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Day 5 - 3D Platformer

This could have easily been any of the Mario 3D games, well maybe not that one, but the sheer inventiveness of the Galaxy sequel pushes it above all others for me.

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

It's available on Switch's NSO SNES Selection RIGHT NOW! Go re-live your Xmas 93 memories you fool!

The '12 Games of Christmas' feature was created in 2015 so that particular piece of information is out of date.

At that time, I definitely didn't expect to ever see Super Soccer again until Japan got their version on the Super Famicom Mini a couple of years ago.

I was gutted our list of games didn't feature Super Soccer but it at least renewed my hope of eventually seeing it again!

I've been re-living Christmas '93 ever since :grin:

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Many great Mario 3D platforms to pick from but my pick goes to Odyssey. From start to finish this has everything. And in the middle of it all they place Mario in a realistic environment and it just works. 

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Day 5 - 3D Platformer.

SuperMario64.jpg

Price: GB £8.99, EU €9.99
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Released: 1997
System: N64
 
Super Mario 64 isn't just another game, it's one of the single most important games made within the past double decade, helping to not only create a brand new genre in the 3D Platformer, but it has also in moving gaming along in multiple directions. From the main hub of Peach's Castle at the very start, it's amazingly well designed. You make your way around this incredibly well crafted 3D world, opening doors with different numbers of stars on them, the more stars you obtain, the more of those doors you'll be able to unlock, and if you get enough stars to open the big door on that level of the castle, that's when you'll get to fight Bowser in progressively difficult boss battles.

Before that though, earning most of the stars is something which is achieved through the game worlds, which are contained within magic paintings that Mario can jump into. You are then tasked with getting a specific star, but the beauty of the games design is that it allows you to collect most of the stars in any order you choose. The first area - Bob-omb Battlefield - is a masterfully created playground, which teaches you all of the vital mechanics of the game, such as running, jumping, holding onto ledges, plus much more besides. The design is so striking, should you choose to make your way straight to the top of the spiral mountain - a design which went on to influence another N64 platformer - then you'll see most of the level, yet even after you beat King Bob-omb - by picking him up and throwing him - the fun has only just begun, as you'll be able to fire Mario out of cannons, throw exploding bob-ombs at destructable objects, or even go for the challenge of obtaining one hundred coins. All of this plus much more besides is capable purely within the first game world, which goes some way to showing you just how much scope this platformer from 1997 still has.

Though you can grab the stars in any order, you'll get small updates for reaching a certain amount of stars, letting you know it's possible to progress to the next part of the castle if you want to. If you're a completionist who doesn't like the idea of moving on too far before fully completing an area, then you can choose to go that route too; it's likely you will find yourself going between two or three different worlds before you activate the three different coloured caps, which grant Mario different powers. Perhaps the most famous of all, is the winged cap which allows the portly plumber to soar through the skies in certain environments, this is probably the most fun of them all, effectively selling the game on its strength alone, being that it's so proudly displayed on the box. You also have the Metal Cap, which makes Mario metallic in appearance, in addition to making him heavier allowing traversal along the seabeds of aquatic areas. And finally, the Vanish Cap which... wait, where did he go? Ah he's on the other side of the previously impassable wall! Each of these caps are time-limited however, which adds a nice bit of strategy to the proceedings.

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Clearly at the height of technical brilliance for its time, featuring fully realised three-dimensional characters set in environments, all built from the ground-up, it was unlike anything gamers had seen before, as it still very much represented Mario, albeit brought to life in a new way which has now become more than familiar to the audiences of today. In this modern era, it's surely testament to how amazing this title is that it still has its own unique identity, whereas the more recent Mario titles suffer from similarity at least in some ways, Super Mario 64 still appears to be tireless and timeless, in addition to coming across even clearer on the Wii U than it ever did in the Wii VC version, which now looks decidedly dated.

Super Mario 64  features what is perhaps one of the most iconic soundtracks in videogame history, the legendary composer Koji Kondo makes his mark in this masterpiece, in the only way he knows how by creating some of the most marvelous melodies ever committed to cartridge. Incidentally, due to size restraints at the time, many of the tracks are recycled as they get used for multiple worlds, this is especially notable later on in the game where we have the same track used for both Tick Tock Clock, in addition to Rainbow Ride, not to mention the same track being used for the slide areas. Yet, it just goes to prove further testament to how well it works in all of these instances. Of course, let us not forget the voice of Mario himself; Charles Martinet who has provided those classic 'Whoop!' 'Wha!' and even 'Yahooo! Haha!' sound effects, which make the game come to life even more... Mama mia! this guy is a-good!

