Review by Ness26

Reviewed: 01/03/05

Just enough differences to keep it new...

Mario 64 was the hit launch title for the N64; it showed all of the N64's capabilities and was a fun game too. While not a direct port, Super Mario 64 DS (SM64DS) is pretty much the same game. It does have enough differences to keep it from being stale, but it doesn't match the magic the original had.

Graphics: 9/10
Graphically there is nothing to complain about. The character models are better than the N64 version but the backgrounds have some details missing. Little things that don't matter and probably wouldn't care about, and quite possibly not even notice them. It's great to see what the DS is capable of. Why the 9? I personally HATE giving 10's to anything, it says you think it's perfect. Like I said before the backgrounds are a bit off so I can't give it a perfect score.

Sound/Music: 10/10
Likewise, the sound is just as good. The music sounds just as good on the DS as the N64. A couple levels have a slightly different version of the song, but as before you won't even notice it. The DS uses the stereo sound very well! In one minigame (I'll get to these later) you have to identify sounds, and it gets to the point where the sounds fade from one speaker to the other and that's the only way you can tell the sounds apart, where they are coming from. Neato. The sound IS perfect. It's completely faithful to the original.

Gameplay: 7.5/10
The gameplay is pretty much the same as the first one, you wander the castle searching for stars, as you get more stars you can open up more doors to new places. So over time you get exposed to all the levels.

What is different from the first is that now you have four characters to do this with; Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, and Wario become available throughout the game. You need each character to use their special abilities to get certain stars. For example, you may need Wario to punch open a heavy box, or Luigi to jump to a high place. You can switch characters in a room in the castle (after you unlock them) or if you find their cap in the level you will switch into them. The problem with caps is that if you get hit or leave the level you go back to whoever you were. This can be frustrating when you have to use a certain character and you have to go down to the base level of the castle to switch, or you can try switching in the course then praying you don't get hit. All the extra characters did was divide up Mario's skills so you have to switch characters around.

They also added more stars in the game. There are now 150 instead of 120, this is a cause of a couple new levels and an extra star in some levels. Also they switched some stars around. In the first level, instead of "Shoot to the Island in the Sky" you now have to collect 5 Silver Stars, much like red coins. They removed many of the pointless/tedious stars for others.

The main gripe with the gameplay is the frustration involved in it. Switching characters all the time and is only made worse by the control .

Control: 3/10
The main reason why this game got a 7. The great thing about the N64 version was it's great control. The analog stick made it so you could move Mario around with precision and make running along an edge quite easy, plus the C-Buttons made camera control effortless. Now... well let me start, there are two main ways to move - The D-Pad and the Touch Screen.

The D-Pad is nice, but you have to hold Y to run. It doesn't sound that bad, but when you are trying to run and pull of a triple jump dive holding down an extra button never helps. When you use the D-Pad the touch screen controls your camera. There are two arrows at the bottom of the screen that rotate it. Once again, it's another thing I don't want to be worried about when I'm trying to jump over stuff and balance on moving ledges... Many lives are lost simply because you can't judge where you are going to land because of the camera, or you can't get your character to even walk the right way (this mainly happens in bowser fights when the camera starts moving).

The other kind of control is the touch screen. When you use it, the D-Pad becomes like your A,B,Y,X buttons (if you are right handed). This could work, but the touch screen controls sloppy. When you touch it the farther you push it from where you originally touched it determines your speed. It gets to the point where your stylus keeps slipping and falling off the screen, you get to the edge of the screen WAY too fast. I don't know, maybe I'm just bad at using it.

Extras: 10/10
Minigames! They are incredible. All the minigames make use of the touch screen. You start off with only 8 but you get more by finding rabbits around the castle. The touch control makes simple games VERY fun. There's a game where you have to draw lines to make trampolines for Mario to jump on, or one where you have to find a character hidden in a crowd. The games are simple but addictive, quite useful to take a break from the real game.

Overall(not an average!) 7/10
Graphics 9/10
Sound/Music 10/10
Gameplay 7.5/10
Control 3/10
Extras 10/10

This game could've been better, it just is so much harder to play because of the control. I like it, it just doesn't matter how good a game is if you can't interact with it properly. Thanks for reading.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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