March 15th, 2005, 18:01 Posted By: wraggster
News from <a href="http://www.lik-sang.com/news.php?artc=3593&lsaid=219793" target="_blank" >Lik Sang</a>
<BLOCKQUOTE>Gamers on the Nintendo side of Nextgen handheld play are having a blast with the current high-quality releases for the NDS. While Sony's PSP rightfully impresses with hardware power and big screen goodness, Nintendo's latest mobile device offers a different kind of gaming heaven. The touchscreen and stylus way of managing things gamedesign-wise seems to ignite developers' imagination and appears to produce one innovative top title after the other. For instance, blessed NDS owners will have the pleasure of devoting themselves to Rez architect Tetsuya Mizuguchi's latest masterpiece, Meteos.
It comes as no surprise that this NDS title received a well deserved 38/40 score in the latest Famitsu, since it delivers outright, cleverly designed puzzle action. Knowing that the Famitsu jury is not exactly handing out high scores by the truckload, it hints at how impressed they must have been with this game. But there are three other great games for the Nintendo DS available now (or will be shortly) that we'll introduce you to below: Yoshi's Touch & Go, Pokemon Dash and Pac Pix. So read on, if you please, to learn why NDS lovers are presently experiencing nothing but the good life:
Acclaimed developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, responsible for Space Channel 5, Rez and Lumines on PSP, graces the Nintendo DS with another of his original twists on the puzzle genre... before heading to Microsoft, according to the latest games industry rumors. In his effort to come up with another cult classic, he was joined by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai in the design department. Meteos sees you wielding the stylus to move around fragments of a detonating planet, lining up three or more blocks of the same color in the process. This will group pieces together (creating one meteor lump) in order to be sent flying back into space.
A stylish CG video intro aims at making you familiar with the 'explosive' background story, subsequently you are presented with various modes to choose from. An intriguing take on the addictive Tetris gameplay, Meteos can be experienced solo in "Star Trip" (story mode), "Simple" and "Time Attack". The added multiplayer option will guarantee for frantic block-dropping mayhem: four players can join the fun via a single cartridge, dumping built-up items like bombs over to opponents' screens to disrupt their clearing up strategy. Definitely more than just another puzzle game, the intuitive touchscreen use renders Meteos a fresh and irresistible feel, perhaps making it the most engaging title the genre has seen yet.
All preorders for this recently released highlight have been shipped out last week already, new orders are of course welcome for only US$ 49.90, eligible for our Free Shipping Worldwide promotion.
Yoshi's Touch & Go US
Initially a mere impressive tech demo shown at E3 2004, what was before known as Balloon Trip headed soon straight to full production title due to its irresistible blend of beloved Nintendo characters and pure innovative gameplay design. Yoshi's Touch & Go welcomes Baby Mario (oh, sweet memories of retro gem Yoshi's Island) back into the gaming scene, where he fearlessly takes to skydiving. Gamers guide his floating path via the stylus pen in order to return Baby Mario safely to his guardian Yoshi. Collect coins and dodge Shy Guys and other renowned Nintendo foes, while drawing clouds to cushion Baby M's fall. You can also blow at the NDS' built-in micro to see a wave of clouds flying up the screen.
After the fun of vertical blue-sky and Baby Mario being back on top of Yoshi again, the game switches to a horizontal view of the action. The cute green dragon just runs like there's no tomorrow; you are responsible for making his way through this stylus-adapted Jump'n Run. Use the touchpen to make him jump or even attempt to fly when you catch Yoshi again in mid-air. Second nature to Yoshi, eggs can be used to destroy enemies or collect coins. Clouds can still be drawn during this phase, building pathways for the dynamic duo all the way. Yoshi's Touch & Go features two-player wireless play as well as surround sound and promises one hell of a good time for NDS and Nintendo fans in general.
The US version is expected to be in stock shortly this week, while the Japanese one has been released over a month ago, with great Famitsu scores of 34/40, and is also still available. Both qualifiy for Free Shipping Worldwide of course.
Pokemon Dash US
The first Pokemon title to hit the Nintendo DS is a racer that utilises both screens of the handheld brilliantly: below, gamers slide the stylus to guide Pikachu from one Poke Ball checkpoint to the next, while the upper screen displays a radar where you can monitor your progress in comparison to your opponents. Beat other Pokemon to the finish line in a heated competition by racing Pikachu across land, sky and sea! The faster you rub on the touchscreen, the faster he runs. Pikachu moves quickest if you stay on paved roads and slows down when traveling on sand or through the forest, but special power-ups exist that help you manage tricky terrain too. Along the way, on-screen arrows guide you to the next checkpoint in your path.
Faced with impassable terrain like large areas of water, you might need to locate a hot-air balloon and explore the sky in order to reach the next checkpoint. Main mode consists of Grand Prix, which challenges you to clear five cups with five unique courses each. If beaten, hook up with GBA Pokemon versions Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald to create new tracks in the shape of your GBA Pokemon. Multiplayer lets you compete against your friends in up to six player battles!
Pokemon Dash US will arrive this week, shipping through our Free Shipping Worldwide offer for only US$ 39.95. The Japanese version is also in stock still, (free shipping here also) available for US$ 49.90.
Pac Pix JAP
Namco's most famous videogame icon invites you to pick up your stylus, aka "Ghost Pen", and go hunting the eerie ink apparitions that have mischievously invaded books and paintings. Draw Pac Man characters on the touchscreen to do away with these evil spirits. Starting with the mouth, then the circle, all in one go, the drawing will come to life and munch anything in his path. Players can maneuver these in different directions, strategically seeking out ways on the screen that your drawn characters can follow. By sketching walls in your creation's way, you make your evoked designs head in another direction.
Furthermore, gameplay allows you to send your Pac Man scribbles to the upper screen using warp tunnels, while the Boss Battle challenges require huge drawings to defeat the giant ghost monsters. Don't run out of ink when chasing the specters: the top screen keeps track of the time, score and how much ink is left. If you screw up your Pac Man sketch or ghosts run over an unfinished drawing of yours, it won't spring to life and thus the ink is wasted. Pac Pix delivers a fantastic all-new take on a videogame idea that once helped build the foundation of the videogame industry and equals nothing short but pure fun in its current form.
All preorders for the Japanese version of Pac Pix, which arrived last week, have of course been shipped out in due course. The US copy is still some way off, but open for preorders at US$ 49.90, both versions certainly eligible for Free Worldwide Shipping. Also worth mentioning is the upcoming Pac'n Roll from Namco (expected release on May 2nd), where the little yellow guy pays the Nintendo DS a visit in full 3D, a design that also represents an homage to another grand classic of yesteryear, Marble Madness. </BLOCKQUOTE>
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