For many of us the greatest game of out childhood was Super Mario 64. Of all the game I played as a kid it and Ocarina of Time were the two that left an impression that even today is hard to match. At a time when the PS1 was struggling to render blocky jagged Tomb Raider environment Mario 64 look smooth shiny and just stunning. The N64 was quite the technological jump from those who were used to 16 bit gaming on the SNES and Sega. The 16-bit era was obsessed with capturing the arcade at home the 3d revolution took us to another level of gaming. Making the transition from 2D sprites where platforming made a lot of sense to a fully rendered 3d world was indeed a giant leap for gaming kind.
Nintendo have set a clear track record for redefining their franchises setting them at the very top of the gaming industry. Other game developers look to Nintendo for inspiration to capture that fundamental essence of playfulness that seems to encapsulate everything the do. Super Mario 64 is an all time classic that even today would make many gamers top 10, the few who would omit it probably never played it.
So when news came out that a die-hard fan of the game had created a updated version using the Unreal Engine 4 we were excited to get out hands on it. It’s a shock to go back to the original N64 game and see just how blocky Mario actually was. As kids and teenagers we remember everything being so shiny and realistic, as adults we are spoiled with stunning rendering of ancient Egypt in Assassin’s Creed and Horizon Zero Dawn. It can be hard to get that warm fuzzy nostalgia when our eyes are constantly drawn to the blocky red cap on Mario’s head of the lack of texture on each level often making it hard to tell what’s going on.
So let’s take a look at retro gamer CryZenx’s make-over to the 64-bit classic. Check out this video:
A demo of the updated game is available via CryZenx’s Patreon. While this is only a demo of the outside of the castle it undoubtedly capture the feel of the original game making us hungry for a fully made-over version of the game. Mario really looks great as he hops, skips and jumps in the beautiful blue water. Despite the shiny make-over the game still conjures up memories of hours spent staring at the little Italian plumber into the late evening only to get up early to pick up where we left off.
Although there is no news on whether CryZENx plans on giving fans more or whether he is working on a full game, the revelation that he whipped up the demo in just two weeks after coming back from vacation is a pretty impressive feat. CryZENx is something of an expert at this kind of thing and has already made a name for himself with Unreal Engine 4 demos for Diddy Kong Racing and recreating Ocarina of Time’s Temple of Time.
With this dose of 64-bit nostalgia gamers are hungry for the long anticipated N64 Classic Mini. While unconfirmed by Nintendo the success of the NES and SNES classic mini consoles is sure to have Nintendo working round the clock to produce a similar N64 release. One thing is for sure we love Super Mario 64 and it would be great to see the game reach a whole new generation of gamers!