Go back to school with your Mac, iPhone and TUAW
Add to: My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines
Joystiq presents

The DS Life: Guitar Heroics

No, the above clip isn't our primary subject for this week's The DS Life, but it is related and, not to mention, totally awesome.

Looking for a more console-authentic experience with Guitar Hero: On Tour, Hack A Day reader Eric Ruckerman modified a wireless Guitar Hero PS2 controller to fit a Nintendo DS and wired the peripheral's buttons into the system. He also added a transmitter to play the game's sound through his home sound system.

Pretty slick, but how can he see the notes coming down on the screen? A mirror would help! Anyway, step past the post break for a shot of Eric's setup and a photograph of someone playing Guitar Hero: On Tour with more traditional controls.

See also: The DS Life: While My Guitar Grip Gently Weeps

Continue reading The DS Life: Guitar Heroics

Pikachu! Use Deafening Racket!

Kaseo's Yellow Mouse Orchestra is a cacophonous array of circuit-bent Pikachu toys wired up to a MIDI controller, allowing Kaseo to turn the critter's trademark self-namechecking to create musical compositions. The result sounds oddly chiptune-like, despite being made from voice samples. The video above is a pretty listenable rendition of another Y.M.O. (Yellow Magic Orchestra) song. Hit the "source" link to hear a live performance, which is a lot less coherent.

The Y.M.O. is just one of the components of Kaseo's army of cyborg Pikachus. He also has a spikey Bent Pikachu Limited Edition, whose squeals have been turned into reasonably evil-sounding industrial-esque noise.

[Via Boing Boing Gadgets]

Rock out with your Guitar Grip out

Considering Guitar Hero: On Tour's required accessory, pirates without access to the Guitar Grip shouldn't be able to play the game, right? Incorrect! As they did with the Nintendo DS Browser and its Memory Expansion Pak, hackers have developed a workaround making the game playable even without the extra hardware.

If you skip to the 1:30 minute mark in the above clip, you'll see Youtube user tinymonkeyt demonstrating his patched copy of On Tour -- instead of using the four-fret controller to hit notes, you can use the directional pad or ABXY buttons. Of course, it's possible for people who legally own the game to apply the patch enabling button controls, but it looks much more awkward than using the Guitar Grip.

In other related news, according to the video, tinymonkeyt's mom isn't letting him buy Guitar Hero: On Tour. He is considering purchasing it anyway, however, and will probably "just hide it from her or something." We'll make sure to update you on any new information that comes up for this developing story.

[Via GBAtemp]

MIDIfy your DS with a new chip

If you can solder and have a basic understanding of electronics, you can add MIDI output to your DS, DS Lite, Game Boy Advance, or GBA SP. The Midify chip also interfaces with other electronics -- apparently anything that has some kind of user input. For just $35, this chip adds a MIDI port to the DS.

It doesn't turn the DS into a MIDI sequencer or allow you to output MIDI, rather, it adds a MIDI in port to the DS, allowing you to control the DS via keyboard. Confused? Imagine the DS is the microwave seen here -- it has been fitted with the Midify chip.

[Via hackaday]

Find a use for that extra DS

Nintendo is pumping out new DS colors with a vengeance, and many DS owners who've been clinging to their original models are finally breaking down and upgrading to a Lite. Still others already had a Lite, but found themselves lulled into spending even more money on a spiffy new shade. We just can't control ourselves in the face of such beauty.

But what happens when you end up with a second DS? Unless you've been retro-fitted with an extra pair of arms, you probably don't need two handhelds. Rather than letting the extra sit around and collect dust, check out our suggested uses for that second DS.

Ten things to do with that DS

Homebrew: Using the DS as a PDA

One thing that's been brought up countless times in DS-related discussions is "if only it could be used as a PDA." Well, with the right combination of hardware and software, it can! But just how well does it stand up to other devices with that classification? Read on as I take the DS through its paces to see how it performs as a personal digital assistant.

Continue reading Homebrew: Using the DS as a PDA

Need to repair a broken power switch?

For the majority of us, repairing a broken DS Lite (which is a fairly rare thing, unless you happen to be friends with G4 or something) is accomplished through doing nothing more than picking up the phone and calling Nintendo. But, some are more brave than us, taking the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of their precious handheld upon themselves.

Enter flickr user shalf, who has a daughter that broke the power switch on her pink DS Lite. Like a good dad, he isn't going to make her wait for the time it takes to ship the handheld to Nintendo and get it back repaired, he's done it himself! And, thankfully, he's taken tons of pictures and placed them on his flickr page for all to see. Hopefully, some of you out there thinking about taking apart your DS Lite can learn a thing or two from his efforts.

This isn't the first time we've featured other folks repairing their handhelds. You can check out how to replace a screen here, as well as how to take apart the whole thing here. Heck, you can even make your own Rumble Pak! Some people love the DS so much, they even try to turn other handhelds into one.

Are you a bad enough dude to replace your DS Lite's screen?

Having problems with the touchscreen on your DS Lite? Are you also a crazy person? If so, you may want to attempt to replace the touchscreen yourself using an aftermarket screen. To help future DS repairers (or perhaps just to document a successful replacement), selectbutton forum member Sushi K has created an illustrated guide to the process.

