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Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Mario 64 Nintendo Switch Game Review

Revisiting Nintendo’s entry into 3D gaming in 2020 is still a joy.

Reviewed by on Oct 12, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Super Mario 3D All-Stars brings Super Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, and Mario Galaxy to the Nintendo Switch. How does the original 3D platformer, Mario 64, hold up in 2020? Check out Kidzworld to find out!

Just like Super Mario Bros. changed video games forever on the NES, Super Mario 64 brought gaming officially into the third-dimension back in 1996. Not only did it change how games were made forever, but it was also a fantastic game on its own. Super Mario 3D All-Stars brings Mario 64, it’s sequel Super Mario Sunshine and the Wii masterpiece Super Mario Galaxy to the Nintendo Switch. After Super Mario Odyssey graced the Switch with a wonderful new take on famous Mario gameplay back in 2017, being able to play it and all the classics is awesome. It has been 24 years since the game hit the Nintendo 64, and games have changed quite a bit since then. How does one of the most famous Nintendo games of all time hold up today?

Levels in Mario 64 have unique objectives, like returning a baby penguin to it's mother for a Star.Levels in Mario 64 have unique objectives, like returning a baby penguin to it's mother for a Star.

Instantly Iconic

Even after enjoying a heap of 3D Mario adventures, going back to 64’s Castle hub never gets old. Nintendo made one of the best tutorials with the opening level in gaming. The story setup is as classic as it gets. Princess Peach has been captured by the evil King Koopa Bowser and it is up to Mario to stop him and rescue the princess. But, for the first time, the Mushroom Kingdom feels like a real place. Even though Peach’s castle is small by today’s standards, it feels like a self-contained world to explore. Taking your first steps with the 3D camera, learning the always satisfying jumps, climbing up trees, and swimming through the moat teach the player the fundamental skills they’ll need on the adventure to come in an immersive and fun way.

Speaking of the camera, since Nintendo needed to make players familiar with the new perspective they made the camera a character itself. You see Mario through the camera lens of Lakitu, and what a better way to understand the new (at the time) 3D feel. As creative as the camera is, it is by far the part of the game that has aged the worst. Some levels have you fighting the camera to look where you want. Still, considering it was the first landmark 3D platformer (not the first) it is amazing that it feels as good as it does.

Peach's Castle is one of the best tutorials in gaming.Peach's Castle is one of the best tutorials in gaming.

Gotta Collect ‘Em All

To finish Super Mario 64, you have to collect 70 Golden Stars in a wide variety of lively levels. There are 120 stars total to collect, but to face off with Bowser you only need 70. Mario explores so many great locations in the game to do it. Hitting the ground running in the first locale, Bob-omb Battlefield is still a joy. The music, while it might get repetitive, is as charming as ever too. Each of the 15 locations has it’s own flavor, from tall towers, chilly mountain tops, and an underwater shipwreck. Figuring out the ins and outs of each level as you figure out how and where to collect each star is a blast. The twists and turns the game takes you on, and the level of freedom it gives you, is still so much fun. When you aren’t fighting the camera, Mario 64 is a sandbox of platforming wonder.

The Eel in Jolly Roger Bay is kinda terrifying.The Eel in Jolly Roger Bay is kinda terrifying.

Final Thoughts

Mario 64 might be on the older side, but it is still incredibly fun. From the wide variety of levels that challenge you in different ways, to the ever-charming visuals and music. Mario 64 is such a cozy (but still challenging) experience that it is just as enjoyable today as it was in 1996. Just a shame that Nintendo is removing this version at the end of March. Hopefully there will be a way to purchase  the games present in the 3D All-Stars Collection. It is a fact that very much removes some of the excitement of the collection. 

Mario 64 is still a blast 24 years later.Mario 64 is still a blast 24 years later.


  • Easy to learn, tough to master platforming
  • Huge variety of levels
  • Sense of wonder and freedom


  • Poor camera controls
  • Later levels not quite as good as the beginning ones
  • Only available until March 2021

Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Super Mario 64 Game Rating: 4

You can play Super Mario 64 in the 3D All-Stars Collection.You can play Super Mario 64 in the 3D All-Stars Collection.

Available Now Through March 31st, 2021 on Nintendo Switch.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think of Super Mario 64? Is the classic platformer still worth playing? Let us know below!


*Kidzworld was provided with a copy of the game to review.