Supple Think: Summer DS Grab Bag.

Summer DS Grab Bag.

by alzabo

Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Labels: , , ,
Final Fantasy IV just dropped for DS and it's been well received.

I bear FFIV no ill will, it was an excellent SNES/SuFami game. While I don't think people who played it in 1991 need to rush out and pick up a copy, if a FFIV veteran does pick up the game they will not experience the nostalgia death marchs that FF IV, FFV & FFVI were on GBA. The game presentation and difficulty level are so different that it honestly feels like a different game, even if the primitive 3D models do feel inappropriate for some of the emotionally heavy situations (kind of like FFVII). If you're interested in playing something a little different this summer you could always import a DS game.

As a child I felt Japan got all the best games, reading gaming mags that endlessly previewed what was hot in Japan every month. Importing games used to give me a giddy little thrill, I felt I was performing an end-run around the domestic companies who usually dictate what the American public can play. How I viewed Japanese games has been summed up neatly by Percy Bysshe Shelly:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
'Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

There are 3 games that come out within a month of one another in Japan this summer that I'd love to get my hands on. While the majority of DS owners around the world will never play these games, they'll at least have a chance to own one of them this fall. Provided Nintendo doesn't fuck up the localization. Moving on, here's a list of DS games you can import this summer.

1) KORG DS-10 Synthesizer

It's a KORG synth, IN YOUR DS. If you are not immediately rushing out the buy this after reading that you should probably skip ahead to the next section of this article. The Synth is supposedly a super accurate recreation of the real KORG synth and has features such as a touch screen patch panel & a built-in save memory big enough for large drum loops and crap like this:

Sorry 'bout the rickroll. I applaud the concept and exicution of the KORG DS10 Synthesizer software/tool. However, I must admit that I have no desire to fool around partially because it is yet another DS game that requires the use of headphones and mainly because drum loops are about as interesting to me as running a mixing board at a raga concert.

2) Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kizuna: Dai-Ichi-Kan Tatari

If the Phoenix Wright games and Hotel Dusk are the decendents of the old LucasArts adventure games like Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle, the Higurashi games are the crossbred decendents ofthe most brutal Sierra and Infocom games you ever played.

The basic premise of the Higurashi adventure games is that you fail over and over again. With each failure you crawl towards the ultimate "good ending." The "bad ends" (NWS) are honestly quite disturbing (yet strangely enjoyable) and are as satisfying as the "good endings" that lead to the ultimate solution to the game. I also love the game play element where the perspective of the player changes from one cast member to another as they play through the various scenarios. While a comparison of the Higurashi Games and Sound Novels to the Bill Murry's film Groundhog's Day would be apt, I feel it has just as much in common with the Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

I could bang on about good adventure games like this on the DS for quite a while I must draw a clear line in the sand and say I won't be playing this game because it'll never receive an English localization. Oh well, at least Konami is US localizing their weird time-travel DS adventure game Time Hollow.

3) Rhythm Tengoku Gold

The first Rhythm Tengoku game was a pretty big hit at a time when the GBA was near the end of its production life cycle in Japan. It's simple controls, addictive game play and off-beat sense of humor made it THE GBA game to import for people everywhere.

The sequel will be more of the same, and I can't wait. Nintendo has stated that they're considering bringing the game to North America and maybe Europe. Call me obtuse if you must but I can't bring myself to trust Nintendo to localize the game properly. If I choose to buy Rhythm Tengoku Gold, I'll be importing the Japanese version.

I don't have a good closer for this article. I could write something snide about Nintendo or how "America misses out on the good stuff again." I could write something redundant about how Nintendo's gutsy little platform is home to more than mere children's games. Honestly, this is a wish list that belongs to a person who has become so jaded with mainstream games that he only wants to play with synthesizer simulators, horror novel games with 50+ gory endings and off-beat 1 button rhythm that are difficult to the point of being inaccessible to mainstream gamers. Article Permalink



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