Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Are two screens better than one?

So, I picked up a Nintendo DS yesterday for work. I've been more than a
little curious about the system. The dual screens are unusual enough,
but the touch screen in particular is an odd twist in gaming. Yeah,
yeah. I know that PDAs use touch screens, but it's nothing like this.
Using the touch screen on the DS really does a lot to bring players
deeper into the game.

I started off playing the Metroid demo packaged with the system. It
took a little bit for me to get the hang of using the touch screen, but
after getting past the slight learning curve, I found the controls to be
a fun new experience. Graphically, the system packs a pretty good punch
too. While the DS is essentially a portable N64, the graphics actually
look a lot more crisp than most of the games I've ever seen on the
classic home system.

So, after playing the demo, I'm really looking forward to the getting
the full game. To tide my over until then though, I picked up a copy of
Super Mario 64 DS. SM64 still ranks as one of the best games of all
time, and this portable version is even better than the original. I
hesitate to call the game a remake simply because there is SO much
changed and added to the game. The most obvious change is the addition
of the 3 other characters: Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario. Each of the
characters has his own set of special moves and abilities, adding a new
aspect of gameplay to the original game. And then there are the
minigames. These cool little additions all add up to make SM64 DS a
rock solid game.

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