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A DS In Every Pot

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the converting-them-one-handheld-at-a-time dept.

282

At last year's GDC Nintendo President Iwata made the claim that the company was reaching out to everyone, in an attempt to expand the gaming market. They were planning to appeal to hardcore gamers, folks who used to play games, and folks who have never played a game in their lives. At the time, it sounded like a tag line. Today, I have impressions from three titles which suggest they've got what it takes to make us all into gamers. Hardcore players can sink their teeth into Metroid Prime Hunters, and have one of the most intuitive FPS experiences ever to come to a console. Folks looking for some nostalgia can enjoy Tetris DS, blockstacking like it's 1985. Even your grandmother can try Brain Age, proving to her bridge club that even though her license says she's 80 she's got the brain of a 20 year old. Read on for my impressions of three titles that give powerful evidence to support Iwata's grand claim.

  • Title: Metroid Prime Hunters
  • Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
  • System:DS
If you're a PC FPS player, Hunters is precisely your cup of tea. Nintendo has taken the frantic energy of a Quake 3 match and miniaturized it on your DS screen. Hunters is, in reality, not a 'real' Metroid game. It's essentially a shooter based in the classic Nintendo world. While the GameCube and GameBoy games concentrate as much on exploration as action, Hunters is all about shooting for the kill. This focus is obvious in the dirt simple control scheme. You use the joypad to move, the touchpad to aim, and the right shoulder button to fire. You can drop into ball mode and switch weapons with icons on the touchscreen, and to jump you doubletap with your stylus.

What results from this fusion of simple control and Metroid trappings is nothing less than a grown-up shooter on a very small console. Single-player mode has sort of 'mini-Metroids' scattered around a small part of the galaxy. You head into an area, explore, fight a boss, and move on. It's not much compared to some of Samus' other epic adventures, but it is a good way to learn the controls. Despite the size of the single-player missions, they also manage to fit in some nice puzzling.

If you're wifi connected, you can get your ass handed to you by the thousands of people waiting to personally destroy you online. Just like with Mario Kart, the system just works, resulting in a lightning fast asshanding that will leave you wondering why you opened the DS's lid in the first place. There are numerous maps to play on, and many other bounty hunter personas available to change things up from the normal Metroid experience. Online play is wicked fast, with smooth framerates aiding in the sense of speed and danger.

Folks who dislike FPSes will not like this game, and even folks who enjoy the Metroid Prime titles on the GameCube may be turned off by the game's unrelenting speed. Quake 3 really is the best PC comparison I can draw, and being fragged moments after you've spawned is not out of the question. PC gamers who have avoided console shooters may actually be the real winners here, as you're going to find a lot to love in the 'touchpad look' system they've come up with.

I see this title as not only a great game in the here and now, but a preview of what's going to be possible in the DS's future. The control scheme and graphics (which simply should not be possible on a Nintendo handheld) speak of far-off games that will keep the hardcore coming back again and again to Nintendo's twoscreened juggernaut.

  • Title: Tetris DS
  • Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
  • System:DS
Like Metroid, Tetris DS is a new take on a classic Nintendo title. Unlike Metroid, this new title recaptures much of the flavour that obsessed moms across America in the mid-80s. It's not a remake so much as a refresh, with many new modes and ways to play a game we never really put down.

The vivid displays on the DS play gracious host to the new game. Your first impressions of Tetris DS will be of crisp imagery and bright sound. The game manages not only to be a small shrine to the blockstacker itself, but almost every classic Nintendo title. The Mario theme accompanies the Standard mode, while a Metroid background scrolls past in Catch mode. The only drawback to this is that, if classic Nintendo isn't your cup of tea, the music is going to get grating sooner rather than later.

The sheer number of modes can be intimidating at first. Besides the original game (playable both by yourself or vs. other people wirelessly), there is Catch (a strange mode that has you creating four-squares while flying through a Metroid level), Push (a competitive classic Tetris mode), Mission (which has you completing specific objectives), Puzzle (which has you complete a screen with specific pieces), and Touch. Touch is the only mode that takes advantage of the touch-screen, and requires you to move block around in a tower of Tetris pieces. You break down the foundation of the tower, eventually freeing the trapped balloons at the top of the heap. Touch and Push are very fresh experiences, requiring you to use Tetris thinking in lateral ways. Catch is kinda funky, and I didn't get as much out of it.

Even if you're playing the classic game on your cell phone every day, this game is well worth experiencing on the DS. Like all Wifi-enabled DS games, it's seamless to fall into an online match, and the polish level displayed here is going to please every puzzler you know. Nintendo hit it right on the money with this one: Not too much newness, just enough to keep you interested. The only real complaint I have is the title's price. Thirty dollars for the cart is enough to ensure that not everyone that gets a DS will end up with this in their library. Which is a shame; The ubiquitous presence of Tetris for the original GameBoy was one of the pivotal moments in classic gaming. (Or so says my mom.)


