Mario 64 on Super Mario 3D All Stars: First Impression

I’ve been slowly working through the new Nintendo Switch release of the Mario 3D All Stars collection (which includes a Remaster of Mario 64, Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy) since its release last Friday and so far it’s been a walk down memory lane!

I’ve been able to complete most of the stars in the levels without having to consult any sort of guide, even though this is really the first time I’ve played this game since the days of the original Nintendo 64 release. Well, actually I played and completed the DS version, but that also added some things here and there so I don’t really consider that a true remaster. More of a remake.

Anyway, it’s been a blast to jump back into Peach’s castle walls and relive the nostalgia of running, jumping, climbing, swimming and backflipping my way to 120 stars and three Bowser defeats to complete the castle and release Peach from captivity!

That being said, I do have some notes:

Maybe it’s me or I am mis-remembering my original playthrough of the game, since I was in middle school at the time of the original release in the late 90’s… but it just feels like the Joycon controls aren’t always as quick to take inputs as the original N64 controller.

There will be times that I want to do a quick trick to jump up to a higher platform, so I will run and then immediately about-face while hitting jump, expecting Mario to side-flip up to where I want him to go, but instead he’ll just about face run then jump up regularly.

This also makes walking along thin platforms that are suspended high up above the ground more challenging as it seems like the joycon joystick wants to make Mario run when you want him to walk or even tip toe. So I fell more than once. Another time I noticed the joycon seemed a little overzealous in the movement was when I was aiming the canon. It’s hard to make small adjustments to the angle when your joycon thinks you want to move further than you do.

Other than some joycon issues, I’m enjoying playing through the original Mario 64 on the Switch! It’s nice to be able to go back and relive my experience playing through the game, exploring the castle and trying to remember where everything is without having to consult a guide!

I, like most others that have been talking about this game are hoping that the limited run of the 3D All Stars lays the groundwork for “new” titles to be released on the Nintendo Online apps alongside the existing catalogue of NES and SNES games. Is a N64 app in the works? I hope so!