Dr. Mario 64 – Definitive 50 N64 Game #47
The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games
By 2001, Nintendo’s focus had shifted from N64 to GameCube, with the new system launching November of that year. Many late life titles originally planned for the 64, like Dinosaur Planet (aka Star Fox Adventures) and Eternal Darkness, ended up releasing on GameCube instead. Japan got Animal Crossing that year, but western gamers would have to wait for its GameCube version. We did get the shocking Conker’s Bad Fur Day, which we’ll get to later on this list, and Dr. Mario 64.
Mario, that notorious pill-slinging plumber-turned-doctor, is back.
The Dr. Mario series has been a staple of Nintendo consoles since the NES, but it’s the N64’s version, with its numerous modes and 4-player option that make this the one to play.
Believe it or not, among Dr. Mario 64’s many options lay a story mode. The devious Mad Scienstein has nabbed the good doctor’s Megavitamins, desperately needed for flu season. Both Mario and Wario (who is himself on a quest to steal the pills) give chase.
The player can then choose to play as either Mario or his anti-hero counterpart. Either way, numerous excuses for dueling other foes pop-up, each one requiring vast quantities of giant blue, yellow, and red pills to overcome.
Story mode wraps the usual match-four Dr. Mario formula with a fun story and animations worthy of a Mario RPG game, serving up some quality presentation for what is still a simple, if addictive, formula.
Of course, Dr. Mario boasts numerous other modes as well. There’s classic, in which a single player simply takes on a line of increasingly brain-scratchingly hard levels. There’s also Marathon – a simulator for reality in which the hardships of life (represented by an ever-rising onslaught of viruses) continuously stack up. There is no escape from Marathon, except rage quitting or death.
You can take on either a computer opponent or a real-live meat being in the usual VS mode, or Flash mode, in which you must vie to clear three special flashing viruses. You can also play by yourself or with another in Score Attack, in which you’re given 3 minutes to achieve a high score.
vDr. Mario 64 also gave the world 4 player multiplayer, which allows you and 3 friends to go pill for pill against one another simultaneously.
Thankfully, all of this is played with the comfort of the N64 controller’s D-pad. Yes. Dr. Mario is one of those rare exceptions that took advantage of the 64 controller’s left-most prong.
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Check back next week for entry #46 on the Definitive 50 N64 games.