  • Title: Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
  • Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
  • System:DS
The 'not a game' titles available for the Nintendo DS just keep coming. Nintendogs and Electroplankton are obvious examples, but Brain Age manages to slip into that category through the backdoor; It's a game that's also good for you. Brain Age is basically a series of mental exercises designed to give your grey matter a work-out. Lateral thinking isn't the name of the game here: Speed is what matters. One hundred arithmetic problems fly past, and you have to solve them as quickly as you can. Count the number of syllables in the sentence, but do it quickly. The 'easiest' task they'll put to you is forcing you to read snippets from classic works of literature. Reading the Brontes for speed is a new experience, and one which will definitely stretch your prefrontal cortex.

All of these simple games are intended to be completed on a daily basis. You do one or two each day to 'Train Your Brain', and after finishing up the game assigns you a 'brain age'. The younger the better, with 20 being as low as you can go. The amusement factor of the game doesn't sound very high, but the presentation sells it with gusto. The floating head of Dr. Kawashima (the man whose research the game is based on) is a very personable character, turning the DS sideways makes for a different feel to the game, and the cheerful attitude of the interface is hard to ignore.

I have some minor complaints with the title, but they don't detract at all from the enjoyment of the title. Specifically, the handwriting recognition can get a little confused at times. Even a few extra seconds writing out a '9' will seem like forever when you're on the clock. Similarly, I found the voice recognition would occasionally spaz out. I particularly had trouble getting the game to understand me when I said the word 'blue'. Be sure to enunciate your words so that the game understands you.

Those minor quibbles aside, the package is a great, simple, time-waster. For folks not used to playing games this is the perfect setup. Brain Age offers a series of discrete, approachable tasks that only have to be completed once or twice to feel that you've accomplished something. If you play daily, you only have to invest about 10 minutes to get your stamp from the Doctor. If you want to play more, for American audiences a Sudoku game was added. I don't play myself, but I'm told by accomplished players that it's a challenging set of puzzles. They're also convenient, allowing you to write down your guesses on the side of a box before committing yourself to an answer.

While Tetris and Metroid are great games, I'm most impressed by the reaction I've seen from non-gamers sitting down to Brain Age for the first time. There's a smile they get, and a light in their eye. When I talk to them about it, there's an understanding there about games and gaming that wasn't there before. That's the reason President Iwata gave away the title at his GDC Keynote; It's a subversive recruitment tool. You may not get your grandmother playing Unreal Tournament, but Brain Age can be a starter experience for an entire new multi-generational crop of gamers.

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282 comments

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Yawn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151500)

The Nintendo DS doesn't support the Universal Media Discs or the Memory Stick Pro Duo format. It also doesn't run Linux. Pass.

PS Nintendo is a convicted monopolist.

Re:Yawn (0, Redundant)

cflannagan (870780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151520)

Yawn. The other consoles doesn't support Nintendo-made games. Pass.

Re:Yawn (1)

richman555 (675100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151617)

UMD load times are terrible. I will pass on Sony PSP.

Re:Yawn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151807)

Actually there is a group working on a distro of Linux for the DS. It even allows the use of the touch screen. Check it out [dslinux.org] .

Paid ad or free ad? (0, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151515)

Not that I'd be against Nintendo, actually far from it (and still waiting to FINALLY get my DS...), but is there some content besides advertising in this?

I don't gain any insight from it, it's not entertaining, it's not informative, it's a push for Nintendo. Or am I missing something vital?

Re:Paid ad or free ad? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151718)

As a nintendo stockholder(yes, for real :P though buying at 52 week highs isn't the smartest idea in the world...) I say you are clearly missing something. Everyone loves good wholesome Nintendo fun that you can only get with Nintendo's fine products. Yes, look for the NIntendo seal of quality at fine retailers everywhere!

what? (3, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151804)

uhh... neither? You must be a PSP fan :P (just kidding :D Please dont hurt me, mods!)

Seriously, this is more a game review than an ad. Zonk played the games and wrote a review for each saying why certain people would like each game. It's not an ad.

Re:Paid ad or free ad? (1)

sp0rk173 (609022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151899)

I'm going to have to agree with you on this one. This struck me as pure marketing disguised as a game review. How come we haven't seen as many PSP game review, eh? For what it's worth, i own neither and plan on continuing that trend into the forseeable future.

Re:Paid ad or free ad? (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151959)

I don't gain any insight from it, it's not entertaining, it's not informative, it's a push for Nintendo. Or am I missing something vital?

You're missing something vital. People always ask this kind of thing when there's some kind of positive review on Slashdot. Positive reviews can happen when a reviewer likes the product they're reviewing, not just when the reviewer is a shill. This kind of review can actually be useful to some of us because we get to learn more details about a product that we can then consider purchasing.

I'm glad reviews aren't the backbone of Slashdot, but they can be valuable "News for Nerds." Yes, even the positive ones.

