News Article

Valve's Gabe Newell Thinks Super Mario 64 Is Just Swell

Posted by Damien McFerran

Esteemed developer lists it as his favourite non-Valve game

Gabe Newell is arguably one of the most important people in the games industry right now. He's the co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation, a company which has created some amazing titles and is behind Steam — a popular digital distribution platform which many predict will become Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft's biggest rival in coming years.

He's also a man of impeccable taste, as he has listed Super Mario 64 as his favourite "non-Valve" game. He delivered the verdict during an Reddit AMA session.

The comment has clearly pleased someone at Nintendo of America, as it has been leapt on by the company's official Twitter account:

However, this isn't the first time that Newell has voiced this very same opinion. Speaking with Computer & Video Games back in 2011, he said that Mario 64 was:

Still my favourite game of all time. I still have vivid memories of all the different levels. The control is still pretty much unrivalled. It convinced me that games were art.

Newell's love of Mario hasn't thus far resulted in his company giving Nintendo any development love, but he did say back in 2011 that the Wii U was a "better fit" for Valve's "scalability model".

[via en-us.reddit.com]

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User Comments (72)

dadajo

#3

dadajo said:

So should I suspect Half Life 3 coming out exclusively to wiiu? Lol imagine how much rage that would cause around the Internet:

EarthboundBenjy

#4

EarthboundBenjy said:

Mario 64 is okay. I never thought that this game had good controls though. Every Mario game after this had much better controls. Many other N64 games such as Banjo-Kazooie have better controls than this as well.

My favourite video game is Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow, and my favourite Nintendo game is Metroid Prime followed closely by Majora's Mask.

bezerker99

#8

bezerker99 said:

Super Mario 64 was my favorite 3D Mario game......until I got Super Mario 3D World a week or so ago.

I still think, however, the music in SM64 is the best in the series. That could just be nostalgia speaking to me though...

Ony

#10

Ony said:

M il the 13th letter of the alphabet
64 / 13 = ~5
5 - (Half-Life) 2 = 3

Half-Life 3 confirmed.

WaveyChristmas

#12

WaveyChristmas said:

No other 3D mario can match the subtle precise 'in full control' feeling of Mario 64, in combination with the tighter 64 Stick makes for one hell of a 3D expereince! B-)

bizcuthammer

#15

bizcuthammer said:

I've never been wowed by a video game as much as i was when i played Super Mario 64 back in 1996. I was 8 years old, and it was the first true 3D game i'd ever played. I loved exploring the levels and Peach's castle for hidden secrets. I loved using the wing cap to fly around levels. While i think there are better games overall now, nothing since has wowed me like that.

Nintenjoe64

#16

Nintenjoe64 said:

Gabe might love Mario 64 but he doesn't love supporting Nintendo consoles. If they've got no plans to released Half Life 3 on any format, why not give us a Wiimote or gamepad enhanced Counter Strike GO and ports of Half Life 1-2 Ep.2.

Would love them to announce that Wii U was getting a Steam app that made the Wii U into a steam box!

Samurai_Goroh

#18

Samurai_Goroh said:

Super Mario 64 was also my first true 3D game experience. Nothing felt more revolutionary than Mario doing acrobatic moves roaming freely around the castle. Jaw-dropping.

LtAldoRaine

#19

LtAldoRaine said:

Still pretty much my favorite game as well. Many following games have better controls and level design,but nothing comes close to the impact this game had on me.

FritzFrapp

#21

FritzFrapp said:

Wind Waker remains the best game I've ever played. Super Mario 64 was the biggest shock though – and the game is definitely in my Top 5. Never seen so many dropped jaws when the first demos of that game became available. Even non-gamers were entranced. I doubt we'll ever see the like of its impact again.

Peach64

#22

Peach64 said:

Mario 64 is my favourite one too, and I hope one day they get back to that style.

People still struggle to understand game development is a business however. People don't decide wether to make a Wii U game based on if they like or dislike Nintendo.

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

I played SM 64 way too late in my gaming life to really enjoy it - too much hype - but I am impressed its still his favorite game w/ everything that has gone on in the industry the past 10 years or so. Good for him.

audiobrainiac

#25

audiobrainiac said:

Man i agree with him. I have SO many good Super Mario 64 memories! Wish it was on my Wii U virtual console.

