Saturday, August 31, 2013

Super Mario 64 (first impressions, I guess)

I've been playing Super Mario 64 on the Wii Virtual Console lately, and I have thoughts. The reason this is a 'first impressions' is because I haven't beat the game yet.

So for many, many, many years, I watched a lot of video game oriented entertainment. Videos by James "AVGN" Rolfe, Yahtzee Croshaw, "Moviebob" Chipman, and others. A lot of hours were spent on and even though I had not played a lot of video games, I was certainly familiar, at least in a historic aspect.

Recently, I've been watching the videos of JonTron, and some of that interest came back in a somewhat nostalgic way. Now I really want to play Banjo-Kazooie, if of course I find an Nintendo 64 or an emulator that doesn't suck (I have a Mac, so that's pretty difficult) since they don't have that on the Virtual Console. But now, I'm playing Super Mario 64, since I had purchased it a few years back and it is held up as a classic that perfected 3D platforming, or something along those lines.

Playing it now, I can understand why I quit the first time I played it. And as I progress through the game, I can see a lot of problems, mainly in controls.

Now obviously, I'm playing with a Game Cube controller instead of an N64 controller, so part of the problem may lie there. As well, the game is still pretty playable. The problem occurs when levels involve water or ice.

Ice is used to make the terrain more slippery. That doesn't help things when regular terrain was already pretty slippery when moving around. The frustration intensifies when water comes into play. On land the joystick controls the direction you walk. In water, it controls where you face, with the A button being used to propel you. Understandable, since underwater brings in a third-dimension of motion, but takes getting used to.

And then there are the level with both land and water. Getting out of water is a bit tricky, since it involve position yourself upwards and pressing A. Sometimes it works. Hard to tell when the camera is adding to the frustration.

Oh god, the camera. A lot of the time, it does fine. Then when a situation arises when the best option is to move the camera around, and in tight spaces, it becomes maddening. Not maddening enough to throw the controller at the monitor, but maddening enough to shut the game off.

I got as far as opening the tower part of the castle. Whether or not I continue is based on how much of a damn I give.

Good day.