Super Mario 64 DS
has three modes of play: Adventure Mode, Rec Room, and Vs Mode.
Adventure Mode gives you a story similar to the game’s namesake, but with enough new characters and challenges to make it more than just a port. Just like in the original, Mario receives a letter from Princess Toadstool to come to the palace because she has baked a cake for him. This time though, he arrives with Luigi and Wario at his side. The trio dash into the castle. Hours later, Yoshi awakes from a nap to find that the three never returned from the palace. So now, instead of controlling the plumber, you take control of Yoshi as you take on tons of challenges and try to collect all 150 stars (yes that’s right, 30 more stars than before).
But you aren’t restricted to play only as Yoshi. In many challenge levels, you will find various caps. These caps are Luigi’s, Mario’s, or Wario’s. When Yoshi puts the cap on, he becomes that person. You’re then able to perform whatever special moves the new character has (like Mario’s wall jump or Luigi’s ability to run on water). Yoshi stays this way until he finishes a challenge or is hit by an enemy.
The Rec Room is where you get to play a wide range of mini-games. You start off with only eight games (two for each character), but if you find and catch bunnies in the Adventure Mode, you can unlock more games. These games come in many forms. Luigi starts off with games like Memory, or like the Internet favorite Bejeweled, while others have somewhat more... unique mini-games. Wario has a game that has you shooting parachuting ba-bombs down before they destroy your garden. These games are a ton of fun to play, and are a great distraction when you have just a little bit of time on your hands.
Mario 64 DS’s Vs Mode lets you play against three of your friends in battles to see who can get the most stars. This game uses “Single-Card Download Play,” which means that only one of the players needs to actually have game in their system. The other combatants then link up to the host DS through the built-in wireless network. This is different than the “Multi-Card” mode that other games may have. In that mode, each player needs to have a copy of the game in their system in order to participate.