Review by Ordinary_Gamer

Reviewed: 12/11/08

If Carling made DS games, then this would be one of them.

Introduction:

Super Mario isn't one of those one hit wonder games and neither is the star Mario. In fact, he has been around since the era of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) pottering about in 2-D saving Princess Peach from Bowser's evil claws.

Super Mario 64 marked the start of a new era. We were given rich 3-D environments to roam in. We were given tranquility and catchy music. But most of all we were given great game play something like the world had never seen before. It is quite right to call this game one of the best games in history - it pushed the N64 and didn't fail to deliver.

Super Mario 64 DS you could be mistaken to think is just a re-make or a lazy attempt to generate more money from a classic game. But its much more than that for it gives gamers the chance to play a 3-D platform game on a handheld console without compromising anything.

Game Play:

Initially I was dubious of how the controls would work. Yet every movement was fluid. I pushed a button, he moved. I felt in control. I was using the standard controls so it was mainly using the arrow pad and the X,Y,B,A buttons for movement. The shoulder buttons controlled the camera angle which at times was a little erratic. If you prefer to use the touch screen more, there is a touch mode to compensate for it.

Initially you start off with Yoshi but you can unlock other characters as you progress through the game. This is a big difference from the old N64 game where the only playable character was Mario. Each character has their own unique abilities many of which are required to find all 150 stars that the game has in it (the old N64 game only had 120). This demonstrates the sheer size of the game.

The game utilises the use of both screens to the max which not only demonstrates the amount of thought gone into the game but also sets it apart from other DS titles. The top screen is where you see the action happening and the bottom screen has a map in which the course stars are shown when you enter a course. The bottom screen also shows you the current lives you have, the amount of stars you've found and can be used to make your character move and change the camera angles.

Graphics and Sound:

In terms of graphics its one of the best games around. The colours are vibrant and although the texture is a bit block-like every now and then, it does use the DS to full advantage. Sadly if you get the camera into a bad angle you can lose the realism of the environment as you can see through walls or areas of the level that weren't finished. However this is infrequent and isn't a particularly big issue.

The sound quality is also top notch. You hear the water gurgling, the birds singing and when your characters are moving, they are also speaking. Everything appears to have a sound - you hit a wall hard, and the 'oof' sound makes you feel it as well. It just adds to the realism factor. You believe you are there and the sound helps do this.

Playtime/Replayability:

In some respects hardened gamers won't find this game overly daunting. Everybody plays games at different speeds so I believe that it would at least take a few days to complete the game fully without using help guides/FAQS. The remake has also included mini games for each character which you unlock whilst progressing through the game. These mini games just add to the fun and are a nice distraction if you are stumped at any point in the game. The fact you can also link up with other DS players and play challenges escalates the playtime considerably.

This game is very replayable as all your favourite boss battles or levels can still be accessed even if you have already done them. The game also has three save slots which gives you the opportunity to start again without wiping a completed file. The sheer challenge the game offers is not like other games on the DS, and this will tempt you to play it over and over again.

Final Recommendation:

If you don't own this game, then it is a definite must have. You could be playing this game for hours, days and within time, years! It is by far one of the more superior games out there; it doesn't bow down to re-make disaster nor does it get repetitive after 5 minutes. It does suffer on the odd occasion from an erratic camera (where the angle makes it hard to play) but other than that, there is absolutely no reason not to buy this game.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Super Mario 64 DS (EU, 03/11/05)

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