There have been countless platformers that have come and gone. Most of us have completely forgotten about all those shoddy wannabes, such as Croc and Gex and Tork and all those other pudgy mascots with attitudes who have either put their studios out of business or have been prostituted out so much that the brand is worth less than a burnt cigarette butt partially smoked by Charlie Sheen *cough*Sonic*cough*.

But one platformer, one mascot, one brand has managed to stand the test of time throughout the ages due to being impeccably designed by the grandfather of modern gaming, Shigeru Miyamoto. I'm talking about the one 3D platformer that you can actually pop in and play, and enjoy it as much now as you did back then... I'm talking about Nintendo's Super Mario 64.

Why is the game still one of the best around, even compared to today's standards? Well, there a few things that seem to help the game gleam and glow amongst all the greyish-brown military games flooding the market, and a lot of it comes back to simple things that some developers seem to have forgotten about in this day and age.

Controls Are Still Solid
If you play most games from the 32-bit/64-bit era, the one complaint that seems to stick out amongst most others – apart, of course, from the ugly graphics – is that the controls suck. The original Crash Bandicoot? Controls sucked. The original Tomb Raider? Controls sucked. Jumping Flash? Controls sucked. Super Mario 64 was one of the rare (and first) games to make use of an analog stick for pin-point precision controls. You could slightly move the stick forward to have Mario tip-toe past sleeping enemies, or crawl, or walk, or jog, or bust out into a rapid sprint. You could wall-hug, wall-hop, triple-jump, back-flip and even perform a punch-kick combo. Not only did Mario 64 offer players a lot of control over the character, but it was exceptionally smooth for a game so old, and yet the controls still hold up even compared to today's standards.

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