It’s time for another Retro Ad Replay article! This is the series where we head backwards in time to reminisce and celebrate the anniversary of some of the most significant moments in gaming. If you find yourself wanting more content like this, be sure to visit Mandatory.com.
In this September 29 edition of Retro Ad Replay, we’re taking a trip back 24 years to when the Nintendo 64 first launched in North America. That’s September 29, 1996! (Though a limited supply was actually available three days prior, on September 26.)
Arguably the most striking thing about the new console was its controller, which had three prongs. This allowed players to hold the pad in three different ways, to best serve the game being played.
Though Game Revolution didn’t review the Nintendo 64 hardware, there is a review for the “first showpiece for N64,” Super Mario 64. GR awarded it a 4/5 for its “beautiful graphics,” “true 3D platforming,” and for having “some puzzle-solving.”
Here’s a snippet from the GR review:
This latest incarnation of Mario is the pilot game for the new Nintendo 64 system. And sick of Mario or not, this game has truly impressive graphics, and some revolutionary gameplay. If you buy the N64 this Christmas season, you’ll have the choice of the $200 system (sans Mario) or the $250 system with the little Italian hidden inside.
Super Mario 64 is the first showpiece for the N64, and the graphics will impress you (they impressed the hell out of me). The game itself is appealing, is less linear, and has more emphasis on puzzle-solving than its predecessors. It has enough worlds to satisfy you for many hours while you figure them out. If you’re really sick of Mario, you probably shouldn’t get this game, since its full of even more goofy Italian stereotyping than before. But if you still have room in your belly for another Italian meatball, Super Mario 64 is a worthy game.
Check out the Nintendo 64 promotional video embedded below, which goes through the N64’s main features (via Japancommercials4U2 on YouTube):