Review by Puppetmon

"The remake of a classic puzzle game, but are the new features enough to make it worth buying?"

Over the ages the short, fat character known simply as Mario (or for those going by the horrible movie, Mario Mario) has ended up with nearly every job in existence! Plumber, villainn, hero, guy saving the princess, battler of giant apes, chef, whatever the heck he was doing in ''Yoshi'', and even a doctor. Dr.Mario is one of three puzzle games that use the Mario license (Yoshi's Cookie and Yoshi being the other two) and out of the three this one stays closest to the tired, old puzzle theory. Actually, Dr. Mario is a rather old game, going all the way back to the days of the NES. While this game IS a classic this remake is rather unnecessary as it fails to add in anything really new or exciting to make it worth buying.

Gameplay- In this very tetris like game the playing field consists of a bottle with several viruses in it. Your goal is to destroy the viruses by using pills, the pills are thrown into the bottle and consist of up to two different colors. To destroy a virus you line 3 or more pills/viruses of the same color in a row, at which point they all dissolve. The game consists of several different game modes, seven to be exact.

Classic- The same game that you saw WAY back on the old systems. You try to clear stages that get progressively harder by eliminating all the viruses that are in the bottle. A fun diversion for a little while, but it feels like it could've been done on the NES or SNES (And it could've). One player mode only.

Story- The games main mode, the games plot will be covered more in depth in the plot section. In it you choose to play as either Dr.Mario or Wario and proceed through a series of VS battles against the computer as the plot unfolds. A pretty good mode, however like the rest of the game there isn't any reason why it couldn't be done on the SNES. Obviously the story mode is only playable by one person at a time.

Flash- In this mode your only goal is to destroy the flashing virus/viruses to complete the stage. A rather simple mode, but not too bad. Can be played in one player, two player, or four player modes.

Marathon- Quite possibly the most fun mode to play. There is no way to win and no time limit, you just play until you lose. New virsuses keep popping up in the bottle to make things more difficult, you can halt the progress of the viruses temporarily by performing a combo (killing multiple viruses at once). Naturally this mode is only for one player.

Score/Time Attack- In this mode you have 3 minutes to try to destroy all the viruses in the jar and see what the highest score you can get is. A very unimpressive mode as Marathon is a better mode to play to try to get a high score, so you probably won't be playing this mode too much. One player only.

VS Mode- Comes in three flavors, one player VS computer, two player deathmatch, and 4 player mode. You choose from any of the games characters and battle against any of the others. The one player mode is little more then training for the Story Mode, the two player mode can be enjoyable, but isn't anything all that special. The 4 Player VS mode, however is quite a bit of fun as you and your friends battle against each other to see who can survive the longest.

Team Battle- For four players only. Players 1 and 2 team up to battle against and players 3 and 4.

Unfortunetly while the game has a wide selection of modes, none of them are anything remarkable. The 4 player modes are alright, but are easily overshadowed by the 4 player modes of other games.

Gameplay: 4 of 10

Plot- Some games were never meant to have a plot. Unfortunately someone had the bright idea of putting one in this game. It seems that it's Flu Season and the only doctor around to cure everyone is Dr.Mario! Using his MegaVitamins he goes around curing patients. However, the evil, mad Dr.Scienstein has stolen his Megavitamins. Now Dr.Mario and Wario are in a mad race to get the Megavitamins back! I said some games were never meant to have a plot.

Plot: 3 of 10

Graphics- Blech. Apart from a few occasional backgrounds the graphics are simply SNES quality. In this day and age you simply can't get away with 16 bit graphics anymore...

Graphics: 3 of 10

Sounds and Music- Eh, as you'd expect in a puzzle game their aren't many music tracks or sound effects. The music is tolerable, however some of the tunes do easilly get on your nerves during extended play times.

Sounds and music: 6 of 10

Controls- Uhh it's a puzzle game so naturally there ain't much to talk about here. You can spin pills left or right as well move them left or right. That's uhh..really all their is. Of course in this type of game you don't need complex controls and they work very well here.

Controls: 9 of 10

Replayability- This game is fun to plug in and play from time to time, so you'll probably come back for more every now and then.

Replayability: 7 of 10

All in all the game isn't BAD by any means, it's just highly outdated. It doesn't offer much beyond the SNES and NES versions of it and in these days with the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast we've come to expect much more from our games and it's best that old classics like these stay on the old systems where they belong.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 04/24/01, Updated 04/24/01

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