Review by UltimaterializerX

Reviewed: 03/12/10

Don't fix what isn't broken.

When the DS launched, Mario 64 was ported as a DS title to help launch the system. Everyone knows by now the DS grew to be a giant success, but the Mario 64 port not so much. The game was simply not designed to play with a D-Pad, and the touch controls are too bad to even speak of. The D-Pad is especially silly, because you’re playing a 3D game with a 2D control scheme. Even if you play through this and get used to the funky controls, you’ll still wish you had an analog stick back. Mario 64 without analog simply doesn’t work.

The game for the most part is the same as the original Nintendo 64 model, but with a few key differences. There are 30 extra stars in the DS port, increasing the total to 150 from 120. None of the new stars are really difficult to get, and most are just tech demos for the new stuff Nintendo threw in. Most of it is very basic stuff, like hitting a switch and getting a star in a certain amount of time. The fun ones involve using one of the new characters.

Rather than playing as Mario the entire game, there are four characters to choose from. You start as Yoshi, and eventually unlock Mario, Luigi and Wario. Yoshi and Luigi are important given they haven’t been playable in a mainline Mario title since the SNES, and Wario hasn’t ever been playable at all. Mario has the basic stuff we all know from Mario 64, but the other three characters all have special skills. Yoshi can pick a hat from any of the other three unlocked characters, letting him take their form until he gets hit. Luigi jumps the highest, and Wario hits the hardest. This would potentially be fun if there was a decent control scheme, but there isn’t.

The other big extra thrown into this are a ton of Mario mini-games based on the touch screen. These are actually quite fun, and would have been cool as a stand-alone game. There’s all sorts of different things, like picking out photos, slot machines, memory match, the Wiggler, and various other Mario staples. Unfortunately, they’re tacked on to a terrible port that you should avoid like the plague. Mario 64 without an analog stick is like buffalo wings without hot sauce -- you’re left with a greasy mess and little else.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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

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