It was named #141 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" by EGM Issue #200 (Feb. 2006).
One entry in Luigi's secret diary reads, "I wish I had my own game... with my name in the title." Another reads, "I'm terrified of ghosts!" These are references to the Nintendo Gamecube title, "Luigi's Mansion".
The number 64 is prominent in the game. Instances include the name of the train, the name of the bar near the port, and the number of Star Pieces that can be obtained from Chuck Quizmo's quizzes.
At one point in the game, a whale says "They really should call you Doctor Mario"- a reference to another of Mario's classic roles.
The Koopa Brothers are based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.