a friend's. Voice commands didn't actually work too well in that game. Even today voice recognition is a problem (Xbox One's Kinect 2.0. still doesn't pick up everything), let alone back then. So it was a broken game to say the least.

After the N64 I also preferred 3D gaming more than 2D gaming. I think my opinion is in contrast with a lot of people's opinions. I think Mario went downhill after each iteration. Super Mario 64 was amazing, and Super Mario Sunshine too, but I couldn't even get into Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was worse, and felt like a rehash of the first, yet it gets praised like hell. I never collected 120 Stars in either of those Galaxy games in full, whilst with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine I collected all 120 and it left me wanting more. There was more freedom in those games too. The Galaxy games were too linear and had a boring space atmosphere with small islands and little to explore.

By the time Super Mario Galaxy was out as well, Nintendo was not on top of the industry anymore like they were in the 90's. Western developers have caught up with the Japanese developers which ruled during the 80's and 90's. I honestly preferred playing games like World of Warcraft (in its prime) at the time Super Mario Galaxy was released. "Oh yeah, I beat Super Mario Galaxy. Now back to WoW!" Super Mario Galaxy for its time definitely not as good as Super Mario 64 was compared to its time. All games age, but you have to see how good they were for their time. If I go back to my N64 games now, I can't get sucked into most of them like when I was a kid. That doesn't mean they weren't good back in the day. You can't fault the past for not having the technology of the future.

With all of that said though, I think probably SNES games aged better than the N64 games as a whole, as N64 was kind of a beginning phase for 3D gaming, a.k.a. the Uncanny Valley of gaming. It was also an experimental phase, since the developers were still trying to experiment at the time how to make 3D games work. And that's why I think N64 has some of the most unique gaming experiences that their design has since been forgotten. Examples include Bomberman 64, Buck Bumble, Chameleon Twist and Blast Corps.

There just aren't many games anymore like those, because developers aren't experimenting anymore like back in those days. They just use established formulas. Formulas that games like SM64 established. SM64's design survived (thanks to Sunshine and Galaxy), but the same can't be said for those other N64 games. In fact, OoT and SM64 just may be the only two N64 games that their design survived the ravages of time through their sequels or through games of other developers.

As for the N64 vs. PS1 thing, I did not care at all about the PS1 during its era, and when I play it today it doesn't look that great. Just look at Cloud from FFVII. He literally looks like a block, with blocky arms, and with the head of a cube. It was a 32-bit system compared to the N64's 64-bit technology. And yes, some of the N64 peripherals were clunky in retrospect, but when you were a kid you didn't really mind all of that, since you didn't know any better at the time. PS1 proceeded to copy the N64's rumble feature idea. People who played PS1 during the day is blinded by nostalgia too, because as somebody with no nostalgia for that system, I don't enjoy the PS1 at all. I don't like how the games look at all. I tried to get into the games, but time and time again I don't get past the first hour of the games.

Super Mario 64 is in my opinion better than Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars). Both are amazing, but you can't beat Super Mario 64. There is something about that game that Nintendo has failed to recapture since then. And it was when Nintendo was on top of the industry, when the Japanese development scene in general was on top of the industry. While Star Fox 64 is a great game, it's an on-rails shooter, so you have no freedom whatsoever in that game for the most part. With Super Mario 64, you can run around Princess Peach's Castle, jump up the trees, dive underwater. All of these stuff were so mind-blowing to do back in the day, and you just have to trust me on that one.

SM64 was dubbed the #2 most innovative game of all time at GameTrailers. And here's a documentary that goes through the history of Mario (After 14:00 you will get a segment on Mario 64): http://youtu.be/jRX6la1xrTU?t=14m

TL;DR: No. Super Mario 64 is not overrated. It was amazing for its time.

Edited on by TwilightPhantom

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8BitSamurai

111. Posted:

@TwilightPhantom
With all due respect, OP did say in his original post that he meant if it was overrated as a game today, not based on how innovative or revolutionary it was in the 90's.

TwilightPhantom wrote:

As for the N64 vs. PS1 thing, I did not care at all about the PS1 during its era, and when I play it today it doesn't look that great. Just look at Cloud from FFVII. He literally looks like a block, with blocky arms, and with the head of a cube. It was a 32-bit system compared to the N64's 64-bit technology.

