In this series of articles we'll write about one or more Mario game per day, each representing a different year as part of our Super Mario 30th Anniversary celebrations.
If you'd have said that one day it would be possible to play Super Mario 64 on a handheld console back in 1996, you'd likely have been laughed out of the room. But in 2004 that dream was made a reality in the shape of Super Mario 64 DS which was a launch title for the original phat Nintendo DS.
First shown at E3 in the Summer of 2004 under the guise of Super Mario 64 ×4, the remake was originally going to have cooperative multiplayer. But by the time this final game hit the stores this ambitious goal had been stripped back. However there are a number of interesting changes to the game, the most obvious being that it would be possible to play the game as Luigi, Yoshi or even Wario for the first time. It also had a graphical bump over the original, and now players could collect 150 stars rather than the 120 in the original. There is a handy list of all the changes here if you would like some fun bedtime reading.
As wonderful as it was to be able to play Super Mario 64 on the go, it was somewhat marred by the lack of analogue controls on the original DS. In this version you use the D-Pad and have to hold a button to run; once you get used to it this is perfectly adequate, but it's no substitute for the sublime analogue controls on the N64 version. You could also play the game using the stylus and touchscreen, but this was ropey at best. Trying to use the thumb strap thingy which was bundled with the DS Phat was even worse!
Aside from the main game, loads of bonus mini games were included which showed off the DS's exciting new touchscreen abilities really well (try and cast your mind back to a world before smartphones!). Mario's and Wario's minigames are action packed, Luigi's are casino (or luck based) games, and Yoshi's are puzzles. There was lots of variety in these games and they could keep you occupied for hours.
We'll leave you with an impressive 150 star speed run. Did you ever manage to collect all the stars in this classic game?