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Super Mario 64 DS

What's the first thing you do when you boot up Super Mario 64? Triple-jump straight to the first tree and fire off a stylin' dismount? Waterbomb the pond with a huge diving attack? Whatever it is, it'll be the first thing you do when you get your hands on Mario 64 DS - the conversion is that close. The world is almost exactly as you remember, and Nintendo have been incredibly inventive in converting the original controls to fit DS's digital set-up.

Nevertheless, controlling Mario on the D-pad is a cramped and frustrating business. Weirdly, someone decided to have the default movement mode as walk, so if you want Mario to run - and when don't you want Mario to run? - you'll need to hold down Y all the time. The touch-screen method is much better. Drag the stylus over the screen and he'll run where you point, with the d-pad acting as button controls for jumping and attacking. You can centre the camera using the L shoulder button in both cases.

It's a noble effort, but it still doesn't disguise the fact that this is a world where you're used to perfect controls and DS can't deliver them - not on this game, at least. Consequently, the game's been re-jigged to cope with its clumsier inhabitants. For once it's Mario who's got himself kidnapped, along with Luigi and Wario, so it's down to Yoshi - complete with hover jump - to save the day by finding all those familiar stars. Until he rescues his friends he can impersonate them (and their special skills - like Luigi's spin jump from Superstar Saga) by finding their caps, but take a hit and he reverts to dino form. There are new levels, and 30 new stars to find, but we've a feeling that this won't be as classic an experience as the original.

Disappointed? Don't be. The main game is only a third of what's on offer. The wireless multiplayer mode is already shaping up to be damn good fun, but the real peach is the suite of 30 touchscreen minigames. Inspired by Wario Ware, these are a different breed - more elaborate and sophisticated - but just as brain-drainingly, tongue-curlingly addictive. From what we've played, the game would be worth buying for these alone.

Super Mario 64 DS is out now in the US and will be released in the UK in the spring

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