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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

November 2004

 

- Some tweaks to the now-classic N64 original

- Mini-games are fun

- Great music and big-bright presentation

- Good control

 

 

- Getting used to the “good control” can take a while

- Touch screen used to full effect for the mini-games only

 

 

Review: Super Mario 64 (N64)

Review: Bomberman (GBA)

 

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Super Mario 64 DS

Score: 8.6 / 10

 

Nintendo could probable be accused of playing it sage with Super Mario 64 DS.  As a launch title, it may show off the DS hardware but who wants to replace a game that ushered in the 3D Age of Console Gaming seven years ago?  Me, for one.

 

super mario 64 ds review          super mario 64 ds review

 

This is the Super Mario 64 that appeared on the N64.  Though the general layout of each level remains true to the original there’s enough difference here to warrant buying it and playing it to death.  No longer are you stuck playing as Mario.  Now you can play as Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi.  The game actually starts with Yoshi and as you progress access to the other characters becomes available in two ways: acquiring the key that unlocks the character-specific door or by finding a hat somewhere in the level.  Finding one of these hats makes for a cool power-up.  The change isn’t permanent as one hit will knock the cap from your head and you’ll revert back to the character you were originally controlling.

 

Each character handles differently and has character-specific abilities.  Yoshi has his tongue and stomach of steel, Wario possesses unmatched strength, etc. but the levels are designed in such a way that there are only a few instances of having to be a particular character to accomplish a goal and sometimes it’s a matter of losing that hat and proceeding as the default character.

 

But as usual I jumped ahead of myself and made the assumption that everyone has played the original Super Mario 64.

 

The “story” begins with a letter from Princess Peach inviting Mario & Co. to visit her.  No special occasion but she has baked the most incredible pie!  Upon reaching the castle, Wario,  Luigi and Mario are nowhere to be found when Yoshi enters the castle he discovers Bowser has stolen the castle’s stars and has locked up the mustachioed trio.  It falls to Yoshi to begin the rescue.

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Super Mario 64 defined platforming as we know it today – there’s a ton of jumping involved!  The control took an inordinate amount of time to come to grips with, probably because I was so used to the N64 control stick.  The directional 

pad does a good job – way better than using the touch screen – and once you acclimatize to once again holding a button to run there aren’t that many complaints.

 

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The touch screen doesn’t play a crucial function for most of the game.  It’s helpful having the second screen to consult the map but other than that and using it to spin Bowser around by the tail during the boss battles there isn’t much use for it.  However, Super Mario 64 DS comes stocked with mini-game time wasters.

 

super mario 64 ds review          super mario 64 ds review

 

Scattered throughout the castle are bunnies that when caught give-up a mini-game, which is playable through the main menu or visiting the Princesses rec room in the castle.  Each character has about a dozen mini-games, which range from card games to tests of accuracy to timed challenges.  They all use the touch screen and although they may be a minor part of the whole package I booted up the game more than a few times just to play the mini-games (particularly Wario’s slingshot Bob-Omb Squad).  There is also multiplayer included, which mostly boils down to racing around a map collecting randomly generated stars before your opponents.

 

While the graphics are slightly – ever so slightly – worse than the N64 original, the same vibrancy comes through and the game moves smoothly throughout.  The camera can be obscured in some situations but that’s more or less the same as every platformer out there.

 

The stereo speakers do an admirable job with the audio but I’d recommend using headphones for best effect.  The music and sound effects are true to the original.

 

Super Mario 64 DS may not be as groundbreaking as the original Super Mario 64 but as a launch title and a full-featured game you absolutely get your money’s worth.

 

- Omni

(December 15, 2004)

 

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