Itsa mee, Mario. Nintendo has done it again, this time with two screens!
The DS is quite a chunky device, and if you are looking for the latest tech gadget to pull out of you shirt pocket around the water cooler, well then you better have big pockets. It is light and its shape does it mean it sits anywhere you want it to (I’ve tried).
The dual screens really do look amazing. The top one has very similar, if not better, processing power to the N64 and the bottom one is only slightly worse. True backlit lighting means that you can play this almost anywhere and all colours look vibrant. The graphics really are something to write home about.
The touchscreen is a tad disappointing so far, but this will be put to the test when Metroid Prime DS comes out which is said to offer the best ever non mouse-keyboard FPS controls. Controlling Mario in Mario DS is really all but impossible unless you wear this strange thing that straps on to your thumb, and even then its much easier to use the buttons. The stylus pen works really well and you can draw pictures but so far I have had no need for it.
Having never played Mario 64, Mario DS is an absolute dream to me. The characters, animation, controls and levels are superb. And like any nintendo device you can mash those buttons pretty hard without breaking anything.
It has been said that Nintendo is an ailing company at the hands of one ageing designer, and its certainly true that Nintendo has put out some curious titles (Project Rub anyone?). Luckily, there is nothing ageing or ailing about the DS console, contrary it is a very well designed system, and for $250 with Mario I would highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet played Mario 64. To all those who have, I would wait until Metroid and Mario Kart come out, and of course the PSP, to make your choice.