Super Mario 64x4 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Super Mario 64 gets a new mode and a new home on Nintendo's unusual, new portable.


Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64x4 is a redux of Mario's classic, genre-defining 3D Nintendo 64 adventure, but it features a new multiplayer component. The demo we tried was specifically focused on four-player multiplayer via wireless communication between four Nintendo DS units. It cast us in the role of familiar characters from the Mario universe in a timed race to collect randomly appearing stars outside of Peach's castle.

The multiplayer game displays the action in one of the DS screens, while the other shows an overhead map that clues you in to the location of your opponents and the next collectible star. The game controls are an exact replica of the system used in Super Mario 64, but with the addition of a dash button, mapped to the Y button. You'll be able to perform Mario's patented triple leaps and collect power-ups that let you get airborne and move toward the next star without fear of being hit by enemies on the ground that stand between you and your prize. If you happen to be hit, you'll drop a star and have to re-collect it before it's scooped up by one of your opponents.

The graphics in the game are similar in appearance to the classic Nintendo 64 game but sport a cleaner look, courtesy of the DS' more powerful hardware and smaller screen. The audio in the game is in the same vein as the audio in Mario 64 and offers a familiar assortment of sound effects for Mario and the gang.

While the game we played was a four-player multiplayer affair, Super Mario 64x4 will also offer a proper single-player game that is essentially the classic Nintendo 64 game in portable form. Look for more on the game from the E3 showfloor and in the coming months.

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