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Mistwalker Announces Two RPGs for the DS

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-form-gaming-on-the-go dept.

Role Playing (Games) 68

Mistwalker studios, the studio headed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, has announced they are hard at work on two RPGs for the Nintendo DS. One is a portable version of their just-released-for-360 title Blue Dragon, while a second title called AWAY: Tsuresarareta Hitobito has few details attached at this point. "Little is known about the title outside of the fact that it's being developed by Artoon. They are notable for having Naoto Oshima--character designer for Sonic and Dr. Robotnik--on board. The only hint about the game is the subtitle, 'Tsuresarareta Hitobito,' which means 'kidnapped people'--strange considering the release date of January 31, 2008 is quickly approaching." Great news for RPG-loving DS owners, who can add these titles to the stack with Dragon Quest IX . It's also an interesting example of a primarily Microsoft studio creating content for a Nintendo console, which coincides with rumours of Viva Pinata for the Wii currently in the works.

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I'm surprised... (1)

spocksbrain (1097145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826799)

With the success of the DS in Japan and 50 million units distibuted worldwide... why isn't there an MMORPG for the DS out yet? Integrated wifi and stylus control makes the system ripe for this genre of game!

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827097)

Nintendo has traditionally stifled the idea mass-communication on their systems. Thus the friend codes on both the DS and the Wii. This probably keeps maintaining game network costs to a minimum as well. So building/maintaining even a simple MMO infrastructure is more than likely out of the question, as Nintendo seems rooted in not having subscriptions to play online.

Though if it ever changes, I think it'll work out pretty well. Not really sure what kind of MMO Nintendo might create (with Mario, Link, and all the other mascots), but I know the 3rd parties could come up with something.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827967)

Nintendo has traditionally stifled the idea mass-communication on their systems.
However, they are innovators...perhaps if there were no other MMOs in existence, we would see Nintendo release one...
Well, I guess that leaves me with only one option. Down with MMO's! Who's with me?

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828115)

The friend code system is copied from Toontown, Disney's E-rated MMOG. The purpose of friend codes is to allow online game play in E and E10+ games. While the ESRB doesn't explicitly forbid online text and voice chat in E and E10+ games (at least based on their website), it seems to be an implicit rule. After all, most fantasy MMOs would qualify for E10+ (fantasy violence with little or no blood), but they're all rated T. This is because if a game rated E or E10+ were released that allowed players to communicate with strangers, there would be a huge fuss about it being a tool for pedophiles. By only allowing players to communicate with people they've contacted through a different medium, Nintendo can avoid this kind of scandal.

Nintendo has also used the friend code system for Metroid Prime Hunters which is rated T, but in that game you can mark someone as a rival after a random match and play them again if they mark you as a rival as well. Still, rivals can't use the voice chat feature. It seems unlikely that M rated games will be required to use friend codes, but I guess it is possible that Nintendo may foist it upon them anyway. Nintendo is probably providing some middleware for the friend code system and third parties may end up just using it rather than putting together their own matchmaking and friends list features.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828343)

I might be wrong here, but from what I remember reading forever ago, there is nothing stopping a 3rd party from implementing their own network for the DS. They would have to foot the bill for all the hardware and bandwidth though, which might be enough of a deterrent.

Not only that, but if there is one thing that all MMOs have in common, it's patches. Patches to add content, patches to fix exploits, or just balance changes. It's the method that they use to help ensure people keep paying for a subscription. A patching system would take a pretty novel approach to do this, and I doubt Nintendo would allow it because it would pretty much allow people to run potentially unsigned code on a signed card, once they figure out how to update it. OR, it's entirely all server-side, which has its own problems.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834561)

Nintendo has traditionally stifled the idea mass-communication on their systems
Nintendo never stifled the idea of mass-communicating, only YOUR idea of mass-communication, which doesn't work with a larger demographic like the one Nintendo always targeted.

Thus the friend codes on both the DS and the Wii
Only people that never used any of Nintendo online services would say such a nonsense. There are several high profile Nintendo games that don't require any friends code at all to play against others. Only when some kind of communication is required, they require friends code.

This probably keeps maintaining game network costs to a minimum as well. So building/maintaining even a simple MMO infrastructure is more than likely out of the question, as Nintendo seems rooted in not having subscriptions to play online
That's wrong of course. Nintendo doesn't make a MMO because they don't know how to do those kind of games, plain and simple. These games are western audience oriented, and western developers are the most proficient in it, with the exception of Korea. The better question would be why no western 3rd party did a MMORPG for the DS? The answer is that like on most Nintendo handheld, western devs made lackluster support for it.
The support from the western devs for the DS is so poor that it's pathetic. Look at all the big hits past and to come on the DS: most come from eastern devs.
I actually can't even cite one big hit from western devs for the DS. I'm not even sure the Sims is one.

Anyway, that's one of the few genre Nintendo doesn't have in its portfolio, but they are working on it, courting some korean company for one or two MMORPG games. They will be eastern oriented though, nothing like you're used to, except if you enjoyed Ragnarok Online or that 2D one from Korea.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836165)

The traditional meaning of communicate is "exchanging thoughts, ideas, and feelings by speaking or writing". So, my idea of communication is pretty spot on. With the friend code lock in, you can't really even say 'Good game' to random people. Unless I've missed something. And I'm a huge fan of Strikers: Charged. The random match-ups are a blast, but as with any random match up, sometimes you get a lame match were the other guy seems to be on a break, and nothing happens. Oh well. I own a Wii and a DS and they get more play time individually than my 360 or PS2.


