Super Mario 64 DS
Even though the DS came out first, all of the fanfare seems to be spreading towards the Sony PSP. But despite all of those accolades the PSP is getting the DS does have allot going for it, starting with the 'Must Have'? game, Mario 64. I know what you're saying, isn't this just a port over form the Nintendo 64 version? Well the answer is yes and no. Although the core game remains the same, Nintendo was not about to rest on its laurels and in fact broke out with some innovative gameplay using the DS's touch pad.
Assuming you have already read the Nintendo 64 review I will start off by saying in this version you will play as one of four characters. Mario, Wario, Luigi and Yoshi, yes, I said Yoshi. Players must race though the magical castle finding as many power stars as possible in order to rescue the princess from Bowzer. Yes, I realize this is an old formula, but rarely is it done as well as this. In addition to playing as three new characters, there is now 150 power stars to try and find rather then the original 120. Don't worry, you don't need to collect all of them to beat the game, rather it's an addition for extended play and replay value. 150 stars located is no small feat and I still have many to go.
Using the DS's touch pad, players can control the character's movements much easier when playing in certain scenarios. For example, it's easier to just use the control pad while running around the game's playing fields, but when I found myself in boss battles (exp. grabbing Bowzer by the tail and spin throwing him) it was very easy to use the stylus to make tiny circles on the touch pad which resulted in faster and more lengthier throws. The same could be said in other more 'delicate'? situations. The developers clearly didn't want to just have the touch pad function as a gimmick, but rather found some really useful points in which the touch pad is the only way to go.
The DS really can make some decent graphics and Mario 64 shows what is in store for us in the future. It looks every bit as good as the original N64 version and the colors really do bounce off the screen. The music is as familiar as always and when I first started playing I remember a smile creeping across my face when it first cued up. Mario's little 'whahooo'? when he's launched out of a cannon sounds great as do the exploding bobombs.
What else is quite cool is that if you have a friend with a DS, only one of you has to have the game to play the multiplayer function. Merely be in the same 100 foot radius and the DSs will locate each other and the one with the game will download all multiplayer games to the other. I was amazed at how slick it all came together and the responsiveness of the games I played with my hapless buddy. The multiplayer games are as varied as they are abundant.
Mario 64 DS is really a hoot of a game. If you own a DS, then chances are you own this game, if you don't then you should.