Game reviews and editorials. Simple, and clear.

Posts tagged ‘ds’

Drawn To Life – THQ – Nintendo DS

Again its been another period of absence, and I apologise, but I have returned, and with a great game!

Drawn to Life is almost exactly what it sounds like. You are the hero, a old wooden mannequin brought to life by a God (who is essentially the player) and you are asked to make right what is wrong in the little world of these strange bunny like creatures (Sorry, I haven’t played in a while so I’ve forgotten the names of them).

The game is compelling, to say the least. Literally everything they ask you to draw is implemented into the game. From clouds, to springs, to submarines, even your hero is drawn by you. It makes you feel a little more involved with the game itself. The idea of using your own creations to play the game puts you on a whole new level. Ever thought, “Wow, if I made that, I would want it to look like this?”. Well, now’s your chance. They also offer TONS of palettes of colors, so you’re never lacking any colors, or limited to just one shade of every color.

The gameplay is a little simplistic for more hardcore gamers, but there’s no doubt that the drawing of everything will keep you more than occupied. There are tons of secrets and unlockables to keep you going at it for a good while. There wasn’t any point in the game where I felt like I was doing something repetitive.

The music in the game is really great. THQ wasn’t always my favorite publisher, but they seemed to work well with 5TH Cell, and composed a decent soundtrack. Granted I wouldn’t go to the Overclocked Remix site and download their music, but it wasn’t annoying enough to just shut off and have a different source of music.

One of the downfalls I think is that sometimes they ask you to draw a bit too much. Say if you draw a cloud, and you happen to come across the same cloud a few stages later, they’ll give you the option to redraw it. Its a little annoying, seeing as how you’re allowed to edit the first time you draw something as much as you want. The only other nuisance is for people like me who have no artistic skill. My hero was named Insomnia, and basically he was all black, with white circles for eyes and a mouth. It was really a sad sight to see. Haha. They do offer character templates, so you’re never left hanging.

Overall, the game is a great game for the DS library. The little fuzzball people are quirky and lovable, the storyline is decently strung together, and add in the fact that you draw your own graphics for just about everything, and you’ve got yourself a solid game that is Drawn To Life.

Rating:
7.5/10

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Harvest Moon DS – Natsume – Nintendo DS

Ah, the farming sim that everyone loves. What would we do without it, huh?

HMDS for me was highly anticipated, and although it added some new things, most of it is more of the same. I mean, come on, how much can you really do with a game in which your main goal is to farm, and build a family? You all know the story by now: Somehow, Jack (the main character) is left a farm by his dad, granddad, whatever, and he’s given command to bring it back to the way it was. The only catch to this one, is now, the Harvest Goddess, along with 101 of her little harvest sprite people, were sent to another dimention, thanks to the lovely Witch Princess.

Most of the basics are all there. The farm map is set up very similar to the A Wonderful Life map. The only difference is that it’s 2D. A lot of the crops are the same, with one new addition to each season. Also, they let you grow a few different types of trees, which is a definite plus. There is TONS of places to farm, with there being a plot of land in almost every acre you come across.

Marriage is a tough one. It seems like no one in this game wants to give you affection at all. Lol. Trying to build up a girls heart rating is the most difficult task thus far in the HM series. The brides you can choose from are quite varied though. You’ve got the four AWLSP brides, but you can also marry the Cave Girl (Her name slipped my mind), the mermaid girl, Lettuce, The Witch Princess, or the Harvest Goddess if you save her. Not only that, if you plug in your FoMT game pack on the bottom, you’ll also have access to those five potential brides as well. 14 girls is a lot of choices, so no one can complain.

The art in HMDS was something that caught my eye. I was a little disappointed when I saw that they used the same sprites from FoMT. After seeing Animal Crossing on the DS, its easy to see they could have made the graphics similar to Magical Melody, or something. Hell if they wanted they could have just used cel shading like they did in Save The Homeland. But alas, they were lazy, and they didn’t have to make as many sprites this way. The graphics that they show when you talk to the people are absolutely awesome though. They got rid of Karen’s highlights (were they always gone?) and they made Nami look terribly similar to a male, but other than that, the women are beautiful. Their facial expressions are flawless, and they are all very adorable. I have no complaints in that department.

What really tore this game down for me is the lack of touch screen controls. I mean, they have them, but they feel sloppy, and tacked on. You use the touch screen for most of your menu navigation, which makes moving around it faster, but also means you need to be in a building, or the time will continue to advance while you’re trying to find something in your rucksack, or whatever. You also use it when you get the touch glove, which allows you to pet, brush, milk or sheer your animals. They also give you a score, which determines the affection rating you get out of the task, and gives you bragging rights amongst your friends. As nifty as it is, its very tedious after the second or third time, and after awhile, you don’t even bother to put the glove on. It was just disappointing.