Now, as to your claims that Nintendo doesn't know how to make an MMO? That's a rather moot point. Just because they haven't done something doesn't mean they can't. Nintendo has a long history of inventing or reinventing genres. If they wanted to, they certainly have the people and the power to make something amazing. If not, they know who to talk to, and could get the ball rolling mighty quick.

It's okay to be a fanboy, it really is. But you needent be a dick about it. Work on you dictionary.com skills and look up words before you start trolling. Try words like communicate [reference.com] , opinion [reference.com] , and theory [reference.com] . That last one is a good one. See, it means that if I say "probably..." that I'm making a conjecture as to why Nintendo is acting in a way that I do not understand. Combine that with 'opinion'. See what I'm getting at? Constructive criticism is usually welcome around here. And if you can say, "The reason Nintendo hasn't done an MMO is explained in this interview [insert link].." Then I'm more then happy to receive your comment.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840941)

So, my idea of communication is pretty spot on
Compared to your broad definition it is, but reality is different from utopia, and Nintendo has to deal with reality. The only demographic annoyed by their online friend's code, is the hardcore one coming from PC, which for the most part don't even want or own a DS and a Wii (that's my opinion, not a fact), but love to bitch about their online.

With the friend code lock in, you can't really even say 'Good game' to random people. Unless I've missed something.
You missed that you can. The friend's code is there especially for that: make sure that both parties actually want to be friends, before allowing higher relationship.

Now, as to your claims that Nintendo doesn't know how to make an MMO? That's a rather moot point. Just because they haven't done something doesn't mean they can't. Nintendo has a long history of inventing or reinventing genres.
Perhaps, but there are some type of games which are very western centric, that they don't know how to do. It's not a moot point at all, it's the plain truth.
FPS like games are not something that appeal to eastern devs, and Nintendo doesn't know how to make good ones. That's why they had a western studio to make games like Metroid Prime.
I think giving Mario Strikers to a western studio was a mistake, but that's my opinion.
I have tastes more in line with japanese ones, and I don't like Mario Strikers at all.

If they wanted to, they certainly have the people and the power to make something amazing. If not, they know who to talk to, and could get the ball rolling mighty quick.
Yes, like I said, they would hire a western or a korean studio, which is just what they did, or try to do...

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834727)

I don't think an MMORPG per se would be an issue. The problem is that Nintendo would only allow communication (as in "typing stuff") between people who have exchanged friend codes. For all other players, interaction would be anonymous (see Super Smash Bros Wii).

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827479)

Maple Story and Ragnarok Online have iterations forthcoming on DS. I'm not sure if these will forego the MMO format for a Multiverse or stick with traditional multiplay, but I do know they have been talked about.

Re:I'm surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20827795)

So then, the question becomes: when will the DS get any MMORPGs that don't suck?

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828369)

Maple Story and Ragnarok Online have iterations forthcoming on DS. I'm not sure if these will forego the MMO format for a Multiverse or stick with traditional multiplay, but I do know they have been talked about.

I have many fond memories of Ragnarök online. It was a mostly empty game world but it had interesting game play. Like secret of mana with more character types. I hope the Ds iteration will preserve that game play but maybe populate the world more. I could take or leave the MMO component. Having a offline version would rock.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834581)

Why are you talking of Ragnarok Online in the past?
It is not empty at all anymore, and is still being enhanced and developed.
They just added another area recently. If you say it was empty, I guess you played the beta only.
It sure enough is not empty now.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837199)


It was a long time ago that I played. Not beta but early in it's offering. I didn't find that there was too much making me stay so I left.

Re:I'm surprised... (2, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827999)

Because it's the DS. Nintendo is a Japanese word meaning "wasted potential". Consider that, with a pointing device, internet support, and a seperate screen per player, the DS is ideal for almost every smash PC hit for the past decade or so. It's why I bought one - I saw Metroid Hunters demo and thought "PC gaming on handheld!".

But instead, we get more micro-game collections, and confused platformers bewildered how to handle a stylus.

I want Civ. I want Starcraft. Diablo. Master of Magic. Battlefield. X-Com. Populous. Battlezone.

Instead we get toys.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828135)

I want Civ. I want Starcraft. Diablo. Master of Magic. Battlefield. X-Com. Populous. Battlezone.
To be fair, there are a fair number of games that would formerly have been considered PC-centric that have made the jump to the DS. A fair number of point-and-click adventure games, for one. And SimCity, as well. There's a Civ game in the works for next year, as well.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

UuCon (4853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829605)

don't forget Anno 1701 and Tank Beat. the sequel to Tank Beat is also in the works as well as a Populous game.

X-Com, yes I want that one.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836099)

I hope it's like Populous 2 instead of like that awful 3D Populous a few years back.

There's Age of Empires III, too, isn't there? Some RTS like that, IIRC.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

UuCon (4853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869913)

they turned it into a crappy turned-based game.

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834637)

Nintendo is a Japanese word meaning "wasted potential"
Nope! Or was it a joke? My joke detector is broken then.

Consider that, with a pointing device, internet support, and a seperate screen per player, the DS is ideal for almost every smash PC hit for the past decade or so. It's why I bought one - I saw Metroid Hunters demo and thought "PC gaming on handheld!".
Seems like the western developers still didn't understood that.

