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Posts Tagged ‘DS’

Well, this is one for the squealing Nintendo fanboy in me. It’s E3 today, and though the 3DS was leaked early (due to a circuitboard patent, among other things), its nice to see some official material on the subject.

Its pretty awesome. Whilst Microsoft is fumbling around in the dark trying to catch up to the Motion Sensor bandwagon with its Kinect thing, Nintendo have again grabbed the innovation biscuit by the throat here.

The big thing: Auto Stereoscopy. Basically a brand new technology we’re talking about here, different from the lenticular idea, and freshly made by Sharp. In other words, true 3D that leaps outta the screen at you, without need for a 80’s fashion statement with 3d glasses, and with much less red and green rubbish.

It relies on optical illusion, of course, but who cares, its a great idea.

Other cool features include:

  • It includes a full suite of Wii-like motion sensors and gyros.
  • DS Phat size, with DSXL widescreen (3.5″)
  • An analogue trackpad to go with the D-Pad
  • A slider to adjust the 3d-ness (technical terms here!)
  • Bottom normal 2d touchscreen as usual
  • Apparently has the processor power approaching a Wii.
  • Two (!) digital cameras, that allow you to take 3d photographs.
  • Of course, backwards DS compatibility.

What’s even more fun is that we have an instantly huge catalogue of developers throwing their games that they want to develop at us.

Even better, there’s a whole bevy of things that could be awesome…lets see:

Well, I’ve never much had a love for Kid Icarus, but where better would it be for Pit to make his true comeback outside of Smash Bros than in some kind of true 3d flight capable craziness? The announcement of a new 3d Pilotwings, and a new 3d Starfox, also make one feel excited, especially if the system can convey a good sense of speed and velocity with its 3d. There’s also Nintencats to join the dogs, and I’m quite interested in their new submarine franchise, Steel Diver.

In terms of 3rd party stuff, theres even better yet. A Resident Evil in 3d! If they do that right, It’ll make you wet yourself in a mix of terror and joy. Apparently, there may also be Sonic title, a Super Monkey Ball, a new Street Fighter, a Metal Gear game, and Atlus is also thinking of more Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey, apparently.

Anyway, all good stuff, eh? I really look forward to it. Of course, I am a nintendofag, so whatever.

In other news, there should be a preview post for the next anime season up in a few days. I’ve been distracted!

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Just felt the need for a random post today. Of course, the Spring Anime Season 2010 is almost upon us, and as usual I’m glad to see everyone seems to appreciate the Early Thoughts I posted. It is also unfortunate to hear that Omni, blogger of the rather famous and useful Random Curiosity, is finally retiring. I wish him luck in his future endevours, as his site is what originally inspired me to create Detarame.

In any case, tis’ also the season for new games to appear. Much to my chagrim, I find myself poor and destitute without any means to acquire both the new Pokemon Soul Silver AND the new Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. Since I had already ordered my Pokemon copy, I’m now going to have to wait for Strange Journey. Which is a little annoying, though I guess it will actually give me time to spend with both more easily, I suppose. There is also Infinite Space coming out, so its a great time for the DS.

As for Soul Silver, it’s nice to see Nintendo returning to the best game of the Pokemon franchise (well, at least in my opinion, Ruby/Sapphire was a serious turn for worse on the series). Diamond/Pearl had potential and started to repair the gaps, but somehow seemed incomplete or experimental, which I suppose is down to the move into 3d and of course, onto the DS hardware.

I’m pleased to see alot of niggling issues that have been made better here, such as:

  • Toggleable Running Shoes, at last. My finger was hurting from pressing B too much.
  • Two slots for quick items. Handy, since I can now easily access both the Bike and the Itemfinder at once.
  • No silly gadget gimmicks. The Pokegear just being a phone/map/radio device is simple and effective.
  • Much better PC storage box functionality, though it is hidden away, bizarrely. The upgraded ‘Move Pokemon’ option from the PC can now save some time due to being able to drag and drop between boxes and your party at whim. What I don’t understand is why the old ‘Deposit’ and ‘Withdraw’ options weren’t just merged into one, since ‘Move’ now obsoletes them all.
  • The 1st Pokemon in the party following you around at first seemed like a gimmick. And it is, but its a nice one.
  • The Pokeathelon is at least marginally more amusing than the Pokemon contest, though still obviously made for wasting time.

