Review by nerdyman345

Reviewed: 06/20/08

Not the best remake ever...

When Super Mario 64 was first released for the N64, I was instantly hooked. The graphics were beautiful, the possibilities were endless, and the fun was nonstop. Fast-forward almost ten years to 2004; the game is re-released for the new "Nintendo Dual-Screen", to the joy of fans and fanboys everywhere. But...is it good?

Let's break it down.

-GRAPHICS-
Excellent (9/10)

All of the 3D models have been upgraded, and a few of the uglier enemies from the original have been completely redesigned. There are new effects, new environments, and new textures. The levels still look good, and I'm surprised to see this sort of quality on a portable system.

-SOUND-
Meh... (7/10)

For the most part, the music is exactly the same as the original. Unfortunately, a few of the tracks were ruined by the conversion to a lower quality; fans of the original will be disappointed in places.

Sound effects are still great, and a few have been replaced.

-CONTROL-
Yuck (3/10)

This is, by far, the most disappointing aspect of Super Mario 64 DS.

The complex jumping from the original is still present, but the seamless maneuvers that are easy with an analog joystick are clumsy and imprecise with a D-pad. Expect dozens of cheap deaths and hours of irritation with the harder puzzles.

The original N64 control setup included a joystick, six right-thumb buttons, a shoulder-button, and a trigger button; the DS only has the D-pad, two shoulder buttons, and four right-thumb buttons. This makes for a few changes that take some getting used to.

Controlling with the stylus is completely useless, as there is nothing you can do with the touchpad that you can't do more easily with the standard controls.

Motion in or under water is sluggish and incredibly frustrating, especially if you're in a hurry.

To sum it up, the awful controls just about ruined the whole game.

-GAMEPLAY-
Fun (8/10)

The good news is that besides the awful controls and boring underwater action, the gameplay is fantastic. There are three new playable characters, each with a unique ability that encourages the player to find multiple solutions to a given problem.

Mario excels at jumping, and is the only character capable of using all the moves from the original.

Luigi is quicker than Mario and can occasionally save himself from falling into bottomless pits.

Wario is stronger than any of the other characters and can destroy boulders.

Yoshi can swallow enemies and use them as projectiles.

The game is divided into over twenty sprawling stages, tied together by a central area. The player's objective is to obtain enough Power Stars to open up new stages and reach the final confrontation with Bowser.

These Stars are obtained by solving puzzles, defeating powerful enemies, or gathering certain items, just like in the original.

-LIFETIME-
Long (8/10)

Provided that you don't get sick of the abysmal controls, this game will last you quite awhile.

There is TONS of new content in this game; the original had a total of 120 Stars, and this version weighs in with 150. Broken goals from the original have been retooled or replaced, and there are even a few new levels.

Don't waste your time with the minigames, though.

---BOTTOM LINE---
+It's portable freakin' Mario 64
+Lots of variety
+Builds on the classic theme

-Awful controls
-The minigames suck
-Broken water action

----FINAL SCORE-----
7/10

A great game for fans, but players new to the genre should look elsewhere.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Super Mario 64 DS (US, 11/20/04)

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