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Playing Mario 64 for the first time


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I'm giving some thought to playing Mario 64, since it's one of those universally praised, changed everything type games and I've never played it. Well, that's not strictly 100% true - I used to own it and an N64, another Nintendo console that someone gave me, and booted it up long enough to check it worked before I sold it.

 

I don't own a physical copy, but could play it on Wii VC. So it's going to be going through a Wii2HDMI adaptor. 

 

Does it still stand up to all the praise it received back in the day. Is it worth playing, or is there another Mario game I should play instead (I played All Stars on SNES, but that's been about it)? If I do play it on Wii, what controller should I use? I don't think there was a N64 controller you could get for it, was there? So maybe a GameCube pad?

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10 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

I'm giving some thought to playing Mario 64, since it's one of those universally praised, changed everything type games and I've never played it. Well, that's not strictly 100% true - I used to own it and an N64, another Nintendo console that someone gave me, and booted it up long enough to check it worked before I sold it.

 

I don't own a physical copy, but could play it on Wii VC. So it's going to be going through a Wii2HDMI adaptor. 

 

Does it still stand up to all the praise it received back in the day. Is it worth playing, or is there another Mario game I should play instead (I played All Stars on SNES, but that's been about it)? If I do play it on Wii, what controller should I use? I don't think there was a N64 controller you could get for it, was there? So maybe a GameCube pad?

 

 

MLiG did a good video on it. 

 

If you want to know the truth, the Wii VC version, with that HDMI adaptor will not be an accurate experience. There's lag in the Wii emulated version, the control stick is not calibrated right and those HDMI adaptors are absolutely terrible and will add a bunch of variable input latency. 

 

If you want to experience the game properly and "get" why it's so good, this will likely give you a false impression, imo. 

 

Better ways - 

 

1) Buy an N64 :) an NTSC one is preferable, then get a US copy of the game, and run s-video cables into a RetroTink-2X onto an HDTV. 

 

2) 3D Mario All-Stars. I've almost 120 Star'ed the game on this version. It's excellent. Mario's movement is great and there's very low and consistent lag. It the first emulated version from Nintendo where the control stick is calibrated right. NERD know what they're doing.   

 

3) PC emulation, will probably get you something more accurate and with a decent machine, might get the input lag down. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

1) Buy an N64 :) an NTSC one is preferable, then get a US copy of the game, and run s-video cables into a RetroTink-2X onto an HDTV. 

I actually think I have an N64 somewhere. I was given two a while back and I think I only sold one. Definitely don't have the game, though and I'm trying to get stuff out of my house, not more into it.

28 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

2) 3D Mario All-Stars. I've almost 120 Star'ed the game on this version. It's excellent. Mario's movement is great and there's very low and consistent lag. It the first emulated version from Nintendo where the control stick is calibrated right. NERD know what they're doing.   

That's on Switch, right? Don't have one of those either

 

42 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

3) PC emulation, will probably get you something more accurate and with a decent machine, might get the input lag down. 

Yeah, don't have one of those. I have a couple of year old laptop and that's about it. 

 

Hence considering the Wii version. I've not watched that video just yet, is the Wii version really that bad?

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You know the Wii version will get you going. Whilst it isn't an optimal experience its not a game breaking one and is perfectly fine to play as if thats all you have access to. Give it a go, Mario 64 is great for the most part (it's a little rougher around the edges now 25 years later for a few objectives) and you'll have a blast with one of the most inventive games out there.

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5 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Hence considering the Wii version. I've not watched that video just yet, is the Wii version really that bad?

 

In my opinion, yes. It's crap. It controls weird, and that adaptor will add lag. 

The best controller to use on that version is the wired Gamecube one. 

 

It's actually not as bad as the Wii U version, which has some serious input lag. I was actually getting those mixed up. 

The Wii game's input lag isn't a problem, but the stick calibration isn't right and the adaptor won't be ideal.  

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2 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Has anyone played it with a GameCube controller? Does it work well? What about a Classic Controller?

 

Also yes, if you just want to play it and not be looking for absolute perfection... and you want your question answered. It will work well with the Gamecube controller and in this situation, it will be the best controller to use. 

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The best version IMO is the recently released open source version that was created by reverse engineering the code from the original N64 version.

Some really clever people have added 60fps, full camera control and super high resolution to it and it runs perfectly on old PCs, Xbox originals and even PS2s.

 

It's a bit like Doom in that it has now been ported to just about everything.

 

That's the version I'm playing through.  You could get an N64 controller & adapter for extra authenticity.

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10 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

Interesting. What about 360? Does it run on that?

I don't have a hacked 360 so I can't confirm.  I did do a quick google search for you but nothing really came up - but then again it's not easy to find much about any port to be honest.  When you do search there are a lot of emulation links too so it's hard to know.  Have a google yourself and see what you can find.  I suspect it's very likely that it exists though.

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I've been playing it on PSTV and the conversion is fab. HD upscaled, genuine wide-screen etc.  As someone already said, the hacking community has been getting the new PC version running on as many formats as possible, and in some ways the version I'm playing out performs the official Switch rerelease. That said, you have to look at the controller you're using.  Mario 64 and the N64 controller were surely designed to work together. Playing the pstv version using a DualShock 3 controller is pretty good but the same game on a Vita handheld is dreadful because of the tiny amount of travel of the analogue stick.

 

Someone said in the other thread the best way to play Mario 64 is to avoid adjusting the camera and play the game as a 2.5D platformer, letting the camera decide which direction you need to be following. The 64 controller had an octagon around the analogue stick. So if you have the option how to plug a GameCube controller into the Wii I think that would be a really good way to play it. 

