Recent Nintendo DS Posts

April 6, 2009

My Nintendo DSi Review, Fox "News" DSi Review

Do you smell that, its the smell of bull crap. Here, read the lede:

The new Nintendo DSi handheld gaming console, which arrived in stores April 5 for $170, is a quantum leap forward from the similar-looking DS Lite. It adds another layer of applications and functions to the core DS system to become the first Nintendo handheld that's plenty of fun even without the games.

Fox headlines the review as "A Quantum Leap Forward."

I could literally pick this apart line by line, but I won't. However this one does stand out:

The single new feature promised in the DSi — as in "eye," or "individualization" — sounded like a throwaway gimmick.

Really? Only one new feature promised? I guess DSiWare doesn't count. Look, I am not saying my review is the best one you will read, but at least it is "fair and balanced," which cannot be said about FOX News.

OK sorry I can't stop at just one.

The previously existing Pictochat and Download Play functions are applications as well, but it's two of the new apps — called just "Camera" and "Sound" — that really sell the DSi.

This entire review reminds me of complaining that Time Crisis 4 doesn't have on screen reticles. You can go buy a PMP (that is Personal Media Player for those not paying attention) and get better "Camera" and "Sound" capabilities for under $100. You will get a much higher resolution camera, and OMFG even MP3 support. Oh and video, too.

Little Jonny (or Big Jonny for that matter) may cream his pants over being able to play with his photos or music, but that is not going to keep him entertained very long. This is a portable gaming console, what sells this specific one is the new distribution channel, that being DSiWare.

Also "Wario Ware Slapped!" (it's called Wario Ware Snapped - get it, like snapping a photo) only recognizes the silhouette of your face and hands. Or did you not see Nintendo demo it at GDC this year.

There is nothing worse than misinforming the user in a brand new product review.

September 20, 2008

We came back double fisted

It sure is a hard day's work taking notes and playing new video games.

I am leaving the hotel at 4 AM as I have a 6 AM flight. It is about a 25 to 30 minute ride to SFO. So you can bet I will be sleeping on the plain..

Tonight you are getting a at-a-glance overview of the day. I will have an article with more substance on Blogcritics later.

The day started with a continental breakfast and then we broke into three groups. My group was to see SimCity Creator first, rock on that is the game I am most interested in.

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September 19, 2008

My Sims Kingdon Demo

Before lunch we got a demo of My Sims Kingdom both on DS and Wii. Mostly the Wii version was shown. New graphics engine, world is much more lush. New story, this is NOT a sequel, an entirely new story. Well thats it for now I gotta jet.

Sim City Creator Wii and DS

Sitting here at EA Blogger's Day just got out of a session on Sim City Creator for Wii and DS. Both games are completely different. The DS version has you go through five different ages from dawn of time all the way to the future.

The Wii version is very much like the PC versions we know and love but has an accessible facade fofr new users. At its core it is very much the full Sim City experience, with all the management you want.

Off to the campus tour next.

March 1, 2008

Arkanoid DS Arrives!

If you have been reading my Twitter feed, you would know that I have had Arkanoid DS for about a week now. It is just that I have been playing it too much to really blog about. I talked about it on this week's show, and will have a full review up soon.

I ordered it before Christmas from, of course, but it did not arrive until last Friday. I wonder if it is selling well. I bet it is.

It comes with a paddle controller. You plug it into the GBA slot, and it makes Arkanoid DS into Arkanoid from the arcade. Smashing fun time. 

If you import games from Japan, I highly recommend this one. 

October 23, 2007

Arkanoid DS demo

Matt sent me this link, with the most wondiferous note "Enjoy you block busting freak."

Now here is good use of Flash. One of my favorite games of all time, Arkanoid, is coming to the DS in an updated form. You can pre-order it from Play-Asia, by the way.

February 9, 2007

Nintendo Hand-Held Child Molester Target - OMG!1!!

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE -- Nintendo's DS hand-held gaming system was a hit during the holidays. However, it's also attracting some darker elements. FOX 6's Brad Hicks examines how your son and daughter could get caught up in the range of a child molester.
Source: MyFox Milwaukee

Oh this is rich, just go watch the video...