Quite simply, if you have yet to experience this landmark title, then you are only doing yourself a huge disservice as you're missing out on one of the finest games in existence. While it may be true that it will take newer gamers who are not used to the N64 controls a while to acclimatise, in addition to the issue of limited draw distance on certain objects such as coins, making things a little more challengin; these are all quirks of the game which have made it so endearing to those of us who remember it the first time around. Eighteen years on, it's nothing short of impressive to see that Super Mario 64 is still every bit the classic title that it always has been, now with the ability to play it either solely on the gamepad, or on the big screen, with improved visuals, the option to remap controls, the addition of save states and Miiverse integration make it all the more enticing to play either for the first or perhaps sixty-fourth time. No better title could have been chosen to launch N64 games on the Wii U Virtual Console, here's hoping Nintendo's future account merging plans will now secure this titles future for many more generations to come.

Verdict : Super Mario 64, shall remain a masterpiece forevermore.

- - - - -

Yep, this review was shamelessly copied and pasted from VC Weekly 338 although I did tweak it a bit, after cutting and pasting it, as @Jonnas has been so diligent in proofreading all major reviews and articles on N-Europe, in relatively recent times, this is something I want to continue with, as looking back at a lot of the reviews I posted a while back, they are certainly in need of some retroactive re-reading and correcting. :heh:

This is something I'll try to address over time, for now though, I think that review above of Super Mario 64 is probably a bit easier to read now, in comparison to the version in the article (which I'll update in due course) it's still probably not perfect mind, but these thoughts still sum up how I feel about Super Mario 64, which is why it's my pick for todays topic of 3D Platformer. :)

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Posted (edited)

Favourite villain / antagonist

1] I love too many games, so this is going to apply to all the "favourite x" catagories: I do not have one favourite.

2] It felt like this should have been easier, but again, bad memory etc. I had a hard time coming up with something.

I almost settled on SA-X, with GlaDOS as a runner-up. But I watched a Witcher 2 retrospective not too long ago, and someone "grey" (i.e. with some actual character) would be more suited for this catagory. So I'm going with:

Letho

He's featured in the pretty cool opening cinematic:

Pretty bad right?

You fight him at least once, and he's back at the end to go full circle.. if you want. You actually don't have to fight him.

I'm not going to say much here, I'll just say that

 

He's also just a pawn.

It was one of several reasons I didn't want to fight him. Another was that he's one tough motherfucker! That first fight is hard. But he's cool, and I really liked him as an antagonist.

Since I'm late..

3D Platformer

This one I'm not going to think hard about, and I won't pick something left field (though some may feel that way I suspect haha).

Banjo-Kazooie

Fond memories of this one. Just to be clear: yes of course I love Super Mario 64 as well haha. I just love this one a bit more. It really started my love for rare back then. As was the case with a lot of games, I bought this one because I played other rare games at a friend's house. Donkey Kong Country mostly. I didn't have a SNES, so I didn't have those games back then, so Banjo was the first rare game I owned. (Similarly I bought Mario kart 64 because I played Mario Kart SNES with friends, and Perfect dark because friends had Goldeneye).

And again, I loved Super Mario 64, but Banjo had agreat atmosphere, and significant interaction with NPC's. It was cartoony, but could be melancholic at times. Going through Click Clock Wood was a magical experience I didn't get with Mario.

Edited by Sméagol
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Posted (edited)

OK, so my favourite 3D platformer is a way easier choice than yesterday.

Banjo-Tooie

You know, for how popular large open-world games are, I'm always surprised how much indifference Banjo-Tooie gets. The worlds are great, Banjo and Kazooie's moveset is ginormous and the mini-games are great fun too (Especially in Multiplayer)

The bosses are SO much better than the paltry amount the first game offered. Having to answer quiz questions correctly during the final battle to make Grunty go easy on you is so typical of the Rare kind of comedy I love. Speaking of, humour is on point as well. Full of the British innuendo-laden comedy that made the first game so funny.

A side note are the cheats you can apply to the game, which make repeat playthroughs more entertaining. (SUPERBANJO breaks the game so much!)

It's a real shame that the XBOX Arcade version botches up the Breegull Blaster controls and stops you from saving if you use a cheat. (No fun allowed...) The N64 version is still the only way to play it in my eyes.

Oh right, music is way better than the first game too. I'm a big fan of Hailfire Peaks (Fire side) and Grunty Industries.

Edited by Glen-i
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5 hours ago, BowserBasher said:

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Many great Mario 3D platforms to pick from but my pick goes to Odyssey. From start to finish this has everything. And in the middle of it all they place Mario in a realistic environment and it just works. 

I spent hours just running around the Cap and Sand kingdoms, great fun. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, S.C.G said:

Day 5 - 3D Platformer.

SuperMario64.jpg

Verdict : Super Mario 64, shall remain a masterpiece forevermore.
 

I see Sam picked the same one as me, and gave a darn good write-up as well. It might be because I haven't played Odyssey yet, but Mario 64 is still the peak of 3D platforming for me.

