The Time Of His Life
I recognize that this will now be my third day discussing a Nintendo event that I claimed had no interest for you, but like a baleen I have strained the event and tried to secure the writhing krill within it. Just so you know, in this particular metaphor having a lot of writhing krill is a good thing.
Currently within my DS case there sits no less than six puzzle cartridges. If we include "brain" titles, this number leaps to eight. I feel as though I’ve got the genre represented. I did like Picross, though, and I’ll probably pick it up. You might already know about it - it goes by about a million other names. It’s a puzzle game that plays on a grid like Sudoku, but is even more suited to stylus play. Essentially, each individual square can be turned "on" or "off," and clues along the sides of the grid give you hints about what the content of that row or column should be - for example, "7 2" would mean that there is a row of seven consecutive boxes, a separation of indeterminate length, and then two more consecutive boxes. Given a ten by ten grid, the answer to that one wasn’t especially difficult - but building on that to anticipate the other areas was satisfying, and it’s another excellent match for the system.
The other thing they had on offer was Jam Sessions, a Japanese guitar simulator for the DS that I never expected to be released over here. Ubisoft decided to take a chance on a release for the rest of the world, which is pretty bold given that Jam Sessions could hardly be called a game. We sometimes talk of niches, and how remote they are, or how small, but this is not "niche." This is a slight deformity on a surface that is only visible with the help of an electron microscope and three stern technicians.
When I say Guitar Simulator, I mean it - this is a digital instrument. With a little practice and judicious use of the options, you can pull surprisingly organic sounds out of it. I’d been following the Japanese product with an intent to import it "someday," but when the offer came through to advertise it I accepted it without hesitation. We sometimes do comic projects for games, but for some reason that eludes me now I chose to write a song using it instead. Well, I wrote two songs, but one of them is from the Sex Generals and is concerned primarily with fellatio. I’m not sure if that one is really "marketing material."