When I started gaming, I was really young in the early 80’s and the games were really simplistic.
The player could only do what the gamedesigner intented with the game. For Example, Super Mario Brothers on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) is a typical platform game and you control Mario, who can walk from left to right in the screen. Your goal was to reach the end of the level and that was it, your mission was accomplished and the next level began. During the early 90’s there were a lot of platform games and I mean really a lot. Everything was 2D so the platform genre was very popular. To mention a few great ones: the Sonic series, the Mario series, Vectorman for the Sega Megadrive and Kirby’s Dreamland. When the 32 bit ara started, this all changed. The new generation consoles like the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn could produce 3D graphics, and 3D platform games were born.
For example: Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation was a great game and it was 3D but I missed something. Everything was so obvious and stricted in this game. You couldn’t decide where to go because you were just following paths. Then I saw for the first time Mario 64 in EDGE magazine, for the new Nintendo 64. I was overwhelmed by the graphics and especially the 3D world were Mario was in.
This was the first game I’ve played were the player could decide where to go. You could play the game but you could also just hang around in the garden of the castle and fool around. The player was the boss for the first time. The first time I played this game was at Emotion ’96; a game expo in Amsterdam. I saw the Japanese version of Mario 64 and I was hooked. I just keeped on playing and playing and especially looking and discovering all day long.
The next day, I went back to the expo for two reasons. Reason one: to play more offcourse , reason two: to see the expo, because I didn’t saw anything else yet because of this game. I’m not gonna write what this game is about, because this is not a review and it’s just a description from my experience back in the day. It’s now the year 2012 and I still think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life. The game was so innovative for that time that it still blows my mind that this is game is already 16 years old. If you haven’t played it yet, buy a Nintendo 64 and this game. You won’t regret it. If you already have this game or played it before, play it again because it’s so good and so much more to discover even if you have collected all the 120 stars. So what are you still doing here!! Grab your N64 controller and start playing Mario 64!! 😉