Nearly 10 years ago, with the launch of the Nintendo 64 system, gamers got their first look at what would become one of the most influential videogames in history. “Super Mario 64” was the first game to create a seamless and free moving three-dimensional world, a foundation for every platform-adventure game that has followed. Every Nintendo system (except Gamecube) has been successfully launched with the release of a “Mario” title, and the newest addition to its family, the Nintendo DS, is no exception.
“Super Mario 64 DS” is a remake of the original Nintendo 64. Gamers once again advance through levels by collecting stars inside the various paintings of Princess Peach’s castle. The fast and engaging gameplay works perfectly in the portable setting, providing an opportunity to quickly collect a star, save, quit and continue later. However, this remake is not entirely identical. In the DS title, there are 30 additional stars to collect, new levels to explore and four different playable characters. Players start the game as Yoshi and rescue Mario, Luigi and Wario. Once each character is free, gamers can utilize those character’s strengths to collect stars and eventually rescue Peach from the beclawed grip of Bowser.
There are also more then two dozen unlockable mini-games that utilize the system’s stylus and touch screen. The simple, yet addictive games are ideal for quick portable gaming or hours of simple amusment. Another addition is the incls multiplayer. With the use of a single game cartridge, four friends can download the necessary data and battle in a race to collect stars.
The game uses the DS thumb-strap and touch screen to create a simulated analog control stick. Although the lack of true analog control can cause some problems, with time it becomes natural; moreover, players are given the opportunity to use the traditional directional-pad to move. However, this is less responsive and at times frustrating for the more control-oriented missions.
Technical issues aside, “Super Mario 64 DS” is a fantastic remake of a great game and is a must buy for any Nintendo DS owner.
Furthermore, “Mario 64 DS” was designed to show off the abilities of the new system. Graphically, the game looks slightly better then its predecessor and is a testament to the strides that have been made in the handheld gaming industry.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars