Super Mario 64 DS Updated Impressions

We tear through the 36 minigames crammed into the DS launch title.

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SEATTLE--While we just gave an overview of the features you'll find in the upcoming Mario game for Nintendo's DS hardware yesterday (check it out), we only mentioned the plethora of minigames set to be included in the title. Today we went back and tore through the rec room mode, which contains all the games, to see what they were all about. The varied games offer a little bit of everything for players anxious for a change of pace from Super Mario 64 DS's gameplay.

To access the games, you'll pick the rec room option from the game modes at the start screen. Once in there, you'll see a column with each of the four playable characters in the game: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Wario. Each character will have nine unique minigames to choose from when highlighted. Luigi's games will use a casino motif and offer card and slot machine style gameplay. You'll choose from Memory Math, Pair a Game, Picture Poker, Mushroom Roulette, Mario Slot, Lucky Stars, Pair a Game and On, Memory Master, and Super Mario Slot. Of the batch, Mushroom Roulette stood out, thanks to its goofy animation.

Wario's games will include Bob-omb Squad, Snowball Slalom, Bingo Ball, Coincentration, Psyche Out, Slot Shot, Lakitu Launch, Intense Coincentration, and Giant Snowball Slalom. Unlike Luigi's games, Wario's will revolve around earning cash and destructive acts that the tubby miscreant will carry out with a smile. Our favorite of his batch is probably Lakitu Launch, which requires you to launch lakitus--via a slingshot on the touch screen--to hit airborne targets.

Yoshi's games offer a more benign and friendly spin. You'll be able to choose from Wanted!, Loves Me?, Hide and Boo Seek, Puzzle Panel, Boom Box, Tox Box Shuffle, Which Wiggler?, Mix-a-Mug, and Puzzle Panic. In keeping with Yoshi's mellow nature, the games revolve around matching ghosts and wigglers, memory games, and box moving. Our current favorite from this batch is likely Mix-a-Mug, which requires you to stop three moving strips of facial features to create one face. Finally, Mario's games take a more action-oriented slant and actually calls to mind some of the microgames from WarioWare. You'll be able to choose from Mario Slides, Bounce and Pounce, Sort or 'splode, Trampoline Time, Shuffle Shell, Bounce and Trounce, Connect the Characters, Shell Smash, and Trampoline Terror. Our fave here involved a tie between Mario Slides and Connect the Characters, which were both similar games. In each, you're required to guide heads as they drop so that they can land on target areas. In the case of Connect the Characters, you're asked to ensure that heads falling from the top of the screen land on the matching torsos on the bottom of the screen.

We were surprised to find such a wealth of games to try and were impressed by their addictive qualities. In many cases, the challenges were on par with some of the games seen in WarioWare, which is always a good thing. As a result, the rec room is likely to be yet another highlight in the already robust Super Mario DS gameplay offering. Super Mario 64 DS is currently slated to ship this November at the launch of the Nintendo DS hardware. For more updates on the Nintendo DS and other impressions and media, check out GameSpot's coverage of the Nintendo Gamer's Summit.

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