No-stall-gia, Part 1: Super Mario 64

No-stall-gia, Part 1: Super Mario 64

Note: For the holidays, I will be going through remakes and ports I have played. If you missed the post, you can find it here. Enjoy!

One of my first forays into ports was the DS version of Super Mario 64. As you may know, I talked about how spent most of my early elementary years watching my mom and sister play this game out of sheer fear of technology (also which you can read about here. Lots of plugging today.). But while I knew what the themes of the worlds like the back of my hand, I knew the gameplay and star locations more like the back of my head. So when it came out while I was in high school, I picked it up with that year’s Christmas money for my then-small DS library.

Now considering this was the mid-2000s, HD remakes weren’t prevalent—or possibly existent at all—so this was a port, playing off of nostalgia. To me it was fascinating to be able to finally play a game that was so much a part of my childhood in a less terrifying way where I wasn’t relegated to my bedroom upstairs or the cold basement. Because of this, I didn’t mind it was the exact same game I still owned; my family’s N64 is still alive even today. I think it was meant to be an example of the power of the DS. While I know nothing about it, it seems like it wanted show off how it could now play games you needed a regular console for only ten years ago. And it worked, and it didn’t.

There is a good and bad side to replaying a game you played as a kid. You can see how you’ve evolved and how you haven’t. Worse you can see if the game is actually good or not. As you already know, this game is good. It’s was one of the best of its time, spawned an entire new series of Mario games, and is still a great 3D platformer even today. Fun fact though: if you watch someone play a game enough, you remember more than you expect.

Every time I entered a world, I expected it to be one I didn’t remember entirely, but I could beeline through the level time and time again to get each star. Even more embarrassing, I still got scared and stuck at the same parts. That serpent in the shipwreck? Hell no. Get me out of this water before I drown. Can I sue Nintendo for continued emotional damages?

Also the game’s camera made me nauseous. Seeing the quick movements concentrated on a small screen (Seriously small. This was the original DS.) was rough on the eyes. I know it was revolutionary for the time, so the controls let you, i.e. force you, to look everywhere. This involves sweeping camera movements that made my eyes and stomach cross.

Long story short, I eventually sold it to Gamestop a couple of years later.

It would be years until I realized another issue I had with this game. It is hard for me to replay certain games. What it takes is a goal, and that for me is the US release of Japanese-exclusive content. This tactic is the perfect time-suck.

But more on that next time. Stay tuned.

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