Friday, March 28, 2008

PokeBrawl, Game Updates, WiiWare

I have an interesting situation... when playing Super Smash Bros Brawl, I enjoy brawling most with Pokemon characters. This may not be so odd to some, but I haven't been much for Pokemon. I played through and beat Pokemon Yellow on the original Gameboy many years ago, and while it was fun, I didn't pick up on the series again. I think it mostly had to do with the hype of Pokemon more than anything else.

But while playing Brawl, and testing out everyone, the characters I ended up liking were Pikachu, the Pokemon Trainer, and Lucario. During the Subspace Emmisary, my group of 4 always contained Pikachu and Lucario (along with Captain Falcon, and a random fourth) - and I'm certain that Nintendo knew back when the first Smash Bros was being developed, that this merging of franchises would have the potential to interest gamers in games they had not yet dabbled in...

So Pella (my wife), after seeing me brawl with the various Pokemon began asking questions about Pokemon, what the games are like, what they're about, etc. Not having clear answers for her, I've decided to pick up one of the DS titles on eBay. Though when we will have time for it is uncertain, as I recently got her into playing Puzzle Quest - and if you've played Puzzle Quest, you know how consuming it can be. And now that she's got another game that has pulled her in (like Zoo Keeper, Yoshi Touch & Go, and Animal Crossing did), she has began to notice how much better my DS Lite is than her original. So it will be off to purchase a pink DS Lite once the funds are rounded up...

Some game updates - Finished FFTA2 at 51 hours, though I most certainly didn't complete all of the side missions. Also, FFTA2 is coming to North America (finally!) on June 24, and includes some new features from the Japanese version (like stylus control - gasp!).

FFCC Ring of Fates story mode took 14 hours on normal, but after you beat it, you can start playing from the beginning with your current level and equips on Hard Mode (which features a new dungeon to explore, plus plenty of new loot). There's also a Very Hard mode, but I haven't played that far. The multi player (which can be played solo) would definitely be a lot of fun, but the game loses some points for no online coop. I've played Story and Solo Multi for about 25 hours.

I'm very excited about some of the WiiWare titles coming on May 12 - in particular FFCC: My Life as a King, and Dr. Mario. Dr. Mario will be playable online, and also features a demo version which you can send to a friend. Nice touch Nintendo!

FFCC: MLaaK is looking great, and while it is the most expensive of the bunch (1500 points), it is definitely the best looking. Plus it has become apparent in the past few days that Square Enix will be putting DLC out there for it (as part of Nintendo's Pay and Play deal).

March has been a great month for gamers. (and I won't even complain that we still don't have Everybody's Nintendo Channel either - whoops!)


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Prediction for the next Nintendo handheld

Nintendo initially said that the DS was not a Gameboy, but a third tier. Since the DS is a huge success, Nintendo is no longer producing the Gameboy Advance SP or Micro, and desires to focus its attention on the success of the DS.

I thought I would go ahead and post my prediction for the next handheld. For fun, we'll call it the DS Advance (see what I did there?) - yes I think they'll stick with the dual screen system. Here's a rundown of what I'm thinking:

*Dual Screens
*Touch Screen
*Backwards compatible with DS cartridges
*New media will be on mini discs like the Gamecube
*Graphics will better than Gamecube games - at least Gamecube quality
*No GBA slot
*System will have applications - internet browser, pictochat v2, a day planner/calendar possibly?
*Friend codes will still be in place for games (and pictochat v2)
*No hard drive (except small space for internet cache) - games will still be the primary focus, not mp3s or videos - and this keeps the cost down

And a couple of my own personal wishes...

*Comes with DS1 storage cart
*Better Wii connectivity - download Virtual Console games to your DS that can be stored on a DS1 cartridge
*Download Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games to your DS1 cartridge - Also, upload-ability to Wii (I would actually prefer the WiiVC get GB, GBC, & GBA games...)
*DS Network - see your friends online - send single card multiplay data to friends via the internet, not just locally. Any game that is multiplayer should be playable from any distance.

I don't think this is too unrealistic of an idea, and I think I would be pretty easily persuaded to make the purchase. I can't imagine Nintendo making another handheld system that didn't take advantage of the DS's success and large game list.

Time will tell!


(PS - on a side topic, I am now cruising into 40 hours on FFTA2. I really expected to be finished with it already, but I'm definitely not complaining...)