Ideas and Thoughts: Super Mario 64 II
One year ago today, I got my Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64. Oh, what a night.
I won't say it's my favorite game in the Mario series (that honor goes to Super Mario World), but I'd say it's right up there.
(Note: The above was written December 20, 1997. For whatever reasons, I didn't go on until today, the 27th. So today is the 53rd week or so since I got my N64.)
The first thing that struck me when I first tried it at Wal-Mart was the camera angles. No, I'm not talking about how directional movement changes with the camera, that never gave me trouble. What I'm talking about is just having the camera move! :) I mean, I couldn't keep my eye on the guy! Luckily that took little time to adjust to.
The second thing that struck me was the controls. For such a minimal amount of buttons, he could do quite a lot! You got your punch, your double- and triple-jumps, your long jumps, your crawling, your climbing, your hanging (by the hands!), etc. Not bad...
But the thing that struck me throughout (other than my brother) was the graphics. Previous to this game, the graphically best game I'd gotten was probably Chrono Trigger! These graphics were quite a redemption from the bad taste of polygonal graphics I'd gotten from Star Fox.
Not only the graphics, but the sound too! Not grainy, as I'd hear (later, of course) in NBA Hangtime. And the music was definitely Mariolific, which, as a fan of Mario's, is fine with me!
(Note: More time has passed. Now it is approximately 1.029662486538 years since I got my N64.)
The painting/stars concept was... different, to say the least. For one thing, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen to people like Koopa the Quick once I'd beaten Bowser. Would his magic on the paintings wear off or something? Or would they continue to live on in the paintings. Unfortunately, I never learned anything more about that. But I really like the way that one stage could be used for so much different stuff. I mean, that's a far cry from a game like Crash Bandicoot, which is 3D-ish, but it's still just get-to-the-other-side.
I also liked the things that were more adventure-ish. I mean the things like racing Koopa the Quick, helping find the little penguin, etc. I mean, those things just seem to be more... purposeful than getting some red coins or some such task. And since I'm really into adventure/RPG games, anything making a game more like them is OK with me!
Well, now I've gone over some of what I liked about the game. Now time for what should be changed/added for Super Mario 64 II.
Well, first let's see what was in previous Mario games that wasn't in SM64... well, I'll get the obvious out of the way: Luigi and Yoshi. One thing that SMB3 had that I'd like to see would be all the powerups. I mean, on the N64 we've seen Mario turn clear and get wings on his hat. Whoopy. Things like the Frog for water stages, other methods of flying, and (one thing I couldn't believe wasn't in SM64) THE FIRE FLOWER!!! Mario without his fire-throwing ability? How sad!
Also, more enemies. I mean, in SM64 there were goombas, koopas, bob-ombs, shyguys, piranha plants, and a few new/less-apearing ones. What about those little black things that had a shell? I can't even remember what they're called because I always called them Beetle Bailey. Their name DOES have something to do with a beetle, though. Anyways, he's not in SM64 either. No flying fish. No goombas in shoes. None of those idiots wearing football helmets. Etc.
Having some things like Yoshi's Island/Story would be cool, too. While I'm not a huge fan of things like throwing the egg and all, some of the other things in the game would be cool in 3D. Like those morph things. Also, the fuzzies. Remember in some stages you'd run into/eat these things that look kinda like floating cotton with hairs, and when you'd get 'em, the music would go psycho and the world would start to tilt, curve, etc. Now THAT would be awesome in 3D!
How 'bout a bonus stage, for those who would do all that was meant to be done. I mean, staying with a SM64-like setting, someone who got all the stars. Then you could throw in a bit of Diddy Kong Racing, by adding something extra to each stage. Perhaps another star for each (that's extra hard to get), or a more difficult version of the already existing things. I mean, in SM64 all that happened after you got 120 stars other than the new jump and seeing Yoshi was that Bowser said a bit of a different thing at the end and the penguin you race is fatter, which made it slightly more difficult. Things like that could be changed. Anyways, once a person did all of the extra tasks, an extra stage would appear for them.
But what about after a person's done even that? Well, an idea from Super Mario World has struck me. Do all of you remember what happened in SMW when you beat the Special world? Well, for those who don't know, it changed the look of the game. The map screen was differently colored, first of all. Then, many of the enemies were changed. The koopas were changed into walking Mario heads (called Masks or something similar at the ending) and the Bullet Bills were changed into birds! Things like that add a bit of something new.
Even mirrored courses would add to a game like SM64. I mean, once you've learned a stage, the jumps, etc. it's completely different going the other way.
For that matter, what if stages' conditions became random? I mean, sometimes it'd be snowing, sometimes it would be night, sometimes it would be raining, etc.
And, of course, the basic things that improve with more space: more & higher-res textures & sprites, more sounds, music, etc. As I said, the basics... something forgotten with Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98. :) Of course, it wasn't bigger, but...
One last thing. I hope the camera is a bit better. I mean, for the most part I liked the one in SM64, but sometimes you just couldn't get it to give you the view you wanted. I mean, especially when throwing Bowser. It'd be a lot easier if I could get a camera view where a mine is directly up from me than if I can only get one where it's away from me at a 28° angle. Also, it doesn't help ANYWHERE if you get stuck with a view of just a wall. :)
It's now January 1, 1998. Why did this I&T; take so long? Well, first of all, it didn't come as easily as others. I mean, with my FF VII one I just felt more interested and had more thoughts about it... I guess in many of my I&Ts; I'm telling of something bad that should be changed, or something which just isn't and should be... but in this one I'm telling how to improve SM64! :) Also, I knew I wouldn't have all my ideas at once, or I'd forget about something, so I wanted to give it time to seep in. I'm glad I did this, or some of the latter paragraphs mightn't be there! If I have any more, though, I'll write another, of course.
Joshua Slone would like to be a Pepper too.