TW

Re:Paid ad or free ad? (3, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152146)

The news is that Zonk, Slashdot's resident rabid Xbox fanboy, actually made a pro-Nintendo post.

ZONK SHUT YOUR FAGHOLE (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151527)

Noone gives a shit about this constant stream of faggot game editorials and articles you come across in your loser day in your loser life. Face it, you are a grown up faggot with no future. When this Slashdot gig dries up what are you going to do? You'll be sucking mexican cock for pesos in the back alleys of tijuana, that's what.

NOW SHUT YOUR FUCKING POST HOLE!

Re:ZONK SHUT YOUR FAGHOLE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151880)

chill man... your the asshole with your immature response. If you don't like the article don't read it... quite simple eh?

Re:ZONK SHUT YOUR FAGHOLE (0, Offtopic)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152303)

Don't you mean 'you're the asshole...'

You're welcome.

A DS in every pot? (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151529)

They'd have a lot more takers if they included pot with every DS.

Re:A DS in every pot? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151539)

Ummm, you misspelled tokers.

Re:A DS in every pot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151654)

Easy way to find them. Hope all the potheads rot in jail.

Re:A DS in every pot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15152071)

Hope all the potheads rot in jail.

This is offtopic, but fuck you. I don't particularly appreciate my tax dollars being spent to keep people whose only crime was making the personal choice to ingest a non-toxic, naturally-occuring substance incarcerated. Maybe you like to waste your money on enforcing ridiculous laws that exist for no other reason than to make scumbag politicians look "tough" on the drug issue, but I would rather my money be spent on somthing that advances society rather than repressing people for PR purposes.

Re:A DS in every pot? (0, Redundant)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151729)

Umm, I think you misspelled tokers.

Re:A DS in every pot? (1)

MayorDefacto (586113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151973)

They'd have a lot more takers if they included pot with every DS.

Bad idea. I've tried to play Trauma Center stoned before, and I can tell you that increased reaction time and twitchy, life-or-death surgical missions do not a good combination make.

RE: (4, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151531)

In all seriousness- Older people who live in retirement villages are ridiculously similar to college students. (My grandfather was in one)
You have people who have massive amounts of time, and excited about sitting on the couch and enjoy TV. (Of course not all older people or college students are like this)
My grandfather's place had a dorm feel to it. I could very easily picture the "oldsters" playing video games.

Re: (1)

StANTo (934526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151681)

YES! When I'm old and decrepid they better have a WiFi connection so I can play Counter-Strike on my shuttle!

Re: (1)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151770)

And with my luck, I'll still live right across the hall from the guy with the huge stereo and no taste in music.

Grandmothers? (-1, Troll)

Seriously, who (969215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151537)

Seriously, who over the age of twenty is going to buy a DS? These are kids' toys we're talking about. Marketing can only do so much, and you'll never convince large numbers of 80 year olds to start playing video games, even ignoring the fact that most old folk have no idea what a video game even is.

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

2tonesg (969234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151575)

I'm 21 and I play my DS every day.

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151591)

Me. I'm 23, and I own one. It's as much a kid's toy as any other video game console.

Re:Grandmothers? (1, Offtopic)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151620)

My 82 year-old grandmother was intrigued by the usability of the Revolution's wand controller, or at least my description of its usability. She never gave video games a thought before that.

Re:Grandmothers? (2, Funny)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151692)

Females everywhere would be interested if the Revolution wand had a built in rumble-pack...

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152011)

...it does.

Re:Grandmothers? (4, Insightful)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151650)

Seriously, who over the age of twenty is going to buy a DS?

Many more people than you think.

These are kids' toys we're talking about.

It's whatever you convince yourself it is. Those of us that aren't worried about being "mature" or scared of some bright colors and cuteness are quite comfortable with Nintendo and their "kids' toys".

Marketing can only do so much,

You keep thinking that. Meanwhile, Nintendo's laughing all the way to the bank :)

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151870)

Agreed on all accounts. I own a ds. Plan to buy a lite when its out, give mine to my lady, if i like it. I own a handful of DS games (which is alot, since they are small and I have big hands). I play all the latest FPSes, etc. But my DS gets the most play time of any console I own (and I own 9 from 4 different makers). Nintendo has done a good job at selling me games and hardware. And i'm 23. Almost everyone I know has a DS now. And we're all 20somethings. Its good clean fun, like in the 80s :)

Re:Grandmothers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151873)

No doubt, but that trip to the bank is mostly because Mom bought the kid a DS, not because 20 and 30 somethings are fighting their way to the counter to buy them. There will always be some people who insist on childish games like Mario Karts instead of a more realistic racing experience and Smash Brothers instead of a more quality fighting experience, but those people will always be in the minority. You may think it's a "hip" minority, but a minority nonetheless. That's fine in itself, but the minority is not content with that. Any thread dealing with consoles invariably gets invaded by Ninetendo fanatics out to prove their system is the bomb and all other suck. They think they're doing Nintendo a favor, but they're not. They're just annoying people.