What still needs to be done, though:

  • Give the A.I. some brains. It still obviously randomly selects moves from its team, rather than taking advantage of the game mechanics. Only very occassionally does an enemy trainer use items or strategic switches, allowing you to walk all over them. If you’re concerned about making it too hard for n00bs, then have an A.I. difficulty setting.
  • More type combos! I always wondered why, for example, we have Dark pokemon, but no Light pokemon. In my imaginining, Light would be effective vs. Electric and Dark, be ineffective vs. Steel and Fighting, and nullified completely by Grass. Various moves that are Normal, like Hyper Beam and Flash, should be relocated to this.
  • Fewer arbitrary HM moves. Flash and Defog are the worst culprits, but having THREE water based HM’s is also ridiculous, since your Water Pokemon has no room for customisation. I shouldn’t ~have to~ carry a HM slave with me. Alternatively, make it so that Pokemon have a 5th Move slot that is ONLY for the arbitrary HM moves so it doesn’t matter as much. Or, an even more crazy idea: make the trainer actually do some bloody work (be able to swim yourself, like you see lots of other people doing, or be able to equip your own Katana to Cut down trees). I mean, I’m aware that the main character is usually a 12/13 year old, but even so, they shouldn’t as useless, right?
  • Similarly, make poor types like Ice and Bug actually more playable. They still have too many weaknesses at the moment, in my opinion. I mean, everyone wants a pokemon with an Ice Move for Dragonkilling, but no-one actually keeps an Ice type, at least in my experience. Bug is even worse off, since many of its final forms have low stats, and its main duty (Psychic killing) is hardly exclusive with Dark moves being prevalant.
  • Make people more aware of the combat triangle and integrate more into the game. The main game basically encourages you to have a team of sweepers, but tanks and annoyers need a bigger place in the scheme of things, since they’re important in multiplayer strategies.
  • Show IVs and EVs in the game. I think its ridiculous to keep these as hidden, since its impossible to recognise their effect on your team until you’ve wasted alot of training time. And one shouldn’t have to track EV’s on scrap paper! Similarily, there should be an Identify type move or device that allows you to tell what the Pokemons Nature and IVs are prior to you catching them. I mean, its fine if these things are represented using pictograms or something (like the Pokeathlon stars), but it really needs to be done.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve had quite enough of me ranting about Pokemon. What would really be nice is seeing Touhoumon in the new DS system, but that’s probably a far off dream, eh?

Whilst I’m on the subject though, you can have a new 1440 x 900 wallpaper:

As always, click the image to see it full size.

Tenchi in a cavern, LOL. She gives the real title to this post, since it would be heavenly to dungeoncrawl with her (facepalm at my my own terrible pun). I’ve been out of the wallpaper crafting for a little while, so I thought I’d start up again slow. This one wasn’t much effort on my part, I’ll readily admit; its just throwing a stock render together with a fabulous vector and adding the effects. Ah well.

I believe that’s about all for now. Cya again soon.

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Happy belated new year and new decade.

Well, I was absent for a couple of weeks as initially anticipated without net access and ability to update. And of course, its been straight back to work after that! Anyways, the new Anime season has been pretty slow with picking up, so I’m actually not as far behind as I might have imagined, with only Sora no Woto, Baka no Test and Ladies vs. Butlers to actually review at the moment. I’ll probably throw them into a post together shortly when I can around to doing them.

With no net, I ended using my DS far more than usual over the christmas holiday when I was not engaging in the usual celebratory measures with the family. This led me into playing 7th Dragon in Japanese, which I had already started puzzling my way through back in the start of December.

I’ve been very eager to play this for quite a long time. It is, in essence, Etrian Odyssey III. Not in name, but certainly it is a spiritual successor with some of the same creators involved (and Yuzo Koshiro did the soundtrack!) . However, it takes that core formula, and adds a huge Dragon Quest type RPG onto Etrian’s amazing party customization. It also, of course, keeps the FOE’s and pretty high difficulty level. Classes are completed changed around, though, probably for the better, as they are very synergistic with one another, probably more so than ever: creating a party that works well and has a variety of strategies is a key to the game.

Unfortunately, Sega recently announced absolutely no plans to localise it, causing me to <headdesk> repeatedly. I suppose there is still a dim chance that Atlus, ever the savior for obscure games, might still pick it up, but I decided I couldn’t wait and plunged in playing the Japanese version (which, actually I was a little reluctant to do since I knew I’d be missing some of finer plot points). I’m mainly able to do this with help of the rather decent English Wiki that exists to provide a chunk of facts about the gameplay.

I also spent some time doing this Sketch of the Rushe Princess from the game:

Click the above to get a larger image, as usual.