Some of the pluses though were the plethora of items there are in this game. Lots of nifty little perks you can find. Oh yeah, and did I mention that your inventory in your rucksack is amazing. Not only can you have 52 spaces, but each space can stack up to 99 of a certain item. <3 I love you for that one, Natsume.

I’d recommend this game to either someone who hasn’t played the series heavily (maybe bought one or two of the console games), or is a hardcore devoted player, but if you’re new to the series, or only heard about HM from other sites, please save yourself the trouble and buy a different one. There have been better.

Rating:
7.0 / 10

Mario Hoops 3 on 3 – Nintendo/SquareEnix – Nintendo DS

I know, I know, ANOTHER DS game. Well, if you knew why, then I’d have to kill you. Haha. :) Don’t worry about it, and just enjoy the reviews dammit! I’m not doing this stuff for my health, that’s for sure.

So, Mario Hoops. I know. The first thing that ran through my head was probably the same as yours, “FUCK MARIO!” We’re all sick of seeing him in sports games now. Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, and now Basketball. Notice how he doesn’t play any manly sports like football or rugby huh? Haha, oh well. Don’t worry though, this game doesn’t totally suck.

I won’t lie, the only reason I really picked this game up was because SquareEnix tagged along for the ride. I bet you $20 that if they weren’t involved, this game would totally blow. I started playing though, and I was fairly impressed.

You pick three characters to be on your team. Yeah, a little 3 on 3. How big of a secret was that? Anywho, each character specializes in their own thing. There are All-Around, Technical, Speedy, Powerful, and Tricky characters. I’m not entirely sure of what each one does, but the Powerful and Speedy ones are a little obvious.

What you do, is you go around dribbling on the court to collect coins. Your character dribbles automatically, but you can tap the touch screen to make him/her dribble faster, allowing you to collect coins faster. You can collect up to 100 coins before shooting, and that’s how you score (duh). For normal shots and dunks, you get an extra 20 coins, and for special dunks you get 40.

The touch screen is used just as much as the D pad, allowing for jukes, ball slaps, jumps, passes, whatever. If you wanna do something other than moving, then you better have a second hand. While on defense, the ? blocks can be touched to get some signature Mario items like the green/red turtle shells, banana peels, and a bomb.

The game is really simple to just pick up and play, but its quite a challenge to master. I’m still unlocking things (which there are plenty of) and trying to master the aspects of the game play. With many game modes, and the option to play with someone else, this game is sure to be a good addition to your DS game library.

Rating:
7.5 / 10

Pokemon Diamond – GameFreak – Nintendo DS

Okay, don’t laugh. We’ve ALL played at least one Pokemon game in our life, and this is no exception. I skipped out on a generation of Pokemon, so I decided to hop back in it. It was a great time to do so too.

The basic understanding of Pokemon is simple: To capture and train all of the Pokemon there are. I think currently there are over 450 different types of Pokemon. Yeah, that’s a lot.

This game in particular has added a lot of new features to the game. The battles can be all touch screen now, with a wonderful layout to assist in it. The graphics have also been updated, with 2D character sprites, and 3D world maps. Its pretty awesome looking.

The Pokemon themselves, well, I’m not sure what to say. I personally think they should have stopped when they had 252, but that’s just me. They’ve started losing the originality, resulting in names like Kricketot, and Bidoof. However, its not enough to skip the game entirely.

If you’re a fan, or haven’t played a game in a while, this is definitely a must have for any DS owner, however if you’ve been playing hard core for the past 8 years, then maybe you might wanna wait this one out. The features are nice, but you’re not getting too much new, minus some fancy touch screen perks.

Rating:
Been playing – 6.5 / 10
New/skipped generations – 7.0 / 10

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney – Capcom – Nintendo DS

Haha, at first glance I didn’t even want to touch this game. I mean, how much fun can a lawyer game be anyways? How mistaken I was.

The game stars you as Phoenix Wright, a brand new defense attorney fresh off the bar and into the world. Your mentor, Mia Fey, is there to guide you through your steps as a lawyer, and its up to you to (obviously) win the cases.

The gameplay isn’t so much like action adventure. I’m not entirely sure what to call this genre of game besides like text base logic or something like that. The game itself is pretty straightforward, with no multiple path endings or anything like that. However, the characters within the story are amazing. Each one seems to have his or her own outstanding personality, and really add a unique touch to the game. The dialogue is also quite hilarious, with Phoenix doing a lot of witty thinking when characters are talking. The game also has some unique twists in the storyline, which keep you guessing a good bit of the time. There hasn’t been a time yet when I’ve been able to solve a murder case just by looking at the characters.