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To be completely honest I just don't think Mario in 3d is anywhere near as fun as 2d. Nothing comes closer we to super Mario world on the snes. Yeah Mario 64 is impressive, but I never really actually enjoyed it that much.

 

Beware playing it on a emu. One of them on retro arch fucks up time so triple jump doesn't work. Though another one seems fine .

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13 hours ago, dumpster said:

Someone said in the other thread the best way to play Mario 64 is to avoid adjusting the camera and play the game as a 2.5D platformer, letting the camera decide which direction you need to be following. The 64 controller had an octagon around the analogue stick. So if you have the option how to plug a GameCube controller into the Wii I think that would be a really good way to play it. 


It was me that said that! Yes, lots of Japanese games seemed to have been designed with a scripted or semi auto camera in mind, and if you don’t fight it, you’ll have a much better time. 
 

See also - DMC, Bayonetta, The Last Guardian... lots of games. 

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Just to butt in again, definitely play Super Mario World.  It's awesome.  Rich Evans (Redlettermedia) said 3D Mario games are all about lining up shadows and he really has a point there. 2D is a purer experience somehow and the gameplay works better as you don't need to worry about the camera at all. 

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Yeah, to throw my tuppence in too - I'd definitely prioritise playing SMW over SM64 as well. It's a lot easier to play without significant compromise as emulated versions of SM64 play drastically differently from original hardware on a CRT.

 

I recently-ish properly played through SM64 myself, for the first time (running out of steam at 99 stars). It was quite the experience and something I've been meaning to get down on paper, as a few lifelong perceptions about it were turned inside out by the end.

 

I never really stopped playing 2D Mario games though. They're cut from a different cloth (to nobody's surprise).

 

You don't need any advanced skills or knowledge to get through and have fun with SMW. It's refined in ways that SM64 absolutely isn't AND likely more gratifying to the total newbie, IMO.

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Smw is just one of the best games ever made. It's certainly the best 2d platformer ever made. The secret exits on some levels is just a genius idea. I only got as far as finding 72 of the levels.

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I never really got into Mario 64, either on initial release or a bit later when it came out on the DS. Out of the 3D Mario games my favourite is probably Mario Sunshine, I finished Odyssey but it felt a bit hollow to me (and it was far too easy, with the bonus bits a grind rather than very hard but fair extra levels a la SMW). Super Mario World is probably my favourite game across all formats, and nothing has really come close to it in my opinion in terms of platform games.

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To be honest I didn’t realise there was anything wrong with the Wii / WiiU versions of Mario 64 until recently. However after seeing the Digital Foundry video and comparing the WiiU with the new Switch version I see the issues. 
 

Back in the late 90s, after I’d sold my N64 I was quite happy playing Mario 64 on my Pentium 2 with the UltraHLE emulator, then a few years later on my modded Xbox OG. I’ve no idea how accurate these options were, but a laptop that’s a few years old should easily handle it?

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16 hours ago, dumpster said:

 Rich Evans (Redlettermedia) said 3D Mario games are all about lining up shadows and he really has a point there. 


I really wouldn’t give any credence to the opinion of someone who’s literal job is to be reductive and cynical about absolutely everything. 

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On 17/10/2020 at 05:43, dumpster said:

I've been playing it on PSTV and the conversion is fab. HD upscaled, genuine wide-screen etc.  As someone already said, the hacking community has been getting the new PC version running on as many formats as possible, and in some ways the version I'm playing out performs the official Switch rerelease. That said, you have to look at the controller you're using.  Mario 64 and the N64 controller were surely designed to work together. Playing the pstv version using a DualShock 3 controller is pretty good but the same game on a Vita handheld is dreadful because of the tiny amount of travel of the analogue stick.

 

Someone said in the other thread the best way to play Mario 64 is to avoid adjusting the camera and play the game as a 2.5D platformer, letting the camera decide which direction you need to be following. The 64 controller had an octagon around the analogue stick. So if you have the option how to plug a GameCube controller into the Wii I think that would be a really good way to play it. 

What witchcraft is this?

My brain tells me that PSTV means PlayStation TV but I don't think you are playing Mario 64 on that? And new PC version of Mario 64? Sir, explain yourself. 

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

What witchcraft is this?

My brain tells me that PSTV means PlayStation TV but I don't think you are playing Mario 64 on that? And new PC version of Mario 64? Sir, explain yourself. 

sm64 is the new Doom - it's getting ported to as many formats as possible after a recent PC version reverse engineered everything and made a true wide-screen , hd port. 

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I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing Mario 64 again. I don't think i've played it since the Gamecube came out so have forgotten a lot of the ideas that would probably still be called innovative today. While SMW is absolutely worth playing I tend to find it a bit too easy, SM3 is my goto retro 2D Mario.  

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I just played through Mario 64 on the Switch, coming at it basically fresh (I'd loaded it up before on emulators, but never actually played it). I ended up completing it with 120 stars, and really loved it. Honestly, the main problem you'll have is the camera, which is admittedly really rough. But if you can get passed that, the game itself is remarkably mature - Mario's moveset feels very familiar to that used in Odyssey, and some of the collect-em-up challenges are just sublime. 

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3 hours ago, dumpster said:

sm64 is the new Doom - it's getting ported to as many formats as possible after a recent PC version reverse engineered everything and made a true wide-screen , hd port. 

Yes but ... Doom isn't owned by Nintendo (in fact didn't ID open source Doom, which is what led to all of those ports - ZDoom , OpenDoom etc?)

How has whoever is behind this avoided being nuked from orbit by Nintendo lawyers?

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