She’s the one who always looks ill in the game. I decided this was due to insomnia, LOL. Her original, in game design, which I based this off, can be seen on the Wiki Princess Page. Yes, she’s the one with the blue hair and folded down cat ears.

She’s normally in my lead party providing a mixture of voice skills and occassional whipping support (I called her Felli, but this is customisable).

Oddly enough, though I often seem to draw girls on beds (ROFL), this is first sleepy girl I’ve drawn. I quite liked adding the details; like the bizarre corkscrew rabbit she carries, her twitching ear, disheveled hair and the whip under the pillow (!). Isn’t always amazing how crowns seem to stay on your head when you sleep with any animated royalty?

Anyway, it is, as I anticipated, a very, very great game (though I’m aware I’m very biased about this), and I’ve already clocked 40 hours (and have not quite reached the mid-game yet!).

So much so, that I decided I would attempt to help introduce others a bit by starting a FAQ and Walkthrough! Though not complete, I’ll update this post as it becomes updated.

The Current Version is 0.59

Get it by clicking the above link.

It is a Microsoft Word document. Eventually, a plain text version will be sent in to GameFAQs.

Hopefully this will help you if you decided to try the game out.

Anyway, as noted, I should return soon with my run of initial impressions over the next week or so, so stay tuned.

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Just a short post again today. I’ve been rather distracted with various games, which have all been eating away at my spare time. As noted before, I’ve been playing Syarin no Kuji and will eventually get around to doing a VN diary for it, though it took me longer than anticipated to complete it. Rather interesting game, though, with a world that replaces prison time with ‘obligations’ like losing some hours of your day, not being able to disobey parents or not being able to speak with the opposite gender.

I also picked up the new Heroes of Might and Magic game for the DS. I haven’t actually played a Heroes game properly since HoMM 4, since I had to return HoMM 5 since it never worked on my laptop, apparently due to some bugs, since I met the system specs and Oblivion used to work fine, which I’m sure was more graphically intense. Nevertheless, I’m told it returned more to the HoMM 3 type system, which I thought was inferior to 4, so it probably wasn’t much of a loss.

Back on topic, however, I’m very impressed with this game. It takes the classic, if tired HoMM like formulae, and forces a puzzle game down its throat, revitalising it in the process. Lining up columns of troops to attack and rows to defend, along with chain linking, merging, spells, artifacts, and both elite and champion class troops each with their own rules of engagement, and you have a very deep and fascinating strategy blend.

This is tagged onto a standard HoMM like map for exploration, recruiting, resource gathering and quests. Most of the standard sides return, with Haven, Academy, Necropolis, Sylvan and Inferno, creating a pentagon of wholly different sides that in some ways feel similar to the five colours from Magic the Gathering.

I’m currently on Godric’s campaign, which is a step up in difficulty from Anwen’s, I have to say, as his requires a much more defensive playstyle with his slower charging troops and damage prevention spell. Fortunately, you can get XP for solving puzzles too in this game, which helps in the more difficult battles. It’ll be interesting to play the more ‘evil’ sides after completing this, I should imagine.

To finish, I also created a new wallpaper again for you to use.
Its Ruri Matsuri, a new God girl and student council president from the latest Shuffle! game, Shuffle Essence+:

As always, click the above to see it full sized

Unfortunately, I’m told that Ruri doesn’t actually get a route in the game, which is kinda odd since they’re using her for the advertisment in Dengeki Hime. Whatever. In case you were wondering, this game is basically a revised version of the original shuffle, with a stack of extra girls thrown in and some slight amendments to the routes of the original girls. Most of the new ladies are God girls, actually. But then again, they already did a side game featuring the Demon world (Shuffle! Tick! Tack!) so I suppose its just. Or something.

And yes, you can actually romance Kareha-sempai now (hopefully complete with her ‘brrrinng, brrrinng, brrrinng!’ noise and her sparklies):

“Mai! Mai! MAI!” <brrrinng, brrrinng, brrrinng!> etc.

Which is perhaps the best development, since she was the most amusing character, IMHO.

Anyway, thats all for today. Cya again soon.

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So, uh, what the heck am I blogging this for, I hear you cry…

Though I’ve had my time excessively drained with working activities recently, I’ve also had what little spare time I’ve had left also being consumed by my pretty homebrew cartridge. So I figured I had better write about this and present my excuses for being lazy with my other commitments, like this blog, my RPG maker game, Aniventure, et al.

