One of the most acclaimed games of all time is now on the go. Super Mario 64 Ds takes the classic version of Super Mario 64 and puts it right into our new two screen friend. But really, is it the same Super Mario 64 we remember?
The answer to that is no. Super Mario 64 Ds has been dramatically changed from the original game. Some changes were good, others were bad. The most noticeable change is the addition of minigames along with more stars, areas, levels, and characters. It's just not the same Super Mario 64 we've come to know and love.
120 is a sacred number for most Mario fans. Ask a Mario fan what it means and a whole bunch of them will be able to tell you it's the number of stars in the original Super Mario 64. The Ds version offers just a little bit more. Nintendo has included 30 more stars for us to gather, and these have been placed in a variety of ways.
Most of the new stars are found in old levels and are just new missions. They're generally really easy to get, which is a bit of a disappointment. Other new stars are found in new levels and areas of the game, which are nothing special in themselves. The new levels and areas generally offer 1 or 2 stars, and they are not full levels - just small and little quips with another mission in mind. Most of them aren't even that good compared to the original levels found in the game.
That being the case, most of the new levels do offer one thing: The gateway to new characters. Mario isn't the only hero in this game. Wario, Yoshi, and Luigi are all playable in this game. Each has his own unique ability, and without them, the game can not be completed. Unfortunately, some of these take out the use of ! boxes, such as the invisibility cap. Their new found powers as a whole aren't that great either.
But the new characters are misleading. Most would think that the addition of old characters would be a good thing, they really aren't all that great. It's nice to see them make an appearance, but from a gameplay perspective, Mario going solo would've been much better. It becomes a burden to switch characters for certain stars, and there are stars that cannot be obtained until a character is unlocked which if you're like me, can get extremely annoying.
There is, however, one great thing about new characters: Minigames, and a whole lot of them. Each character has there own set of minigames, and they are great. They utilize the stylus in many ways, and they range from action games to card games, mind games to puzzles and more. They are easily unlocked and offer great gameplay, as well as adding great overall value to Super Mario 64 DS.
Aside from all the added stuff which seem to make the game a bit worse that what it could have been, Nintendo did do some things to improve it. The graphics have been vastly improved and they look very, very nice. The music is up to par, and the new music (such as the music on the minigame menu) is very nice. The sound effects are on cue and everything is in place as it should be.
The graphics and music are generally not as important as the gameplay, but they did show off the true power of the Nintendo Ds. They really are worth noting - they're every bit as good as the original. Of course, it's a bit difficult to compare in the sense that the original Super Mario 64 was really the first true 3-D game.
Super Mario 64 Ds will always be a game of comparison to it's original counterpart - there's no getting around that. The game itself isn't bad, but it and no other sort of remake will ever live up to its original version. It had good things and bad things added to it, but just wasn't the same Super Mario 64 we all know and love.
Overall Score: 8.8/10