Review by Dark Forte VII

Reviewed: 11/24/04

Get in touch with your Mario side

Super Mario 64 DS was the first DS game I got and played. I knew what I was expecting it to be like, but my expectations were wrong. The game felt unlike the Super Mario 64 I had played so long ago. It was fresh and captivating, almost feeling like it was the first time I had played a 3D Mario game.

The old features of messing with Mario's face have returned, but you can't stretch it out like you once were able to, although this was a slight disappointment, being able to draw your own figures to poke and pry seemed to take some of the edge off. Starting the game you are treated with nice stereo sound and clear voice acting from peach. Then the game begins.

Looking at the game from a graphical standpoint, the game is pretty much the same to the 64 version, although the textures do look smoother and the characters seem to have a more polished look to them. It runs very smoothly, and the animation flows nicely. While some items still remain with the "pasted" look, the small screen helps to really minimize its flaws. Overall the graphics are nothing to complain about at all.

The biggest difference from a console to hand held is its controls, and thankfully, the controls between the two versions are not that difficult. The D-pad surprisingly feels like an analog stick and makes turning around very easy. The camera is kind of bad, but the L button seems to help a bit. Another gripe about the controls is the fact characters walk by default, meaning you have to hold down a button for them to run, which gets annoying. The touch screen controls are very different and hard to control in an exact direction. You will need to practice using it before you tackle some small ledges.

The game play is virtually the same as the 64 version, but the story has been really added on to. You will need to go to separate missions and fight new enemies and rescue people while obtaining items. All the hidden castle items you grew to love are still back in the same places you remember (or don't). With the addition of three new characters, it adds more puzzles and greater diversity. New items also make some levels play completely different then how they used to play.

The place where you really use the stylus is in the mini-games. The mini-games are plentiful (although some are very similar) and are very unique. I actually get excited to try out a new game when I get one. They are captivating because they make interesting ways to use the touch screen. One level may have you use the touch pad as a flashlight and find ghosts, and another level may have you curl a shell on the ice. And with each character having different games, it adds more of a theme to each one.

For multi player, I did not expect much, and personally I did not receive much. This is primarily a one player game and multi player proved it. All it is is people jumping around for 30 seconds to find some stars in a selection of 4 levels. The multi player mode got boring fast but it does not take away from the great single player mode.

Overall Score: 9
Reasons: When one of the best games of the 90's is ported on a hand held system with enough enhanced features to make it feel fresh again, you have to play it and relive that "Mario is actually 3D? Sweet" feeling all over again.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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