Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review

Super Mario 64


The very idea of such a legendary title; such a genuinely game-changing, industry-moulding work of art being accessible on current hardware - touched up in HD, no less - is immediately a landmark event for millions of Nintendo fans.

Simply put: The DS quasi-remake did far more wrong than right, and though it's a simple request, scores of N64 players just wanted the original game updated, but in a way that didn't lose that old-school charm.

Thankfully, the Switch edition of Mario 64 gains widescreen, 720p resolution with overhauled texture work.

If you're someone who's long been into the modding scene on PC you've likely already seen this game's textures cleaned up - likewise to those who snapped up an HD converter for the base N64. Needless to say, this version of the Mushroom Kingdom never looked better in an official capacity.

As for the game itself, Mario 64 was - like Ocarina of Time - built for the unique charms of the N64 pad. Its button layout and feel is iconic and welcoming for a reason - something that takes some adjusting when you're now crouching with a shoulder button and moving the camera with the analogue stick.

For the latter, Nintendo sadly haven't coded a full 360 sphere of motion for your perspective, nor done anything other than map the C-buttons to the analogue stick. This results in you still moving your view move in "chunks" like 1996, snapping from one perspective to the next rather than anything more fluid.

It feels like a massive missed opportunity, and you'll likely overshoot a lot of camera movements just by holding the stick in a certain direction for a fraction too long, when in the past this was governed by a button press.

I doubt anybody thought there'd be a scenario where we'd prefer the C-buttons to analogue camera movement, but here we are.

mario 3d all stars

Aside from this, in terms of level design, progression, characterful charm and world variety, Mario 64 is still one of the finest platformers ever made.

Putting it right next to the immaculately inventive Galaxy shows just how far Nintendo came across a decade, but it's straight-up gaming royalty, and from the music to Mario's weighty movement, you simply need to see it through.

Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.