Dinosaurs

#26

Dinosaurs said:

Nintendo's gotta give it a makeover a la Grezzo's OOT3D but with HD fidelities and let us all love again :)

KeithTheGeek

#27

KeithTheGeek said:

Personally I prefer 3D World and Sunshine, but 64 still packs a lot of classic charm and is a joy just to see in motion. I had to chuckle since they specified "non-Valve" game.

sinalefa

#29

sinalefa said:

I bought an N64 back in the day at launch because of Mario 64. I loved the game to pieces but that taught me not to buy a system for a single game again.

darkswabber

#31

darkswabber said:

mario 64, first 3d mario game. half life 3 confirmed!
no just kidding, happy to hear someone so important to gaming loves a Nintendo game.

aaronsullivan

#32

aaronsullivan said:

@EarthboundBenjy
"Mario 64 is okay. I never thought that this game had good controls though." Sure, if you subtract perspective and context from the argument.

Mario 64 invented third person controls that don't suck. The push the direction you want to move seems quite intuitive now but it was not an obvious thing to program or attempt at the time. It required thinking of the player first and what was lost in moving from 2D into 3D (push this way character moves that way). Other games tried to do this by forcing the camera behind the player all the time which made it like first person gaming with a characters backside in the way of your vision, or used tank controls like Resident Evil.

Not only did it fix that problem but it added several interesting things to do like squat jumping and triple jumps.

It had the best controls, most games copy them, and --shocker-- controls have been refined SINCE then.

Gerbwmu

#33

Gerbwmu said:

That picture.......looks like he just walked into an unfortunate smell.........

ClockworkMario

#36

ClockworkMario said:

@aaronsullivan
But the question isn't which game had the greatest controls in 1996 nor is it which one revolutionised gaming most; it's about which feels the most fluid today. I played 64 on VC 'round the year 2011 and was astounded about how sloppy the controls and camera felt, especially after the universal praise the Internet had showered on it for the past decade. Simply put playing it wasn't enjoyable, and if a Mario game like that would come out in 2014 it would be slaughtered by critics and audience alike.

Don't take me wrong; I'm not trying to strip it of its merits –SM64 forever changed the field of gaming. Let's compare it to airplanes: I'd rather fly on a shining new Boeing than the Wrights' first effort, that barely got off the ground, even though I can admire their legacy.

noctowl

#38

noctowl said:

I never understood the love for Gabe. Good job, you made a bunch of gamers fall in love with your DRM riddled steam machine.

UnseatingKDawg

#39

UnseatingKDawg said:

I betcha the "PC Master Race" people are probably short-circuiting right now because their God loves a console game.

aaronsullivan

#40

aaronsullivan said:

@ClockworkMario
Going by his quote, I think Gabe was talking about the control-style although there is room for interpretation. (In other words, no one has come up with a better way to control a third person game than what Mario 64 brought to the table.)

I do wonder if people complaining about the controls are using original N64 controllers or something else. It's quite tight last time I checked. The camera certainly had serious issues and can still be a problem in modern games, Mario or not.

ClockworkMario

#41

ClockworkMario said:

@aaronsullivan
Could be, and it's true that Mario 64 laid the foundation.

I played the game on a GC-controller, though I don't think it had much effect on the experience. Mario just felt like he was on ice the whole time and even the slightest movements were sort of odd jerks.

TenEighty

#42

TenEighty said:

Mario 64 is the best Mario ever! Sunshine and Galaxy don't even come close. Super Mario World SNES comes in second for me.

ricklongo

#43

ricklongo said:

It's in my top five games of all time. Definitely my favorite Mario. Hoping to give it a retry on my Wii U VC sooner rather than later. If only.