...And because that's an obvious take, I'll highlight a different 3D Platformer instead:

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Available on Wii... and Switch

De Blob was one of the most pleasant surprises of the Wii era, and one I found thanks to N-E! In fact, when I found it for a mere €20, I got it straight away, and the store clerk said to me "Great choice. Not very well known, but this is an excellent game", which is proof that this game exudes good vibes all around.

In a sad world ruled by a black&white "Inky" dictator, a group of cheery revolutionaries attempt to bring joy and colour back to the world. Tricky business, but they have the help of the weird, amorphous, silent protagonist "Blob": a big ball that can merge with paint, and use it to bring colour back to the world. Each stage consists of an explorable segment of a city that starts out all white and silent, but by accomplishing missions here and there, you can bring colour back to the buildings, citizens, and defeat the evil inkies that try to stop you.

(There's also a "Free Paint" mode without missions, you just wander around, colouring stuff the way you want)

De Blob is not that hard of a game, rather more of a fun stroll where you interact with the environment and liberate the people. Missions include fighting groups of enemies, colouring blocks in a specific manner, doing a quick race (that is, reaching point A from point B), and restoring landmarks. There's also a counter that keeps track of how many signifcant objects you've recoloured. Some side missions can be tricky (it can be hard to reach certain billboards or zeppelins), but they're never required to advance (the mandatory missions are easy enough). Me, I always liked to do everything in a level whenever possible, but this game's all about freedom, it allows you to play at your own rhythm.

Speaking of which, it's not just the colours that you're bringing back. The game's soundtrack does that Banjo thing where it varies according to context ("procedurally modified"? Something like that), so what happens is that the music is extremely muted at the beginning, but gets more and more lively with each recoloured segment. Not only are these tunes lovely to hear (Blissful, Funky, Revolutionary), but you can actually choose which music plays for each stage! Freedom, baby!

And to top it all off, there are FMV cutscenes with a charming Pixar vibe, the in-game characters have memorable animations and quirks of their own... and it's just a lovely, pleasant game all around. The only flaw I can give it is that you can't save or suspend in the middle of a level.

Oh, and there's a De Blob 2 as well. Same vibes, but more of a focus on platforming and challenges, and not as much on chill strolls through white towns.

Edited by Jonnas
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3D Platformer 

Man this was so tough. At first I wanted to go with @bob and choose Banjo-Kazooie. It's not a secret that I loved it more than Mario 64 and I agree with him on every point. I Love both Mario Sunshine and Mario Odyssey and have particularly special memories of the former. Mario Galaxy has been beaten twice to 120 stars, the only Mario game I've 100%d, and is probably the most inventive platformer I've ever played (only played 3 or 4 hours of the second, to my shame).

I think overall though, I'm going to go with @Ronnie. I just had so much FUN playing this game and loved the level design, the visuals and the OST. Hate that it gets so much criticism from some quarters because I just for the life of me can't see it. This was Nintendo reinventing the wheel AGAIN by blending 2D and 3D mechanics so seamlessly. Yeah, I know 3D Land did it first, but this perfected the formula. 

Super Mario 3D World

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1 hour ago, Nicktendo said:

I think overall though, I'm going to go with @Ronnie. I just had so much FUN playing this game and loved the level design, the visuals and the OST. Hate that it gets so much criticism from some quarters because I just for the life of me can't see it. This was Nintendo reinventing the wheel AGAIN by blending 2D and 3D mechanics so seamlessly. Yeah, I know 3D Land did it first, but this perfected the formula. 

Nice to see it get more love, the blend of 2D and 3D was masterful. I love how every 3D Mario game brings something different to the occasion, they all have their strengths for different reason. 

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3D Platformer

While I think the Super Mario Galaxy games are masterclasses in this category (& I expect to think the same of Odyssey once I play it!), my favourites in the genre are pretty much are of the Rare N64 platformers, who were on top of the game in that era.

Special mention to Conker’s Bad Fur Day, but I’m choosing Banjo Kazooie.

Like the best platformers, it was a joy to control.  The characters memorable, humour I enjoyed, level design fantastic, music consistently excellent, the difficulty level perfect, with so many secrets to find & rewards for going above the basic requirements for beating the game.

I was obsessed with finding out more about Stop N Swop and sad that they weren’t able to follow through with their idea.  It’s hard to add more to what others have said about this fantastic game so I won’t.... it’s a brilliant 3D platformer!

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Day 6 - Most Relaxing Navigation
 
The sailing in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was amazing. The HD version made it better by including an extra sail that didn't require you to pause the game to turn around.
 
Sailing around felt amazing, lots of little islands to discover and all happening with some amazing music.
 
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Day 6 - Most Relaxing Navigation

I think I’ll go with the swinging from Spider-Man 2. The PS4’s version is better but I spent so much time just swinging around New York for hours at a time doing nothing much other than enjoying the motion.

