21 years later, ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ is the sequel to ‘Super Mario 64’ I’d been dreaming about
Depending on who you ask, Super Mario 64 is one of the most important video games ever released. It set the stage for the past two decades of 3D action games and created so much goodwill among Nintendo fans that they were even willing to forgive the company for the Wii U and give the Switch a chance. For all of these reasons and more, it never made sense to me why Super Mario 64 felt like a one-off in the franchise rather than a platform.
Super Mario Sunshine was the first true follow-up to Super Mario 64, and although it shared a great deal in common with its predecessor, Mario was weighed down (both physically and metaphorically) by F.L.U.D.D. — a backpack that is capable of spraying streams of water for both combat and traversal. But for all its strengths and weaknesses, it was the closest we ever got to a sequel to the Nintendo 64 entry that defined a generation.