Review by mushroomfantasy

Reviewed: 11/24/04

Super Mario 64- Touched Up For The Better!

One of the best games from the N64 era, Super Mario 64 comes back into action for the Nintendo DS. Regardless of it being not being a brand new game, Super Mario 64 DS adds a lot more to the game- like mini games, multiplayer, and many new levels inside the game. Does the new touched screen based version live up to it's original version? Let's find out...

Story 10/10: The story of SM64DS is slightly different from the N64 version. In addition to Peach being captured by Bowser and such, Bowser manages to lock up heroic Mario, timid Luigi, and money grubbin' Wario up in some rooms. Now this brings up the question.. Who do I start with then? Well, you start out as Yoshi. That's right.. YOSHI! As Yoshi, you begin the game like N64, beating the first levels and collecting stars. As you get a certain amount of stars, you unlock a new level which you must beat to save Mario. You'll do this in a similar fashion to save Luigi and Wario. When you save Mario, you'll have the chance to play as him. This is important to save these three characters as you will need their special abilities to complete certain missions and defeat certain bosses. This saving of Mario, Luigi, and Wario adds some more story to the game and makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Gameplay 10/10: This is the touchy one. Many people dislike the idea of using the thumbstrap or stylus to move around on the touch screen. The bottom screen acts like a map where locations of stars, hats (allow you to turn into a different character during a level), and such are shown. The touch screen is basically used for turning around and moving throughout the levels. There are also four arrows on the touch screen which allow you to rotate the camera, which is a GREAT advantage as you can change the camera easily. There are three different control styles, so there should be one that you feel is right for you. Using the stylus at first feels weird, but after playing for a couple hours you'll get used to it and possibly like it more than an analog stick. There will be people complaining about the controls of probably every DS game that will come out, so don't let their whining change your opinion of a game. The controls are a matter of taste- some people will like the stylus, others the thumbstrap, and some may just prefer to use the touch screen as less as possible.

Anyways, the gameplay of SM64DS is basically the same as the N64 version, you play levels and beat their objectives to gain stars. The more stars you have, the more levels you can access and more parts of the castle you can explore. The objectives of each level have been changed a bit. There are 30 more stars in this game than the n64 version, making a grand total of 150 stars. Each of the four characters have their own unique movesets. Mario's is the same as the N64 version. Yoshi can eat enemies, turn them into eggs, shoot eggs, do ground pound, and has the 'fluttering' jumping effect. Luigi has his SMB2 like jump, and Wario is slow and strong. There are also more powers ups in this game as well. You will have to make good use of the four characters and their special power-ups and such to get through the game.

Sound/Music 10/10: The SM64 music is back in all its glory. It music and sound are great. Thankfully, Nintendo did not plague us with its voice acting from the Super Mario Advances, which were somewhat scary. The music blends and fits in with the themes of the levels. Also the music sounds great with the DS' surround sound speakers. ^_^

Graphics 10/10: The graphics of SM64DS look great on the DS. Nintendo had touched up the graphics from the N64 version, such as Mario not looking like a bunch of blocks put together.

Replay Value 10/10: SM64DS has over 20 mini-games involving Mario and the gang that revolve around using the touch screen. These games are simply fantastic and very fun to play. For example, one game you use the touch screen to repel enemy parachute bom-ombs falling towards your castle with a sling shot. You can pull back the ball at many different angles and lengths to try to knock out several enemies at once. Another game you pick the petals off a flower while doing the classic, "She loves me, She loves me not". You start off with eight mini games in the beginning, and during the game you can unlock more games by 'catching' rabbits who will give you a key if you let them go.

In addition to the mini-games, there is also a multiplayer mode. In this you and up to 3 other friends duke it out for a star. You basically rush towards the star and try to get it before your friends. Then once the star is caught, a new one appears somewhere else where you again try to get it. You do this in a limited amount of time- so try to collect more than your friends!

These new features as well as the many new levels and stars to get in the game add hundreds of hours of replay value.

SUMMARY 10/10: Super Mario 64 DS definitely lives up to its N64 version. Not only using an interesting way to move around: the graphics are improved; there are many new levels and boss battles; the addition of Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario as playable characters; and as well as the mini-games and multiplayer features guarantee you hours and hours of fun. SM64DS is a must buy for the Nintendo DS and is well worth your money. Have fun stompin' goombas and eatin' rabbits! =P

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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