Review by leeuyang

Reviewed: 08/04/05

Mario Remade 64

Mario has touched the hearts of millions with his great positive attitude, simplistic control, and great fun, this is the story of the latest Mario game to hit the market, and of course, it just so happens to be on Nintendo's newest console, the Nintendo DS. For those who have played Super Mario 64 on their precious Nintendo 64's, Super Mario 64 DS will be a great return to one of the best platformer's ever. For those who haven't played the original, the game is a superb introduction to the best selling video game franchise in the world, Mario.

Story

The story is generally the same as before, but this time around Princess Peach invites Mario to her castle for some cake and for some reason, Luigi and Wario tag along. Yoshi is atop the castle sleeping and is awoken by Lakitu, the camera man, who will video tape Yoshi's and other's adventures through the castle. When Mario and the others are trapped inside locked doors, Yoshi must find keys to unlock them and further your playing adventure. As you beat levels and courses, you earn stars which help you unlock more of the game. Eventually, I'm sure you know what happens.

Gameplay|Control

If you remember Mario 64 for the N64, the controls were smooth and almost perfect. They brought platforming into the third dimension and made things so simple. Well, what the hell happened to those dear controls that we loved? Obviously the lack of an analog control stick for the DS makes things a little more difficult. Using the control pad is not exactly hard to do, but it is just not as responsive as the analog control that was used in Mario 64 in 1996. But actually there are three different control options in the DS version. You can just use the control pad to move your character while using certain face buttons for certain actions, or you can choose either of two more hard control options. One is the overly difficult dual-hand mode, in which you use the touch pad to move your character around while changing camera angles. The other horribly hard control scheme is the touch mode; in which you will use the stylus to change camera angles and move your character. The easiest is to control with is the simple control pad, but even that does not really hold up well against the might of the N64 analog control.

The controls do not really bog down a game of this excellent caliber, and that is what makes Super Mario 64 DS so great. Even if you get frustrated when you fall of a ledge that you really should not have, you tend to always go back and try again. The game itself is addicting pleasure in your grubby little paws.

In Super Mario 64 DS there are new options aside from the original version. Here you have the almost identical adventure mode that should last you a good amount of time, new mini-games that you can unlock by capturing bunnies, and a multiplayer mode using the DS's wireless connectivity. After having spent a great deal of time on all of the areas of the game I can safely conclude that every portion is great fun.

The adventure mode is almost identical to the N64 version, but there are some differences. There are 30 more stars this time around, and some stars were removed in favor of more DS centrical stars. Portions of levels have also been expanded and it seems as though Nintendo went a few extra feet to provide gamers with enough new material, while still keeping the classic gameplay and style alive. As far as difficulty goes, Super Mario 64 DS is not hard, but it has got a lot of content to keep you playing for a long time.

The mini-games can be unlocked by finding rabbits throughout the adventure mode using any character. For each rabbit you find, you unlock one new mini-game. Most of the mini-games are very stylus related and use the DS's lower screen very well. Some mini-games are really enjoyable, while some are just dull and repetitive. I guess it all depends on taste, but the inclusion of these small games really make Mario 64 DS a more pleasing and playable game.

The most disappointing aspect of the game is the fact that there is a great multiplayer mode included, but so little to play in. The multiplayer mode involves you and up to three others competing to get as many stars as possible in a certain amount of time. This is exceedingly addicting to play with friends and is almost like a dream come true, but there is just too many small problems with this to make it last a long time. First of all, there are only four locations to play in, making things look monotonous by the minute, despite being fun at the same time. Secondly, the matches do not last as long as you might hope. In fact you can't change any of the match parameters before playing, and this is a major disappointment.

Graphics

If I could get away with describing Mario 64 DS graphically with one word, I would go ahead and do it, but sadly, I can't. I will however let you know that Super Mario 64 DS is one great looking work of genius.

Super Mario 64 DS is simply put, the most exceptional looking game on the system so far. No other game rivals the outstanding guise of Nintendo's platforming masterpiece. They did an wonderful job moving the graphics to the DS and making it even better than before. Most landscapes look similar to the N64 version, which is just stupendous for a system with certain limitations, but guess what!? Characters look even better than ever and have an even higher level of detail than the N64 game.

Even the framerate is dazzling, never dropping or slowing down. Particle effects also look superior to most games on the DS, snow fall looks arguably realistic, and blowing fire appears remarkably enhanced and fire-like. All in all, Super Mario 64 DS is the most marvelous looking game on the Nintendo DS since its launch in November.

Sound

Super Mario 64 DS offers stereo and surround sound. The stereo sound is good enough, but the surround sound seems to be slightly better in terms of what you hear when you play. In surround, you might hear a few effects come from behind you or to your side, and it almost seems eerie, since you know that your speakers are usually in front of you. The sound that comes out is actually quite impressive and have no real glaring problems, but it seems like if you play the volume at max, sounds get a little scratched up, but that appears to be the case with most DS games so far.

Beyond the quality is what you actually hear. There is limited voice acting like the original, but that is not really a problem. Grunts and other voices sound perfectly fine on the DS, as well as other effects like running on ice, falling from high places, jumping into a pool of lava, diving into a great lake, and smashing an enemy. It all sounds in-place and fine. It is basically the same as it was in the N64 version, nothing to impress I am sure, but its simple and well done.

The other aspect that really excited me when I first opened this game up, was the memorable music. Seriously, is there anything better than listening to classic Mario tunes while playing your Mario game? If there is, someone please tell me now because what I've listened to is enough to make me dance my shoes off. From Jolly Roger Bay's soothing sounds, to Lethal Lava Land's Egyptianesque beat, you will never feel alone with the music playing in the background.

Replay Value

The original adventure platforming game is in full here on the small DS cart. The adventure should last most gamers a reasonable amount of time and should provide them with plenty of laughs and fun gameplay. The extra mini games and multiplayer, while fun and exciting, seems almost like a quick add-on that wasn't fully fledged from the start. Even so, the mini games and multiplayer will add some extra depth and length to your possible game playing time. Either way, the Mario 64 DS is a semi-long lasting game with some great fun.

Conclusion

Super Mario 64 DS is not just a superb revival of a historic game, but it is equally good on its own for the DS. If your looking to experience some of that great Mario magic, or if you want to get acquainted with one of the best DS titles out so far, then this game is for you. The game itself has lots of great extras and mini-games as well; so, do not let the controls get you down because you can easily get past the "not as good as N64" control scheme to play this wonderful, wonderful title that has touched the hearts of millions. I know it sounds corny, but its true. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS are both great games and this DS remake in question is a super game, with a few small problems here and there.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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