As I stated a few entries back, I've been bitten by the Mario bug so I'm knee deep in Mario games. I've already completed Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island. I was aiming for all 96 level goals in World, but the last few level exits were just too demanding. Yoshi's Island seemed to annoy me far more than I remember and I don't just mean Baby Mario's whining.
The last few weeks haven't been spent trucking away for the Power Stars in Super Mario 64. Super Mario 64 DS is a great port/remake. You can play as a few extra characters and the touched up visuals are very nice. Still, I prefer the N64 original so I hooked up my old system and to my surprise, not only does the old girl still work, my saved game from 1996 is still on there. (I left off with 94 Stars in case you were wondering)
Since I began a new game weeks ago, I've reached up to 95 Stars, some of which are Stars I've never gotten before. I actually managed to get all the Stars in Tall Tall Mountain, Lethal Lava Land, and Tiny-Big Island, yes even the 100 coin Stars.
More than 10 years after it's release, Super Mario 64 is still an exceptional title and my all-time favorite 3D platformer. It doesn't get too bogged down with an overabundance of item collecting like other titles on the N64 (and in the genre for that matter) did. The levels are huge but not so much that they overwhelm you. SM64 also has one of my favorite soundtracks from the Mario games, standout themes being "Inside the Castle Walls," "Super Mario 64 Main Theme", Dire, Dire Docks," "Metal Mario," "Koopa's Road," and "Koopa's Theme." Along with all of that, the game is just flat out fun to play, moreso than a lot of game's released today. Now I say a lot of games are fun, but not all games are on the same level of fun (I think you get what I'm saying.)
I'm thinking of putting together my own list of the greatest Mario games of all-time. If I do it, I'll post it up here in my blog. If I choose to arrange them in order (which I really am considering), Super Mario 64 will more than likely rank pretty high on the list.