But instead, we get more micro-game collections, and confused platformers bewildered how to handle a stylus.
We get much more than that actually.

I want Civ. I want Starcraft. Diablo. Master of Magic. Battlefield. X-Com. Populous. Battlezone.
Your small list is a perfect example of what happens: western devs have very BAD support for the DS. The DS is mainly supported by japanese games.
Isn't that amazing? Most of the hits on the DS are eastern devs games, the western devs still don't support this handheld console properly.
They support the PSP way more, which is dragging them down, but I won't complain, that's their fault.
It seems like western devs are unable to develop for a console which isn't a powerhouse.
This is why Japan is still the most relevant market for videogames.
Imagine that the DS sold more than twice the number of the more powerful PSP thanks to eastern devs only. Amazing!

PC games ARE on the DS (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834747)

Lots of PC games are on the DS. Anno 1701, Theme Park or Age of Empires (also by Microsoft) are examples.

It's worse than that (1)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867369)

When we actually do get "PC games" on the DS, we get "Japanese style RPG's", which feature children weilding oversized weapons. Blue Dragon was just unplayable for this reason. The other alternative we seem to get from Japan are RPG's featuring salon-styled pretty boys.

The DS is *made* for diablo, starcraft, etc. Where are they???

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836043)

My brilliant MMO idea is Pokemon. Make an online Pokemon game for the DS and Wii, and a Java-based client for computers. Everyone plays on the same servers, and your platform is entire irrelevant. Allow offline play and local area play (you lose the Internet players, and anything that needs to be on the servers, but you can still move around the area, interact with NPCs, battle random monsters, etc.).

This would sell a billion copies.

Um...OK? (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827979)

Let me start by saying if anyone ports good RPGs to the DS, I will buy them. I love RPGs and I love my DS. (I am a non-philandering geek who does business travel. Enough said.)

So: call me crazy, but didn't Blue Dragon get rated rather poorly for the 360? What is the business case for them porting a mediocre-selling title?

Re:Um...OK? (1)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829241)

I'll have to check the US reviews but Famitsu gave Blue Dragon a 37/40. That's a 9, 9, 9 & 10 by 4 different reviewers. Pretty damn good.

Re:Um...OK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829337)

After checking around.. IGN gave the game a 7.9 and it averaged 7.5 out of 26 reviews.

So it got decent but not great reviews. Good enough for me. I'll take an above average quality RPG for the DS any time.

Besides what do you have against mediocre games being ported? It happens all the time. You act like it's a crime.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836465)

It got great reviews everywhere for the 360, yes. But the DS will be a different experience altogether. I played the 360 demo and hated every second of it. But that's just me. I love RPGs but this one didn't even come close to enjoyable. I guess I must not enjoy the JRPGs? I can't wait for the new one [wikipedia.org] . It comes out on November 11th! Just nine days before Mass Effect [wikipedia.org] ! What is a guy to do?

Re:Um...OK? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830547)

Let me start by saying if anyone ports good RPGs to the DS, I will buy them.
Contact? The first six Final Fantasy games? Pokemon? Mario & Luigi (though quite a few people prefer the GBA version)? What about half-sim half-RPGs such as Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, LostMagic, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Harvest Moon? Do those all suck?

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831103)

Contact? The first six Final Fantasy games? Pokemon? Mario & Luigi (though quite a few people prefer the GBA version)? What about half-sim half-RPGs such as Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, LostMagic, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Harvest Moon? Do those all suck?
A rather significant portion of those aren't DS games. All of the Final Fantasy remakes except Final Fantasy III, several iterations of Pokemon games, the first Mario & Luigi, the Fire Emblem games, Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Harvest Moon are all Game Boy Advance games.

Yes, they work on the DS courtesy of backwards compatibility. But when one of the dozens of different versions of the GBA can be had for significantly less money than a DS or DS Lite, that's a relatively minor point in the DS's favor. The fact that the PS3 plays almost all of the hundreds of PS2 and PS1 games doesn't address the basic lack of decent games that can be played exclusively on the PS3. The same thing applies here. There are a lot of really good RPGs for the GBA. There are a couple for the DS, don't get me wrong, but the selection is much more limited in comparison.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832417)

There's a DS version of Advance Wars called Dual Strike, and it kicks ass with the old ones. There's also a sequel coming with the promise of online play (or is that just wishful thinking?). I agree though, there aren't enough really great RPGs on DS. But there are quite a few pretty descent ones.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834787)

There are a lot of really good RPGs for the GBA. There are a couple for the DS, don't get me wrong, but the selection is much more limited in comparison.
WHAT?!
I may not like all of them, you may not like all of them, but even discounting the numerous huge RPG that are coming to the DS, and only counting those already out, there are far more than a couple of them. Of course, not all of them are released outside of Japan yet (I've tried to put them on end of the list). That's because the devs support for the DS comes mainly from eastern devs.
And I won't even count Action/RPG, which I do not consider as RPG.