So what I got from this "report" was that parents don't read the instruction manual to the things they give their children, and this is all Nintendo's fault. Riiiiiiiiiight.

So WTF happened to the old adage "Don't talk to strangers," did parents stop teaching that to their children all of a sudden? From watching this video, it appears that the two girls were absent that day in common sense class.

The kid gave a total stranger -- a creepy reporter -- their street address. Now how about reporting on the fact that parents are absolutely clueless to what their kids are playing, and how they can be used.

That fact was painfully obvious of the two mothers used in this segment, yet MyFox Milwaukee isn't pushing for parents to wise up, they go for the alarmist angle -- one that has been done before, on Pictochat, before.

Wake up, this is the responsibility of the parents. Why not do a news segment focused on teaching parents about DS and PSP communication features, and drop the alarmist strategy, because it is getting old.

October 16, 2006

Clubhouse Games

Does anyone have Clubhouse Games? If so, add me:

4510 5261 8798

First impressions? Finding people online is easy. Tons of fun games. Clubhouse Games FTW!

June 11, 2006

Console Review: Nintendo DS Lite

Umm... go buy it! But please read my review first.

June 5, 2006

Accessory Review: DecalGirl Nintendo DS Skins

There is no denying the fact that the Nintendo DS has some of the best games on the market today. I just wish it were a bit more aesthetically pleasing. To see my point on this, take a look at the soon to be released DS Lite.

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Nintendo DS Review: Super Princess Peach

It doesn't matter who stars as long as players are pushing through the various hazards of the Mushroom Kingdom in 2-D. In this case, Princess Peach has finally avoided being kidnapped and has chosen to take on the burden of defeating Bowser alone. She'll do so in classic fashion, making this one of the best additions to the Mario universe in years.

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2000 mAh Power Pack for Nintendo DS

I bought this product from Lik-Sang, and was going to review it. I still might, but this is not a review. It is more like a rant. While the promise of a huge boost in battery life is a plus, the design is not so good.

When it works, it rocks. It doesn't add too much bulk to the already bulky DS. The problem lies with the fact that it is not secured well enough to the bottom of the DS. If the connection wiggles out, your game is toast.

You also have to toggle a switch to change from one battery to the other. You also have to remember to toggle this switch when charging to charge both batteries.

But 20 hours of play time does rock. Just don't bump your DS or it is lights out!

Luckily this thing was cheap. Maybe that should have been a warning sign.

May 30, 2006

DS Review: Pokemon Trozei

Planted firmly in the difficulty level of "child," Pokemon Trozei won't become the next great item in puzzle gaming. Its absurdly low difficulty in the endurance mode is inexcusable, even for a game aimed at the younger set. Versus, confusing co-op, and brief initial story mode don't help matters. The only addictive aspect is, of course, collecting the Pokemon.

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May 22, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: New Super Mario Bros.

In 20 years, we'll look back on the release of New Super Mario Bros. and wonder why it took 15 years for it to happen. As some of the best selling games in the history of the industry, waiting for that period of time from a financial standpoint couldn't seem any dumber than it is. Yet, from a current point of view, it's obvious. Anticipation sells, and if it takes another 15 to gives us the next true 2-D platform Mario game, so be it.

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May 17, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Resident Evil - Deadly Silence

Memories can be cloudy things. For instance, we look back at the Playstation launch title Battle Arena Toshinden and wonder just what exactly was so special about it or how we found it enjoyable in any form. The answer is we didn't like it; we were blinded by fancy graphics. For Resident Evil though, it was something new, and those cloudy memories are hiding what is an archaic design that shows right through in this DS remake.

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May 15, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: New Super Mario Bros.

The new Mario side-scroller is here. You really don't have to read this review. But since you are here, humor me.

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May 5, 2006

New Super Mario Bros.

