GAMEPLAY: While you’re running, the controls are incredibly fun to this day. Only while walking slowly, Mario does this half circle turning which isn’t great. The camera would be extremely frustrating to a new-comer, but I’m so used to it that it’s not a big deal.
AUDIOVISUALLY: Simple but timeless. The music is alright but among the weakest in the series.
STORY/PRESENTATION: Collect stars to open doors in Peach’s castle until you reach Bowser. Doesn’t need to be more than that. Some levels are better than others though. I got frustrated by the ghost house and the water levels, as I didn’t have the patience for slow-paced exploration. The more straight-forward ones are easily the most fun, like the lava level and the Bowser levels.
Hadn’t played this since the DS version in 2004, but it was a lot of fun! It’s so focused, no waiting times, just straight to the point. A slightly lowered rating due to uneven level quality and somewhat janky controls/camera.