Let's go into list wars:

Narnia
Children of Mana
Heroes of Mana
Lunar Dragon Song
Lunar Knights
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Pokemon Diamond/Perl (how could you even forget these ones?! Even if you don't like them like me)
Rune Factory
Magical Starsign
FF III
FF XII Revenant Wings

Naruto: Saikyou Ninja Daikesshu 3
Naruto RPG 2: Chidori VS Rasengan
Naruto RPG 3: Reijuu VS Konoha Shoutai
Tales of the Tempest
Iron Feather
Xenosaga I & II
FFCC Ring of Fates

I would not call such a list, "a couple" RPG.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836949)

The key phrase was "in comparison." Compared to the GBA, there are considerably fewer RPGs for the DS. Plus, if you're counting the Mana games, you're not really excluding action/RPGs. :-)

More to the point, there are a fewer great RPGs for the DS. Yeah, this is subjective, but few of the games you've listed have gotten the kind of positive critical reviews of games like Golden Sun, Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, to say nothing of the Final Fantasy remakes. The Lunar DS, Narnia, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were pretty roundly trashed, and Magical Starsign got rather mediocre scores. Even Final Fantasy III, which did better than any of the above, seems to rank below the GBA FF remakes.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841235)

The key phrase was "in comparison." Compared to the GBA, there are considerably fewer RPGs for the DS. Plus, if you're counting the Mana games, you're not really excluding action/RPGs. :-)
So you're comparing the library of a not yet 3 years old console with one which is more like 6+?
Is that a joke?
The mana games I'm counting are not action/RPG. One is tactical RPG, and the other have several elements of traditional RPG. These are not the old mana games. These I didn't include.

More to the point, there are a fewer great RPGs for the DS. Yeah, this is subjective, but few of the games you've listed have gotten the kind of positive critical reviews of games like Golden Sun, Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, to say nothing of the Final Fantasy remakes.
Which is why I specifically said that you may not like them, but they are still RPG.
I see you are in the "game X don't count because ..." clan.
Sorry, but actually, the DS already has more critically acclaimed games, like the Pokemon RPG and FF III remake. The sheer number of the ones to come next year will finish to settle this matter, DQ IX and all.

The Lunar DS, Narnia, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were pretty roundly trashed, and Magical Starsign got rather mediocre scores. Even Final Fantasy III, which did better than any of the above, seems to rank below the GBA FF remakes
It's even worse now: they don't count because their rank is lower? What nonsense is that?
And you got to be kidding, as FF III destroyed the sales of any of the GBA ones. It's a million seller in Japan alone!

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841855)

So you're comparing the library of a not yet 3 years old console with one which is more like 6+?
Golden Sun came out in 2001, the same year as the GBA. Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis in 2002. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in 2003. Most of the highly regarded GBA RPGs came out fairly early in the system's life cycle. There's no reason that the DS, which is rapidly approaching its third anniversary, shouldn't be able to boast an equally impressive library. And yet, it really doesn't.

Which is why I specifically said that you may not like them, but they are still RPG.
Which is why it's entirely irrelevant to the issue I was discussing.

The issue was the number of "really good" RPGs for the system. Yes, this is a subjective judgment, which I've admittedly repeatedly now, but it is at least a judgment that I can corroborate with critics' reviews. Not only is the total number of RPGs for the DS less than the total number of RPGs for the GBA at an equivalent point in the system's lifespan, but those RPGs have generally been received much more harshly by critics. And yes, if I want well-prepared prime rib, McDonald's hamburgers do not count.

This is emphatically not an issue of sales. Nor is it an issue of personal preference. It's not an absolutist argument, either: I'm not claiming that the DS doesn't have any RPGs, or even that it doesn't have any good RPGs. The only claim I have ever made is that it falls short in quantity (objectively speaking) and quality (in my opinion, and in overall critical opinion) to the system that preceded it.

An average critical score of 65/100 (from Metacritic, for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) does not stack up favorably to an average critical score of 91/100 (again from Metacritic, for Golden Sun). A score of 59/100 (for Lunar Dragon Song) pales before a score of 88/100 (for Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis). 69/100 (for Magical Starsign) does not impress when placed next to Fire Emblem's 88/100.

Of the American-released games you listed, only four were reviewed above 80/100: Rune Factory, squeaking in at 80, Lunar Knights at 82, and the Pokemon Diamond / Pearl combo at 85 each. I'm not diminishing this. Particularly the Pokemon games, which scored higher than any of the GBA iterations. But, all-in-all, it's still not a greatly impressive track record, considering.

And you got to be kidding, as FF III destroyed the sales of any of the GBA ones. It's a million seller in Japan alone!
Again, sales are a fairly poor indicator of quality. The average reviews (which have problems of their own, don't get me wrong, but at least directly address the question in a way that sales figures do not) put Final Fantasy III, at 77/100 below even the poorest reviewed of the GBA remakes (which was Dawn of Souls at 79/100). It sold well, sure, but doesn't appear to have been received all that well by gamers.

Even if the DS did have twice the number of RPGs as were ever available for the GBA, it doesn't mean much if people don't actually like them. If you do enjoy them, more power to you, but it's not like this claim is new, and the numbers more or less support it.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20842221)

OK, so it's entirely subjective, right. I can't argue against that then.

But then came this:

It sold well, sure, but doesn't appear to have been received all that well by gamers
Which is nonsense of course. If it sold well, that's because it has been well received by gamers.
Reviews are no indication of how well a title has been received by gamers.
If you want to talk popularity of RPG between GBA and DS, like I said, you can refuting it now is a matter of opinion, but after this huge DS RPG winter and after DQ IX is released, there just won't be any wondering as to which of the DS or the GBA had more of the good RPG.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844569)

Which is nonsense of course. If it sold well, that's because it has been well received by gamers.
Not so much. It's an indirect indicator, at best. It's actually a much better indicator of how well a game has been advertised. Word-of-mouth advertising is a big part of advertising, and that is pretty closely tied to how well a game is received, but there are too many other factors to draw a direct relation between how many people bought a game and how many people actually enjoyed a game.

