Back in the day when the first incarnation of the DS was released I'm sure I'm not the only one who wasn't exactly on board with it. The specs seemed a little underpowered compared to Sony's new portable, and the whole touch screen thing seemed gimmicky. So what's a good way to spur the sales of your brand new, weird looking handheld? Why not re-release one of the most popular games of all time!
Super Mario 64 DS is a remake of the N64 game of the same name, and actually improves upon it's predecessor in many ways. The biggest difference here being of course the ability to play as Mario, Yoshi, Luigi, or Wario. The player actually begins with Yoshi and must rescue the others by defeating various bosses. Each character has his own special ability:
Mario: Wall jumps, can fly with the winged cap or float as a balloon with a fire flower.
Yoshi: Has a longer feathering jump, can eat enemies, can breathe fire with a fire flower.
Luigi: Has a long jump, can do a floating back flip, is able to run on water for a short period of time, turns intangible with a fire flower.
Wario: Crappy jumping abilities, very slow, can run straight in windy areas, can smash black colored blocks, turns into invincible metal Wario with the fire flower.
Asa far as new content goes there's plenty. The majority of the game is taken from it's predecessor, however there are 30 more starts to collect this time (bringing the total to 150.) Several new areas and bosses are included, along with a bunch of mini-games that are unlocked by catching rabbits of various colors. As always there are certain stars that only certain characters are able to procure. Only about 80 stars are needed to complete the game, but there's plenty left over for completists. The Graphics are somewhat better all the way around, especially the Mario and Browser character models.
Problems? Yes, a few. The lack of an analog stick makes control difficult in some areas. There are three different control schemes, two of which allow you to use the stylus to control the character for precise movements, problem is they're both pretty non-practical. It's pretty tough to use one hand with the stylus while using the other to hold the console and manipulate buttons to jump and duck at the same time. Besides this there are areas where the camera becomes a pain to control (which was a complaint with the original actually.) Sometimes in tight corridors it will get stuck between objects or up against walls. While this can be annoying it usually can be sorted out.
Is this version worth getting? For sure it is. The additional content is more than enough to make up for the minor control issues. In most respects the game plays just as well at it's N64 predecessor, definitely worth it for fans of the original.
The Good stuff: More playable characters, lots of new content.
The Bad stuff: Control could be better, camera is the same buggy camera from the N64 version.
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