Final Fantasy VII is probably not a good comparison, since it started development in the early days of the PS1, and in the day it was actually applauded for brilliant visuals (Check old magazines and early internet articles). Better examples of what it could do would be Final Fantasy VIII ( http://youtu.be/IOMReDD0aaU ) or Ridge Racer Type 4 ( http://youtu.be/GieZGf7A3W8 ). The Nintendo 64 being 64-bit really does not give it any technological benefit at all, after 32-bits, it was pretty much just a marketing tactic. The Dreamcast actually has as many, if not more, bits than the Xbox. That being said, the Nintendo 64 should be a more powerful console on paper (In 3D, it really can't compete with the PS1 and especially the Saturn in 2D), but due to questionably designed hardware, games on the PS1 tend to look as good and usually better than N64 games. Especially when you count the PS1's FMV and pre-rendered backgrounds (Both of which you can see in FF VIII).

TwilightPhantom wrote:

And yes, some of the N64 peripherals were clunky in retrospect, but when you were a kid you didn't really mind all of that, since you didn't know any better at the time. PS1 proceeded to copy the N64's rumble feature idea.

The reason they're so clunky and difficult to use is mainly because Nintendo thought it swell to put them all in the same port on the controller (Which juts out in an annoying way, IMO). Yes, the PS1 copied the rumble, but at least it didn't require an accessory (Which then in turned required tons of batteries).

Edited on by 8BitSamurai

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TwilightPhantom

112. Posted:

@8BitSamurai
Well, to each their own. It's debatable whether the PS1 looked better than the N64. I've heard arguments from both sides. I'm just saying from the games I played, I didn't think it looked better than the N64. Some people say the N64 had better character models, whilst the PS1's environments looked better. And yes, other people told me FFVII was not the best example, and that Vagrant Story is the best looking PS1 game, but I still don't see how it obliterates the N64 in all aspects. There were a lot of pixelated textures on the PS1 (like you could literally see the pixels sticking out), something which the N64 didn't have.

As for whether SM64 is a great game today, that completely depends upon the person. I've seen many people play it today who didn't like it at all. And then some who did like it a lot. Though here's a fun fact: Even Gabe Newell cites Super Mario 64 as one of the top 3 defining games of his life. If it was the end of the world, and he could meet his doom playing one game, it would be Super Mario 64 for him. I still think it's a pretty fun game to this day. And prefer it over the Galaxy games. There is something about that game that NIntendo has failed to recapture since then.

TwilightPhantom

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8BitSamurai

113. Posted:

TwilightPhantom wrote:

Well, to each their own. It's debatable whether the PS1 looked better than the N64. I've heard arguments from both sides. I'm just saying from the games I played, I didn't think it looked better than the N64. Some people say the N64 had better character models, whilst the PS1's environments looked better. And yes, other people told me FFVII was not the best example, and that Vagrant Story is the best looking PS1 game, but I still don't see how it obliterates the N64 in all aspects. There were a lot of pixelated textures on the PS1 (like you could literally see the pixels sticking out), something which the N64 didn't have.

Yeah, you're right on a lot of that. The Nintendo 64 definitely had better specs on paper, but Nintendo admitted to making it hard to develop for in an attempt to weed out bad developers, and there were problems just with the way it worked (With textures in particular). Also, the N64's RAM could be expanded, which did yield improved visuals.

Without getting into too much detail (I don't really have too advanced of a knowledge in these things, TBH), The N64 has native anti-aliasing, so the visuals are much less jagged, and it has a faster processor and pushes out more polygons. What it did badly was textures (They were usually blurred and often just distorted), and tons of fog. Also, the inherent problems of storage with the cartridges.

The PS1 was just much more flexible, and easier to work with, so developers really used it to its full potential. It benefited from the CD format (It can do FMV and can hold many, many more art assets), and better texture memory. It didn't really have any native anti-aliasing though, so a lot of jaggies and aliased models going around. Also, more pop-in.

Basically, as far as I'm aware (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, I'm no tech nut)
N64

  • Smooth edges
  • Cleaner
  • More detail
  • Can improve visuals and other aspects with expanded RAM
  • Blurry and distorted textures
  • Tons of fog
  • No FMV (At least very, very rarely)
  • Not many art assets

PS1

  • Better textures
  • Developers made better use of the hardware
  • FMV
  • CD format (More art assets)
  • One hundred trillion jaggies per square inch on the screen
  • More pop-in
  • Less detail, more pixelation

I'm no tech expert though, so I'm just going with what I've gathered over my gaming time, and the games seem to agree.

