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A brief history of Club Nintendo Awesomeness

By now, you've no doubt heard: Nintendo is rolling out Club Nintendo in the U.S. by the end of 2008. Wahey! Yeah, we know that Japan (generally speaking) gets the most excellent items when compared to elsewhere, but listen here, bub: it's free stuff. We're not about to complain, and nor should you (if you want to feel sorry for somebody, Australia's Club Nintendo scheme has gone AWOL, and check out South Africa's piss-poor Stars Catalogue).

Anyway, as these are happy times for North Americans, we thought we'd reflect on some of the bestest Club Nintendo gifts and trinkets from both Japan and Europe to date -- some of which could end up in the U.S.! Hit the gray button to start DS Fanboy's whirlwind Club Nintendo Tour of Wonders!

Goodbye, GBA

While the DSi isn't going to be a factor for those of us in the U.S. and Europe until next year (unless you're importing), we're already gathered in a solemn knot and singing a dirge in honor of the Game Boy Advance. Nintendo's last juggernaut was supposed to be alive and kicking, healthy as can be, and part of a three-pillar strategy for Nintendo's control of the gaming universe. Instead, we're preparing to bid farewell to those fat cartridges, and with them, a bevy of DS/DS Lite accessories, add-ons, and extras.

If you're trading in or selling a DS to fund a DSi purchase, you'll be gaining a lot ... but today, we're here to mourn everything you're going to lose, and if you've bought a lot of DS accessories, you stand to lose a lot if you don't keep a DS or DS Lite around. Step right into the gallery to kick off the tour of tragedy, or slip past the break for a moment of song in honor of the death of the GBA slot.

Continue reading Goodbye, GBA

DS Daily: Encasement

There are hundreds -- no, probably thousands -- of truly excellent DS cases floating around. No matter your taste, style, or brand of fandom, you can almost certainly find something that suits you. In fact, around here, we have time settling on just one case per DS. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming.

On the flip side, you can make a DS case out of just about anything. You can even stick it naked into your pocket or bag and depend on luck. Considering all this, here's our question today: how much money do you think you've spent on cases for your DS(es)? If you're one of the lucky ones who can answer "none" who isn't also carrying around a DS in a sock, then our kudos to you!

DS Daily: Add-ons

A suggestion in the comments of yesterday's DS Daily about a portable GameCube led to another, all-new thought: would you pick up another add-on for your DS if if offered some sort of neat functionality like that? We say another because the Guitar Grip obviously went over well, and most folks who tried the paddle controller, for instance, with Taito's games enjoyed it. Too many add-ons may spoil the portability of the system, but are some things worth it?

Rumor: Tony Hawk's Motion signals another add-on

Is Activision about to dip its bloated, corporate toe into the murky world of DS peripherals once again? Whispers about the next Tony Hawk game shipping with a motion-sensing device that plugs into the handheld (à la the Guitar Grip) have been flying around since, well, since the company revealed that the title would "utilize new technology not yet seen on the DS."

And now, your honor, we present the latest piece of evidence: an OFLC rating for a DS game known as Tony Hawk's Motion. Could that name suggest anything other than a motion-sensing device or self-applicable go faster stripes for your DS? We've already seen the Guitar Grip peripheral snapped up by tons of people with a higher cramp tolerance than us, so maybe Activision wants more of that sweet pie.

[Via Shacknews]

[Update -- Fixed errors, thanks Pyro!]

Ah, the crazy, unhinged world of the DS plug-in peripheral. Activision's Guitar Grip was far from the first to appear on the scene -- back in 2006, Metroid Prime Pinball shipped with the Rumble Pak, while a DS camera, the Love and Berry card reader, and Taito's paddle controller are available in Japan. And who can forget Mag Kid's downright odd (and dangerous) "slide sensor"?

DS Daily: Accessorizing

Most DS owners have, at some time or another, picked up a case (to protect the system) or perhaps a specialized stylus. But have you bought anything else? Hard shells, skins -- decorative, silicon, or both -- or something wacky like a stand? We'd love to hear how you accessorize your baby, even if it's only a matter of buying something to keep those tiny carts in.

Essential Extras: Penguin United 24x Gaming Pouch

So, right now you can win a Penguin United case that will hold twenty-four DS carts, but how does it look doing so? How's it hold up? Is it worth overcoming horrendous feelings of laziness in order to click the link to the contest? We unboxed a bunch of games in an attempt to find out.

A game case really only needs one thing: a place to securely hold games. Everything else, including cuteness, is basically extra, even if we consider it essential (and oh, we do). We know the Penguin United cases are cute. We know they hold a lot of games. But are they worthwhile? The short answer is yes. The long answer is full of misdeeds, games, and vinyl, and is located after the break.

Continue reading Essential Extras: Penguin United 24x Gaming Pouch

Finally, DS Lite accessories for Gothic Lolitas

If sewing dark lace onto your system cases and painting your handheld supplements black and pink to accompany your GothLoli look sounds too laborsome and time-consuming, Keys Factory has just the solution for your unique needs -- Infem.In, a new and complete accessory line designed to match your dark Victorian livery.

Available in Japan starting July 31st, the new DS Lite set features a stylus, a card case (which holds 4 carts), a hard cover, a system pouch, an LCD cleaner with a case, and a pair of screen protectors, almost all of them painted black and pink, decorated with hearts and ornate accents. Each item is sold separately, with prices at import shop Play Asia ranging from $6.90 to $14.90.

