Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Rory W. Renehan 15.08.2004 2

Now that the DS has reached completion it's time to focus on making the games as well designed as possible to maximise the features of this new revolutionary console, while still attaining the quality of gameplay we have grown accustomed to. Nintendo also has to use these games to set examples for every DS developer out there and show them what its new baby can do. These games help make the decision between whether the DS is a revolutionary, innovative piece of machinery or just a cheap dual-screened gadget. With only three months to go until the Nintendo DS' American launch, Karn Spydar Lee Bianco and Rory Renehan take a look at some of the Big N's in-house DS software projects.

What this game has proven is that the graphical an audio quality of the DS is easily on par with the N64, and even suppresses it in some instances. Everything runs smoothly, and due to the smaller screen, and thus higher resolution the 64-bit graphics look better then ever. As good as it is too see such beautiful things from a handheld system, that's not what the system is all about. Nintendo themselves have started that for the industry to progress, games need more then fancy visuals, so let's take a look at the gameplay features.

Screenshot for Super Mario 64 DS on Nintendo DS

The demo that was playable at E3 demonstrated the wireless multiplayer options of the title. The level was set in the instantly recognisable landscape from the original Mario 64; right outside Peaches castle. Players could choose from, not only Mario, but also Wario, Yoshi and Luigi as their characters. The aim of the game was to fly around collecting as many Gold Stars as possible. This simple mode will likely be tacked onto the full version of the game, as one of many multiplayer options. Although nothing official has been confirmed, when released the games main feature is likely to be a tweaked and updated version of the N64 classic, with a host of these multiplayer modes thrown in for good measure.

Screenshot for Super Mario 64 DS on Nintendo DS

The touch screen was briefly used in the demo, to help change the camera to follow one of your opponents position, in conjunction with the dual screen feature. Now although this is an interesting idea, yet again we can't help but feel developers could be doing more with the hardware available to them. Admittedly the E3 version was in a very early an incomplete state, and many things are likely to change and improve, and we have full faith that Nintendo will provide. The microphone, again had no use; we fear this may be the case with many games, as there isn't really all that much scope for it in 'normal' games such as this, only in oddball cases like Nintendogs, or for speaking with people online. Of course our puny brains can't possibly compete with the gaming geniuses at Nintendo like Shigeru Miyamoto, so we will remain hopeful.

Screenshot for Super Mario 64 DS on Nintendo DS

Use of Dual Screens: 2/5
Again it's just being used to show a map on one screen and the main game on the other, like Mario Kart. Not great, but better than nothing, we suppose...

Use of Touch Screen: 2/5
The ability track your opponents' position at the press of a fingertip is quite nice, not exactly using the hardware to its full potential though.

Use of Microphone: N/A
Nothing yet, and to be honest we can't think of anything particularly useful that could be done in this instance anyway.

Use of Wi Fi: 3/5
Basic wireless multiplayer was on display; hopefully this can be expanded for full online competitions in the final release.

Screenshot for Super Mario 64 DS on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

One of, if not the most famous and influential video games of all time is being remade, surely that should be enough on its own? But no, Nintendo are going to give you more than that, with multiplayer options and mini games a plenty, what more could you want? (No mentions of a new game here please)

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (73 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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