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Played a 3D Mario Platformer After 9 years...
Posted: Posted February 7th by mariomguy

...and my God how different it is.

My name eludes me. My last proper 3D Mario platformer was Super Mario Galaxy 2, released 9 years ago, and I got that on launch day (practically beat it on launch day, too). I skipped 3D World, and I don't even have a Switch. But I got to play it with a buddy of mine, and it's messed up, man. I hardly recognize Mario anymore. Not just the characters, but the game itself is completely different from the Mario I remember. I grew up on Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and Sunshine, during the era when Mario was branching out into more open world-type designs. Mario had great control in those games, and playing him was almost like parkour perfection.

But all the new games seem to take after Galaxy's style of controls: very rigid, very tough out of the box, relying more on the level design and alternate suits than the player's own abilities. 3D Mario has always been experimental, but I like to think a few of us still long for the days when a basic world and awesome wall-jumping and combo abilities was all you needed to feel like a king. Now... it's gotten very complicated.

Does anyone have this feeling? Returning to a beloved franchise after departing for so long, only to find out nothing is what you expected?

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There are 24 Replies

....No. I'm sure you're not alone in feeling that way. But I can't walk down that road of opinion with you....because I couldn't disagree more.

Super Mario Odyssey is exactly what I have wanted since Super Mario 64. It is the greatest 3D Mario to date and I feel the controls are intuitive and refined/polished for a 3D Mario experience when compared to previous titles.

This comes from a person who also "grew up on Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and Sunshine, during the era when Mario was branching out into more open world-type designs." And if I want to get cheeky, I'll go back even further! I also grew up with Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3, and The Lost Levels.

Edited February 8th by Laxan
Laxan
 

"But all the new games seem to take after Galaxy's style of controls: very rigid, very tough out of the box, relying more on the level design and alternate suits than the player's own abilities. "

You kind of just described SUper Mario Bros. 3 lol

Super Mario Bros 1 and 2 definitely relied more on skill than power ups for sure. Super Mario Bros. 3 started introducing more power ups and harder levels.

"Does anyone have this feeling? Returning to a beloved franchise after departing for so long, only to find out nothing is what you expected?"

Yes, mainly when I go back to some PS1 era RPG's that just arent as fun to play as they were when I was a kid.

"Super Mario Odyssey is exactly what I have wanted since Super Mario 64. It is the greatest 3D Mario to date and I feel the controls are intuitive and refined/polished for a 3D Mario experience when compared to previous titles. "

Agree 100%

Super Mario Odyssey feels like a true sequel to Mario 64 while at the same time feeling like a continuation of the other Mario games. Pretty much everything you've ever done in previous Mario games, 2D or 3D, will need to be done here.



Posted February 8th by Q
Q
 

You kind of just described SUper Mario Bros. 3 lol

Obviously SMB had great emphasis on level design, but the character movement was never compromised for it. And as Mario grew, so did his abilities. Super Mario World, 64, and even Sunshine gave the player a very high and expressive baseline, allowing him to move freely and expressively so players can tackle the most difficult terrain with a great sense of exhilaration. But ever since Galaxy, Mario's movement felt colder and more technical, not exhilarating or fun. All you need to do is wall jump to see the problem: what was once a tough maneuver in 64 that carried your momentum forward and was an accomplishment to pull off well is now a static cling that always works no matter what you do. A lot of the hat mechanics also work this way. There is no joy in movement anymore: all that joy has been put into the obstacles. This makes controlling Mario a more hollow experience, even though it is much easier.

What used to be a very dynamic jump is now a bunch of smaller static ones. It's not the Mario I grew up on, it really feels like something different.

Posted February 8th by mariomguy

All you need to do is wall jump to see the problem: what was once a tough maneuver in 64 that carried your momentum forward and was an accomplishment to pull off well
mario 64 walljumps were only "tough" if the camera angle made it awkward

a static cling that always works no matter what you do.
or, in other words, it's more responsive and works better


A lot of the hat mechanics also work this way. There is no joy in movement anymore:
in Odyssey?

yikes

possibly one of the most disagreeable things ever said on this website

Posted February 8th by Pirate_Ninja

All you need to do is wall jump to see the problem: what was once a tough maneuver in 64 that carried your momentum forward and was an accomplishment to pull off well is now a static cling that always works no matter what you do.


