Super Mario 64 DS
I admit, I can't say I've been all that kind to Super Mario 64 DS before I bought it, what with my ranting about it at MS:MIA and it's lack of co-operative multi-player and so on, but I at least expected it to be a good game, and despite my over exaggeration of the lack of co-op making me not get the game, I got it anyway. For full price.
How stupid I was.
The Power Flowers are actually kinda cool, especially Mario's ability, but becoming a bouncy fatty can never make up for the loss of the CO-OPERATIVE MULTI-PLAYER
I mean, it was only expected of me to get it. I'm a Nintendo and Mario fag hag, and I enjoyed the original, despite the lack of Yoshi riding, numerous flaws, doesn't even compare to Banjo-Kazooie, how it's so obnoxiously overrated, and so on. Yet, the remake just ... failed to impress me. At all.
The graphics are pretty, and things now look like they're supposed to look, instead of hideously deformed caricatures; and the sound hasn't gotten any worse or anything; but everything just seems botched and broken.
Take the control scheme. The games you choose from three styles, and they're all screwy. The first way has you use the D-Pad for moving, which I don't mind, despite the cramps that quickly occur; it's the buttons that bug me. B jumps, Y runs, A attacks, and X adjusts the camera. It's Y and A I have problems with. See, your regular walking speed is a immensely slow, so you'll be running everywhere, and will be holding Y most of the time.
But if you need to dive or attack, you need to hit A, which is the opposite button, and if you've got big hands like I, hitting A quickly often results in hitting B as well, either making you jump and kick immediately, or just jumping, which can ruin things, especially when trying to catch a speedy rabbit. It doesn't help any that holding Y while standing still makes your character "charge" their run, sprinting at top speed once you press the D-Pad, often resulting in death. It all could've been solved if attack and run were both assigned to Y, and the utterly useless charge was removed.
The "Loves Me, Loves Me Not" mini-game is hilarious. If you get "love me not" as the result, Yoshi cries and starts moping, the flower turns blue and pulls a disgusted face, and the sound of a goat plays. But breaking Yoshi's heart can't make up for NO CO-OPERATIVE MULTI-PLAYER
The other two control methods? Using the touch screen to move, and either the D-Pad or regular buttons for actions. Awkward.
And that's only the control schemes; the physics themselves are ludicrous. Your character slips all over the place, turning is erratic, and jumping to a platform often makes your character leap in the entirely different direction. Avoiding enemies is now preferred to attacking them, as jumping on them hurts you more than it does them, and attacks are slow to activate and barely even connect with them.
And there are other things that plain and simply bug me, like how falling in lava doesn't give you as much distance to fly when bouncing out of it, being hit by an enemy has considerably harsher recoil with longer recovery times, and bouncing off enemies seems to bounce you really far; a hazard when near ledges.
As you'd expect from a DS launch title, it makes a lot of use of the touch screen, for all the wrong reasons. The aforementioned control method is interesting, and offers better speed adjusting, but it's more awkward than helpful when playing seriously, especially when on thin ledges. All of the menus use the touch screen, and not like Mario Kart DS or Sonic Rush where it's just an alternative, this requires touching the screen. The main menu allows the D-Pad, and most other menus allow you to press Start to choose the option that lets you continue, but that's it; all the other menus need you to pluck out your stylus, tap the screen, and slot it back in. Real handy. Real handy.
AAAAIIIIEEEE NAIVE FEARS REVIVED
Also, CO-OPERATIVE MULTI-PLAYER, WHERE IS IT
Of course, there are mini-games that use the touch screen, but I've no problem with that, since they're mini-games, and have no effect on the main game. They're actually rather fun. =0
Mildly surprisingly, there are a number of new features that change the gameplay quite a bit from the original; a stark contrast to the Super Mario Advance "remakes", where new features were just there as a feeble attempt to increase replay value, but did jack shit.
There are the new levels and unlockable mini-games by capturing rabbits, which are nice additions, even if the new levels are hideously small. On the other hand, the addition of playing as Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario is nice, but I can't help but find it annoying having to rescue the other characters before you can play as them. It's more of a personal disliking of it than a real error, as it reminds me of Donkey Kong 64.
Remember the caps from the original, that gave you the power of flight, invisibility, or metallic skin? They made those character-specific abilities, and the caps now let you transform into another character with the original character's voice. It kinda ruins the "wow" factor of finding a cap, considering they're just quick and temporary ways of switching characters.
Each level now has a seventh star, which involves collecting more crap until a star appears, or hitting a switch and getting a star. Fun!
Early footage of the game showed co-operative multi-player, where all players had the same skills and went about doing stuff together. This looked unbelievably awesome, as I had always wished for that feature, and Miyamoto himself said he wanted
Hello, lost and found? I'd like to ask WHERE THE TRUCK IS MY CO-OPERATIVE MULTI-PLAYER
a 2-Player mode in the original (I can't find a source, but I'm sure I read it somewhere), but in the released product, it was replaced with some crappy "collect the stars" thing. Thanks a plenty, Nintendo; incorporate a feature that's rarely seen in this genre and everybody wants, then remove it.
And why is Yoshi playable? They planned to have the ability to ride Yoshi (source) in the original, and even if they did include that in Sunshine, I don't see why they didn't have it in this. They could've had Waluigi, who's yet to have any significant role in the games, and he's as able as the others, so if they included him, not only would he get a chance to shine, but the ability to ride Yoshi would be included, a feature that needs more use; everybody wins!
But they thought otherwise.
To summarise, while the game has some nice additions, like the extra levels, mini-games, graphics and sound; the rest of the game is, plain and simply, botched. It had great intentions, but it fell miles and miles short. I kept being reminded of other games, and how they're superior to this in numerous ways, and the game had to take aspects from them into this, only to crappen them up, like the multiple characters thing from Donkey Kong 64. I know that's barely an original concept, but it just hangs my munchkin.
You'd think that after all this time, they'd fix the flaws of the original; who knew they'd replace them with new ones? I understand how it's really a demonstration of the power of the DS, but seriously, they could've just had it on the Gamecube; it could've used an edited Super Mario Sunshine engine, split-screen multi-player, and a comfortable button layout.
[NOTE : Yeah, a lot of this is probably false or over exaggerated or whatever, but I'm just deeply, deeply dissatisfied with the game, as it could've been so much better.
And come on, the removal of the co-operative multi-player is just unforgivable.
And I traded it for Mario & Luigi: Partner's in Time, also known as a game that isn't balls.
Also, because of that, I never got to see what the multi-player was actually like. Thus I'll remain biased towards it forever. Sad smiley face?]