May 4, 2006

The Nintendo DS WiFi Community

KingKRool showed me The Nintendo DS WiFi Community site. Sign up, because they have a nifty script that will put your friend code on images, even generates BB code for you. See:

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May 3, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Metroid Prime Pinball

One of those unintended side effects for character designers is the spin-off. In the case of characters that roll into a ball, they'll end up in a pinball game eventually if they're popular. That brings us up to Metroid Prime Pinball, an unexpected surprise from Nintendo that shouldn't work on a gameplay level or be fun. Since initial thoughts are usually wrong, Prime Pinball manages to debunk both theories.

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April 10, 2006

DS Review: The Incredibles - Rise of the Underminer

In what could be a first in the video game industry, a game has been released that takes less time to play all the way through than it would to watch the movie it's based off of. For The Incredibles debut on the DS, developer Helixe has taken this soon-to-be film franchise and slapped it into an awful 2-D platformer. At the very least the pain is short thanks to the length, hovering dangerously close to the under two hour mark.

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April 9, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Pokémon Trozei!

While Pokémon usually means lightweight roleplaying, it does venture into the puzzler genre from time to time. Unlike Pokémon Puzzle League and Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, Trozei! takes the Columns/Bejeweled game play mechanic and throws a wrench into the equation.

Trozei! simply would not be as fun without the stylus. That is to say, I cannot imagine this title working on any other platform. Like many games before it, this is why the Nintendo DS is such a strong console.

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March 28, 2006

DS Review: Viewtiful Joe - Double Trouble

Thanks to its unique visual style, Viewtiful Joe has no problem fitting in on the DS. Aside from the lowered resolution, it's hard to see what's been changed initially about the stylistic flair this series was born on. The changes that have been made come into play later and are on the second screen. They're the worst things about this completely new version of the franchise.

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March 20, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Electroplankton

Nintendo has always been the company to push the limits of what a "game" can do -- and the Nintendo DS is a testament to that. Electroplankton would not have seen mass market if it were not for Nintendo, the DS, and Toshio Iwai's vision. And for that, I am thankful.

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March 19, 2006

DS Review: Snowboard Kids DS

"Close" is the only word that comes to mind when playing Snowboard Kids DS. An update of sorts even though it bears little resemblance to the N64 original, the changes to the game ruin all of the fun. "Close" comes into play because this is one of those games that has a solid engine running underneath it, yet it's broken because of its design.

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DS Review: Bust-A-Move DS

You're company doesn't have a real gaming console until it has a version of Bust-A-Move. Born out of the Tetris craze, this Taito-developed piece of puzzle action is one of the few to continue based on sheer quality. As such, gamers are bombarded with it. It's been on so many different platforms, there's an off chance a few toasters out there may have a built in version. Yet, we continue to play it originality or not, and while this DS version has some of the best core gameplay of any version, its disappointing lack of features make it a tough purchase.

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March 15, 2006

DS Review: ATV Quad Frenzy

There's a market for decent ATV racing titles. That DS isn't capable of offering much to that market though, especially when it's designed like Quad Frenzy. The lack of an analog stick is critical, and the glaring lack of play modes is even worse.

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March 12, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Super Princess Peach

Simply put, Super Princess Peach is the best Mario game to come out in a very long time. It has been far too long since there has been an original 2D Mario-style game from Nintendo. What you get with Peach is a just that, only without the Mario part. Nintendo has decidedly gone for the not so hardcore girl gamer demographic with this title. But you should not let the feminine side of things get in the way.

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March 6, 2006

DS Review: Mario & Luigi - Partners in Time

Even if it didn't feature the main characters of gaming's storied franchise, Mario & Luigi - Partners in Time would still obviously be a game from Nintendo. Its charm, style, innovation, and family friendly humor work to create a unique RPG experience spun off from Super Mario RPG (1996). The result is a work of an ingenious game design, giving fans the greatest battle system ever devised for a turn based RPG.

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February 25, 2006

Nintendo DS Review: Age of Empires

While consoles are usually passed by for strategy titles (the number of releases compared to those on the PC must be incalculable by this point), the DS has a chance to make them work. Age of Empires is one of the first to give the genre a real shot thanks to the touch screen, though the compromises may be too much for those familiar with franchise's roots.