Reviews are no indication of how well a title has been received by gamers.
Again, not so much. They're very far from perfect, of course, but at least they are directly concerned with the actual quality of the game in a way that raw sales figures are not. And, in any case, though the scores I cited were averaged from professional reviews, the fan/player ratings are pretty much all within a few points of the other, which suggests that they're at least roughly accurate.

If you want to talk popularity of RPG between GBA and DS, like I said, you can refuting it now is a matter of opinion, but after this huge DS RPG winter and after DQ IX is released, there just won't be any wondering as to which of the DS or the GBA had more of the good RPG.
Ah, well, I prefer to rely on what actually exists now, as opposed to what may or may not come to pass in the future. And even if the DS benefits from an onslaught of truly excellent RPGs from now until the system's retirement, it still suffers from the fact that it took considerably longer to reach that point than the GBA.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20848049)

the fan/player ratings are pretty much all within a few points of the other, which suggests that they're at least roughly accurate
No, that's not true at all. That supposes that most buyers go to Internet review sites and rate the games they bought. That's just not true at all, especially for the DS, which has lots of casual gamers that don't even know what these sites.
There are countless examples of a huge difference between the score these sites give to games, and their popularity. The DS training or mini games are the perfect examples of that.

it still suffers from the fact that it took considerably longer to reach that point than the GBA
Which can be explained by the fact that the DS dominates in game sales far more than the GBA, with a far more diverse library, meaning fiercer competition and allowing the RPG devs to make new genres.
Like Capcom remaking their Gyakuten Saiban games for the DS, which had far more success on the DS than on the GBA.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20861523)

That supposes that most buyers go to Internet review sites and rate the games they bought. That's just not true at all, especially for the DS, which has lots of casual gamers that don't even know what these sites.
Which is why it's only roughly accurate. But it's also the only even vaguely reliable metric we have, short of going on and individually surveying everyone who bought a particular game. I'm really not trying to be tyrannical on this point, and I'm not even really arguing your point. But, again, such reviews at least directly speak to the quality issue where most other methods of measuring popularity (like sales figures) do not, and we can at least make a meaningful comparison within that limited framework. Which is at least better than the hoary old "silent majority" argument.

Which can be explained by the fact that the DS dominates in game sales far more than the GBA, with a far more diverse library, meaning fiercer competition and allowing the RPG devs to make new genres.
Wait... what? I'm not sure how this logically follows in the first place, and I also fail to see how, even if it does, it has any relevance. The issue was the quantity and quality of RPGs for the DS compared to the GBA. That there are a higher percentage of training games and minigame collections for the DS than the GBA may be true, but it's also a complete non-sequitur. If I want to play an RPG, Wario Ware isn't going to appeal to me. A diverse library is certainly not a bad thing in the larger picture, but, again, if I want a prime rib, the world's most delicious selection of hamburgers isn't going suit me.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837817)

FFXII Revenant Wings, Xenosaga I&II, Iron Feather, and FFCC haven't been released yet. I'm not going to punch the rest of your list into IGN, but I imagine it would be a lot shorter if you did. Besides, a number of those games suck. It would be trivial to make a list of excellent GBA RPGs longer than that. The original statement "There are a lot of really good RPGs for the GBA. There are a couple for the DS, don't get me wrong, but the selection is much more limited in comparison." is quite accurate. Hopefully the DS will get a comparable library as it ages.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841455)

You're wrong of course, all of these games I cited have been released. Read again what I wrote, the clearly separated end of the list are the games released in Japan only for now.
And again, you may not like these games, but they are still RPG that some people may like.
Comparing a 6+ years old console library to a less than 3 years one is stupid anyway, especially when one is from a previous generation, and this stupid argument which already doesn't hold (because of various Pokemon, FF III, Tales of, FFXII, etc.), won't hold at all in 2008, when the rest of the blockbuster RPG are out.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20842725)

You're wrong of course, all of these games I cited have been released.
Since we're talking in English, I'm thinking of games released in English.

Read again what I wrote, the clearly separated end of the list are the games released in Japan only for now.
No, you had games in both sections that are not released in America yet.

Comparing a 6+ years old console library to a less than 3 years one is stupid anyway
It is when you're debating between getting a used gameboy for $60 or a DS for $130. Anyways, the DS library hasn't been growing nearly as fast as the GBA's did. Let's compare GBA games released in the first 3 years to the first 3 years of the DS. Only counting good (because I'm not listing every one) GBA RPGs released through 2004 (using IGN), we have:
  • Golden Sun
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age
  • Pokemon Ruby
  • Pokemon Sapphire
  • Pokemon FireRed
  • Pokemon LeafGreen
  • Breath of Fire
  • Breath of Fire 2
  • Mario & Luigi: SuperStar Saga
  • Fire Emblem
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Phantasy Star Collection
  • Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls
  • Harvest Moon
  • Shining Soul
  • Shining Soul 2
  • Sword of Mana
  • Kingdom Hearts


Your list has 10 games that are already released, my list has 18. Neither list is complete, of course, but the DS has been building its RPG library slower than the GBA did.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20847989)

Listwars ...
Your list separates the different versions of Pokemon while mine doesn't, which is on purpose I'm sure.
Besides, I didn't count any Harvest Moon, because if I had, that would make at least 2 more games.
You're adding ports to, while I didn't. You're counting games like Mario & Luigi, while I didn't do the same for the DS.
This just shows that if this is true or not is a matter of opinion, which will not be anymore in 6 months.
I don't understand what your point is, but if it is that RPG fans are starved more than on the GBA at the same relative time after launch, I could agree one year ago, but can't now. And it will be clearly wrong in the next 3 months of time.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20851051)

Your list separates the different versions of Pokemon while mine doesn't
Yours did, too.

