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Spag

Reviews

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (Game Boy Advance)

By Spag on April 6th, 2016

Eternal Ring (PlayStation 2)

By Spag on December 6th, 2007

Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS)

Mario's looking good, DS-style!

The Good
First, I'd like to say that I got the Nintendo DS. Finally! It's nice, it's small, it's slick and portable, what more can a gamer ask for? I reckoned I was going to remember this dual-screened thing through long road-trips and lazy winter nights, but it was not until I got to the playing that my smile really crossed boarders. It's Mario!

I'm going to talk about the game for the DS to begin with, before I move on to comparing it with the Nintendo 64 version.

It's beautiful to see a game that is so basic while at the same time able to compel one by the colorful and diverse graphics and scenery it has to offer. You touch the screen a couple of times and hear the well-known selecting sound as you touch an empty file name on top of the water. Soon, you find yourself standing in front of the castle, while the camera stays put beneath you, making the castle look huge. You'll hear the sounds of birds singing and the wind blowing while the sun shines at you from above. It's the ultimate Mario-moment - still it's Yoshi standing there.
What I love about the game is the levels based on pictures that you jump into through the wall. It makes the game magic and gives you a lot more freedom. For example, you can try to retrieve another star from the painting you just came from, or perhaps you might want to try a new door you've just unlocked, or maybe you'll give another shot at Bowser? You can even access a good selection of minigames or switch between characters to try different levels or access new areas using the variety of Wario, Luigi, Mario and Yoshi. In other words, the levels, and most important - what surrounds the levels - the castle is what you will think is different and exciting about this game, the rate depending on what kind of games you've played before. The whole jumping and accessing type of playing is bound to spellbind you.

Now I'll give you the three features/points about the game that I think is the best.

  • Navigation feel
    It's an easy, fun and intuitive way to move your character around in the game. You can choose from different ways of controlling, and I got used to them and thought that all were great. This is probably going to be your first positive experience with Super Mario 64.
  • Amount of different areas
    There are lots of different levels in the game - from inside a volcano to above the clouds to inside a sunken ship and so on - plus many secret ones as well. You'll have to get to know each one good because of the amount of "missions" you'll have to complete in each one.
  • Detailed graphics, colorful objects
    Really self-explanatory.
    The DS version is a lot better in many ways. It's really an improved version as well as being full of new and cool stuff to explore. The main story and levels are mostly the same, except it's wrapped in a new and stylish way.
  • You can play as four characters
    Perhaps the coolest new feature next to the controlling. This adds much more of the actual gameplay and adds to the diverse aspect of the game, as I spoke of earlier.
  • Intuitiveness
    Either you use the stylus, the thumb pad or the normal controlling, intuitiveness of controlling is a key element compared to the Nintendo 64 which only supported the simple joystick.
  • The Two Screens! of course...
    You wouldn't guess how much the fact that there are two screens add fun and quality gameplay compared to the predecessor for the 64. The map is great at many times, and when there's supposed to be a - for example - confusing element in the game, so is the touch screen! This refers to the "controlling" I just wrote about, but it's really the touch screen that lets you move around so unique.
  • Minigames
    New to the DS is a good selection of highly addictive minigames obtainable throughout the game. They introduce the player to the touching part of the DS-revolution, and are accessible though a door in the new room in the castle or through the main menu. However, these games don't feature any use of the DS-microphone, which I will get back to.

    **The Bad**
    In spite of all the great things I mentioned earlier, Super Mario 64 for the DS is really like many "release"-games, they offer LITTLE OR NO CHALLENGE. I believe the game is too busy promoting the DS and it's greatness that it forgets making the game at least a little challenging. However, there are several updates since the Nintendo 64 version that are clearly efforts to make the game harder, though failing:
  • 30 more stars
    Most are just additions to existing levels, I noticed few newcomers in painting levels.
  • A set of different characters
    Pretty much there so that you can gain the different stars using different special abilities.
    Another bad thing about the game is that it doesn't make use of the DS's microphone capabilities. That was something I had really hoped for and thought it was going to be in a launch title like Super Mario 64. The simplicity of the game can and should be part of your own opinion, just as this review is part of mine. However, I think there should've been a little more stuff that the character could do aside from jumping, wall jumping, triple jumping and more jumping, even though I at the same know that that would mean a total change of the "Mario experience". Again, don't buy this game if you're looking for a challenge unless you want to sit and play minigames all your life or brag about how fast you cleared the race against the penguin. For most gamers, that is.

    **The Bottom Line**
    It's Mario in good shape, killer graphics and fun to play. The only problem is, it only lasts for not that many hours. Most of you probably even have it because it came with the DS.
    Buy at own risk.
  • By Spag on November 10th, 2007

    Age of Mythology: The Titans (Windows)

    By Spag on September 10th, 2007

    F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (Xbox 360)

    By Spag on September 2nd, 2007

    Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)

    By Spag on August 19th, 2007

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

    By Spag on August 19th, 2007

    Pokémon Diamond Version (Nintendo DS)

    By Spag on May 7th, 2007

    Pokémon Pearl Version (Nintendo DS)

    By Spag on May 7th, 2007

    The Typing of the Dead (Windows)

    By Spag on February 14th, 2007

    Banjo-Kazooie (Nintendo 64)

    By Spag on December 22nd, 2006

    Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo 64)

    By Spag on December 22nd, 2006

    Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)

    By Spag on December 22nd, 2006

    Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64)

    By Spag on December 22nd, 2006

    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest (GameCube)

    By Spag on December 22nd, 2006

    Mega Man X4 (PlayStation)

    By Spag on November 12th, 2006

    Metal Slug 4 (PlayStation 2)

    By Spag on November 12th, 2006

    Metal Slug 4 & 5 (PlayStation 2)

    By Spag on November 12th, 2006

    Age of Mythology (Windows)

    By Spag on October 9th, 2006

    Pokémon Red Version (Game Boy)

    One of my first gaming experiences.