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January 31, 2006

DS Review: True Swing Golf

With the launch of the Playstation 2, T&E Soft quietly snuck out Swing Away Golf. It's goofy exterior turned people away to the slowly forming Tiger Woods series. However, any golf video game fan should have long given up on the 2001 edition EA's yearly franchise. On the other hand, they'll still pull out Swing Away Golf for a few rounds now and then. The same could go for True Swing Golf, a lacking title off the course, but offering spectacular play on.

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January 29, 2006

DS Review: Phoenix Wright - Ace Attorney

Taking much of why text adventures are no longer with us, Phoenix Wright's bright exterior raises it above what would have been a slightly strained DS experience. It's engrossing inside the courtroom as players destroy cases with found evidence and pushy dialogue. The segments leading up to the trials seems to falsely extend the game, while the complete lack of replay value makes this a tough purchase.

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December 13, 2005

Nintendo DS Review: Trauma Center

Using the DS like it should be used, Trauma Center is a game for Nintendo's handheld unlike anything before it (on any console). Barring a few doctor-oriented games in the past (Microsurgeon on the Intellivision), this is a completely original, wild, and oddly fun escapist video game. It's the type of title made for the DS and only the DS.

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Nintendo DS Review: Burnout Legends

Burnout Legends suffers from one noticeable problem on the DS: It's called Burnout. If was named Generic Racing Game 1, it would have been tolerable. Sadly, slapped with the label from the best arcade racing franchise arguably ever, it's a disaster.

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December 7, 2005

Nintendo DS Review: Sonic Rush

For longtime fans disappointed with the direction the series has taken in 3-D, they still have handhelds to provide the experience they’re looking for in Sonic titles. On the DS that’s Sonic Rush, a near return to form for Sega’s mascot, and no, it’s still not any easier to play as the character on a Nintendo system. The speed, boss battles, and multi-player have a hard time making up for the level design though.

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December 5, 2005

Nintendo DS Review: Mario Kart DS

Super Mario Kart wasn't only an innovative and fresh title back on the SNES. It was a paint-by-numbers piece that every kart racer to follow would use for "inspiration." It was wild fun with warping mode-7 scaling and rotation that showed off what the system could do. However, 13 years is a long time, certainly enough to make the concept stale without change.

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December 3, 2005

Nintendo DS Review: Zoo Tycoon

The touch screen on the DS should give us perfect translations of PC strategy games. In fact, the potential is there to make them even better given the second screen. Unfortunately, if they’re going to be translated like Zoo Tycoon, we’ll never see that happen.

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November 18, 2005

Nintendo DS Review: Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart, the often imitated but never duplicated kart racer is back, as strong now as it was in its debut 13 years ago. This time the DS's dual screens add much to the already polished game.

Arguably the most highly anticipated DS game this year, Mario Kart DS is now on store shelves. From what I have seen though, it is keeping the stock boy busy. Everyone wants a copy.

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October 18, 2005

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow DS Review

The sequel to one of the best exploration-style Castlevania titles on the Game Boy Advance, Dawn of Sorrow comes to the DS and establishes the series on new hardware. This meticulously detailed action platform game is addictive, and even more so than the previous entries. The addition of a soul collection system raises this Castlevania entry above the usual expectations and keeps players hooked.

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October 14, 2005

Retro Atari Classics DS Review

The DS is in the unique position to bring some new life to some classic titles. The touch screen and its numerous opportunities has the chance to bring some unique control schemes to a handheld, and that's unfortunately not the path the aptly titled Retro Atari Classics takes. The gimmicks here are "remixed" version of 10 classic titles with new graphics created by graffiti artists. It doesn't make any sense.

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October 6, 2005

Pac 'n Roll DS Review

Way above the quality of Pac-Pix, Namco's latest treatment to their feature star is a pleasant, short, fun diversion on the DS. While Pac 'n Roll may have worked just fine with an analog stick, it feels proper to use the stylus. It becomes a surprising, unexpected success on the console, and it's close to an A-list title.

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September 9, 2005

Nintendogs DS Review

This shouldn't be fun. It's obvious to anyone playing it that this should not work. It's going to be a guilty pleasure to some and unforgettable classic for others. That's the Nintendo hook with Nintendogs, an impossibly good title that uses everything the DS has to offer, with at times mixed results.