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152243)

So how is the DS the minority and the PSP not?

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151664)

I'm 36 and waiting for the DS Lite to hit the market. I need the brighter LCD screen since I went blind on the pre-SP AGBs testing Atari Anniversary, Nicktoons Racing, Driver 2 Advance, Backyard Hockey and DBZ: Buu's Fury when I worked as a lead tester at Atari. Of course, if Nintendo brought out a DS adapter for the GameCube, that would be sweet!

Re:Grandmothers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151666)

I agree with you. Even though there are probably plenty of 30 year old uber-nerds here on slashdot playing a DS in their Mom's basement right now.

Re:Grandmothers? (3, Funny)

Jearil (154455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151802)

Going on /. and trying to insult people for being uber-nerds is like going onto MySpace and insulting people for being drunken emos.

We already know who goes where; please move along.

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

ImaNumber (754512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151797)

Seriously, who over the age of twenty is going to buy a DS?

I'm 28, my wife is 28 and we BOTH own one. My wife isn't a gamer, but the DS has titles that we both can play (zookeeper, metriod pinball, etc) together AND has the addicting games that I can play by myself (Advance Wars DS, I'm looking at you).

Re:Grandmothers? (5, Informative)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151830)

"Seriously, who over the age of twenty is going to buy a DS?"

Seriously, you're showing your age. Seriously.

Here're some facts from this century:

Average age of a gamer is 30. 19% of gamers are over the age of 50.

More stats from the Entertainment Software Association via The Pixelantes: http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/2005/11/who-are-the se-video-gamers-anyway.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Grandmothers? (1)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151845)

I'm 44 and I love my DS.

Oh and don't forget about... (0, Troll)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151546)

Super Mario Bros 37 and Mario Cart 56!!!

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Oh and don't forget about... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151577)

If you're going to troll, at least attempt to get the names right. You've had 14 years to learn them.

Re:Oh and don't forget about... (1)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151691)

Would it be a better game if they called it "Troll Racer"?

Brain of a 20 year old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151550)

Grandma only thinks about sex and beer?

Only thing missing: (5, Interesting)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151562)

A DS tactical RPG, a la Final Fantasy Tactics.

Seriously, FFT:DS would be an incredibly good idea. A whole extra screen for data readouts? Touchscreen movement rather than awkward scrolling over terrain and through menus? All combined with the awesome portability of FFT:Advance? Sign me up!

Re:Only thing missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151653)

There's still FFT on the GBA. If you're looking for DS specific titles, Advance Wars is probably the closest thing available.

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

Spez (566714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151673)

This game is known by the name : Battle of Prince of Persia.

Gamespot rated it not too bad (even though IGN didn't understand the rules).

I bought it, and liked it a lot! Its not a full RPG, closer to a strategy game, but not still a war strategy game (Advance Wars like)

Try it. You may be surprised

Re:Only thing missing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151711)

If something like this came out I'd probably go pick up a DS asap. I always liked playing RPGs on the little portable players.

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151820)

For turn-based tactical fun, try Age of Empires II for the DS [gamespot.com] .

Dunno why they didn't give it a differant name than its PC RTS cousin.

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151947)

id rather see an Ogre Battle: DS, but yeah. the ds is lacking in this area...but isn't that why they put the GBA slot on?

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151976)

Um... Advanced Wars DS anyone? I loved Final Fantasy Tactics. it's still one of my favorite games. But FFTA was such a let down, i don't have much hope for any other sequels. Advanced Wars however has some awesome gameplay across the entire series, and the plots while hokey are kind of endearing (if you ignore the bizarre overtones romanticizing warfare). Anyway, brilliant game play. No customization like you would in an FFT game, but the strategy elements are definitely more interesting.

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152090)

How about a good RPG, period?

Not to troll, as I own a DS and love it, but there hasn't been a single good one out for the system yet.

Re:Only thing missing: (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152298)

Mario and Luigi!

And the future lokks bright too. Final Fantasy III, Children of Mana, Tales of the Tempest, Baten Kaitos DS, Lostmagic, Lunar: Dragon Song, Xenosaga I-II and Pokémon Pearl/Diamond.

Well (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151596)

It might've helped if they lowered the price of a DS shortly before announcing that a better, cheaper version was going to come out soon. Anyone who got one for christmas got totally hosed.

Re:Well (3, Funny)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151778)

"Hosed" is exactly the right word! The "old" DS design completely sucks - so badly in fact that you can't even really play games on it. Is it even compatible with the newer DS games coming out? And getting it as a gift in December really blows. That might be worst of all since everyone knows that the best part of gaming is waiting six months or more for new hardware!

I'm pretty sure the above is sarcasm...

