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Hacker discovers and fixes Super Mario 64 smoke glitch nearly 24 years after the game released

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa!

Did you know that Super Mario 64 had a glitch that caused Mario's smoke animation to display incorrectly? We've all seen the animation of Mario running around with smoke pouring out after touching fire, but none of us knew we were seeing a glitch in action. Turns out the smoke that comes billowing out wasn't being displayed properly.

Hacker BlazeHedgehog has been snooping around Super Mario 64's code and noticed that something was a bit off with the smoke animation. With a one-line fix, he managed to get the results that Nintendo originally intended for the game. You can see the before and after comparison in the tweet above.

Fangamer releases a new round of Snowboard Kids merch

No, this isn't April Fools

We're talking Snowboard Kids in 2020? We are, and it's not an April Fools' Day joke.

FanGamer was previously selling a pair of shirts for Snowboard Kids fans, and today they've added in another round of merch to snag. There's now a new shirt, scarf, hat, and pin to choose from! It might not be the best time of year for a scarf or beanie hat, but who am I to judge?! Check out all the items here.

GoNintendo Thought: Should Nintendo tweak Super Mario 64 for a Switch release?

Messing with nostalgia

We're keeping the Mario theme going strong this week with a third feature on the mustached mascot. Today we dive into a touchy subject about porting one of Mario's greatest adventures. As always, thanks for reading.

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Word on the street is that Nintendo is cooking up a Switch package they've dubbed internally as Super Mario All-Stars 2. This collection will include Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and the 3D one that started it all, Super Mario 64. Without the groundwork laid by Super Mario 64, who knows what the rest of the 3D Mario series would be like. Hell, Super Mario 64 was hugely influential to 3D game design in the industry as a whole! The game is an absolute icon, and remains a shining achievement of development.

If Nintendo does indeed bring Super Mario 64 to the Switch, there are no doubt long-time fans who'll happily dive into the game for a stroll down memory lane. Along with those players, there will be newcomers who've never had the chance to check out Mario's 3D debut. An interesting conundrum comes when you think of those two audiences as a singular group. With Super Mario 64, how do you make sure you don't strip the nostalgia old players have while still appealing to the sensibilities and expectations of modern gamers?

Nintendo has actually taken both approaches in the past. Super Mario 64 was brought over to the DS all the way back in 2004, and they decided to include some tweaks and new content. A few of the changes were pretty superfluous, with a bunch of mini-games thrown in, and a local multiplayer experience that let you take control of Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi. There were also some changes to how the in-game camera worked, allowing you to manipulate your view with virtual buttons, and control your character with the stylus or the DS wrist strap. All in all, a number of changes that were sometimes necessary, and other times throwaway.

Then you have the release of Super Mario 64 on the Virtual Console, which hit both the Wii and Wii U. That was pretty much a straightforward port of the original game, providing you with the purest Super Mario 64 experience you could get without firing up an actual N64. Yes, the game did run and look better on those platforms, but outside of that, you were getting the same game people got in 1996.

Again, if rumors are true, we'll have yet another way to play Super Mario 64 very soon. Seeing the game release as part of a package on Switch would be welcome indeed, but it begs the questions of what should be fixed, what should be left alone, and if new content should be added. There's no rule book for this kind of thing, and Nintendo will have to approach the situation very carefully. Diving back into players' formative gaming moments is a dangerous thing, and tampering with those memories can rile people up in an instant.

When it came to the first Super Mario All-Stars, every game in the package got a complete visual overhaul. The were given the Super Nintendo treatment, so everything had a lot more color, looked smoother, was more detailed overall, and certainly ran better. With that said, there was no option to play those classics with the visuals they originally had. You either had to deal with the revamped graphics, or stick to the NES and original cartridges.

Seeing as how Nintendo reworked the visuals and smoothed out gameplay in Super Mario All-Stars, it stands to reason they'd do the same with Super Mario All-Stars 2. I think everyone is on-board with the idea of making sure the game runs as smooth as silk. While it might be shocking for some to see the game play without framerate stutters or slowdown, I don't think anyone would say the change was for the worse. Having the game play smoothly from start to finish would make for a better experience overall.