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September 6, 2005

Advance Wars: Dual Strike DS Review

Strategy gamers are arguably some of the most hardcore amongst us. They spend hours managing the slightest of details, manipulating troops, and delving into hundreds of pages of an instruction book. Advance Wars however, is for the rest of us. Critically praised awarded, and recognized, the series (in just two installments) has become one of the most memorable of this entire generation.

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August 30, 2005

The Urbz DS Review

The Sims broke new ground. It captured a lost demographic (women), broke into the mainstream, and became PC gaming's major franchise. Faced with a need to move on, the series continued through expansion packs, until finally branching out into something like The Urbz. There are a few nice ideas crammed into this enhanced DS version (almost identical to the Game Boy Advance title of the same name) that are unfortunately lost due to the usual Sims elements.

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August 26, 2005

Pokemon Dash DS Review

There's simply no other word suitable for Pokemon Dash than stupid. It's incomprehensible. This wasn't even a good idea to begin with for a full-fledged game. It may have fit in as a cheap Mario Party DS mini-game (whenever that finally happens), and even then, it would be completely forgettable.

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August 22, 2005

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory DS Review

The DS has niche games captured. No other console will end up pulling off some of the software this console will. In their effort to be unique, Nintendo didn't make the console readily available to some of console gaming's biggest names, Splinter Cell included. While fans love the series for its deep involving gameplay, the DS is not the console that should feature this style of play.

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August 15, 2005

Madden 06 DS Review

There's hardly anyone who would consider last years Madden entry on the DS a quality addition to the franchise. It was obviously rushed, and even as a port, it wasn't very successful. Significant strides have been made this year, both visually and gameplay wise. They're immediately apparent, and for die-hard fans, this isn't such a bad choice.

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August 8, 2005

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent DS Review

It just should not be possible for a game to do this much wrong. First person shooters have officially been sent backwards five years by Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. This abysmal title barely even covers first-person shooter basics, while adding the most aggravating, annoying, and repetitive soundtracks in recent memory.

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July 26, 2005

Nanostray DS Review

The genre may be dead, yet here's Nanostray, a perfectly conceived shooter with fantastic visuals, a wonderful engine, and twitch gameplay fans of the genre crave. It's rare that a game can slip out like this, completely unexpected, and especially one of this quality. It's come out under the range of most gamers, but those who find it will appreciate what it does.

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July 19, 2005

Kirby Canvas Curse DS Review

Kirby is, arguably of course, Nintendo's most under appreciated mascot. He's starred in some of the best platforming titles they've ever published, but you never hear the mainstream press or gamers themselves becoming hyped over the latest game in the series. In a perfect world, Kirby Canvas Curse would change that.

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July 10, 2005

Meteos DS Review

There are already three puzzle games for the DS that make liberal use of the touch screen. Meteos is the third, and this is the puzzle game killer. Not only does it feature some of the most simplistic gameplay of any "blocks falling" puzzler to date, it offers an incredible variety of ways to play, and that keeps it fresh no matter how many months you've lost to it.

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June 29, 2005

Yoshi's Touch & Go DS Review

It's wonderful to revisit gaming worlds we have been to before. It's even better to go back in a new way. That's of course assuming the new way still keeps all the basics of the original. Yoshi's Touch & Go takes us to the vastly under appreciated world of Yoshi's Island, but there are too many obvious and critical flaws for it to even have a chance.

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Pac Pix DS Review

Obviously struggling to come up with new concepts from one of their most endearing characters, Namco has slapped Pac-Man into Pac Pix. It's one of those games that would only work on the DS; that's a curse and a highlight. It's too focused on the concept, and not on actual entertainment.

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June 11, 2005

Need for Speed Underground 2 DS Review

Racing games always need a hook, something special or different to actually make them worth playing. Need for Speed Underground found it's niche by keeping the racing accessible, but allowing deep customization before heading out onto the streets. It's a strange mix that doesn't seem to mesh very well and with the ridiculous DS-exclusive mini-games, it only gets worse.