Re:Well (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151918)

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with it nonetheless -- picked it up in Nov or so for myself, actually. $150 with Mario included, and I've loved the new Castlevania and Resident Evil remake. But the backlight limitation is really noticeable, especially with Resident Evil. I mean, they made sure to scan the bar code on my DS when I bought it -- a discount for those who purchased the original would result in amazing PR, especially since the people who would take advantage of it are their most valuable customers (buying early and often).

Re:Well (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152183)

"Anyone who got one for christmas got totally hosed."

Bitch all you want, I've thoroughly enjoyed playing with my DS since launch. If you want to waste your time waiting for the latest and greatest, that's your choice, but it's still silly.

At what point would you have gotten an old one? If they announced the new one two years ahead of time? Three? If Nintendo announced the forthcoming NES-101 back when they were still pushing ROB, would you have cooled your heels for the entire NES era?

Grandmother (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151602)

Even your grandmother can try Brain Age, proving to her bridge club that even though her license says she's 80 she's got the brain of a 20 year old.

I have no idea what "Brain Age" is, but wouldn't the Bridge Club get a better idea of her mental faculties based on how she, you know, plays Bridge?

Everyone with access to tagging beta (0, Troll)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151603)

Everyone with access to tagging beta please put the following tag on it

"slashvertisement"

I'm personally sick and tired of zonk's crap submissions, and slashvertising

everyone get the slashvertisement tag going and let's get Cowboy to allow us to filter articles off our front pages by tag.

Re:Everyone with access to tagging beta (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151683)

A +2 Troll? God bless Slashdot.

Re:Everyone with access to tagging beta (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151757)

The fact that Zonk didn't even mention the "infinite rotation [gamerz-edge.com] " issue/feature doesn't help.

Also (and I'd be saying this no matter what game is getting reviewed or who is reviewing it), I really hate this: "The sheer number of modes can be intimidating at first". There's something about phrases like this that grate my mind. I'm not the only one like that, right? Anyone?

But I'm looking forward to a DS Lite and Tetris DS.

Re:Everyone with access to tagging beta (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151907)

The infinite rotation only works in single (if i recall correctly). Once you're past lvl 10 or so, the pieces might as well just start on your highest brick in the middle, since they fall so fast. At the real high levels, i use infinite rotate to plan my next piece. Its not 100% pure tetris, but it is sure a helllll of a lot of fun.

Re:Everyone with access to tagging beta (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151982)

That rotation crap is now part of the official Tetris rulebook that all licensees have to follow. Nintendo's hands were tied. Tetris DS is still great, though. Even if the original mode is boring now, the new modes are great.

DS has revitalized my gaming (5, Interesting)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151609)

[Disclaimer: I'm a Nintendo whore]

However, recently i haven't been playing as many games as I used to. I actually own Metroid Prime Hunters, Tetris DS, and Brain Age comes out today and I'm going to go pick it up tonight.

The thing with the DS is variety. And by variety, I don't mean 10 different kinds of FPSes. These are truly DIFFERENT games. It's not just these titles, things like Nintedogs (as mentioned in the summary) and Kirby's Canvas Curse that has brought me back to my handheld. They keep managing to release games that are actually interesting. The last few months, I'd saying my gaming has been split like so: 95% DS, 5% PC (CS, FarCry)

(I cancelled my WoW subscription, not because I don't love it, quite the opposite. I love it too much :) )

Maybe I'm just getting old? Oh well. As long as I keep getting my variety of games, I'll be happy. Probably why I'm most excited about the Revolution, just like a lot of others seem to be. I can't wait.

The gaming industry might be in decline, but Nintendo is showing that it's more resilient than the gaming industry as a whole. (Past AND present!)

Re:DS has revitalized my gaming (4, Insightful)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151699)

The gaming industry might be in decline

It's not in decline at all, it's just not experienceing exponential growth like it has, but in the world of Wall Street if your growth isn't insane you may as well be dead. For example, Microsoft has never made money off of the XBox and Nintendo made a huge chunk of change off the Gamecube. Because Microsoft sold a few hundred thousand more than Nintendo, somehow Microsoft is a "winner" and Nintendo was the "loser". Voodoo Economics at their best.

Re:DS has revitalized my gaming (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151931)

...It's not in decline at all,...

I thought the march sales numbers were like 25% lower than year ago numbers? That's a decline isn't it? :)

Anyways, you're absolutely right about Nintendo actually making money vs. MS and Sony. The important thing about all these numbers is this:

March saw lower sales vs. a year ago. However, Nintendo posted profits WAY above what they expected. The shares have been soaring as of late.

That in a nutshell tells me that Nintendo is doing something right, and they're actually expanding the market the way the stock market likes companies to do. And they're rewarding Nintendo too. However, for some reason, the gaming sites et al seem to always peg Nintendo as "going downhill". I don't get it. There's only one conclusion I can come up with for this oddity. These gaming sites must all be paid (well .. maybe not all) by the likes of MS and/or Sony in some way so it's beneficial for them to bash Nintendo. We all know Nintendo doesn't spend as much on marketing as MS and Sony, so could it be that all the Nintendo bashing sites are just being paid to do so?