That's in 3D though, in 2D, the N64 really just cannot compete. Neither have dedicated 2D hardware (unlike the Saturn), but the PS1 can carry itself along respectably with the CD format and better texture memory. The N64, though, has neither of those, and was pretty much crippled from the get-go for 2D (And only a handful of 2D games were ever released for it).

Personally, my vote easily goes to the PS1. The lack of all the blur, the distortion, and the fog make it so. Not to mention, more art and FMVs, and developers just used what was there better, and respectable 2D performance. But honestly, it's kind of personal preference (Again, only in 3D), since they're both different and have visual ups and downs (And heck, they both look awful by today's standards!). I've pretty much devoted myself as a disciple to the grey 32-bit top loader (That and the SNES), though, so I suppose it's not really a surprise I prefer the PS1 visuals. :P But part of it is, the N64 should have hands-down better visuals, since it was released a year later, in a time of rapidly developing 3D hardware. The fact that it's up for debate says something negative for the N64. Though I will note I think the Nintendo 64's visual issues are the least of it's problems.

TwilightPhantom wrote:

As for whether SM64 is a great game today, that completely depends upon the person. I've seen many people play it today who didn't like it at all. And then some who did like it a lot. Though here's a fun fact: Even Gabe Newell cites Super Mario 64 as one of the top 3 defining games of his life. If it was the end of the world, and he could meet his doom playing one game, it would be Super Mario 64 for him. I still think it's a pretty fun game to this day. And prefer it over the Galaxy games. There is something about that game that NIntendo has failed to recapture since then.

Fair enough, as for me, the controls frustrate me to no end, and the gameplay I find to be rather lackluster.

Edited on by 8BitSamurai

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RancidVomit86

114. Posted:

I believe the Saturn was the most capable hardware of the time but devs didn't know what to do with it. It was ahead of it's time being multi-core. But seeing what Yu Suzuki was doing with it with the Saturn build of Shenmue is incredible.

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CapnPancakes

115. Posted:

I know this is kinda off topic, but whatever. I personally think the Nintendo 64 handles 3D graphics quite a bit better than the PS1. There's no denying that the PS1 had some beautiful 2D sprite work, but when it comes to 3D models, I like the look of games on the N64 a bit more. I think games like Ocarina of Time and Banjo Kazooie still look pretty good today, obviously dated, but still good.

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Ryno

116. Posted:

I wish I played more Sega Saturn back then, seems like it was a really good system.

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8BitSamurai

117. Posted:

RancidVomit86 wrote:

I believe the Saturn was the most capable hardware of the time but devs didn't know what to do with it. It was ahead of it's time being multi-core. But seeing what Yu Suzuki was doing with it with the Saturn build of Shenmue is incredible.

Saturn 2D games can look great, but the Saturn's 3D work can be pretty patchy, TBQH. I don't think SEGA really knew if 3D polygonal games would be the future of gaming, and they really built the system for 2D (And the system actually has a lot of beautiful 2D games, http://youtu.be/pr8NEv4SIP8 ), then added 3D on later. In terms of just raw specs, the Saturn on paper should be capable of about the same 3D performance, and SEGA Saturn fans might even tell you more,(Although Saturn fans have a knack for defending the system to death, so yeah (I'm a hypocrite, I know)), than the PlayStation, but it's the way the system worked that gave the system mediocre 3D capabilities. The dual-processor setup was apparently just a nightmare to develop for (Only one processor could access the memory at a time), and the system's other internals tended just not to make sense (Nothing was really designed to work together). Even worse were the Saturn development kits. The PS1 development kits would simply allow developer to "Turn on" light sourcing or transparency among other effects. Saturn developers would be forced to code everything themselves. Also worth noting, the Saturn used quadrilateral polygons instead of the standard triangles. That being said, very, very few developers were ever willing to put this much effort (And many were just incapable of it) into making good looking games for a niche system (Outside of Japan), so it definitely has the worst 3D performance on average. But really, even at it's maximum, it probably wasn't the most capable system of the day, but since it was abandoned pretty early on, who knows?.

