Review by Fatal_Jester

Reviewed: 03/03/06

Super Mairo 64 DS is a Classic Game Born Anew for a New Generation

Introduction - This is Mario's first big game on the Nintendo DS and an old classic is born anew. If you don’t know anything about this game and you’ve come here to read my review then you should know this game is an update of an N64 classic, but it surpasses the original in just about every way. Some of the best new features of this version are the addition of three new characters to this version of the game along with new playing areas and now there are even more stars to collect which make the adventure last longer than the original Nintendo 64 version. Since of Nintendo’s favorite characters have been added it gives the game a whole new look and feel, but to top it off you get to play some really neat mini games that you can unlock by playing through the main game. Mario 64 DS makes great use of this game with the touch screen which is one of the new great features that’s available on the DS and it adds to the exciting gameplay which already existed before the touch screen was available. With all of the original material from Mario 64 and the new features that the DS can bring make this game worth taking a look at. Now I'll break down the game and get into the important details and look at all the features this game has to offer.

Gameplay 9/10 - Mario 64 DS is a portable game and being portable the gameplay is really great. The game is in full 3D and looks just like the original but plays the same way so none of you Mario 64 vets will miss out on anything here. The controls pretty much handle the same way too. You can use the D pad to control Mario around or any other characters that you’re playing as. The touch screen becomes pretty handy here if you prefer not to use the D pad because now you can use your Stylus or the wrist strap on the touch screen to control the character and it works rather well for those precise movements that you need to accomplish on your adventure. The game controls well no matter if you’re using the touch pad or the D pad it just depends on your own playing type, but no matter the camera hardly ever gets in your way and it's adjustable with just the press of a button. The games controls are very responsive and work really well and you should have the hang of the controls in no time. All of the original moves from the original 64 are here as well and they feel very nice for this type of game. Finally the other characters get some attention that is well deserved so now it’s more fun to play this old classic with some other characters besides Mario. Mario 64 DS Puts the touch screen to good use rather well and adds more gameplay features that make this game unique and exciting than the previous version on the Nintendo 64. Not only can you use the touch screen to control the game character, but you can use it to view the map of the world that you are currently in which is quit handy when you need to quickly find where a star is or where to go next. There are now more stars which you must find in order to complete your journey. Most stars are in the same locations and are a little harder to collect. Whether you’ve played the Nintendo 64 version or not most of the stars are a challenge to collect. One of the coolest new ways the touch screen comes in handy is for playing the cool new mini games, which require you to use the touch screen and can not be played without it. The new mini games can be found by playing the main game and adds something fresh while making use of both screens. Each character has his own set of game that you have to unlock by finding a rabbit in the castle with that character. Some mini games require a lot of skill to master and some others just offer loads of fun. Over all the gameplay is awesome for a hand held game and puts the new features of the Nintendo DS to good use and really makes this game come alive again for a new era of gaming.

Story 5/10 - The story of this game is pretty limited and there isn’t much to say about the story other than the game does have a story, not a very long one that is and it doesn't go more than surface deep, but it's worth the mention. If this game was graded on the story alone it would fail because the story is the games weakest point. It would have been nice if the developers would have went a little further and maybe developed the story a little more than the original N64 version, but if you've played the original it's the same story. The story is no different than most Mario games, save the Princess and defeat Bowser and return power back to the mushroom kingdom to end Bowser’s evil rule until the next game. Even though there is not much of a story the excellent gameplay makes up for it. The story helps set up the game at the beginning and it flows nicely through out giving it a nice feel, but because it doesn’t go into much detail and doesn’t stray to far from past Mario games I’m giving it a lower score. The new characters do add a little to the story than the N64 version, but not much too really make a difference. If the developers would have taken the time to improve the story I would have given it a higher score, but since it’s the same as the original my score stays.

Graphics/Sound 9/10 - Mario 64 DS was the first DS game I played and when I started playing I was blown out of the water with the graphics and sounds that this hand held could produce. When playing it I was thinking if it was a hand held game or if I was just dreaming so I pinched myself and to my surprise I wasn't dreaming the graphics in this game are just that good. Take the graphics of the original game and polish and smooth them up then implement them into this hand held game and you’ll end up with some nice visuals for Mario 64 DS. I never thought the day would come when there was a hand held Mario game that was in full 3D that looked good graphically. The sound has been done very well too. The game sounds crisp and clear coming through those tiny speakers on the DS. All of the sounds are the same as the original Mario 64 so if you’ve played the original expect to see nothing new in the sound department. There are different sounds for each level and the sounds don’t get too repeated. Each of the new characters have there own unique sounds which is nice. Also with the addition of the mini games they have added a few more sounds that seem to go alone with the mini games quit nicely. Overall I give graphics and sound a high score because they live up to there expectations.

Play Time/Replayability 8/10 - This game will take you awhile to beat if you want to collect everything in the game. That is if you want to unlock all of the mini games, find all of the secret areas, and find all of the secret stars and so forth. But this mainly depends on the type of game player you are and if you like to collect and unlock everything then you're probably looking at about a good 30 hrs of gameplay. If you're the kind of person that likes to rush through and beat the game then you might get 15 hrs of play but you could get even more if you want to explore an take your time and to take in all of the nice visuals this game has to offer. Even if you beat the game once it's still fun to go back and enjoy over again and maybe find some of those stars that you missed or track down the final rabbit to unlock the last mini game. If you’ve played the original game and really liked it then you should have no problem playing this game again on the DS. This is one game I would like to play over again and with the mini games you can keep playing and not even touch the main game because the mini games are really fun and addicting. To throw some mix into the game you could replay the game using different characters more and keep changing it up to make the game more exciting. But overall this game offers some good replay value an if you're not the kind of person that replays games often then you'll still get many fun hours of enjoyment from this DS game.

Final Recommendation - Mario 64 DS in my opinion never gets boring. The challenge stays consistent through out the game and even though it’s challenging it never gets frustrating. By the time you master the moves you should be collecting stars soon enough and on your way to the final battle with Bowser. My final thoughts on this game is that you should buy it right away if you have a DS because this is a really great game though some might disagree, but if you’re unsure than you should try it out first and see what you think. If you don't have a DS and you're thinking about getting one then this game is worth getting the system for alone because you’ll enjoy playing Mario on the go. If you own the Nintendo 64 version and beat the game you should still get this version because it will bring back old memories and give you something even more to come back to and play it again and again. With the awesome gameplay, graphics, sounds, and the new mini games plus the addition of more favorite characters, and the portability and ease of use of the DS make this game worth tracking down and adding to your collection. If you get this game as a gift you should definitely keep this little treasure and it's worth every penny you spend if you buy it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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