Re:DS has revitalized my gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151950)

World of Wall Street ? Is it made by Blizzard?

It's not Apples to Apples (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152203)

Because Microsoft sold a few hundred thousand more than Nintendo, somehow Microsoft is a "winner" and Nintendo was the "loser"

I don't know where you got the whole winner/loser ideal in terms of Nintendo and Microsoft, but from a business standpoint Microsoft is much bigger and more diversified. Microsoft might lose money in Xbox, but their incredible market share in software as a whole pegs them a lot higher than the "video game company" that Nintendo might get labeled as. Microsoft has more media exposure throughout business and Wall Street would never take a look solely at their Xbox operations and call it a loss, especially since now every 10 year old knows Microsoft's name, which might not have been true 10 or 15 years ago, while Nintendo has always had exposure to that market. While the two companies may compete head to head, Microsoft is a whole playing field above Nintendo when it comes to overall product lines.

Re:DS has revitalized my gaming (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152254)

Brain Age comes out today Have you checked your local EB? The already have used copies from all the ones that Nintendo has given away..

What I want to know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151657)

When the hell are they gonna make a cheat device (like a gameshark or something of the sort) that hacks the crap out of the DS games available?

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151791)

With the fracas over hidden stuff in San Andreas? Probably never.

The Mario people are probably as legendary for perversion as the disney people. Just think of all the crazy shit that's locked up in the Super Princess Peach rom.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

carbontetra (952283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152061)

I can only imagine. All I want is infinite life for castlevania because I'm absolutely terrible at it.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152120)

Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden are the only 2 games that ever drove me to hysterical, crying fits as a little kid. And I had game genie codes for infinite lives -- they weren't much help :(

Still, I hold actually beating the Grim Reaper as a tremendous feat. Like getting all the cheats in goldeneye and finishing Blaster Master.

Funny thing is (4, Interesting)

Rowan_u (859287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151694)

Funny thing is, I got almost the exact opposite multiplayer impression from my time spent reviewing Metroid Prime: Hunters on the DS. It's really nothing like Quake 3 or Unreal at all. The difference? amount of health. It takes a lot of whittling to bring down a fully charged bounty hunter in this game. Also, the weapon affinities and alternate forms add layer upon layer to the strategy of your typical deathmatch. Check out my multiplayer play rating at The Game Chair for the full story. [thegamechair.com]

DS Lite (1)

The Joe Kewl (532609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151713)

I've been thinking about getting a new portable game system, and with more games like this (and Mario Kart DS), I am getting more impatient. I really don't want the old style DS system though. When do we get the new DS Lite over here in the States? C'mon big N hurry it up already!

Import, dur... (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151968)

Ever been to play-asia? lik-sang?

Re:DS Lite (2, Informative)

raquor (947783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152003)

It's supposed to be coming early to mid May. I believe I've heard May 12th, but don't quote me on that.

Brain of a 20-year-old?? (2, Insightful)

Horatio_Hellpop (926706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151772)

I hope not. My brain was foolish when it was 20. At 80, I hope it's *much* wiser.

Gaming Mothers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151779)

I love all the references to mothers playing Tetris. I often forget how much of a gamer my mom is.

She used to spend hours playing Bubble Bobble on the C64, and then when that died/became inconvenient, she played Tetris on GB non-stop.

Right now, she plays bookworm, freecell, spider solitaire, sudoku (on websudoku.com), and many more.

Plus, when there's any possility that I have time, she pesters me to play any number of card games - mainly Cribbage, and Skip-Bo.

She plays more video/computer games than me!

Just Got Mine (4, Interesting)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151781)

I just bought a DS this past weekend along with Castlevania and Advance Wars. I also wandered into a Best Buy and played a bunch of the free demos from their download center and have tried a few of my friend's games. I must say that so far, this is shaping up to be the best console purchase I've made, especially for the $200 total I spent on it with two games and a couple accessories :)

Gaming v. Masturbating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151817)

One is pleasurable and the other makes you blind.

Re:Gaming v. Masturbating (1)

apathyruiner (222745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152171)

Considering the general quality of recent games, I'd say your vision would clear if you sat further away from the TV.

Of course it sounded like a tag line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151844)

They were planning to appeal to hardcore gamers, folks who used to play games, and folks who have never played a game in their lives. At the time, it sounded like a tag line.


It used to be a tag line! "Grownups, kids, and even your older sister." was an NoJ slogan [fobby.net] for some time.

