First of all everything Tycho said about MGS 3 is right on the money. If you want to know what the game is like but you don’t want to buy it, here’s what you do. Go out into your backyard and lay down in the grass for fifteen hours. Every twenty minutes have a friend come out and step on your balls. That will give you a pretty good idea of what MGS 3 is like.
Somehow we were able to score an early copy of Final Fantasy 1&2 Dawn of Souls for the GBA. With all the other shit that’s been coming out I’ve only been able to spend a few hours with it. So I can’t give you a full review, but I can give you my impressions of the game so far.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the music is awesome, way better than it should be on a GBA. Also as someone who got into the FF series late, it’s really cool to go back and see how it all started. What’s interesting to me is that all the stuff you expect from an FF game was already present right from its inception. I’m playing FF 1 right now and I’ve got black mages, red mages, crystals and a very familiar battle system. One thing to keep in mind is that these are old games. Don’t expect any flashy summons or crazy special effects. Even compared to other current GBA RPGs it feels simple. Think of it more like a time capsule than a new game.
If you’ve already played these games you’ll get improved graphics and a new dungeon. From what I understand some of the text has also been tweaked making for a relatively new experience.
We also got our hands on a DS last week along with a few games. I just don’t know what to make of it. Every time I pick it up to play a game it feels awkward. It’s big, heavy and uncomfortable to hold.
The Metroid Hunters demo that comes packed in with the system is probably my favorite game. I’d recommend leaving the stylus in the machine and instead using the thumb nubbin. I honestly don’t know what it’s called. It’s a little strap with a plastic nub that fits over your thumb. Using it on the touch screen makes it function like the analog stick on a normal controller.
Mario 64 DS is also a decent game. At first I thought the ability to play through Mario 64 as different characters was just a gimmick with no real value, but now that I’ve got it I can say it’s actually kind of cool. Even with all the mini games and the new characters it’s still just a remake and in my opinion the DS really could have used an all new Mario game at launch.
The other games we got are Spider-Man 2, Feel the Magic, and Asphalt Urban GT. Spider-Man is fun enough and I like that they kept it 2D. Feel the Magic is crazy but Kara really likes it. Last night I heard her yelling into the DS and I asked her what she was doing. Apparently one of the mini games requires that you get the attention of a girl standing with her back to you. So you have to yell into the mic to get her to turn around and notice you. Not my kind of game but she seemed to be having fun. Urban GT is a perfectly decent racing game and that’s all I can really say about it.
Overall the entire DS experience for me has been very underwhelming. The games range from worthless to decent and the machine itself feels awkward. Nintendo still hasn’t proved to me that the DS isn’t just another Virtual Boy. Maybe the next batch of games will do that. With the PSP looming on the horizon they don’t have a lot of time to waste.