Review by IsamuKun

Reviewed: 11/24/04

An average update to a classic.

With the release of the new Nintendo DS comes a remake of an ever classic game, Mario 64 DX. Nostalgia got the best of me when hearing about this game. Mario 64 was quite a good game and ate a small, but enjoyable chunk of my childhood. With new levels, multiple characters, more stars to quest for and a large assortment of mini-games it seems like this could breathe new life into an old great. Alas, in this reviewers opinion, it doesn't.

Story:
6 / 10

The same as Mario 64, except tossing in Luigi, Wario and Yoshi into the mix. Peach is captured, go rescue her, nothing new here.

Game play:
6 / 10

It's pretty much the same fare from Mario 64, except now there are a few new levels and you can use different characters. While the different characters are a nice change, the differences are only slight to their usefulness. While Mario can do his wall jump, Luigi can jump higher, Wario can punch hard, Yoshi can eat things, etc. Each character also has their own Red Block "Ability", removing use of the multiple Block Switches and having the player change characters to fit the situation. Really though, in 95% of the situations, you can use Mario with no problem.

There's a few new power ups. The Mushroom, as in past games, will make you grow in size for a short period of time, allowing you to trounce your enemies with ease. An interesting addition, but kind of goofy. Then there's the Power Flowers which imbue the characters with their "abilities" (Mario turns into a balloon and floats, Luigi turns invisible, Wario turns to steel, and Yoshi Spits fire). The Wing cap also makes a return as a feather.

The dual screen serves many purposes. Most of the time it's a map of the level, showing the star's location(which removes quite a bit of the difficulty), but it also serves for using the menus, which works rather well.

As far as new levels and stars go it's rather scant. Each world now has an extra star in it, which can be either a "Collect 5 Silver Stars to get a Star" or "Hit a switch and run to the star" goal; nothing really interesting or impressive. The new levels are few and far between, only boasting 1 hidden star per. Nice, but not really that great of an addition.

Another new feature in the game is un-lockable mini-games. These in themselves are quite fun and make ingenious use of the touch screen. Some of the games are repetitive (IE: Multiple versions of matching games, etc), but overall they're fun.

Controls:
7 / 10

One of the biggest worries I had when picking this title up were the controls. Where as before you had the analogue stick, now you don't. It didn't translate over too badly at all, with the use of the Run button. Players can also opt to use the touch screen to control the movements for a more analogue feel, but it felt rather awkward to me. A problem I had with the controls were that you lose some of your accuracy with your movements without the analogue stick. While it is easily adaptable, it does often become bothersome when you need a precise movement or acrobatic jump.

Sound:
5 / 10

The sound quality is very nice and crisp. The music is the same old, memorable, toe tapping tunes. But alas, that's just what they are, the same old songs and SFX. As classic as they are, they really could have used some remixes. The few new songs aren't really that memorable either.

Graphics:
7 / 10

Once hailed as mighty are still pretty decent, especially for showing the new systems power. I find in this game it's a mixed bag though. A lot of the upgrades are subtle, but very nice. While in most cases they're the same, quite a bit of textural details have been added in quite a few areas, such as new mini bosses.

Overall:

What this comes down to is that it's just another port with some mediocre additions and upgrades. Really, no amount of extra stars and characters can make levels Bob-omb Battlefield or Dire Dire Docks that much fun again. If you've never played Mario 64 then you'll find this game quite enjoyable, or even if you have you might like it too. If you're like me though, it's nothing more than a tedious romp through the same old levels doing the same thing over again, with minimal new benefits. While those benefits are nice and shiny, they don't really add much to the overall game.

Final Score:
6 / 10

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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