I don't recall walljumps being all that difficult to pull off in 64. I seem to recall my main issues with them was when I couldn't see where I was going or some other stupidity was going on.

But assuming I'm remembering wrong I would actually call this a flaw with 64 rather than modern Mario. A basic move such as a wall jump should not be difficult to pull off. The difficulty should come from things like having obstacles to avoid while doing it or making a puzzle out of it.

There is no joy in movement anymore: all that joy has been put into the obstacles.


Mario Odyssey has every move from Mario 64 (as far as I recall) plus more. The hat in particular gives Mario some very fun new ways to get around and that's before you even include possessing characters who sometimes have fun movement skills.

While your claim might be true for some 3d Mario games it's certainly not true for the latest and greatest (Odyssey).

_____________________

I honestly think if you got Odyssey and did a full playthrough to the final boss you would probably walk back most of the things you've said. Gameplay wise Odyssey is literally just Mario 64 but bigger and better.

My main issue with it is in the art department. While everything looks beautiful, a lot of it doesn't feel like it belongs in a Mario game. It's all too realistic looking for my liking. Some levels this is less apparent such as the beach, the lost world, the food world, but others like the forest, new donk city and the dragon boss felt weird to me. There were some like the desert level where it was a bit of a mix, some parts felt right and others didn't.

The worst offender for me was the forest level though. Not only was it very realistic looking but I seem to remember some parts felt very drained of colour. It's not really what I'm used to in the traditionally "can" Mario series.

It's like when they made Mario look a lot more detailed in Smash 3. Yea it looks very nice but it doesn't look right for Mario.

Posted February 9th by Moonray
Moonray
 

So, I'm talking of course about how static the jumping feels now. It cancels your momentum and the wall jump plays the same every time. Mario's main jump doesn't do much: you're relying on combos to get anywhere, and those combos also feel static. On one hand yay hat combos, but on the other nothing you do really feels as free or exhilarating as 64 or the classics. Mario was all about momentum, having one jump and squeezing the most out of it. Now the environment does most of the heavy lifting.

If all you had was a library, how fun would Odyssey's moveset really be? Probably not much. But Super Mario 64 didn't need much in the level design to be a joy to control.

Posted February 9th by mariomguy

Literally everyone that I have heard talking about SMO, from casual players to reviewers to professional speedrunners that have a specific professional interest in how well video games control down to the most minute detail, has said that the controls in SMO are fantastic.

Posted February 9th by nullfather

So, I'm talking of course about how static the jumping feels now.
fyi you say "of course" but I'm fairly certain that you didn't convey this well enough for anyone to actually come to that conclusion

nothing you do really feels as free or exhilarating as 64 or the classics.
yeah...what null said. Far as I've heard, you might be the only person on earth with this opinion.


also when is the last time you actually played SMB 1/2/LL because you seem to have a pretty rosy outlook on the way they handle

Posted February 9th by Pirate_Ninja

Also what do we even mean by the jumps feeling "static"? I'm not sure I really understand...

Posted February 9th by Moonray
Moonray
 

The hang time for your jump. In Super Mario 64, some of the most crucial elements were your ability to change the jump hangtime to get the right landing. In Odyssey, the hangtime hardly changes, and the design of the game intends you to keep jumping to the max, and then using other types of combos to go up higher and out farther from there. There's no nuance to the jump, it's the same jump every time: it's static.

Compare the type of platforming in Tick Tock Clock to anything SMG does: in SM 64 the momentum and hang time was of paramount importance to the way the platforming felt. This was phased out in the newer games so you don't build any momentum at all. Even though Mario has a rolling move and increases speed a bit going down a hill, all that is lost when you start performing combos. This is why speedruns of Super Mario 64 look so impressive: really, really good players know how to use this momentum to their advantage to pull off feats that lesser players can't even begin to comprehend.

