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  Nintendo DS Detailed  
Posted 2004-03-17 by Tony Walsh
According to CNN, a report authored by P.J. McNealy of American Technology Research reveals some new and unusual features of Nintendo's next-gen handheld console:
  • Instant Messaging functionality

  • users type messages on a touch screen using a stylus

  • free wireless gaming

  • I'm not sure how useful these features will be in actuality (or how "free" the wireless component will be), but the DS will have to offer radically-different functionality to the Game Boy Advance in order to be the next big thing. More of the same just won't cut it.
      GBA, Nintendo DS Mumblings  
    Posted 2004-02-06 by Tony Walsh
    Jason Bergmen over at Shacknews reviews the uncertified GBA Movie Player, which uses Compact Flash Cards to store and play movies, music and plain text files.

    Over at 1-up, there's news of publisher THQ's dismay at the lack of support for Nintendo DS development. THQ, the "biggest third-party publisher of Game Boy Advance games in North America" has yet to declare it will be producing DS titles. More fuel for the suck fire.
      Top 10 Handheld Failures  
    Posted 2004-01-29 by Tony Walsh
    Gamespy runs down "The Top Ten Handhelds that Never Made It." They could have saved themselves some words by outlining the Top Two Handhelds That Made It: The Game Boy and Game Boy Advance. Gamespy includes the Nokia N-Gage in their list of failures. I'm sure we'll see the Game Boy DS on that list in a couple years.
      Nintendo DS:  Definitely Stupid  
    Posted 2004-01-21 by Tony Walsh
    The folks over at Nintendo must be dipping into Mario's magic mushrooms. In what sounds like an April Fool's joke, they've announced the Nintendo DS, a new handheld gaming system with two screens.

    "Players will no longer be forced to interrupt game play to shift perspective, such as moving from a wide shot to a close up, or alternating between a character's ongoing battle and a map of the environment."

    So basically it's two Game Boy Advances running the same game from two different angles simultaneously. I really can't see the benefit of two screens, particularly when we're talking about handheld gaming. This is at least as dumb an idea as the Virtual Boy.
      Bobobobo Bobobo: Gagglefest  
    Posted 2003-11-13 by Tony Walsh
    Only in Japan could one credit "nostril-hair action" as the source of popularity for both "Bobobobo Bobobo" the cartoon and "Bobobobo Bobobo: Gagglefest" the game. [link:amanda]

    The game version, available for PS2 in Japan (but sadly not in North America,) features "simple yet quirky controls and comical flying nosehairs." Surprisingly, this isn't the first nosehair game... "Bobobobo Bobobo Secret Technique #87.5: Exploding Nostril Hair Ultra Fist" was released in December 2002 for the Game Boy Advance. We need more nosehair games in North America. Badly.
      American Idol, The Video Game  
    Posted 2003-11-12 by Tony Walsh
    Somehow Simon is managing to smile over this one, as he, Paula, and Randy all make appearances in the upcoming American Idol game for PS2, Game Boy Advance and the PC.

    Here's my Simon-style preview of this one: You look terrible, you're not really showing us anything new, and your whole vibe is just bloody awful. Go home.
      Lizzie McWired  
    Posted 2003-10-27 by Tony Walsh
    A Lizzie McGuire game for the Game Boy Advance flits into stores today, squarely targetting girls. Features include a 25-level action game called "When Cheerleaders Attack," party games (for real-life parties,) and PDA-like functions.

    It's too bad there aren't any "general audience" or "boys" games that include PDA-like functionality. You might think that a boy with a PDA contravenes gender stereotypes, but I assure you that every playa needs a PDA to keep track of his bitches. Seriously, though-- who says boys aged 10-14 wouldn't be interested in an Address Book or Class Scheduler? Just throw some Tony Hawk crap on the box, and in 10 years we'll have a generation of men who are actually on time for things.
      Review: “Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist” (GBA)  
    Posted 2003-10-24 by Tony Walsh

    "Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist" (GBA)

    Publisher: THQ
    ESRB Rating: E

    Substance: 60%
    Longevity: 50%

    Take a butt-kicking teenage secret agent named Kim Possible, add a dash of monkey ninjas under the control of Dr. Drakken, and you've got a recipe for a hit game, right? At first glance, maybe.

    Continue reading: Review: “Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist” (GBA)
      Review:  “Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$” (GBA)  
    Posted 2003-10-23 by Tony Walsh

    Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$ (GBA)

    Publisher: Nintendo

    ESRB Rating: E



    Substance: 90%

    Longevity: 95%

    Ah, Wario, you are a misunderstood genius. Everyone seems to think you're just an evil relative of the popular and good-looking Mario, but I know better after playing "Mario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$." I know you're really a good guy, because only a good guy could craft 213 amazing micro-games so great they make me laugh until it hurts.

    Continue reading: Review:  “Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$” (GBA)
      GBA Lament  
    Posted 2003-10-15 by Tony Walsh
    After playing and reviewing over 10 Game Boy Advance games since last week, I have come to two conclusions:
    1) All Japanese titles are at the very least half-decent, if not excellent.
    2) All American/European titles are utter crap, with few, if any, exceptions.

    Unlike Japanese developers who intrinsically understand games and gaming, it seems that Americans are simply interested in banging off something mediocre as quickly as possible. Japanese design seems to be all about fun, ease of use, and reward. American design seems to be all about cost-cutting measures, leaving the game player in the lurch. What is particularly stunning is that some of the worst games are actually supposed to be for young children, who will almost definitely lose interest in about 10 minutes due to awful design and/or gameplay experience.
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