Do you feel that Mario 64 isn't a true platformer?

#1 Posted by psx2514 (212 posts) -

I think Mario 64 is more of an adventure game than a platformer, and I don't understand how people can think it's a better "platformer" than Galaxy 1 & 2. One of the main reasons people claim to like 64 over Galaxy is that Galaxy is "too linear," but these people fail to realize that platformers are supposed to be linear. A platformer is supposed to be about getting from point A to point B, while jumping over and avoiding obstacles, in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration. This is why I don't think Mario 64 is a true platformer, and more of an adventure game.

#2 Edited by juboner (397 posts) -

Just from my memory I liked 64 better than galaxies, it just had that big go anywhere feel to it. Now remember I have not played this game since it first came out, it just seemed bigger. I like the platforming in 3d world better than galaxy. In a big 3d mario there should be more exploration/ adv. imo.

#3 Edited by trugs26 (5294 posts) -

I think people don't necessarily mean a better "platformer" per se, they just mean a better game in that general kind of genre.

Mario 64 is definitely a platformer, but as you say, it's also has a bit more of an openness to it to make it an adventure-style game too.

#4 Posted by YearoftheSnake5 (7191 posts) -

No, it's a platformer. Although the worlds you enter have an open structure, it's like if Super Mario World was made 3D. You can use the cape and fly your way to the end of some levels. Likewise, in Mario 64, you can use the wing cap or a cannon to get to your destination faster. Mario 64 is an evolution of the formula.

I do enjoy the Galaxy games far more than Mario 64. For some reason, the game never interested me that much. Even in my youth, it had a difficult time holding my attention and I preferred to get back on my SNES and play Super Mario World instead.

#5 Posted by psx2514 (212 posts) -

No, it's a platformer. Although the worlds you enter have an open structure, it's like if Super Mario World was made 3D. You can use the cape and fly your way to the end of some levels. Likewise, in Mario 64, you can use the wing cap or a cannon to get to your destination faster. Mario 64 is an evolution of the formula.

I do enjoy the Galaxy games far more than Mario 64. For some reason, the game never interested me that much. Even in my youth, it had a difficult time holding my attention and I preferred to get back on my SNES and play Super Mario World instead.

I meant that Mario 64 is more about exploring open worlds and looking for collectables while the Galaxy games are about generally putting you on a set path in which you have to get from point A to point B which is what a platformer should be. Hell, my least favorite levels in the Galaxy games are the ones where you have to explore the level and collect silver stars. I like my platformers to be linear.

#6 Edited by JordanElek (17756 posts) -

It's a platformer... it's just that the actual platforming isn't very good, mainly due to the camera. Sunshine had the same problem, so they let you hover in midair.. and the platforming was still really frustrating.

They didn't really get 3D platforming right until the Galaxy games, especially Galaxy 2, where they finally realized that fixing the camera and limiting your movement space made it so much more enjoyable (though the genesis of this was in the FLUDDless caves in Sunshine).

But Mario 64 was amazing at the time. The freedom still makes it fun to play around in, though as soon as you're required to do any kind of complex platforming, it loses some of the fun, which is kind of damning in a platformer.

#7 Edited by outworld222 (2411 posts) -

The freedom still makes it fun to play around in, though as soon as you're required to do any kind of complex platforming, it loses some of the fun, which is kind of damning in a platformer.

See that's exactly the reason why I couldn't get into this game. I was told it was the first "real" 3D game. I wanted the honor to play it. I regret playing it.

But I wanted to know if there was something I'm missing about Mario 64. Because its feels so blah today.

#8 Posted by nini200 (9587 posts) -

Adventure is a type of game, Platformer is a genre of game.

For instance an Adventure (Type) FPS (genre)

An Action (Type) RPG (Genre)

#9 Posted by psx2514 (212 posts) -

It's a platformer... it's just that the actual platforming isn't very good, mainly due to the camera. Sunshine had the same problem, so they let you hover in midair.. and the platforming was still really frustrating.

