Discs Are Rated
Dr. Mario 64
review by Zach B.
Retail Price: $29.99
Personally, I think "Dr. Mario" was a puzzle game that
was a head of its time. No, really. I think it's a pretty
underrated game, and is one of the few puzzle games that
still holds up incredibly well today. It's the first puzzle
game that I recall in a multiplayer mode you could get hurt
upon your opponent's chain commands known as "Garbage"
(something you see in a lot of puzzle games today). I sort
of look at "Dr. Mario" was a midway point between "Tetris"
and "Tetris Attack".
If you're old enough to remember (I certainly do), "Dr.
Mario" was released back in July 1990 for NES and Game Boy.
I remember the commercials (it had such a catchy jingle -
"Dr. Mario! He's got the cure! Whoa whoa!") quite well, and
despite playing and liking the game, I never bought it. Even
a few years later when it was bundled with the original
"Tetris" for SNES, I missed the boat again. Now as the
Nintendo 64 reaches its last legs, Nintendo re-releases it
once again (and perhaps the final time) for a low price and
a ton of new goodies. If you liked the game or like puzzle
games in general, don't miss it.
The object of "Dr. Mario" is pretty easy. Viruses in red,
yellow and blue plague your screen, and vitamins fall down.
Match the vitamin color with the virus to get rid of the
virus. To get rid of a color, you need to have four (three
vitamis and a virus, two vitamins and two viruses, you get
the idea). This does get annoying when you have no viruses,
so to get rid of unwanted vitamins, you need to have four.
Still, the game is a lot of fun and gets addicting very
easily. It's definently one of the most challanging puzzle
games out there. And like a good puzzle game, you can get
right into it easily.
If you're playing alone, you got six different modes to
play from. In "Classic", you can play the original game as
seen in versions before, and with re-mixed versions of the
excellent music. "Story" is a Vs. mode complete with a story
where Dr. Mario has to rescue his medicine which was stolen.
You can also play as Wario and take his perspective as the
bad guy. Even on easy, this mode can be tough, but either
way, it's still fun. "Vs. Computer" is a one on one Vs. mode
where you can play an assortment of characters and have a
load of options for a Vs. battle. "Flash" is another Vs.
mode, but you have to wipe out all the flashing viruses
before the computer does. Like the other modes, this is a
lot of fun and can get intense. "Marathon" is similar to
what has been seen in the "Tetris Attack" games, where the
game ends when you reach the top (this gets VERY intense).
Finally, "Score Attack" is a time trial game where you have
to clear levels in three minutes or less. The faster you
beat the level, the higher your scole will be.
There's also some good multiplayer modes. For two
players, there is your standard Vs. mode as well as
competitions in "Flash" and "Score Attack". However, a first
in "Dr. Mario", you can have four players get in on the
action. You can do a four players Vs., a "Flash" round, or a
"Team Battle". "Team Battle" is pretty unique, where it's a
two on two game. The screen is divided into four, and the
first team to clear all their viruses wins, or the team who
gets garbaged and can't do anything more loses. Pretty fun.
I mentioned how the music is remixed earlier, and it
doesn't sound nice. There's also some new tunes and some
great sound effects. The graphics are really bright and
colorful, and the cinemas in the "Story" mode have a really
unique but classic kind of look.
There's no denying "Dr. Mario 64" is simply a cheap
re-release to cash in on Nintendo 64 before it dies. Believe
it or not, Nintendo 64 is about dead. "Mario Party 3" seems
to be Nintendo's last release, unless rumors hold true and
"Sin and Punishment" is released this summer. If you missed
it the first few times like me, definently pick this classic
puzzle game up. For a low price of 30 bucks, you can't go
wrong. This is one game with really strong replay value.