Reviews// Super Mario 64 DS

Here, give me a go

Posted 4 Dec 2004 07:25 by
Other styles of mini-game take a completely different approach, but similarly, prove the worth of the stylus/touch-screen combination. It seems that puzzle games and parlour games work perfectly, offering an instantly accessible and entirely logical method to operate them. Indeed, this is where Nintendo has the option to bust open that more mature market of ?hipsters?. You could give a DS, loading up a game of ?Wanted? (a game similar to ?Where?s Wally? but featuring Luigi and pals), to someone who?d never played a video game before, and they?d have very little trouble in getting to grips with it. There are already widespread reports of non-gaming girlfriends and wives stealing the consoles from their other halves before falling victim to a revelatory addiction.

One major gripe with the way the mini-games are laid out, however, is the lack of detailed high-score entries. It does record your highest scores, but almost shamefully, it doesn?t allow the player to enter a name. Bearing in mind this is a launch title, and will be wedged in DS?s that are doing the rounds of classrooms and offices, with everyone wanting to stick their greasy paws all over your brand new bit of kit, that?s a real shame.

Overall though, it?s these mini-games that will make you glad you bought your DS; indeed, it?s a shame Wario Ware DS wasn?t ready in time for launch, as that could have made that same point about stylus style, just in a much more effective way: which would also have avoided the debate over the value of the re-used single player content. But as it stands, Super Mario 64 DS does a decent job with its ?rec-room? collection of mini-games: of which there are initially eight, growing closer to 30 as you find more key-holding bunnies within the game.

The main adventure itself is as good as Super Mario 64 on the N64, but that may not strike you as that big a deal. And although the introduction of Yoshi, Luigi and Wario as playable characters does offer a few new twists, it?s not really anything that significant. This change serves mainly to fool around with your memory of the N64 version, as there are now slightly different ways to get hold of certain stars. But unless you have a particularly poor memory, you?ll still get a persistent sense of deja-vu. It?s a nice enough memory to re-live though.

Another feature Nintendo is keen to exploit is the wireless connectivity, on which Super Mario 64 DS capitalises with a fairly straight-forward multi-player option. As European DS owners, however, we still don?t have a great many people to go up against. What we have experienced of the multiplayer mode, disappointingly, has been lacklustre. It?s simply a matter of beating your competitors in a rush to collect stars over fairly plain maps, and whilst this makes a good point of proving that you can have four-player battles using only one cart, it?s not a four-player battle you?ll be particularly bothered about training up to. As far as multi-player DS action goes, the emphasis has been placed firmly on the quite special looking Metroid Prime Hunters, an appetiser of which is thrown in with the console itself (at least for the US launch).
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Rod Todd 4 Dec 2004 08:54
Dudes, all the way through reading this review, I was thinking that you were assuming too much that every potential player of Mario DS had played Mario 64 on a N64.

Then on the last page, you alluded to the fact that this was not the case, and I thought everything was OK.

But then you went on to summarise with the same assumption at the forefront of your minds. But the fact is that the video games market is MUCH bigger now than it was six years ago (or whenever M64 came out).

Outside of hardcore gamers, the target audience for Mario games is kids who have now grown up, and been replaced by a whole new selection of kids who were babies and infants when the first game came out.

Plus you have a whole generation of grown up gamers for whom the N64 looked like a hideous plastic lump of crap made for kids, but for whom the DS will look like... damn.. a hideous plastic lump of crap made for kids.

WHY couldn't Nintendo have made the N64 look as good as the GBA-SP?
Jayenkai 5 Dec 2004 00:11
Other than the odd 5 minute emulator session I've never played Mario 64. Sad, pathetic, but true..
So, I don't care if it's the same game. Can't wait..
Beziercurve 10 Dec 2004 15:54
Having played the game I can agree with the lack of honeymoon - It's been a few years since I completed Mario 64, and I was looking forward to trying it out on the DS, but to be honest after a few moments it all came flooding back, and I'm not sure It'll hold my attention all the way to the end again.

Having said that though, it's still an acheivement for a handheld, and the mini games are a chuckle...
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