They didn't really get 3D platforming right until the Galaxy games, especially Galaxy 2, where they finally realized that fixing the camera and limiting your movement space made it so much more enjoyable (though the genesis of this was in the FLUDDless caves in Sunshine).

But Mario 64 was amazing at the time. The freedom still makes it fun to play around in, though as soon as you're required to do any kind of complex platforming, it loses some of the fun, which is kind of damning in a platformer.

I know it's officially classified as a platformer; it just doesn't feel like one to me, and you gave one of the reasons, the platforming isn't very good. It's also not common. The game is more about exploring open worlds looking for collectables than jumping to and from platformers, which is why platformers are called platformers.

#10 Posted by trugs26 (5294 posts) -

@nini200 said:

Adventure is a type of game, Platformer is a genre of game.

For instance an Adventure (Type) FPS (genre)

An Action (Type) RPG (Genre)

Can you define type and genre? I still can't distinguish the difference by your examples.

#11 Posted by cameroncr95 (39 posts) -

A "Platformer" is a game described that fits mario 64 perfectly.

The only other platformers from that era that could possibly rival Mario 64 were Spyro, Croc and Crash.

#12 Posted by JordanElek (17756 posts) -

@psx2514 said:

I know it's officially classified as a platformer; it just doesn't feel like one to me, and you gave one of the reasons, the platforming isn't very good. It's also not common. The game is more about exploring open worlds looking for collectables than jumping to and from platformers, which is why platformers are called platformers.

I think that was a product of the platform. Mario 64 launched with the N64, and its job was to showcase 3D environments and the analog stick. Giving the players space to enjoy those things was more important than making more confined, more precise platforming sections.

It was also limited by the memory on the cartridge. A few big, openish levels with several goals in each made it possible to have as much content as there was. A game with the variety of Galaxy just wouldn't be possible on the N64.

Don't forget that the last couple of levels are platforming-heavy. The clock and the rainbow ride are far less open and rely on jumping around more than the earlier levels. My guess is that the design philosophy was to let players become comfortable with the analog controls for the first part of the game, then ramp up the precision required from them later.

#13 Posted by Heirren (16529 posts) -

This is why I don't understand why people seem to have such a problem with Sunshine, because it is more like 64 in level design but stresses the platforming aspect more. I think I prefer the controls of 64 and Sunshine over galaxy. They've got more of the "easy to pick up difficult to master" feel to them, imo.

#14 Posted by Pikminmaniac (8760 posts) -

It's less of a platformer than most of the Mario games. It has you doing a lot of random tasks that have nothing to do with the genre. It's a bit of a mish mash of things and it's why I don't like it as much as the other 3D Mario games, but I'd still classify it as a platformer overall.

#15 Posted by juboner (397 posts) -

I think that was a product of the platform. Mario 64 launched with the N64, and its job was to showcase 3D environments and the analog stick. Giving the players space to enjoy those things was more important than making more confined, more precise platforming sections.

Yeah definitey like a showcase of a game.

#16 Posted by drekula2 (1906 posts) -

Mario 64 is a mix of adventure and platforming. But I would generally call it a platformer.

#17 Posted by Ovirew (6308 posts) -

I actually enjoyed Super Mario Sunshine more than any of the other '3D' Mario games. It felt like a vast improvement over 64, and I liked the concept of the Fludd pack and the goop you could clean up throughout the game. By contrast, I didn't really get into the Galaxy games because it was like you played Mario on bite-sized stages rather than open stages you could explore.

#18 Edited by juboner (397 posts) -

@Ovirew: By contrast, I didn't really get into the Galaxy games because it was like you played Mario on bite-sized stages rather than open stages you could explore.

I felt the same way.

#19 Edited by Pierst179 (10746 posts) -

It is a different brand of platformer when compared to the Galaxy games and Super Mario 3D world.

Those games are more linear, while Mario 64 is more explorative.

