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Dr. Mario 64

Developer: Newcom | Publisher: Nintendo
Players: | Release Date: 04/08/01 | Genre: Puzzle

This game would have been great if it came out 4 years ago. But it didn't and it has the look and feel of a game that was rush released to meet "demand" for a dying system. For those of you unfamiliar with how Dr. Mario works, here is a brief rundown of how the game works. There are "viruses" (colored dots with faces) in a "bottle" (the game screen). You have to take the multi colored "vitamins" that Dr. Mario gives you and line them up with the viruses so that 4 colors in a row line up, and the virus disappears.

There are several gameplay modes available in Dr. Mario 64: Single player, Multi Player (up to 4), vs computer, story, and classic.

Story mode gives you the opportunity to play as either Wario or Dr. Mario through a story that makes little sense, and along the way, battle various characters to a match of virus bustin' madness. The graphics in story mode are very 2D, like Yoshi's Story, but not as rich.

Classic mode is almost lifted from the old SNES version, with a series of levels (difficulty increasing) with more and more viruses on each screen. The other gameplay modes are pretty much self-explanatory.

Throughout the entire game, only three colors are used. It seemed like a waste to have only three colors when the N64 could handle so much more.

Let me say that I was pleased to see another puzzle game for the N64. I enjoy puzzle games, and the last two that I purchased for my Nintendo system were fun. This game was not. The graphics are not up to a "late cycle" release by any means. This game looks less stellar than Yoshi's Story. I would have thought that a game coming out so late in the system's life would at least look better than a SNES port.

The game is a bit choppy during play, and when garbage falls, everything stops. The garbage falls even slower that the vitamins do. It takes getting used to, but the controls are about average, which is a disappointment. I expected smoother controls from a first party game being released so late in the systems life.

The sound was passable. I expected more than 5 audio choices to listen to while I busted on viruses. Thankfully I had the option of no music playing.

Maybe I am hammering on the same point too much, but if Yoshi's Story (a better looking and playing game than this) can be brought over effectively to the Game Boy Advance, why isn't this game? The reason is because Nintendo didn't have anything else in April to be released. It shows. Do not buy this game. Please.

Even with it's shortcomings, I have to recommend Pokemon Puzzle League over Dr. Mario 64. It's smoother, has better gameplay, and all around more enjoyable. If you absolutely need 4-player puzzle action, get The Next Tetris.

If Dr. Mario came out 4 years about, I would have given this game a B-. If Dr. Mario game came out on Game Boy Color, I would have given it a C+. As it stands on it's own, right now, I have to give it a D. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go to Funcoland and try to sell this "game" and get something better.

By Daniel "Monk" Pel... - 02/20/02
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Screenshots for Dr. Mario 64

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