Mario 64 graphics comparison images and VIDEO: How good is this N64 vs Nintendo Switch upgrade?

With just a week to go before Mario 64 appears on the Switch, there’s already been some improvements spotted.

by Daryl Baxter

We are a week away from ‘Mario 3D All Stars’ arriving on the Switch, featuring Mario Galaxy, Mario Sunshine, and Mario 64. It’s a collection that’s been long rumoured, but finally, we can play these games wherever we are from next week.

As the three games have rarely seen re-releases apart from the ‘Virtual Console’ of previous retro storefronts on other Nintendo consoles, fans have been curious to see just how much has been remastered to take advantage of the Switch.

Even though it’s now been confirmed that Mario Galaxy and Mario Sunshine are being rendered in full HD with native widescreen support, there are questions as to what’s been improved with Mario 64.

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Thanks to some trailers and further analysing of these, there may be more improvements than previously thought…

N64 vs Switch images show off Mario’s glow-up

In unofficial circles, there have been efforts to replace textures and increase the resolution in N64 games to make them look as crystal clear as possible in a 4K resolution. But with the Switch, there’s simply no need to.

For ‘3D All Stars’, the resolution in Mario 64 has increased from 320 x240 to 960 x720, both in docked and handheld mode. This has meant that some textures have been replaced. The tweet below shows just how crisper everything looks, including the HUD.

The folks at GameXplain have done a fantastic video that shows the comparisons between the N64 and Switch versions of Mario 64. It almost looks similar to watching a film on VHS and Blu-ray, then spotting the cleaner differences.

It’s a shame that Mario 64 didn’t get native widescreen support, but there’s always a chance it could appear in a future patch down the line.


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N64 vs Switch comparison video tells the full story

Another feature to note, is that this version seems to be a port of an updated Japanese version of Mario 64 from 1997. A line spoken from Mario in the trailer saying ‘Buh-Bye!’ corroborates this, and it’s important to know, as this was the version that supported the ‘N64 Rumble Pak’.

This should mean that you will be able to experience all the HD Rumble on your Switch thanks to this port, alongside fixed glitches and translation issues that had found its way to the original release.

Of course, we won’t know for sure just how many improvements that Mario 64 on the Switch will bring, but already the higher resolution and remade textures are re-assuring. Nintendo could have just released an emulated version on the eShop and be done with it, but Mario 64 deserves a port, and this looks to be a fantastic one in the making.

We are only a week away from release, so there’s bound to be even more discoveries of the remaster as we approach launch day.

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Daryl Baxter