A couple examples of good 3D on the system would be Stellar Assault SS- http://youtu.be/D_7advUakJI - Tons and tons of effects (At times the game even calls on the sound chip to pull them off) and high poly count.
Also, Sonic R (Probably the best 3D visuals on the system) - http://youtu.be/25QNBWdn4EU - A little foggy, but just a great looking game in general.

http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/SATPScompare.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Saturn#Dual_CPUs

Though I would like to note the Saturn has pretty awesome audio (Which was kind of a first for SEGA :P), with the CD format and quality dedicated sound internals.

The Saturn also did have a memory expansion option, but as course of par for late-90's SEGA (If you think they localize badly now, you should have seen SoA in the day!), it was never released in America.

As for the most capable system of the day (Just in general, not just visuals) was, IMO, certainly the PlayStation, with it's easy developing, great 3D performance, surprisingly good 2D performance, great audio, and CD format among a good amount of other factors. The Nintendo 64 surely could have been, by far, but bad decisions (Primarily the cartridges) pretty much took care of that.

Edited on by 8BitSamurai

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RancidVomit86

118. Posted:

@8BitSamurai That's why I pointed to the Shenmue build for Saturn. It really shows what the system could do if someone had the know how. But yea the Saturn was possibly the best system built for 2D. Just look at all of Capcom's great work on it.

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WaveBoy

119. Posted:

The great things to come out of the N64? The amazing full-scope & massive 3D worlds as seen in Mario 64, The unique and daring controller design with that ground breaking analog stick which gave mario 64 fine tuned subtle and precise movements that you NEVER see in modern 3D mario, or pretty much ANY platformer these days, the n64 analog stick was very tight vs the slightly bigger & looser Nintendo sticks of today. It may not have been as comfortable but it provided what felt like full 3D control. The rumble pack was also AWESOME, i don't care if it drains batteries, it's note worthy for being another great innovation that's still being used to this day. ;)

Other than having a few or so amazing classics, i hated the console. It felt like such a downgrade after owning the SNES. I was excited about it in the very beginning(my brother got it before me), but as the months flew by it's game selection 3rd party wise appeared down right appalling.....I got the majority of my fixies' from the PSOne. It's got it's fair share of 32-bit sprite based titles and it has a more of a robust library. I loved the PS1 in 95 & 96, but the love gradually began to dwindle after that.

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8BitSamurai

120. Posted:

RancidVomit86 wrote:

That's why I pointed to the Shenmue build for Saturn. It really shows what the system could do if someone had the know how. But yea the Saturn was possibly the best system built for 2D. Just look at all of Capcom's great work on it.

Yeah, you're right actually, Shenmue looked absolutely incredible for being on a 5th generation system! And to think it wasn't even a finished game! And yeah, Capcom's (And others') 2D games on the system look absolutely fantastic on the Saturn. Even with all of the difficulties programming for it, it was still probably more capable than the Nintendo 64 (Due to cartridges).

I just cannot understand the love for the N64 (Beyond nostalgia). Every time I play another one of it's super-hyped games, it ends up being just decent or downright unbearable! And that's the hyped 1st/3rd party games, the few 3rd party games that ever came to the system besides ports (Which usually had cut content and bad audio), had a knack for being downright atrocious. The analog sticks were pretty innovative, but they were just cheap and it feels like I'm grinding on the controller when I'm using them. Mario 64 pioneered a new genre of platformers, but it has serious control and camera problems, and I know I'm going to get slack for this, but I just, for the most part, hate the games that came later in the Mario 64 style! There's too much non-linearity and collect-a-thon'ing and not enough of what made platformers fun, platforming and action.

And just for the record, I have no nostalgia for any of the 5th generation systems. I had a Nintendo 64 briefly, and then a GameCube. I've never even seen a Saturn, and I've played the PlayStation (The real deal, not backwards compatibility) one time, I've only fallen in love with the games for it only recently..

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Beat: Final Fight, Spec Ops TL, King of Dragons
Favorite games: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Symphony of the Night, Dragon Quest VIII, Tales of the Abyss

3DS Friend Code: 2320-6175-1689 | Nintendo Network ID: 8BitSamurai | Twitter: PrinnySamurai