Now when it comes to visuals, what in the world do you do? Do you just run with the original style of the game and show it off in high def? Super Mario 64 looked better on the Wii than N64 by a mile, and it looked better still on the Wii U than Wii. Making the jump to Switch could certainly dial things up a bit again, but we have to keep in mind the law of diminishing returns. If you're just going with a straightforward visual port, by and large, things will look pretty comparable between the Wii U and Switch versions.

Does Nintendo head in the direction of the original Super Mario All-Stars and give the game a complete visual overhaul? What visual style do you go in with that? Do you make something that looks closer to the style of Mario in Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy? Do you completely rework textures for an wholly unique appearance? Do you give players a bunch of different filters to apply that will certainly be noticeable, but aren't as ambitious as a reskin? It's a tough question, and whatever Nintendo decides to go with will certainly draw the ire of some fans.

The considerations continue when you move into the game's camera. The camera system was absolutely revolutionary for the time, but by today's standards it seems barbaric. The camera will seem too limited for newcomers who will compare the game to titles of the last 15 years. A revamped camera system could work wonders for some portions of the game, but it could end up causing major headaches in others. Super Mario 64 was built around its landmark camera system, and opening things up to a more free-moving camera could end up breaking the experience in ways that are hard to consider.

Should music get a bump up in quality as well? Could we have higher-quality versions of the original tunes, or is it time to completely rework the soundtrack? Should we have the same compositions with new instruments, or remixes of those classic tracks? Just as the game itself is revered for its gameplay, the soundtrack is held in equal regard. It may have used a rather limited set of samples, but the tunes we got are absolutely timeless. Would going all-out on a soundtrack revamp feel too out-of-place for the rest of the game?

There are even people out there who'll be upset if Nintendo goes in to squash some bugs from the classic title. If particular tricks don't work as they used to, and glitches can't be exploited as they've been all these years, a smaller subset of players might not get the same enjoyment out of the game. I think most would agree that the game's bug/glitch collection should be addressed to make for a better experience, but you never know what you'll miss until it's gone!

I can tell you one thing for sure. I wouldn't want to be in Nintendo's position when addressing a potential port. Walking that fine line between paying tribute to the original while bringing it up-to-speed for today's players is a dangerous, dangerous journey to take. That said, I'm not just going to drone on about Nintendo's woes and leave it at that. It's only fair that I offer up my own opinions on what I think should happen. I'll break each section down with quick bulletpoints.

Graphics: Leave the visuals as-is, but obviously take the high-res route. Throw in filters that change the style/mood of the game, but don't give me something that looks like Sunshine or beyond. The retro visuals are part of the game's charm.

Audio: While I would be curious to hear remixes, I think a higher quality audio experience with the original tracks is what I'd most enjoy. Those songs are forever ingrained in my memory, and hearing them in higher quality interests me more than remixes that could change the vibe.

Controls: While I know it could cause some major troubles, I think it's worth the effort to go in and tweak the camera. It doesn't have to be up to snuff with today's games, but it can certainly be a more modern approach overall. I think there's a good middle ground to find.

Bugs: To tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind one bit if the game retained all of its original issues. Some of those made the game more enjoyable!

Tech specs: I'm all for having the game running at 60fps in 1080p. That said, I don't think a true widescreen mode would work, and could actually end up ruining some of the game. Just throw in a healthy selection of borders and I'm good to go.

Again, those are just my suggestions for what I would like. Those picks may be completely off-base for other players, and that's totally fine. This is exactly why I wouldn't want to be Nintendo! If they really are bringing the game to Switch, these are all things they have to consider and then make a final call on. That's a big deal for any classic title, but when it's a historic, monumental game-changer like Super Mario 64, the stakes are that much higher.

To be honest, I think the best solution in the end is to make almost every new feature an option, instead of a default. Let players mix and match what they want. Old songs and new visuals, or new songs, old visuals. Classic 4:3 or widescreen with borders. Whatever additions and changes are made should be up to the player, which leaves the most wiggle room to make a majority of people happy. Now making sure the mix-and-match approach doesn't break the game in new ways would most likely be a programming nightmare, but I believe the end result would make for a better public reception overall.