Besides, I didn't count any Harvest Moon, because if I had, that would make at least 2 more games.
There's only been one Harvest Moon released for DS, unless you count Rune Factory, which you already did.

You're adding ports to, while I didn't.
FFIII and Xenosaga aren't ports?

I don't understand what your point is, but if it is that RPG fans are starved more than on the GBA at the same relative time after launch, I could agree one year ago, but can't now.
Agree with me or not, but the GBA was better for RPGs than the DS is now. In raw numbers it released more RPGs faster, and it had better ones. I'm been trying to play Contact right now, and the game just sucks. There's hardly a storyline, the combat system sucks and isn't really RPGish, and it's too focused on being "quirky". I played Lunar Dragon Song, and that just sucked (just look at the reviews). Where's the DS Golden Sun, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Fire Emblem? When you search the IGN reviews for DS RPGs, you get a bunch of crappy titles with scores as low as 4. The DS has been pretty much a disappointment so far when it comes to RPGs. It should pick up eventually, especially with Dragon Quest IX, but I don't think it'll have as good of a library in the end as the GBA has.

en_GB games work in the US GBA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20865849)

No, you had games in both sections that are not released in America yet.
Were any of them released in Europe before the United States? For example, the GBA games Kuru Kuru Kururin and Payback (not RPGs) are out in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but they probably won't see an official release in North America until after I'm dead. Still, the North American GBA and DS play Irish/UK GBA games just fine.

It is when you're debating between getting a used gameboy for $60 or a DS for $130.
As opposed to a used DS? Besides, this factor of 2 difference is still much smaller than the factor of 4 or 5 difference between a new PS2 and a new PS3.

Re:en_GB games work in the US GBA (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866907)

Were any of them released in Europe before the United States? For example, the GBA games Kuru Kuru Kururin and Payback (not RPGs) are out in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but they probably won't see an official release in North America until after I'm dead. Still, the North American GBA and DS play Irish/UK GBA games just fine.
Not on his list, though there is a Tingle RPG in Europe that hasn't been to the US (yet?) but it doesn't look all that good.

As opposed to a used DS?
Yeah, that was probably unfair, but I didn't know the price of used DS off the top of my head.

Besides, this factor of 2 difference is still much smaller than the factor of 4 or 5 difference between a new PS2 and a new PS3.
Yeah, but I didn't tell anyone to get a new PS3.

The DS does have good reasons to get it, for instance it has resurrected the adventure genre on consoles. Hotel Dusk is a really amazing game, and there's other great games in other genres depending on what you like. And even though it doesn't have as many good RPGs as the GBA, it does have some, and that might be enough to make it worth it to you. I wasn't telling anyone to not be a DS because it's useless, just saying I'm a little disappointed so far in the RPG offerings.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

NotWorkSafe (891638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839207)

There's a Harvest Moon game for DS, titled (not surprisingly) Harvest Moon DS. It's actually pretty fun too.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841881)

From what I've heard from friends, it's not as good as the GBA installments. But I'm a fan of the series, so I'll probably check it out at some point. There's also Rune Factory, which is billed as a fantasy version of the game, and is supposed to be pretty decent.

Re:Um...OK? (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843173)

Let me start by saying if anyone ports good RPGs to the DS

Do GBA games count? My all-time favourite game is Zelda: A Link to the Past for the SNES. One of the first games I bought for my DS was the GBA port of that game. I also bought the GBA ports of Mario 2, Mario 3 and Super Mario World. I actually own more GBA games for my DS Lite than DS games at this point. I never owned a Gameboy Advance, but I really enjoy the fact that the DS is backwards compatible with it.

The only DS games I own at this point are New Super Mario Bros. and I just bought Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass last night. Also, I wouldn't mind getting my hands on Zelda: The Minish Cap which is an older GBA game. If I can get my hands on The Minish Cap, my DS+GBA collection will consist of 4 Mario games and 3 Zelda games...

I haven't really seen any other DS or GBA games that interest me much, though I was considering getting the remake of Final Fantasy 3. I'm a sucker for those classics...

Nothing new here (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828269)

There's nothing shocking or revolutionary about Microsoft or Microsoft-affiliated studios producing games for Nintendo portables. After being purchased by Microsoft, Rare later produced a DS sequel to its Nintendo 64 Diddy Kong Racing. Since Microsoft isn't in the portable gaming market at the moment, there's not really a downside to it.

I'd be a little more surprised if they started releasing games for the Wii. Not shocked, mind you: I'm old enough to remember when Mattel, Atari, and Coleco used to release games for each other's consoles in the early 80s. But it's still more significant than a company that focuses on the set-top box console market releasing a game for another company's handheld.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832467)

Even if they did, what does it matter? Wii isn't really competing with 360 in North America and in Japan it doesn't even matter. They might even be thinking to use the current popularity of Nintendo platforms to get some fan support behind a few of their franchises and then try to convert the players to their console. I sure do hope that I'm wrong, because that plan might actually work for them...

