Who here has played Super Mario 64? Well, if you have then you’ve basically played Super Mario 64 DS. But, lets be frank, the DS version is so much better. Yes I know that the Nintendo 64 version is an instant classic, but I would argue that the DS interpretation is better. Why? Well, you’ll just have to read my Super Mario 64 DS Review to find out.
For the most part, this was the go to game for me whenever I wanted to play something handheld. I lost hours and hours of my childhood to playing through this game again and again. It was the perfect game to lose my time to. Endless drives around the country were made so much shorter by a DS and a copy of this game.
So what makes this game so good? Well, I think it’s all down to being pretty much the same game as it’s Nintendo 64 counterpart. All the original levels have transferred over superbly well. Nothing as far as I am aware has really been changed to any major regard. Sure, graphically some things have been changed but everything looks a lot crisper now.
But it wasn’t just copy and pasting the older game and making it look better. You can’t do that. So rather than just being a graphical overhaul, the DS version of this game adds so much more. The most obvious addition is different characters to play as. A total of four characters are available. Yoshi, Mario, Luigi and Wario are all there. No Waluigi though because Nintendo hates its consumer base.
These new characters do actually add a great variety to the game. They aren’t just there for aesthetic sake. For example, when Luigi uses a green mystery box, he becomes transparent, whereas Wario turns into metal. It’s an interesting mechanic that makes playing each level as different characters fun. You can have a completely different experience playing Bob-omb Battle Field with Wario.
Of course, don’t think the differences stop there. Each character has different animations, sound effects and moves. It’s not so much a port of the original as it is an expansion pack. Yoshi can hover in the air, Luigi can jump higher and Wario… well I’m not too sure on what he does. Out of all of the characters he is the one that is least fleshed out, mainly because he’s unlocked nearer to the end of the game.
There are even different boss battles. No I don’t mean King Bob-omb either, I mean actual new boss battles. King Goomba makes an appearance and once you beat him you unlock Mario. These new and simple boss battles are what makes Super Mario 64 DS stand out.
But of course to keep in with tradition, you can only face off against Bowser as Mario. If you try and enter with any other characters you’re met with an endless staircase to nowhere. Still, what’s the point in breaking tradition? Why would I want to play the final mission of the game as Luigi or Yoshi.
For a DS game there are surprisingly tight controls. I remember the D-Pad for this handheld system being pretty good. When playing through this game again I found the controls to be tight and all in working order. My only problem with the controls this time around was an awkward camera. Some camera angles decided they would be best suited clipping in and out of a wall, and I really did have to disagree with the game on that one. The camera being in the wall wasn’t too helpful to me, but it was infrequent enough for me to be fine with it.
Don’t think this game is just a rehash of the original game though, it’s far from it. By adding new characters and elements to the game, it’s a good start. But the game goes one further and adds some minigames and multiplayer too. I think I played the minigames more than I played the actual games. To unlock the minigames you had to play through the regular game and catch rabbits. The rabbits thing sounds a bit weird, but it’s not, just trust me.
These minigames were a hell of a lot of fun and actually kept me involved in the game for a lot longer than I should have. There were some notable favourites of course. Personally the favourite for me was the “Wanted” minigame in which you would have to click a specific characters face before the time runs out. It becomes more and more confusing and difficult, but I’m surprisingly good at it.
I didn’t play much of the multiplayer because I don’t have any friends to play it with. But from the few snippets of time I can remember with that multiplayer, yeah it was pretty fun. Sadly enough I used to play it by myself and had the time of my life with this mode. You had to collect the most number of stars in a given time limit.
Of course, the game itself does have its flaws. For starters, the dated graphics make this game look like its N64 counterpart. See below for an example of what these graphics look like. Still, it’s not too bad, it looks as good as the Nintendo 64 version. I don’t really know if that’s a compliment or not.
I’m embarrassed to say that after ten years of playing this game I still haven’t finished it. The final level is still too difficult. To be fair I’m going to blame it on the bad camera angles throughout that level. I’ve made it to the final fight once, in which time my DS ran out of battery.
What can be said about this game? It truly is one of the few games I have played that is simply perfect. This game is still rather expensive to buy, but it’s well worth it. Sure you could just play the Nintendo 64 version, but this version is so much more. Quite simply there is just more to do and utilise within this game.
So because of this, Super Mario 64 DS gets a rare perfect score. Why? Because there isn’t anything wrong with it.