Hunters is overrated, bad idea (0)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151847)

Metroid's wacky stick-based controls hurt my hands. A lot. I can't see how anyone can deal with the default settings for more than 20 minutes. Then I realized I'm playing a FPS on a handheld when I bought the handheld to get away from the typical Sony/Xbox grind. If anything, Metriod Hunters is a seriously wrong move for this device. Its another 'me too' title with a control gimmick. Its like the developers were sitting around scratching their heads on how to use the touch screen and picked the worst control scheme imaginable. Is there some law that requires all DS games to use the touchscreen? Just because its there doesn't mean you have to use it, especially if you don't have good reason to. Imagine steering Mario Kart with the stick because Nintendo had to promote the touchscreen. Yeah its that bad.

I can't wait to sell it and buy something unique like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. When I want FPS I've got BF2 on the PC. Thanks but no thanks Nintendo.

Re:Hunters is overrated, bad idea (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151927)

Don't use the stylus - that's what the thumb button on the wrist strap is for.

Re:Hunters is overrated, bad idea (2, Interesting)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152047)

Its like the developers were sitting around scratching their heads on how to use the touch screen and picked the worst control scheme imaginable. Is there some law that requires all DS games to use the touchscreen? Just because its there doesn't mean you have to use it, especially if you don't have good reason to.

I don't know - the thing about using the touchscreen for aiming in Metroid is that it gives you a level of control on par with mouse-look on a PC FPS. That's not something you can attain with a normal console controller - certainly not a D-pad, but not even an analog thumbstick will reliably give you that level of control.

I think that is a damn good reason to use the touchscreen. If you don't want to use the touchscreen - I believe there is an option for that, too.

The only time touchscreen control has really bugged me is in Mario 64. The game was made for analog controls, so there are places where not using the touchscreen is a major handicap. But using the touchscreen is awkward because of the way they set it up - the "center" position of the control is not stable, but rather follows your stylus around the screen.

But, yes, there is a law that requires DS games to use either the touchscreen or the microphone for something. An inordinate number of DS games include play challenges which in some way involve blowing on something, scratching something, or operating a slingshot. :)

Re:Hunters is overrated, bad idea (1)

raquor (947783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152053)

Imagine steering Mario Kart with the stick because Nintendo had to promote the touchscreen. Yeah its that bad.
What does that mean? Mario Kart isnt controlled using the stylus. And IMHO Metroid on DS does a fantastic job of displaying the prowess of the system especially with it only being a year old (the system). If you don't like the stylus control you dont have to use it either...that's what options are for. They provide a great selection of control options but the best is the stylus option which is a great compromise between the size and limitations of a handheld and the needs of an FPS.

Re:Hunters is overrated, bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15152070)

Get this stylus instead

http://gear.ign.com/articles/701/701023p1.html [ign.com]

Re:Hunters is overrated, bad idea (1)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152266)

Metroid's wacky stick-based controls hurt my hands. A lot. I can't see how anyone can deal with the default settings for more than 20 minutes. Then I realized I'm playing a FPS on a handheld when I bought the handheld to get away from the typical Sony/Xbox grind. If anything, Metriod Hunters is a seriously wrong move for this device. Its another 'me too' title with a control gimmick.

It took a lot of getting used to for me. Basically, I have to put the DS between my middle and ring fingers on my right hand. then hold the stylus with the 3 fingers on top. This exact position makes it very playable for me. I'm used to it now. Also, I haven't played a FPS in a long time because I hate console controls for them. It's a compromise because it's the DS. But in this case, I think they did a good job. I set the difficulty to easy which had made it very enjoyable to play. Comparing the interface to something like wolfenstein for the SP, or even any of the FPS games on the xbox, I think hunters has a better interface and is easier to play.

Tetris DS online... love it (3, Interesting)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151866)

When I first got Tetris DS, I bought it on somewhat of a whim... I knew there wasn't really anything too special about it, it was still the original tetris... just made a little prettier.

But once I played it, first I was amazed by the controls. The speed of playing just couldn't happen the same way on the original game boy... the feel of the d-pad and buttons just feels right.

And once online gameplay was put into the equation, I was blown away. I've totally fallen in love with Tetris again, and I hadn't played it at all in probably 15 years. I forgot how simple, yet addictive, a game it is. I never realized how great multiplayer Tetris could be.

600 wins online later, I realize it's the best 34.99 I've spent in years...

Obligatory link to other review (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151869)

Chicago Tribune review located here [chicagotribune.com] , registration semi-required, etc. etc. Reviewer's email address is at the bottom of the article, DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

----

Nintendo plays with YOUR MIND
`Brain Age' is for gamers who aren't all thumbs

Playing "Brain Age" is like taking the SAT all day long. If that sounds like your kind of fun, you'll love this new game for the Nintendo DS.

You'll solve more than 100 logic and memorization problems. Writing your answers on the DS' touch screen and speaking into the game system's microphone, you'll memorize words on a screen and try to recall as many of them as you can. You'll quickly count to 120. You'll solve match questions. And ultimately, the game will calculate how old your brain is, based on research by the Japanese professor whose book, "Brain Age," is a sensation in Japan and spurred Nintendo to create this video game in only 90 days. Nintendo plans to release another brain game, "Big Brain Academy," next month.

