Tag Archives: DS

For Mature Audiences

Played a bit of Madworld for the Wii and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS.

Both M rated titles, and both on Nintendo platforms.

I played a good bit of Madworld, lumbering my way through a couple of the earlier levels before I really started to “get it.”  It’s really more like a puzzle game combined with a fighter, and a tiny bit of pixel hunt.  You’ve got to combine prop kills with environmental kills to really get things going, but sometimes, finding the props is difficult because everything is in black and white.

The exception of course, is blood.  Which is everywhere.

Madworld is the other answer to that knock knock joke.  “What’s black and white and red all over?”

Chinatown wars is well, it’s top down cel-shaded GTA on the DS.  It’s like a deeper version of the 1997 client.  This time, there’s a bit of Dope Wars (remember that on the Palm?) as well.  Money seems quicker and easier to come by if you’re running merchandise to different parts of the city.

It’s not bad although I’ll probably get sick of it around the impossible missions.

Madworld is just too over the top not to play through.

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Ruined Techno for me, forever

The Nintendo DS is not considered a musical instrument.

There are music games, yes, and there was the brilliant in concept but flawed in execution Jam Sessions guitar simulator for the DS.  (Full disclosure:  I spent about two weeks just trying to play Jonathan Coulton’s RE: Your Brains.  It’s just too unwieldy on a directional control pad and a strum bar on the touch screen.)

The KORG DS-10 Synthesizer for the Nintendo DS is exactly what it says it is.  It is not a title for a KORG Synthesizer based game for the DS.  It is, in fact, a synthesizer and sequencer for the DS.

I’m going to let that sink in for a second.

It’s not a musical instrument simulator of any sort, it’s actually a synthesizer and a sequencer.  And on top of that, it uses the DS screen like a poor man’s KAOSSilator.  Which is a lot of fun.  Here’s a video showing what four of them together can do.

They wirelessly synchronize for beat matching and playback.  Of course, you’ll need a mixer to take full advantage of that, but who doesn’t have one laying around?

In short, it’s awesome.

Review based on doodling in the sequencer window and editing note lengths and values, and then adjusting the drum kit sequencer so that it repeats doom-tch-doom-tch-doom-tch while panning speakers from left to right and repeating for several measures before using the kaoss pad function to adjust peak and cutoff values for synth 1, while synth 2’s track is all doomp-doompdoomdoom-doomp and synth 1 and 2 mixed through the flanger FX at the end with the knob turned all the way wet and mixed so that the bass line on synth 2 isn’t overpowering the entire song at 142bpm.

I did not get to try the multiplayer mixing aspect of this program but god help me if I get another copy.

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Persistent Growth

Persistence. I’m going to call it a feature. Three really excellent titles feature persistence this year:

  1. The World Ends With You, by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS
  2. City of Heroes, by NCSoft, for the PC (and MAC!)
  3. Fable 2, by Lionhead studios for the xbox 360

The World Ends With You had a great system of character growth. Your skills are attached to wearable pins. The more you use them, the more they level up. What was also interesting was the fact that they would earn experience when you weren’t playing, but only to a certain level cap.

In addition to being a great game, it was always a major draw to come back to it after a couple of days to check on the pins and swap them out so that other attacks could become more powerful. Even when I wasn’t playing, my characters were getting stronger. It felt like the game was going on, even when it was switched off.

In MMOs the world goes on without you regardless of whether or not you’re in it. But nothing directly happens to your character. There’s no growth–at least in most cases. (World of WarCraft toys with this idea, but it’s merely a case of accruing a period of time where you earn double “rested” XP. This is done, presumably so you can log back in and level up twice as quickly to make up for the time you’ve spent falling behind your friends who raid full time, in addition to their 40 hour a week day job.) Continue reading

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Lock's Quest

I like Lock’s Quest.

It’s a tower defense type of game, mixed with Rampart, and PixelJunk Monsters, with some combat thrown in. The combat is simplistic, and really isn’t the focus of the game, but it’s handy. In “tower defense” games, it’s frustrating when that one enemy slips past your defenses and you end up having to do the entire level over again. Granted, that’s part of the game, learning the waves and building appropriately, but it’s still frustrating.

In PixelJunk Monsters, you had to watch as an enemy flyer gets through and takes out your last villager.

By comparison, in Lock’s Quest, if there’s a Clockwork Soldier hammering away on the Source Well you’re supposed to protect, you can run over there and hit him with a wrench.


Much more satisfying, much less frustrating. Continue reading


Speaking of sequels

Just checked on my order status, looks like Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (or more simply, Ouendan 2) is on its way over to me from the Mysterious Far Reaches of Asia. That and Rhythm Tengoku.

Both are classified as rhythm action games, a niche for which I have a little bit of an itch.

You know, I wrote that out and I can’t believe I’m hitting the “Publish” button anyway.

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