Via_SuperPhillipCentral___SpiderMan_2_Sw

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Most Relaxing Navigation

I remember trying Outlast but I got scared to death in a matter of 10 minutes, switched it off and turned to Flower. It calmed me down immediately. The motion controls worked perfectly, it was beautiful to look at and very relaxing to play.

Special mention to Journey.

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Most Relaxing Navigation

journey41.0.0.0.jpeg

Journey.

Such a good game and the way the character floats around the levels is just so peaceful.

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Most Relaxing Navigation

This one goes to Breath of the Wild for me. I don't think I fast-travelled once in my first hundred hours of that game, traversing that incredible openworld was just so much fun. I was a huge fan of the Deku leaf in The Wind Waker so I loved that they brought back the gliding mechanic. Climbing to the top of a tower, seeing something in the distance you wanted to investigate, gliding down, peaceful music, sound of nature all around you... :heart: 

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9 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Most Relaxing Navigation

This one goes to Breath of the Wild for me. I don't think I fast-travelled once in my first hundred hours of that game, traversing that incredible openworld was just so much fun. I was a huge fan of the Deku leaf in The Wind Waker so I loved that they brought back the gliding mechanic. Climbing to the top of a tower, seeing something in the distance you wanted to investigate, gliding down, peaceful music, sound of nature all around you... :heart: 

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Quoting for truth. Easily gets my vote too.

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Day 5 - 3D platformer:

Super Mario 64.

Lazy copy and paste from the N-E Top Ten N64 Games: :hehe:

Quote

"Mind blowing game. Seeing Mario running around, jumping, swimming and flying in true 3D for the first time was simply incredible. And the game not only looked and sounded stunning, but played like an absolute dream too! One of the most exciting and revolutionary titles in the history of video games." – RedShell

Day 6 - Most relaxing navigation:

Endless Ocean.

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Not played this in quite some time now, but I remember it being unbelievably relaxing to play (apart from those eerie sections in the abyss of course :heh:) and the navigation was a big part of that. Slowly swimming around underwater alongside a plethora of different sea life, it doesn't get much more relaxing than that. :cool:

Spoiler
  1. Earliest video game memory: Bubble Bobble in the late 80’s
  2. Opening section of a game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  3. Local multiplayer: Wii Sports
  4. Favourite villain/antagonist: Uncle Rupee (Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland)
  5. 3D platformer: Super Mario 64
  6. Most relaxing navigation: Endless Ocean

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Posted (edited)

Most relaxing navigation

Weird category, but one that seems tailor-made for me to choose this game:

SpiderManGames03.gif

Like @Happenstance said, I could have gone for the much improved web-swinging from the PS4 version, but i used to spend hours and hours swinging from one end of New York to the other in Spider-man 2 for the GameCube, occasionally solving the odd crime, but more often than not, just getting from point A to point B. There aren't many games in which simply getting around are fun in their own right.

 

 

Edited by bob
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Day 6 - Most relaxing navigation

With the risk of using this game now and not be able to use it later on (hard mode!), I'm also choosing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Crossing Hyrule has never been more pleasant, especially when you have powered up in the late game with plenty of stamina. Jump high with Revali's Gale then sail through the air with your glider. Or just get on your horse and gallop across the fields or follow a path. Even running and mountain climbing is a treat.

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Day 6 - Most Relaxing Navigation

Whilst not always relaxing, there was nothing that beat the feeling of soaring through the sky on a glider in Pilotwings Resort 3D.

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9 minutes ago, londragon said:

Day 6 - Most Relaxing Navigation

Whilst not always relaxing, there was nothing that beat the feeling of soaring through the sky on a glider in Pilotwings Resort 3D.

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Good choice!

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Most relaxing navigation

For me it has to be Wind Waker. Loved just sailing the seas on random adventures seeing where the wind took me. The music was a total joy and even now I listen to that quite often.

I loved the game so much I had a canvass made of the picture below which had pride of place in my living room until an ex-girlfriend ripped it down and kicked a hole through it, that’s a story for another time though.

wind-waker-hd-wallpaper3-800x400.jpg

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Does swimming in Animal Crossing count, cause that can be relaxing if you’re just swimming and not on the hunt for stuff. 
 

if not I’m going with Pilotwings and any free hand gliding. I remember the N64 version having a fun relaxing part with a small copter too. 

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Posted (edited)

Most Relaxing Navigation

That's quite a specific category you have there, and one I have real difficulty answering. Normally, I don't really want to play a game to feel relaxed.

But, gun to my head situation, I would probably choose...

Super Mario 64

Not throughout most of the game, but specifically outside Peach's Castle.

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Something about the lack of music, lack of stuff to actually do and the relative safety of the area just makes it nice to run around here, practice some moves and generally just faff about. It's a good way to kick back in my eyes.

Edited by Glen-i
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