Posted February 9th by mariomguy

You're basically saying that now that the controls are more consistent, the inherent flaws of Mario games are being revealed. Also, you barely know anything about speedrunning (from our previous conversations, at least), so I'd tread lightly. Don't forget that half of why speedruns look impressive is because the games are broken as fuck.

Posted February 9th by nullfather

Says the person who gushed with praise the momentum of the game when someone flew all over Bob-omb Battlefield.

I know what I like in platform controls, and if every time I hit the jump button I get the same height, the same speed, and the same arch, that's not consistent or expected at all! That's dull and unusual, like the original Donkey Kong! The sense that your jump could be higher if you hold the button down longer, or had a faster running head start is what made Super Mario 64 so exciting! The controls were most dynamic back then.

I think a lot of critics feel the need to constantly shower praise on Mario because he is the granddaddy of platform gaming, and going against that would be like going against Einstein's physics or Michelangelo's sculpting. But Miyamoto had a distinct take on the way Mario was supposed to feel and lessened his involvement over the decades. The up-and-comers put all their eggs in the level design basket, leaving Mario's dynamic controls in the dust. Don't get me wrong, the new controls are easier for people who wallow through it, but Super Mario 64 carries that momentum forward and feels great for the players who really know what they're doing.

That momentum thing is not broken, it's entirely the point.

Posted February 9th by mariomguy

Mariomguy, you are the only person I’ve ever seen to have this complaint. What you are complaining about is all about the players own experience with the game, which is different per person. I have never felt mario’s Jumps were any more or less static through the series. All the platform sees and 3D games he’s been in have all been about building up momentum and jumping.

Also, I never found wall Jumping to be all that hard in Mario 64. Perhaps the reason it seemed more difficult to do it in SM64 is because it’s the first game to introduce that mechanic so it took you a while to get used to it. I know I had a hard time with it at first when I was a kid, and it’s also possible the timing was a little different. But no matter which 3D Mario I play I can consistently wall jump without any problems.

Are you playing SM64 with an original N64 controller?

Edited February 9th by Q
Q
 

I couldn't disagree more. I hated Galaxy and 3D World, but Odyssey is probably my favorite 3D Mario to play casually. You have significantly more freedom in your movement in Odyssey than any game since Sunshine. And the open world design gives you a ton of freedom of expression in how you want to utilize the different movement options.

Your opinion is just baffling to me, because there are tons of situations where even the most casual of casual player is encouraged to experiment with the movement to do "parkour." There's that huge bottomless pit in the Sand Kingdom that separates two parts of the level that everyone I've talked to tried to cross on their first playthrough. It's ultimately not even a remotely difficult jump, but all the people I've talked to felt like a total badass when they first did it. Then there's the smaller levels like Lost Kingdom or Cascade which has a lot of different routes you can take to get to a single location. And then obviously Metro is literally Mario parkouring around a city. Honestly don't know what you're talking about. I feel like you maybe played Cap Kingdom for ten minutes and then didn't play any more and decided the game is static and boring.

It's just really weird to me that you apparently enjoyed Galaxy's movement but not Odyssey's. Even if you think Odyssey is a downgrade compared to 64 and Sunshine, I'm not sure how you can see it as a downgrade from Galaxy's clearly stiffer movement system.

The biggest problem for me in Odyssey is the forced motion controls for a lot of the movement options. They simply aren't fun, but a lot of them are required if you want to go fast. The most obvious offender is rolling. It would have been such a great addition to have optimal rolls be tied to a frame perfect button press, similar to SM64's dustless dives, but instead you just shake the Joycon over and over, which is trivial to pull off but also tiring if you do it for long stretches of time.

I know what I like in platform controls, and if every time I hit the jump button I get the same height, the same speed, and the same arch, that's not consistent or expected at all!

I mean, that's literally what consistent means, so idk what you're saying here. But you're also just wrong? Holding the A button in Odyssey increases your jump height. Tapping it gives you a short jump. It's not as pronounced as it is in SM64, but it's not like it's unnoticeable either. The most static element in Odyssey compared to SM64 is the dive. There are a ton of different dive maneuvers you can perform in SM64 that will behave really differently based on speed or jump height or even if you're wearing the wing cap. It's always the same in Odyssey, and you have to jump before you can dive now.

