Review by ReverendCurtis

Reviewed: 12/03/04

One of the best Mario games in a while

So, the NDS is finally out and so is the most anticipated NDS launch title, Super Mario 64 DS. Along with the anticipation of the game came speculation that it may end up blowing because it is a revamped version of an old Nintendo 64 title. Well, thankfully, I am going to address every aspect of the new title and tell you what the low down is on Super Mario 64 DS

It seems that the biggest worry anyone has had about SM64DS was the controls. Will a D-Pad and a touch screen adequately replace an analog stick? The game offers a few different control schemes that are supposed to allow for any type of gamer be comfortable. You can use the D-pad to move and hold down the Y button to run. This sounds annoying to have to hold down a button to run, but it really isn’t all that different because all of the older Mario games required this. In this mode, the shoulder buttons move the camera or crouch and the X button zooms in and out, while the B button jumps and the A button attacks. The only flaw in this layout is having to use buttons that are across from each other in order to run and dive. Of course, for those who prefer the analog stick, the touchpad does a pretty good job simulating it by touching the middle of the screen and moving the circle that appears in the direction you wish to run/walk/tip-toe. Overall, the controls weren't actually up to par with what Nintendo has a reputation for, but that just means it takes some getting used to.

SM64DS has defiantly raised my standards on handhelds, graphically. You will often find yourself amazed, even after hours of play, at the supreme graphics in this game. The textures such as faces and paintings are crisp and the objects like characters and blocks are smooth. Of course, the vibrant backlight and having a screen much smaller than a TV help out tremendously. The viewing distance if clearly farther than it's N64 counterpart and objects such as trees do not look as two dimensional as they did in the first game. The graphics in Super Mario 64 DS are simply astonishing, especially considering that this is a handheld.

Gameplay wise, SM64DS plays much like you have come to expect. Story is the same, with slight variations to include more stars and Mario's three companions; Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi. All of four of these characters have similar controls, and the three humans have the same basic abilities except with different skills in each. One of the many cool things added to the gameplay is that Yoshi can swallow enemies and either turn them into an egg for later, or hurl them at another bad guy immediately. Yet, perhaps the biggest and best addition is the sweet mini-games. Every character has a set of mini-games that share a common theme. Every player seems to already have a favorite set and plays games in that set for hours on ends. Naturally though, most of them are addicting and will suck all of your time away if you don't watch out! Also, 30 new stars have been added bringing the total to 150 stars. Should take the average gamer quite a bit to get all of the stars, still a while for masters of the N64 classic. But, with the never-ending struggle to get high scores on mini-games, that fun literally never ends.

Overall – 95% or 9/10
SM64DS is a great remake on a classic hit. Both it and the original changed the gaming industry forever, as Nintendo is accustomed to do. With great graphics and gameplay, nearly perfect controls, and mini-games galore, Super Mario 64 DS is a must own for any Nintendo fan, especially if you own a NDS.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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