Friday, October 29, 2010

10 video games that made my life gayer (#6): Super Mario 64

Shigeru Miyamoto and his team at Nintendo of Japan sure hit it out of the park when they moved Mario into the third dimension, didn't they?

I remember being absolutely amazed by Super Mario 64 when it was unveiled at Nintendo Space World in 1995. A year later, after receiving a Nintendo 64 and a copy of the game as a birthday gift, I was even more amazed as my college roommate and I played through it during a wintry Thanksgiving weekend.

The fact that my roommate played it at all was amazing in its own right, as he was (and still is, I believe) otherwise completely repulsed by the idea of playing video games. (He's a twink, what else would you expect?)

If that doesn't speak to the game's accessibility, I don't know what does.

I didn't include Super Mario 64 on this list because it's accessible, though; I included it on this list because it's enjoyable. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it is one of the most enjoyable games--if not the most enjoyable game--I've ever played.

The aforementioned roommate and I played an awful lot of Super Mario 64 that year, and the next year my new roommates (all five of them) and I played it even more--and all the while we had huge smiles plastered on our faces.

Sure, we liked how the game controlled and looked and sounded (especially that wacky, hillbilly-meets-Mario "Secret Slide Theme"), but what kept us coming back for more (and more and more and more) was that the game was fun with a capital "f."

See also: all of the previous '10 video games that made my life gayer' posts


Viewtiful_Justin said...

True story. I remember running Mario around in tiny circles and laughing at how amazing it was...I think I pumped more hours into that game than many MANY others.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! I was the same way, Justin -- I couldn't stop making mario tip toe and run and triple jump, etc., when I first played the game :)

Honestly, out of all of the games I've written about in this series, this one has the most memories attached to it. That's probably because of my old roomies -- four of whom are still among my best friends. We played so much Mario 64 than I'm amazed any of us graduated!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I was a bit younger when it came out, but I was the first person around the area to have a 64. It got played PLENTY! I wouldn't stop until I had all 120 Stars. I remember I ordered the player's guide so I could figure out how to get the last two that I was missing, which weren't even that difficult. The last one was making that snowman in the snow level. For some reason I never could get that to work...but I figured it out myself, and the next day I got my guide!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Great story, Justin :) I really need to play this game again...

Starfighter said...

This game came out about the same time as Final Fantasy 7 here in Sweden. I saw the Final Fantasy-commercial first and wished for a Playstation with that game on my birthday - which I actually got. My friend got N64 and Super Mario 64 and I soon became very jealous of him. Yeah, sure, I had Final Fantasy 7 and Tekken 2 but he had Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64! I vividly remember up to this day the dreams I had frequently of me getting a N64 with the Mario-games. I'd wake up and be all "noooo, it was ANOTHER dream - I've lost the N64 all over again". When I started playing games as an adult (well, almost adult..) I bought them immediately.

What does it mean to be a twink?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I can relate to a story like that, Starfighter! I remember buying a Saturn instead of a PlayStation when those systems first came out. Although I loved my Saturn, I was always jealous of people who owned a PS, as it also had many great games. Anyway, it's great to hear that you eventually got to play those N64 games that you dreamed about.

As for twink, well, it's used to refer to gay boys/men who are young and attractive/pretty and slender. They're often somewhat effeminate, too. In my experience, they're usually not into video games :)