Overall, I don't think you're wrong here. SM64 has a more "dynamic" movement system than Odyssey, and I greatly prefer SM64 and Sunshine's movement, but Odyssey is such an obvious upgrade after Galaxy and 3D World that I don't understand how you can complain now, but not complain during the Galaxy and 3D World era. I remember arguing with you about all the reasons I hated Galaxy, movement being one of them, and you never agreed with me at all.

Don't forget that half of why speedruns look impressive is because the games are broken as fuck.

Maybe for glitch heavy games like OOT or Pokemon. Absolutely not the case for movement based games like SM64. SM64 requires a massive amount of technical skill to perform at the highest level. The skillgap in SM64 is insane, and it's tough for even religious stream watchers to understand how deep it is unless you actually start speedrunning it.

Perhaps the reason it seemed more difficult to do it in SM64 is because it’s the first game to introduce that mechanic so it took you a while to get used to it.

SM64's wallkicks are undoubtedly more difficult than later iterations. Doesn't necessarily make them hard though. In all other games when Mario jumps at a wall, he sticks to the wall and slides down. You can then press the A button to wall jump at any point before you reach the ground. In SM64 when you jump at a wall, you get 5 frames to hit the A button in order to do the wall kick. If you miss the 5 frame window, you just bonk and fall down. Definitely more punishing.

Wall kicks in SM64 also demonstrate some of the dynamic elements of the game that Mariom is talking about, though casual players will probably never notice it. If you hit a wall kick on the first possible frame in SM64, Mario will get a speedboost out of the wall kick, whereas later frames will cause Mario to slow down a bit after the kick. Little nuances like that are all over the game, and it's probably why a lot of people think SM64 controls are unwieldy.

Edited February 9th by The Bandit

Says the person who gushed with praise the momentum of the game when someone flew all over Bob-omb Battlefield.


What in the hell are you talking about?

Posted February 9th by nullfather

Overall, I don't think you're wrong here. SM64 has a more "dynamic" movement system than Odyssey, and I greatly prefer SM64 and Sunshine's movement, but Odyssey is such an obvious upgrade after Galaxy and 3D World that I don't understand how you can complain now, but not complain during the Galaxy and 3D World era.

So, I did. I always loved SM64's movement. It's still my favorite game ever made. Galaxy was interesting as a one-off (or two-off) because of the breadth of imagination. Every inch of that game just oozed creativity, so if you were going to rely on the level design so heavily, that's what you had to do to make it right, and they pulled it off. But in the grand scheme of things, that's not the kind of platformer I find most exhilarating. I did complain that the movement was more static back then, using the way Mario CLINGS to the wall during wall jumps as an example, but I forgave it for the gravity concept. After all, trying to juggle momentum AND 3D gravity would be way too difficult for anyone to pull off. But take those controls and put it on a flat world and suddenly there's a great deal of disappointment.

Perhaps there is more I need to see and do, but FYI I played through several worlds, including New Donk City, the Koopa race, Bowser's Kingdom, the one made of food, and a jungle environment. I also played the demo world several times. Perhaps more playing will get me better with hat combos and alternate posessions, but from what I played it's just Galaxy's controls with more stuff on top of it, so the basic controls just felt underwhelming.

Posted February 9th by mariomguy

Question is... do you even recognize yourself? You should be stripped of the mario in your name. ._.

Also, it doesn't feel that much different from galaxy to me. SMO's gimmick of controlling different enemies is nice. Once I beat the game and played a little post at 25hrs, I didn't go back. Maybe cause I had a backlog, and also because getting the 2nd half of the stars felt really grindy.

Edited Wednesday by ShadowFox08

"SM64's wallkicks are undoubtedly more difficult than later iterations. Doesn't necessarily make them hard though. In all other games when Mario jumps at a wall, he sticks to the wall and slides down. You can then press the A button to wall jump at any point before you reach the ground. In SM64 when you jump at a wall, you get 5 frames to hit the A button in order to do the wall kick. If you miss the 5 frame window, you just bonk and fall down. Definitely more punishing."