    The Good
    Pokèmon Red takes place in Kanto. When I was younger, we used to live on an island outside the southern coast of Norway, and everyone played the first Pokèmon games for the Game Boy. When the batteries went out, we pretended that the island was Kanto and made teams and acted as Pokèmon trainers on an adventure to catch all the Pokèmon in the world. Not unlike how it's like in the game, and we would rather stay in when the batteries arrived.

    That was the kind of influence the Pokèmon games had on me and my friends at that time. We were practically obsessed for a long time, because we thought it was great, really great. It's really a fantastic game to play for younger children, because there are so many individuals, both human and Pokèmon, and everyone sort of had their own favourite at all time. During that period, most of the dialogues and storyline of the games was irrelevant, mostly because we understood little or nothing of it. All the numbers and stats and all that I know about today wasn't at all considered when we played, maybe because we only played for the Pokèmon and what we had seen on TV, not for the tactical and strategical aspects of the game. Though, I remember me being the first one to notice that that "Leer" or "Growl" actually did something even though it didn't perform actual damage like "Hyper Beam" or "Surf".

    The game itself is really a lot more complex than people might even think of. When I got introduced to some websites I realized there are lots and lots of different, hidden numbers in the game that all affect your Pokèmon and your party. I learned what the stats really meant and how move combinations could give a battle a complete turnover. For example, weather changing moves like "Sunny Day" does a lot more than just boosting fire-type moves, it affects the "Synthesis", "Solarbeam" and other time-dependent recovery moves, as well as canceling all other weather effects, preventing freezing and halving power of water-type attacks. There are Determined Values, which are values affecting your Pokèmon's stats, given out when caught, Gender Values, special values deciding whether your Pokèmon is a male or female, Happiness values and experience. Of course, there is also a complex breeding system, allowing different Pokèmon to obtain rare moves and abilities. When it comes to the team of six you should always have, there are tons of different Pokèmon styles and battle roles you can focus on, all depending on the Pokèmon's moves, stats, items and types. A toxi-trapper, for instance, is a Pokèmon with good defenses knowing a trapping move - "Mean Look", for example - and toxic, which drains health slowly. On the contrary, you have the Special Sweeper, which uses Special attacks to inflict as much damage as possible. Here speed and Special Attack are key stats, as well as a Special type, gaining the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB). All of these factors say that the game is a complex RPG with a lot of good stuff to grant, giving you hundreds of hours of RPG-ing, should you not become too tired.

    The concept of Pokèmon is perhaps the most astounding I have ever seen. I believe this game covers the better part of the Pokèmon triumph, steering away from the childish TV-series in being childish, but keeping the foundation from the original idea. Everything that I have mentioned is what I think is great about this game, really exceptional. Viva la Pokèmon Red!

    The Bad
    As I mentioned earlier, I played this game a lot when I was younger, something that perhaps triggered my love for these games. The fact that I don't play Pokèmon Red now, but FireRed should tell you two things:

  • First of all, this game is BAD when it comes to graphics. It is not something that will at all satisfy even the most humble gamer today, only perhaps hard-core fans. The sounds sucks equally. There is a reason to why I don't play this anymore, and there you got it.
  • Pok√®mon Red is really the foundation of the Pok√®mon RPGs, and even though there have been made several changes to the followers gameplay-wise, it's really built on the same thing. The sound of this game, though really bad, is something I won't miss because of the great recapture in the newer generations. Stinking graphics, bad noise, lacks things that I consider important today, this game really is the beginning, and all great things has to start somewhere. Compared to the first games of other groups that I like, this game doesn't blow at all. But when it comes to the love of Pok√®mon, the fun of playing games, why should you buy an old and "ugly" game when there is a follower based on the same things, only updated, upgraded, with more Pok√®mon and really just superb? Of course, another reason I don't like this game is the lack of Pok√®mon. If you have the newest generations, you'll be able to link and have much more fun and be totally ready for the approach of Diamond/Pearl (The new Pok√®mon games scheduled for release spring 2007). To sum up, buy FireRed!

    **The Bottom Line**
    You probably won't have any good buying this game today, but you should, however, be aware of it since it started the best game Universe of all time. Compared to any other Pokèmon game, this game one blew, but the fact that I wouldn't be playing the others if it wasn't for this one makes me want to take back what I just said. It's an
  • A+
    and a
  • C-
    at the same time, I guess!
    Gotta catch 'em all!
  • By Spag on September 30th, 2006

    Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PlayStation 2)

    By Spag on September 26th, 2006

    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PlayStation)

    By Spag on September 26th, 2006

    Tekken Tag Tournament (PlayStation 2)

    By Spag on September 26th, 2006

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Game Boy Advance)

    By Spag on September 26th, 2006

    Super Mario Advance (Game Boy Advance)

    By Spag on September 26th, 2006

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