MS Game Studios and Nintendo (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829685)

This news doesn't suprise me, Rare worked with Nintendo platforms years and years before being snapped up by Microsoft and at a Microsoft game developer conference early last year one of the questions we asked was whether they miss working with Nintendo.

The general response was that they prefer working with MS, partly because their work/life balance is better in that MS has the money to look after it's employees and that on a technical level MS' development platforms were nicer to work with. However, at the same time they noted that they did indeed miss working with Nintendo but that MS wasn't preventing them from doing so hence Diddy Kong racing on the DS being a product of Rare released well after MS' takeover of them. Furthermore, the Rare staff noted to us that MS was allowing them to develop for various mobile platforms, including those supporting Java over Windows mobile.

It's not suprising to me therefore that Rare is possibly intending to port Viva Pinata to the Wii, after all MS clearly isn't opposed to letting it's studios work with Nintendo, Rare's roots are with Nintendo and it's something the staff seem happy to do. Likewise with Mistwalker, whilst they may be a primarily Microsoft dev studio I'd imagine their situation is pretty similar to that of Rare's.

I think it all reinforces the view that Microsoft doesn't actually see the Wii as a particularly direct threat to the 360 as they have sometimes mentioned in the past because of the different target audiences of the two consoles and because for those willing to pay the price of a PS3 they can instead get both a Wii and a 360 in the process neither harming the sales of one or the other. Furthmore, MS can reap the benefits of Wii/DS game sales without worrying about the associated R&D costs of developing the hardware of that platform when they let their game studios develop for Nintendo platforms making the whole thing a win/win situation. I think MS' stance is that if it pulls in money without risking 360 sales their game dev. studios are welcome to do what they want, that seems a pretty sensible attitude to have. In business I imagine profit comes above fanboyism with regards to whoever's console is best.

Re:MS Game Studios and Nintendo (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834891)

It's not suprising to me therefore that Rare is possibly intending to port Viva Pinata to the Wii, after all MS clearly isn't opposed to letting it's studios work with Nintendo, Rare's roots are with Nintendo and it's something the staff seem happy to do.
They mostly do that to help leave the PSP behind. It's completely useless, as the DS don't need them. But if they can make money in the process...

Likewise with Mistwalker, whilst they may be a primarily Microsoft dev studio I'd imagine their situation is pretty similar to that of Rare's.
No it's not, Mistwalker is an independant studio, and is not owned by MS AT ALL. They are bound by contract maybe for their first games, but that's all.

I think it all reinforces the view that Microsoft doesn't actually see the Wii as a particularly direct threat to the 360 as they have sometimes mentioned in the past because of the different target audiences of the two consoles and because for those willing to pay the price of a PS3 they can instead get both a Wii and a 360 in the process neither harming the sales of one or the other.
Huge pile of nonsense and delusion, added to flawed logic.
The Wii is a direct competitor to the XBox 360, which is exactly why these games are not developed for the Wii, but for the DS, which is the one not in direct competition with the XBox 360. The Wii already passed the XBox 360 in worldwide sales in less than 10 months, with the XB360 having 1 year headstart, and no devs ready to support the Wii!
Another flawed logic is that people buy consoles just to buy consoles. People buy consoles for games, so if someone wants a game exclusive to PS3, the fact that they can have the Wii + XB360 for the same price as a PS3 just won't change anything. And I didn't get into the fact that it isn't even true.

Furthmore, MS can reap the benefits of Wii/DS game sales without worrying about the associated R&D costs of developing the hardware of that platform when they let their game studios develop for Nintendo platforms making the whole thing a win/win situation.
BS! MS doesn't develop any game for the Wii, so your sentence is completely wrong. As for DS, MS has no say on which console Mistwalker can develop, unless they want to use their IP. And that's not a win/win at all, unless they have no XB360 project for their internal studio to work on, which would be a very bad situation. Because if they develop for DS, they don't develop for XB360 meanwhile. So it's clearly not a win/win situation, unless they don't care about their console, and just want to stop Sony.

I think MS' stance is that if it pulls in money without risking 360 sales their game dev. studios are welcome to do what they want, that seems a pretty sensible attitude to have. In business I imagine profit comes above fanboyism with regards to whoever's console is best.
Except that your premises are all wrong. Fanboyism in stopping Sony is what pushes MS.
Your "pulling in money" doesn't make sense in MS case, when they have a hole of $6.5 billions loss already in their console business.
Clearly they're fanboys then.

I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831163)

Why Microsoft publishes games on the 360 that flop in Japan as a result of being on the 360 and then makes a DS version (see above and Viva Piñata) after the fact. Would it not make more sense to publish a DS game first and try to capitalise on the popularity of this system to raise a game's profile before publishing on the 360?

Re:I don't understand (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831315)

What kind of weird logic is that? If they put it on the DS first, then there is really no reason to ever get a 360. If they release it on the 360 first, it might actually move a few consoles in Japan since there seems to be a lack of good JRPGs on the next gen systems right now.

Re:I don't understand (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20833709)

I dont think its a bad idea at all, people will be more likely to take a $30 chance with a console they already own than a $360 chance on one they dont. If they like Mistwalkers games they will be more likely to take the big plunge later.

