Super Mario 64 DS - DS/DSi

Also known as: Super Mario 64x4

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 11 Mar 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
No Accessories: No accessories


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Microsoft’s J Allard once said, “Mario 64 is the literature of videogames”. The Xbox head man might well have regretted this, given that now Nintendo is hawking a re-work of the classic N64 game.

Given that the Nintendo DS is essentially a shrunk-down N64, albeit with a few high-brow PDA inspired augmentations, a revised back catalogue is par for the Nintendo course. With Mario 64 DS, Nintendo delivers to a fresh audience one of the greatest videogame experiences of all time, and throws in a few freshly-unearthed gems for the already indoctrinated.

Now a launch title for two platforms, Mario 64 is simply the greatest 3D platform game of all time. There really isn’t much debate on this point, even amongst the most hardcore elements of gaming. Although it might be knocking on for a decade, it was so ahead of its time as to be fresher and more entertaining than almost anything to have been offered on current platforms within its genre.

Key additions include the ability to tackle to 150 challenges as different characters. Luigi, Yoshi and Wario are all playable, all with trademark moves from their respective solo outings. Nintendo has also spent a great deal of time tricking out the Mario 64 DS cart with a plethora of minigames, enough to rival even the dedicated mini-game offerings for the DS, of which there are many.

As the control element and camera angles - so key to the original version's success - have been stripped out, the DS, without the analogue stick of the N64, has to botch the job somewhat. The D-pad works to a playable degree though it does lack that certain precision that Mario 64 demands for success. Enter the touch screen and thumb-pad. With the thumb pad the game is revolutionised, with startlingly accurate analogue control that feels unnatural only for the first minute of play.

There is a simple fact about Mario 64 DS. It’s one of the greatest videogames of all time. If you buy a DS and you’re looking for something to accompany the Metroid Prime: Hunters demo, buy it. It’s not really an option, more your duty to support a work of videogame genius.