Interestingly, Keys Factory has set up an official site just for this specific line, offering up a slick Flash presentation for the products, wallpaper downloads, and even a sliding tile puzzle mini-game. The company must have high hopes for this somber set!

See also: Fit for a princess: DS plays dress-up

Gallery: accessories

Zombees case will stay in your head, in your head

We had no idea that we needed a new system case adorned with undead bees before today, but this latest creation from craftster Mimi helped us identify that missing vital component of our gaming life. She has also created a similar pouch with a Kokeshi doll theme, which you can fawn over in our gallery below.

Mimi's pricing for the two items have a bit of sting of them -- £13.99 each (approx. $27.70), plus shipping from the UK -- but it's to be expected with a lovable honeycomb print like this. In addition to inside pockets and popper closures, the cases feature soft felt lining to keep your DS Lite cozy. Really, it's the zombee's knees.

Gallery: Eskimimi Cases

UK sees plague of dodgy DS chargers

Here's some advice for any Brits currently in need of a new DS charger: don't skimp on it. The consumer protection folks at Trading Standards have stated that there are "hundreds of thousands, or even millions" of unsafe AC power adaptors on UK high streets. The cheap (about £6) chargers originated from China, and have exposed wires and ill-fitting pins that can cause the adaptor to overheat, or even electrocute owners, like the poor Pig Slaves above! Yeep!

Versions labeled for the DS Phat, DS Lite and Game Boy are said to be among the biggest culprits, while a fake European CE safety mark appears on many. These might not just be limited to shadier outlets, either -- apparently, several retailers are stocking them, which could mean any of the bigger stores. We suggest using this as an excuse to pick up Hori's effortlessly stylish DS Lite Charge Stand.

[Via MCV]

Cases Critterized

Most DS Lite cases are themed on something. These particular cases are themed just fine, but it's nothing we've seen before. Etsy craftsperson filmfatale has gone for a generic "critters" design. Someone might filch the idea and use critters in an upcoming game ... which would spawn a disturbing merchandising cycle. Coming soon from a developer near you -- Critters: The Case: The Game: The Case.

Some materials used here are none other than recycled clothing (among other suitable fabrics). That's a pretty good idea. In fact, anyone with a leftover surplus of puffy shirts or parachute pants should probably get to work, because homemade cases are all the rage. Check out filmfatale's store for more stock!

Gamechains are off the hook

While we're more for the pouch method of storing multiple DS game carts, some of you might appreciate the subtlety of a metal chain. You can see what we're talking about on the right there. Frankly, we're surprised someone hasn't come up with this idea sooner!

Gamechains come in a basic set, which will cost you $9.95. Within this basic set, you'll find:
  • 8 Laser-cut acrylic GameChains tabs in four different colors
  • 1 powder coated metal ball chain (black or white) to connect your now containable games
  • 10 Adhesive pads
What do you all think? Ridiculous accessory or are Gamechains useful?

[Via Gizmodo; thanks, Paul!]

Activision dishes out free On Tour skins

Remember that video that showed you how to skin your Guitar Hero: On Tour peripheral? Well, you might want to put that knowledge to work, as the official site for Guitar Hero: On Tour has updated with some badass skins you can print out and use to customize to your little rocker heart's content.

All you have to do is head over here. Each of the skins comes in a PDF file, so once you click on it and print it, it should be a snap to cut out and insert into the peripheral.

[Via Go Nintendo]

Toytech takes a stand on DS accessories

We spotted Toytech's new Yatterman-themed styli and stands, really taking to the idea of keeping the pen upright and displayed. Play Asia has the sets in stock for a cheap $5.99, but we passed on the deal, realizing that we had no idea what a Yatterman is or why we would want it on a stylus! Apparently, it's an anime remake of a late-70's Japanese show?

We went searching for some stylus-and-stand alternatives, and, wouldn't you know it, we found out that Toytech has a whole line of interesting accessories with more recognizable characters. Look past the post break for some of them!

See also: Poke the Force with Lightsaber styli

Continue reading Toytech takes a stand on DS accessories

Poke the Force with Lightsaber styli

We're often wooed by game-themed styli, but never has the Force been with a touchpen so much as with these mini Lightsabers. Releasing on July 31st, these official Nintendo and Lucas Arts styli are sure to sell like hotcakes (we can think of at least one game they'll go well with). Yet if you plan to buy them, you'll have a tough choice to make -- should you get the three small replicas for $7.99, or the two slightly bigger light-up sabers for $16.99? Choices, choices.

So far we've only seen these beauties available on Amazon through seller BD&A, but we're sure they'll hit other retailers as time passes. If you're too cheap to make the purchase, though, be sure to check out our guide for stylus alternatives.

[Thanks, Kimiko!]

Source: Nintendo DS Star Wars Light Up Lightsaber Stylus 2 Pack
Source: Nintendo DS Star Wars Lightsaber Stylus 3 Pack

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Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
Bleach: Dark Souls
Oct 6
Legend of Kage 2
Oct 6
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Oct 6
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Oct 6
My Japanese Coach
Oct 14
Korg DS-10
Oct 14
Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 Oct 14
FIFA Soccer 09 Oct 14
Populous Oct 14
Rock Revolution
Oct 14
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Oct 21
Away: Shuffle Dungeon
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Oct 21
What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
Oct 28
Ninjatown Oct 28

Get homebrew on your DS!

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