Re:I don't understand (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834919)

I dont think its a bad idea at all, people will be more likely to take a $30 chance with a console they already own than a $360 chance on one they dont. If they like Mistwalkers games they will be more likely to take the big plunge later.
I say they won't.
Bear with me, but this Blue Dragon game on DS is nothing. Nothing compared to the Dragon Quest IX juggernaut that is coming.
People won't buy a XB360 just because they liked a game with the same name on DS. If one thing, this will validate that Mistwalker can make RPG for consoles less powerful than the XB360. So naturally, people will wait for these games on the Wii, not on XB360.
All the flaws of the XB360 in Japan won't go away for one game. That's assuming the game will be good, be noticed, and sell well.
The DS has so many RPG and other games already, that going to the poor XB360 for one RPG in Japan would be nonsense, except for the most hardcore players.

NOT NEWS: Archaic Sealed Heat (1)

muel (132794) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831429)

Uh, Mistwalker already has a game for the DS coming out in Japan this week: Archaic Sealed Heat [wikipedia.org] . Search YouTube [youtube.com] for gameplay footage. Essentially, it's an SRPG with an immense amount of FMV; in fact, every battle animation is done with fluid, hand-drawn animation. High production values. Looks nice, if a bit unoriginal.

Is there a reason (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20832393)

Is there a reason that nearly all of Nintendo's games have such silly looking characters? I have to say that it really turns me off from Nintendo products. I do not need photo-realism. I really like the Bioware Infinity Engine based games, such as Fallout and Baldur's Gate. The cartoon characters are just too hard for me to enjoy (stats, over 40, married, male).

Re:Is there a reason (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834825)

Is there a reason that nearly all of Nintendo's games have such silly looking characters?
Apart from the fact that you don't know what you're talking about? No.
Except if your "nearly all" doesn't include Metroid, Fire Emblem or Zelda (even Wii Sports). Which would be stupid.

Re:Is there a reason (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835323)

I played Fire emblem and Zelda and I have seen Wii Sports. They have childish looking cartoon characters. Out of the four that you named, one has non children cartoon looking characters, that is 25%. I do know what I am talking about and you are only supporting my point.

Re:Is there a reason (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840725)

Uh ...
Guess you are a troll then, I should have seen you coming from a mile away.

Just say you don't like the neo-whatever Nintendo style, or go all the way out saying you don't like the look of anything Nintendo does, and we'll understand. That's your right after all, and then I can answer your question: there's no reason apart from your tastes and poor image culture.

Re:Is there a reason (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845177)

Rather obviously, you do not have an answer. Instead you spew the fanboy answer of, "anyone who doesn't agree with me is a troll." However, that does not answer my question.

I have owned several gameboys, starting with the black and white, than the GBA followed by the folding GBA, which was a huge improvement. I have not replaced it because I have seen no compelling DS games.

I used to enjoy games like Castlevania; however, I grew bored with the side scrolling "jump" games. Metroid is tempting and it shows that the parts to make a non-childish looking game are there; but, nothing was done to continue that concept. Instead, they returned to the over sized head, cartoon, characters that are characteristic of Nintendo.

So, is it just that the dev packs make this style of characters unusually easy, is it that about 75% (number based on your sample) of the authors of nintendo games like that style, or is there some other reason... not a troll, a question

Re:Is there a reason (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20848069)

So, is it just that the dev packs make this style of characters unusually easy, is it that about 75% (number based on your sample) of the authors of nintendo games like that style, or is there some other reason... not a troll, a question
I told you already: you have poor image culture. You see exactly the same thing (cartoon like characters) where there are actually many different styles.
That's like me saying I don't like all the games that have grotesque characters that try to mimic reality (uncanny valley).
Final Fantasy Spirits Within showed that people don't like "realistic" looking characters (uncanny valley again). So perhaps that's just a matter of the devs seeing what people prefer to se, to, you know, sell more games.

Re:Is there a reason (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835291)

damn it man, you make me crave the Baldur's Gate, Fallout, and Planescape: Torment games as remakes for DS.

Re:Is there a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20837967)

The cartoon characters are just too hard for me to enjoy (stats, over 40, married, male).

If I may say so, it's pretty sad that you won't let yourself enjoy games that have unrealistic graphics. Most guys manage to get over their fear of touching something that's not hyper-realistic after they get past their teenage years. It's ok; nobody will think less of you for it. I recommend learning to enjoy games for their gameplay and story rather than what they look like.

Re:Is there a reason (1)

darkeye (199616) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841105)

I agree with you totally - I also find the Nintendo games very childish in visual design. Something that is hard to take 'seriously'.

but then again, consoles are usually for the casual or recreational players. but still, actually this makes it hard for me to accept ninendo as well

Get your facts straight! (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834493)

Mistwalker is not and never was a MS game studio.
Just because their first projects released were exclusive XBox 360 titles does not make them a MS studio.
That's why it's no surprise they went the way of the DS, as their projects failed as expected in the japanese market, and they will never make a good name for their studio, if they go on developing exclusively for XBox 360.
That's because their core audience is japanese, and they have to cater to them.

Is it just me (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 6 years ago | (#20834965)

I hate japanese rpgs, they tend to be endless rails games, with battles every five seconds, almost no puzzles and fighting animations which are close to being pointles. Unfortunately this style which is close to the western rpg style of the mid 80s has taken over over the more open stronger puzzle oriented rpg style at least on the consoles. Give me another decent ultima, fallout, or planetscape torment, the standard seems to be final fantasy clone 700!
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