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June 1, 2005

Polarium DS Review

The DS needs more games like Polarium. It's not just completely original, it's only possible on this hardware. It uses both screens effectively and the touch aspects are nearly a requirement. It's also the best puzzle game for the console.

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May 23, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III DS Review

In 2000, Lucasarts produced an abysmal Star Wars beat-em-up called Jedi Power Battles. While it was slightly playable on the Dreamcast, the Playstation was not kind to gamers. It's a shame too since Star Wars lends itself so well to this classic born-in-the-arcade genre. Finally, with Episode III, it works.

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March 19, 2005

Asphalt Urban GT Nintendo DS Review

As rushed as some of the DS launch titles were, there were enough surprises in the bunch to made buying the system on day number one seem worthwhile. Two racing games made their way into the launch lineup, "Ridge Racer" and "Asphalt Urban GT." While "Ridge Racer" was basically a port, "Asphalt" is an entirely original game and it works far better than the competition.

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March 15, 2005

Madden 2005 Nintendo DS Review

Talk about your pointless releases. Created simply to take advantage of a system launch, "Madden 2005" may have been another solid edition on the home consoles, but here on the DS, things are shaky all around. Everything here feels rushed, pieced together quickly due to a short development time and minimal experience with the console. It may be a step up from the Game Boy Advance versions; that's just not really saying very much.

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February 15, 2005

Super Mario 64 DS Review

Hardly any games have sold 1-to-1 with a newly launched game console unless they're included as a pack-in. "Mario 64" managed that feat, and even figuring in the lack of any real competition at that point, it's an impressive stat. Faced with nearly the same situation at the DS launch, "Mario 64 DS" didn't do quite as well. That doesn't mean this classic is any worse for the wear.

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January 29, 2005

Zoo Keeper Nintendo DS Review

Trends have shown that it's the bottom touch screen on Nintendo's DS that never gets enough use. Gameplay is usually reserved for the top screen and developers are baffled as to what to do exactly with the systems most unique feature. Enter the highly addictive "Zoo Keeper," a basic graphics swap of a popular online flash game that just seems to be made for this system.

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January 10, 2005

Tiger Woods PGA Tour Nintendo DS Review

There has been a number of surprising portable golf games over the years. Tiger Woods has been EA's poster boy since they nabbed exclusive PGA Tour rights in 1999 and the on-the-go versions have been seriously hit or miss. The DS version is an obvious rush job, one that suffers from a number of nagging problems. It still manages to be highly enjoyable, but it does scream "wait until next year."

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December 26, 2004

Feel the Magic Nintendo DS Review

There are some games you pick up that are so wildly different from anything else, you simply can't comprehend what it is you're playing. "Feel the Magic" is one of those games, a totally unique gaming experience that uses the DS to the fullest. It's a little short and can be frustrating at times, but you'll always be back for another shot.

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Ridge Racer Nintendo DS Review

Since the first arcade edition and the then unforgettable PS One port, Namco's "Ridge Racer" has been an enjoyable arcade racing series. On the N64, the series stayed pretty formulaic, not straying far from the formula at all. The same can be said for this solid port of that very title here on the DS, but the fact that it is portable does make it a bit more desirable.

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December 11, 2004

Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt Demo DS Review

After a slew of negative press, "Metroid Prime" surprised a lot of people. Taking a classic, 2-D side scrolling adventure game and plopping it into a first-person environment was a radical change, but it worked. Now on the DS, "Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt" is the basic game that appeared on the Gamecube, just in demo form and with a wholly original control scheme.

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December 6, 2004

Spiderman 2 Nintendo DS Review

Getting a full game out for a new console launch has to be tough, especially with the complexity of today's games. The DS sort of came from nowhere, and it seems most developers were left with no clue how to use such unique hardware. "Spiderman 2" sets the example with shoddy level design, cheap enemies, and ridiculous objectives.

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Nintendo DS Overview

Here's an interesting little gadget. While it won't revolutionize gaming (at least not yet) like Nintendo said it would, the DS is a nice piece of hardware with a serious hunger for software. Potential here is huge, and you just have to wish developers take advantage of it.

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