Uniquely, you play the game by turning the DS sideways and holding it like a book. "Brain Age" is meant to be played small chunks over a long period, up to one year. The more challenges you solve, the more challenges you unlock and the younger your brain age becomes. Age 20 is the goal. While I don't feel smarter than I did three weeks ago when I began playing the game, my brain age has become younger. That's because, according to research behind the book and the game, working on the problems stimulates blood flow to my prefrontal cortex.

My brain's age? I'm not telling; my brain is young enough to know better.

----------

egwinn@tribune.com

I don't think grandma likes (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151888)

The screens are too small for her aged eyes to stay focused on. I have a DS and enjoy it very much, but Nintendos business ethics are really aggrivating their core gamers with features like wi-fi and the ability to communicate, but only in the lobbies and only to friends. They say they do this so new gamers don't have to be discouraged by all the smack talk that goes on during game play. In all honesty I doubt those players will be using the online play as much as the hardcore players will. Nintendo needs to stop thinking that I'm still 8 years old. I grew up, so grow with me and build games or build your games to meet my needs not the needs of someone who will buy a DS and then maybe a game or two.

Re:I don't think grandma likes (1)

raquor (947783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152119)

I'd say your totally off base here. Nintendo's price point is practically designed for kids. The appeal of their games also reaches out to those of us that grew up with Nintendo's and Sega's (I myself despised Sega...I was a Nintendo Kid).

They provide a high quality online experience and isolate the BS that parents dont want to have to censor. Personally I like the way Nintendo's running their business. They remain the only grounded intelligent forward looking Video Game company IMHO.

Don't get me wrong, I have a PS2 and PSP as well as my DS and GC. I just think that Sony and MS are too focused on tech specs and not on the games and gameplay. I believe Nintendo actually makes some profit on their hardware as well which means that if the market were to "crash" again Nintendo would likely still be around providing great games at a reasonable price.

Now if they'd just get some third party software makers to create some great games that ARE directed at the older generations that grew up with Nintendo since they do seem to create a lot of 1st and 2nd party games for kiddies. Mario and Zelda are GREAT games but I like a bit more Mature rated content as well...GTA is one of my favs!

Wishlist: Games I'm looking forward to play in DS (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151932)

Some games I'd love to play in DS:

A Quake Port

We had Doom and Doom II for GBA, it's time to bring Quake or even Quake II to the DS.
After the success of Metroid Hunters can you imagine Quake on the go? that would kick ass!

A Blizzard RTS port

Warcraft II or, if possible, Starcraft would be awesome to make full use of the systems integrated Touchscreen and Wifi

Left Handed? (1)

afterthoughtCA (969250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152103)

I'm seriously considering buying one of these, but I tried out metroid at the local targét last night, and found it kind of awkward due to my being left handed. Has any one else found this to be an issue. Holding the stylus with my right hand and manipulating the dpad just seemed odd...

Re:Left Handed? (1)

raquor (947783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152137)

The options offer the ability to swap the controls. It would be a bit odd I imagine to use the buttons on the right as a "D-pad" but the option is there. I'd say give it another shot!

Re:Left Handed? (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152178)

The game has an option to use the abxy buttons instead of the dpad and put the stylus in the left hand...problem solved.

What I want to see (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152124)

1. DS Lite. Not gonna buy the current DS, the screen is bad.

2. Adventures and RPGs. Many of them.

3. Personal organizer software.

Re: Grandmother's? (2, Funny)

raquor (947783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152169)

I'm 25 and I love my DS as does my wife. Haven't broke down and picked one up for her yet...might after the Lite comes out...sort of a hand me down ya know ;)

Can you turn off the speaking bits for Brain Age? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152173)

If i'm playing the game in public somewhere i don't want to have a voice recognition task pop up in the middle of a sequence. Playing video games on my DS in public is fine, but i don't want to be like those guys on the blue tooth cellphone headsets wandering down the street talking loudly to themselves.

How about a PDF reader? (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152206)

Maybe .doc as well. That way it could capture a slice of the ebook market.

This is probably a shameless plug (2, Informative)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152280)

I will go ahead and do it though. If you have a Nintendo DS (or are just interested in them) and using the WiFi Service (WFC) I would like to invite you to check out WiTendoFi.com [witendofi.com] . We are a social website dedicated to helping you find people to play against and share information in unique ways.

Here are a few things we have to offer:
  • WiFi Cards to quickly share your info
  • Metroid Prime Hunters Stat tracking/comparisions
  • Animal Crossing Turnip Watch
  • Tournaments for multiple games
  • Full Message Boards
  • IRC Chat
  • Custom sigs for other forums to show your "stuff"
  • It is free, free, free
So, I hope this plug wasn't too shameless, but it seemed relevent to the topic at hand.
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