#20 Edited by Star0 (443 posts) -

Well yes, it's not a pure platformer in the strictest sense. It's an adventure game with platforming elements. The game was meant to be the natural successor to the 8-bit/16-bit Super Mario Bros. titles and with the advent of 3D Nintendo went with an open world structure. The rest is history.

You can't really compare the two styles, but I will say that the freedom of Super Mario 64 on top of the platforming makes it more fun than the Galaxy games. You get more bang for your buck and it's more enjoyable, in my opinion. It feels more grand and you can go in any direction much like what Aonuma highlighted as the starting point for Zelda U (which excites me, by the way). I prefer how you can explore areas not in view in Super Mario 64 whereas you can more or less see everywhere you can go to in the Galaxy series. That adds intrigue and a sense of adventure that I don't think Super Mario Galaxy or any other Mario game since has quite matched.

I don't think we should really be regressing into a debate about which style is better as they're separate entities. I tend to prefer what Super Mario 64 achieved, but I'm not going to make any prescriptivist assertions like 'platformers SHOULD be about non-linear open-world exploration'.

Genres merge all the time, it's what gives us variety.

#21 Posted by dirtymangle (34 posts) -

It is a platform adventure. Peaches castle is my favorite overworld, but Galaxy 2 easily has the best levels in any game EVAR!

#22 Edited by final_lap (327 posts) -

@psx2514 said:

I think Mario 64 is more of an adventure game than a platformer, and I don't understand how people can think it's a better "platformer" than Galaxy 1 & 2. One of the main reasons people claim to like 64 over Galaxy is that Galaxy is "too linear," but these people fail to realize that platformers are supposed to be linear. A platformer is supposed to be about getting from point A to point B, while jumping over and avoiding obstacles, in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration. This is why I don't think Mario 64 is a true platformer, and more of an adventure game.

"I think Mario 64 is more of an adventure game than a platformer" <--- agreed. It's borderline a Zelda game rather than a Mario game.

"but these people fail to realize that platformers are supposed to be linear." <--- agreed, and why I think certain 3D Sonics were generally superior to 3D Marios. But I think nonlinear platformer can be done right, and even Vexx did a better job than Sm64 at balancing the linearity and nonlinearity. (such as placing signs where to go)

"Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration." <--- I think that maybe FPS's show us how to do linearity in 3D and open world games show us how to do nonllnearity in 3D. After all this time, SM64 was merely a failed experiment.

#23 Posted by meetroid8 (21139 posts) -

@psx2514 said:

platformers are supposed to be linear. A platformer is supposed to be about getting from point A to point B, while jumping over and avoiding obstacles, in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration.

Says who?

#24 Edited by psx2514 (212 posts) -

@meetroid8:

@final_lap said:

@psx2514 said:

I think Mario 64 is more of an adventure game than a platformer, and I don't understand how people can think it's a better "platformer" than Galaxy 1 & 2. One of the main reasons people claim to like 64 over Galaxy is that Galaxy is "too linear," but these people fail to realize that platformers are supposed to be linear. A platformer is supposed to be about getting from point A to point B, while jumping over and avoiding obstacles, in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration. This is why I don't think Mario 64 is a true platformer, and more of an adventure game.

"I think Mario 64 is more of an adventure game than a platformer" <--- agreed. It's borderline a Zelda game rather than a Mario game.

"but these people fail to realize that platformers are supposed to be linear." <--- agreed, and why I think certain 3D Sonics were generally superior to 3D Marios. But I think nonlinear platformer can be done right, and even Vexx did a better job than Sm64 at balancing the linearity and nonlinearity. (such as placing signs where to go)

"Platformers shouldn't be about non-linear open-world exploration." <--- I think that maybe FPS's show us how to do linearity in 3D and open world games show us how to do nonllnearity in 3D. After all this time, SM64 was merely a failed experiment.

I think that the Mario Galaxy games are the best 3D platformers because they took everything that makes side scrolling platformers great and transported them into 3D whereas all Mario 64 really did was put Mario in a 3D world, but not in a platforming way if that makes any sense.