Overall, the game is solid, and its actually quite hard to write a review on this kind of game in particular. Howeveer, I do recommend you at least giving it a shot. I have no doubt in my mind you’ll enjoy it a lot.

Rating:
7.5 / 10

Children of Mana – SquareEnix – Nintendo DS

Ah, this game is a very solid game indeed. Those of you who enjoy the Mana series games are in for a treat, and for those of you whom have never played a Mana game in your life are going to be surprised that despite the cartoony enemies, this game is worth picking up.

You start off by picking a character and naming him or her. Each character has something they excel in, and there are four to choose from. You may also pick from four different colors, so as to make the options a little more diverse. The characters are bright, and beautifully illustrated, along with the rest of the game. If you’re big on the art of a game, you will not be disappointed in this game.

Children of Mana plays as an action game, with RPG elements tied in. Defeating enemies gain you experience, which works towards your level, better armor and weapons to help you fare better, etc. What adds to this though is the gem frame system they have. There are special gems (over 100 total) that you can pick up and place in a gem frame that add to your abilites. Some are minor, increasing your attack or defense by a bit, but others are very useful, such as using an herb when you’re poisoned to quickly remedy it, or having the healing items double the recovery. The combinations are endless, and the results invaluable.

The game really hasn’t been that difficult, provided you leveled properly throughout the game. Those of you who have played a game where leveling is a priority, and didn’t do enough of it, know the brutal rape you will sustain when going into a fight underleveled. But it remains at a moderate pace, not being too hard, nor too easy, though I must admit some of the bosses could be a bit tougher. They seem somewhat like larger forms of the regular enemies.

The enemies themselves, as stated before, are very cutesy. But do not let that fool you. These guys still pack a punch, especially in the later levels. The acquisition of a mana spirit also adds to the diversity of the game. The multiplayer is also an added bonus, allowing up to three other friends join you in your adventure. The dungeons are randomized, but they all have the same general design, making exploring them feel a bit tedious, and relentless.

Overall, the games diversity with the gems, character creation, and mana spirits are pluses, the simplicity of the boss battles and tediousness of the dungeons get a little timely at times. But don’t let that stop you from at least playing. I would most definitely recommend at least playing for a few hours before actually ruling it out of your library of games. It feels like it would be a hit or a miss game to fans, depending on what your tastes are. Despite its downfalls, I still feel it is a really good game. Unfortunately, my opinion cannot affect the rating of a game.

Rating:
7.0 / 10

Lost In Blue 2 – Konami – Nintendo DS

Well, I never played the first one, but I heard it was really good, so I decided to go out on a limb and give it a shot.

While on a cruise ship, a terrible storm hits the boat that you are on, and you are washed ashore of an unknown island. Armed with only your wits, and physical strength, it is up to you to work together with the only other survivor to make it off the island.

Sounds a bit cliche, ya? Well, it gets better. First off, for being a DS game, the whole thing is 3D. The DS is a very powerful handheld it seems, and is quite capable of squeezing out graphics slightly better than the N64. I’ve not played through the whole game yet, but the island is MASSIVE. There is plenty to do to keep you occupied.

The game starts you off by asking which character you wish to play as. The boy (Jack) and the girl (Amy) are both used, but whom you pick not only determines the outcome of the game, but who you primarily control. The game has multiple endings according to how you interact with the other character. Its very interesting though. The game has 4 gauges, provided on the top screen. The first is a stamina, which determines whether or not you can run, and what activities you can perform. The second is a hunger meter, which is self explanatory. The third is a thirst meter, again very self explanatory. Should any of these three fall to 0%, then you affect the fourth meter, which is your HP.

The game is challenging at first. Trying to find a balance of progressing through the story, and keeping your characters fed and watered is really hard. It takes a long time to fish or gather fruits and vegetables, but it takes even longer to explore, and there are only so many hours in a day. The mixture feels just right though, and once I got the hang of it, I didn’t find it to be a nuisance, but rather a new and refreshing challege.

There is one drawback that I’ve noticed so far. During certain parts of the game (such as when its raining), there have been parts where the game actually slows down. Its a little annoying, but not exactly something to make the game not worthwhile. If you own a DS, and are either a fan of Konami or are looking for a game with a new type of feel to it, Lost In Blue 2 is the way to go.

Rating:
8.0 / 10.0