Jorzha

#44

Jorzha said:

Personally like super mario sunshine more then mario 64, but nostalgia is definetly part of the reason why i think so. I didn't own a 64 as a kid, My first console was the Gamecube =P

element187

#45

element187 said:

@Peach64 I don't expect any gamers to understand the VG industry. Its completely hopeless. They still think Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive out of Platinum Game's choice and a big f u to their fans on 360/ps3, and not by necessity of keeping the project alive.

tanookisuit

#46

tanookisuit said:

Gabe makes a good point. As far as 3D platformers go despite so many since looking and sounding nicer due to system advances and even design choices (Conker at the end of N64) when it comes to the variety of stages and core mechanics and camera control I still believe it to be unrivaled. It's a fantastic game you can far more easily tread back to against later Mario titles no matter how nice they are on the surface.

GooRoo

#49

GooRoo said:

Just picked up the DS version for a good price. Looking forward to experiencing it again!

electrolite77

#51

electrolite77 said:

Still a stunning game. Plays, controls and sounds great even now (though the graphics are obviously dated) 18 (that's eighteen!) years on. If only Nintendo still harnessed their innovative control systems to powerful technology and reached for the (pardon the pun) stars in terms of game design.

K-Gamer

#52

K-Gamer said:

Favorite mario game? 3d World. Followed by 64. But we all know that from an overall view, that the Galaxies are best.

If I were to list five best I would say DK 64, 3d World, Luigis Mansion, WindWaker or OOT, and SSB Brawl.

FilmerNgameR

#56

FilmerNgameR said:

I agree with him. Super Mario 64 DS is my favorite Mario game of all the Mario's. *sigh If only Nintendo can make more Mario games like it. Sonic's been my main platformfer for quite some time now it would be nice to get back to another new Mario game like 64.

JubilifeRival

#57

JubilifeRival said:

I absolutely LOVE Super Mario 64. It's one of my favorite Mario games and I played it at a day-watch school when I was a little kid xD Years later, I remembered the game and picked up a copy. I ended up making it even farther then I did at the daycare! This game brings back good memories, and is so fun.

Squid

#58

Squid said:

I agree, SM64 is one of my favorites too. Arguably my favorite Mario game at least. It was my first introduction to Mario, and I had the best memories playing it. That's probably just nostalgia, but I think the game still holds up today. Is not perfect, but I think it's something of a blueprint of what some 3D Mario games should be.

WaveyChristmas

#59

WaveyChristmas said:

No other 3D Mario will ever have that groundbreaking magic like 64 did....Unless it's Virtual reality. :P Best 3D mario imo, regardless if you think it holds up or not. I prefer to judge games when they were released during their hay day when they were cutting edge rather than stack them all together as they are now.

Jeremyx7

#60

Jeremyx7 said:

I've said this before and I'll say it again, if Nintendo and Valve ever somehow joined forces to create games and/or a console together that could very well bring about the next golden age of gaming...

BlackStar9000

#61

BlackStar9000 said:

@Nintenjoe64 I never thought of that, a stream capable steam box built in to an Wii U app, that would be amazing and great for Nintendo on SO many levels, all of those PC games......

Deathgaze

#63

Deathgaze said:

Mario 64 was OK, but like 99% of the N64 library, critically overrated. Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 outshine Mario 64 in every way possible. The Galaxy games have a camera that works for starters.

Genesaur

#64

Genesaur said:

I've been thinking for a while that, if any Nintendo title could really do with an HD remake, it's Super Mario 64. Think about that for a second - all the music and gameplay left intact from the original, but with the crisp kind of visuals we got in Super Mario 3D World? Sign me up.

WhiteTrashGuy

#68

WhiteTrashGuy said:

I really want the next Mario to offer an explorable experience. I love the Galaxy titles, but there was something very special about exploring Peach's Castle. Make it happen, N.

Deathgaze

#70

Deathgaze said:

@Falco No, just I was old enough to know better and not be blinded like everyone who thinks the N64 is perfect because it was their first system.

Blue-Thunder

#71

Blue-Thunder said:

@Jowy
Maybe so, but to say 99% of N64 games are "critically overrated". Come on that is not true. The N64 was not my first system but it was a good console with more than a few classic games.

Deathgaze

#72

Deathgaze said:

@Falco Maybe you're right. The way I see it, the system has a very fine line between the good and bad titles. The titles that are really good, are phenomenal and some of the best games ever made. But the vast majority of that system to me is junk. But hey that's my opinion. I had a SNES before hand and preferred the PS1 for the 32/64 bit gen.

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