Super Mario 64 DS: just a tired port?

Super Mario 64 DS

What better way to launch the DS than with a Mario title? Heck, what better way to launch the DS than with a proven Mario title?

Alright, let's be fair, instead of a port, we'll call it a "remake". And truth be told, Super Mario 64 DS is a remake, featuring its own unique additions and downfalls. So let's just get right to the question we've all been asking: How do you play Mario 64 without an analogue stick? Nintendo's answer to the dilemma, the "thumb strap" (Touch Mode) is more satisfying than the D-pad default setting, but this virtual analogue control will definitely merit some smash-DS-on-ground-and-stomp urges. But begin to master the technique, and you'll find a worthy "killer app", likely the best of the dozen or so DS titles out there.

What Super Mario 64 DS does well is show-off some of the capabilities of Nintendo's coveted handheld. Specifically, that this remake outdoes its predecessor in terms of technical achievement-yes, the DS is more powerful than the N64. There's also a lite, but entertaining 4-player wireless mini-game thrown in for good measure; and you'll only need one copy of the game to play. And of course, there's the addition of four playable characters in single-player, will specific goals throughout-Nintendo has added, seamlessly, 30 new stars to collect. It's a great game, granted one that many of us have experienced before, but the new-and-improved DS model is a great way to reassure ourselves that the DS is the next level of handheld evolution rather than a step backwards. Letsago!!!