I do remember bonking into the wall instead of sliding down so I do agree with this being more difficult at first. However, once you get used to the timing, it's fairly easy to wall jump.

"Perhaps more playing will get me better with hat combos and alternate posessions, but from what I played it's just Galaxy's controls with more stuff on top of it, so the basic controls just felt underwhelming."

Lets be clear here, SMO shares it's controls with ALL previous 3D Mario games, going all the way back to SM64. Every 3D Mario game that has come out has used SM64 as it's template. In what other ways would you have wanted the controls to be changed or improved?

Posted Wednesday by Q
Q
 

In Super Mario 64 Mario falls faster, jumps quicker and farther, wall jumps reflect off of walls, more momentum from your movement is carried into the jump and it feels more responsive and natural overall. It rewarded you with completing combos by adding to your forward momentum.

Super Mario Galaxy slows this down so Mario doesn't jump as high or as far. This allows the design of the world to be much smaller and more concise, and it gives you a lot more time to make trickier jumps, but all at the expense of an immediately quick and responsive feel and exhilarating momentum. The extreme downplaying of that momentum makes Mario move VERY steadily when performing combos. There's no rush with combos anymore, it's just part of the game you're expected to perform.

In terms of gamefeel, SM64 feels much better than SMG, but SMG allows for crazier level design. So when people say Mario's controls are perfect now, they're lying: they're only perfect for the kind of game Odyssey is. The exhilaration is gone. It's like the difference between Melee and Brawl to me.

Posted Thursday by mariomguy

SM64 is hot trash. Great for its time and still a good game, yes. But it controls like swampy asscrack on a plate compared to the newer Mario games.

Posted Thursday by nullfather

In terms of gamefeel, SM64 feels much better than SMG, but SMG allows for crazier level design. So when people say Mario's controls are perfect now, they're lying: they're only perfect for the kind of game Odyssey is. The exhilaration is gone.

I don't think you understand the concept of "lying"

Edited Friday by Pirate_Ninja

I don't think you understand the concept of "lying"

I know people who think it's lying when they say an opinion. I've been asked something like "do you have coffee here" and I've answered "sure, in the breakroom" and when we had no more coffee left have been accused of lying to them.

So is mguy saying that the people who say this are aware that 64 has a better control system and are just obfuscating the truth? Nah, he probably just fucked up.

Posted Friday by Fox Forever

"So when people say Mario's controls are perfect now, they're lying: they're only perfect for the kind of game Odyssey is."

This statement makes absolutely no sense. It's asinine to say that the controls for one game are perfect for only that game and not another because those controls were designed FOR THAT GAME. It's such a silly statement. It's like saying the controls for Forza are perfect for Forza but not for Call of Duty. Well no shit Sherlock.

Also, if someone says they think a game has perfect controls and you dont agree. That doesn't make them a liar, it makes them a person with a different OPINION than yours.

This is something I used to have to argue with SONYBOT about a long time ago. Your OPINION is not a FACT.

Posted Friday by Q
Q
 

OK, well, when I grew up on Mario, gamefeel took precedence over moderation. Ever since Galaxy and Brawl Nintendo did a 180 and are championing moderation as the way controls should be done. I already admitted it allowed for the crazy level design they have going on now, but it just does not do it for me when all of Mario's moves are static and clingy. I miss the Mario that built momentum as he ran.

For the record, guys, Miyamoto made Super Mario 64's controls himself, just testing out the numbers in a test room. What he gave the team was a Mario that was TOO slick, and so responsive playing the game would've been very difficult. The programmers had to tone down Mario a bit for the game, and Miyamoto was disappointed ever since. But since then, Mario has only felt slower, and more lethargic. In order to make a game with crazy level design that is still playable by the masses, yes, that amazingly responsive gamefeel is what you sacrifice. It's a sacrifice for "the greater good." Sorry, but I don't think a game's levels should be built on a foundation of sacrifice. Give me something responsive, then design FOR it.

Posted Friday by mariomguy
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