Lots of things to consider, lots of fires to put out. Nintendo has their work cut out for them if they're taking on this port. The thing is, if any game in Nintendo's history is worth the trouble, it's Super Mario 64. It was, and still is an unbelievable achievement for gaming as whole, and the impact it made ripples through the industry to this day. I'd say that makes it more than worth the extra effort. Mario certainly deserves the royal treatment for his 35th anniversary, and I have a feeling Nintendo agrees.

The latest N64 mod crams the system into a GBA SP-style case

How is this possible?!

Want to enjoy the N64 on the go? Modder GmanModz has somehow crammed all the necessary parts for an N64 into a GBA SP-style case, albeit a bit bigger. That doesn't make the end result any less impressive, especially when you consider that this mod actually lets you slot in physical N64 cartridges to play! This has to be the best portable N64 mod yet.

GameSpot Video - How Animal Crossing Came From One Of Nintendo's Biggest Failures

Animal Crossing is an unconventional kind of game that is loved by many, but did you know that its origins lie in a failed piece of Nintendo hardware.

You may not remember it, but at one time the Nintendo 64 had an add-on peripheral called the 64DD. Before the end of its short lifespan, Nintendo designed a game about hanging out with cute animals in a single field and completing small tasks. That game was Animal Forest, better known today as Animal Crossing.

The beloved series has gone on to sell millions and is one of the most recognizable video game franchises around, but its inception lies in an ambitious and, ultimately, failed hardware project. In this video we take a look back at the origins of Animal Crossing, and tell the story of its unlikely beginnings, its almost demise, and its ultimate success.

A look at the prototype for the unreleased N64 shmup Viewpoint 2064

A piece of N64 history

Viewpoint was a shmup that released for the Neo Geo that released all the way back in 1992. A sequel was in the works for the N64 that got cancelled for unknown reasons, but it lives on through a prototype ROM. Check out gameplay footage from that prototype in the video above.

Thanks to Mysteryman for the heads up!

WWE NXT/XFL analyst Pat McAfee offers play-by-play commentary for a Mario Kart 64 office tournament

Pat McAfee, who has worked for WWE's NXT brand and the XFL, is putting on a special Mario Kart 64 tournament with his office buddies while being hunkered down during the pandemic. In the video above, you can see McAfee putting his play-by-play skills to work by providing color commentary for the tournament. McAfee is always fun to listen to when he's in the announcer's booth, and he definitely adds his unique style to this Mario Kart 64 tournament!

Thanks to Gybones for the heads up!

Banjo and Kazooie want you to stay home to help fight coronavirus

Wise words from the bear and bird

The official RARE Twitter account posted up a gameplay clip from Banjo-Kazooie that might seem random at first, but when you pay close attention, you see that it's related to the current pandemic.

In the clip, you can see Banjo and Kazooie working together to spell out the phrase 'STAY HOME' with the letter floor from the first game. Instead of unlocking any Stop 'n' Swop secrets, the clip's point is to remind people to self quarantine in order to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. There are certainly worse people to take advice from!

Star Wars Episode I: Racer "launching soon" on Switch

Now THIS is pod racing

Nintendo casually announced that Star Wars Episode I: Racer is making its way to Switch sometime soon. The N64 classic was already getting a reprint from Limited Run Games, but that's an actual N64 cartridge. If you don't have an N64 laying around, you can look forward to revisiting this title on the Switch. We'll bring you full details once they become available.

Fan-made Super Smash Bros. Remix adds in Wario and much more

He's-a-gonna win

While Smash Bros. Ultimate may be the best-selling fighting game ever, there's still people who love the classics. It all began with Super Smash Bros. on N64, and a dedicated group of fans have been keeping that game alive through Super Smash Bros. Remix, a mod that adds in new features, tweaks, and more.

The latest update for Super Smash Bros. Remix includes Wario, the first "fully de-cloned custom" character made for Remix. It's pretty impressive stuff to see, and he looks like he fits right in!

Give the trailer a watch to see what else has been done to revamp the original Super Smash Bros. for Super Smash Bros. Remix. It's clear the people involved are ridiculously talented!

Thanks to MysteryMan for the heads up!

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