Mama Mia! Scrambe for stars in a four-player, 3-D fun fest!
When Mario 64x4 was revealed at the press conference, everyone assumed it was just an extension of the Mario Advance series, this time on the DS with Mario 64. While this may still be true (I was told there will be a single player game), the Super Mario 64x4 demo was wireless multiplayer, and very impressive.
The battle game takes place in a modified version of the Super Mario 64 castle courtyard, where Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Wario must race to collect stars the appear randomly in random locations in the area. Whoever collects the most stars in the allotted time winds!
The graphics are sharp--very close to Super Mario 64 in modeling and with some better textures. Although audio was faint, I could make out Super Mario 64 music and voices to accompany the gameplay.
The controls successfully reproduce every move found in the N64 classic. Just as in the Super Mario classics, players jump with the B button (DS uses the SNES face mapping) and run by holding the Y button. The digital D-pad is used to move your character, and in combination with the jump button you can do wall-jumps, U-turn flips, and triple jumps! Players punch with the A button and crouch with X (which can be used for back-flips, long jumps and ground pounds). The digital controls make running around more difficult than on the N64, but I adjusted to the change without too much trouble.
Surprisingly, each character looks to have some unique moves as well. Yoshi has his trademark flutter-jump to gain some extra air, while Luigi can flutter to the ground. I did not check for unique Mario or Wario moves. You can also hit a red “!" block and snag a feather to briefly fly in the air, though I never found one myself.
Whether this is a whole new Mario game or a respectable port of Mario 64, this is one game to watch out for. Hey, any multiplayer Mario that isn't Mario Bros. Battle Advance is a good thing!