See, this xmas just gone, my main request (besides the new Fire Emblem game) was a good, easy to use homebrew cartridge. I got an N5, which is a spin-off of the popular R4DS cartridge, and I don’t think I could’ve got a better one. Its easy to use and versatile, fitting into the SLOT-1 on the DS, and not requiring a bypass cartridge in the GBA slot. Moreover, software does not have to be DLDI patched with this little gem, saving you some time and hassle on the PC end. I highly recommend it!

So, some fun things to do with your homebrew…

1. Play a (fairly) fully functional version of Fate Stay Night with Voices!

ss07

Well, this was obviously going to be top of my list, wasn’t it? LOL. I could hardly believe it at first, but its true and it works fine. The hardworking resident of weeboo.nl has created an entire visual novel interpreter and has also posted a downloadable version of Fate/Stay Night to use in conjuction with it.

Though it takes a bite out of my Micro SD card by being there, I feel its pretty worthwhile. Having text on the bottom screen and images on the top is vastly superior to overlaying the image with text. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a boom of DS visual novels (though I guess Another Code, Hotel Dusk, Time Hollow et al. count as visual novels with puzzle elements)

What I will say though is that the sound effects support is bit trashy. I’m aware the DS has crappy RAM, but waiting 2 seconds each time a sound effect has to load is a bit of a pain in the behind. The battle scenes end up being slide-show like and lose their excitement because of these delays.

I find this to be rather weird, actually, since there is never any delay in the voices, which are integrated perfectly, despite the fact that one would think those would take longer…

Its also crashed a couple of times on me, but despite its instabilities, I still think its a cool effort.

Check it out at: http://www.weeaboo.nl/index.php?cat=2


2. Play DOS classics

My original main reason for requesting a homebrew cart. I’m an abandonware lover, having grown up with DOS based machines and an Atari-ST. I love to return to all those games I sucked at as a kid and give them the attention that they really deserved. My picks in this field are:

Tyrian DS

Arguably the greatest western shooter ever made in the 90’s, it was rebuilt into the Tyrian 2000 version with an additional episode and has since become abandonware.

tyrian-2000_51

Everything in Tyrian is classic, from the expertly tuned waves of enemies and the huge bosses to the stupendously cohesive upgrade screen that allows for thousands of combinations. Then there’s the almost tongue in cheek storyline that you recieve from collecting data-cubes. Some of the cubes you collect are hilarious, like tourist reports, sales brochures, and essays trying to explain just why there is fruit floating around in space.

And now you can play it on the move with your DS, thanks to the efforts of the people at VespeneGas. Awesome!

Its a nearly perfect port. It does suffer some slight slowdown when there’s hundreds of bullets on screen, but its otherwise pretty flawless.

You can also get the original PC version from Abandonia.


Lemmings DS

Well, of course!

20070917_lemmings_ds

The classic annoying as hell save the strange little creatures game is still alive and well on your DS as the LemProject.

This is again a flawless port, with absolutely no slow-down, and all of the levels from both the original and Oh no! More Lemmings packages for your enjoyment. Its something that the stylus was almost made for, since I always used to get seriously annoyed with the relative inaccuracy of a mouse selection box.

Anyway, check out LemProject to learn more.


Doom DS

ds_doom_v11

Well, again, you can’t have ANY retro platform without some kind of port of Doom, can you? Considering it truly started the FPS phenomenon and all that. And managed to be genuinely scary when played with the lights off.

Again, its a solid port without any significant issues. Having a constant automap on the bottom screen is actually quite useless if you know the game as well as I do, but nevertheless its reasonable use of the real-estate.

Get it from DSDOOM. You’ll need an original WAD file, though. (LOL, I still have it on floppy disks…)


3. Use it as a medium for SCUMM-VM.

scumm

Remember all those LucasArts adventure games, like Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Curse of Monkey Island, et al.? Well, as any abandonware affectionado can tell you, getting these things to play on your modern computer is nigh on impossible. Since, hey, DOS no longer exists since Windows 2000/ XP.

Of course, you can get around this by using the famous DosBox emulator (which I whole heartedly recommend). But for these games in paticular, some clever chaps went and wrote a modern interpreter, ScummVM, which takes the original data and puts it into a more Windows friendly format.

And now, you can use ScummVM on your DS, thanks to DrunkenCoders.

I use it to play my old CDROM copies of Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island 2. What’s more, voices are supported from these versions fine.

Its functionally a reasonable job, but I will say that the screen scaling is always off, which I can’t help but find a bit irritating. (that is, having to scroll the screen to access the bottom few pixels)…

I also don’t really understand the zoom on speech function. Its a neat idea, but it just gives me headaches…

Ah well, its still a great thing to appeciate this stuff on the move.


Hope you enjoy that stuff! I know I have!

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