Since we have some experience replacing screen covers on handhelds, we'll offer one warning. Unless you live in one of the clean rooms used to manufacture computer chips (and you don't, because it wouldn't be clean with people living in there!) you are going to get dust under your screen. This is a certainty unless you are profoundly lucky. Still, if you can't get Nintendo to fix your DS, a speck or two of dust is a small price to pay for a working touchscreen, although there's always the potential cost of completely wrecking your system.

New Super Mario Bros. hack transports us back to 1985

Yes, yes, New Super Mario Bros. is pretty and enormously fun. We get it. But while playing through that otherwise delightful slice of 2D platforming, we often found ourselves missing the challenge of an old-school Mario game.

That's why we're excited when we see stuff like New Retro Mario Bros., one of the downright sweetest Mario hacks we've encountered in a while. Combine the luscious, 3D-on-2D visuals of the mentally popular DS game with the level design and increased difficulty of the peerless Super Mario Bros., and you're talking about our kind of game.

That's essentially what New Retro Mario Bros. is: a landmark NES game wearing fancy new DS pants; everything that appeared in Super Mario Bros. is here, right down to the last item box and Goomba. To see just how accurate it is, hit the break for videos of the original game, as well as the updated version of World 1-1. Oh, and bear in mind that the Machinae Supremacy soundtrack is for placeholder purposes only.

Continue reading New Super Mario Bros. hack transports us back to 1985

Professor Layton and the Unlocked Content [update]

Stop all the downloadin'! It turns out that Nintendo had those "downloadable" Professor Layton puzzles on the cartridge all along! When you download a puzzle, all you're downloading is an unlock code. Which isn't a big deal -- it's not like you're paying for the extra content or anything.

One user figured out how to find that content in the game data, and has compiled all 162(!) bonus puzzles, with screenshots, on a single web page. The solutions are also provided, but hidden behind links so you can actually play these puzzles if you want. Or you can spoil a friend's good time every week as you wait patiently for him or her to complete the download and then blurt out the solution.

[Update: this is actually all the puzzles!]

[Via GayGamer]

How to take notes on the DS? Magic!

So you'd like to use your DS as a notepad. You could:
  • write stuff in Pictochat and keep your DS in sleep mode until you get home
  • get a flash card (not necessarily just for this) and use DS Organize, or
  • stick a bunch of tape to the top of your DS and write on it in pencil
If the final option sounds appealing to you, check out this Instructables guide to "modding" your DS into a notepad. We actually kind of covered the whole elegantly simple process in our description, but you may need more detailed instructions. Apparently Scotch Magic Tape is, in addition to being sticky, an excellent surface for writing and erasing with pencils. Thus anything that can be covered with a layer of it, like a DS, can be made into a notepad. That is, anything light-colored enough for pencil lines to be visible -- sorry, Onyx DS owners.

[Via Kotaku]

Mario Kart cheat adds paddle controller support

As fun as Taito's paddle controller might be, the peripheral's limited compatibility restricts experimentation with any games outside of Arkanoid DS or Space Invaders Extreme. What about the other Breakout DS clones or all the titles packed in Retro Atari Classics? Will they ever know the wheeled affection they desperately pine for? Or will their love go unrequited, the spinner playing the part of the "little red-haired girl?"

Yasu's Action Replay "cheat string" doesn't unlock universal support for the paddle, providing us with a Valentine's Day miracle, but it does allow the controller to be used with an unexpected title -- Mario Kart DS. It's an important first step towards the greater goal! As you can see in the demonstration video above, it's not the most effective control scheme. We're sure that won't stop the jerks "snakers" out there from finding a way to exploit the setup.

Robots recruit DS for inevitable war against humans

How many times do we have to remind you, kids -- tinkering with advanced robot technology will only lead to humanity's doom. Have you learned nothing from watching The Matrix? 2001: A Space Odyssey? The Terminator? When robots play, they play for keeps! With your life!

Ignoring our pleas of reason, a group of six engineering students in France have been working since last February to enslave a Pekee robot, programming the cute-but-deadly machine to follow orders sent from a Nintendo DS. As demonstrated in the video above, the team developed six different steering methods to pilot the Pekee with:
Pretty cool, right? Just think, one day in the not-so-distant future, that little vacuum-shaped automaton will hunt your children down for sport!

Pokedrive Red

Here's an awesome DIY project you can try out with an old Gameboy/GBC game that you're not too fond of -- turn it into a USB drive! Themadscientist101 has a photo guide showing how to cut open a window and shave off some of the inside wall to fit a USB drive into the plastic housing. You won't be able to play the game anymore after modding the cart, but if you use something crappy like Mortal Kombat, that shouldn't be a problem.

Just think of how cool everyone will think you are when you pull out a Pokemon cart to show off the Pokemon strategy guides you downloaded from GameFAQs! The girls will be fighting over you. It'll be like the Axe Effect, but in Pokemon form. For real.

Themadscientist101 also has a Lego USB mod that the ladies can't resist. Jump past the post break for photos of the brick drive.

Continue reading Pokedrive Red

FFIV fan translation patch for spoony bards

Once again, we're delving into the ethically dubious practice of ROM hacking (and ROM having), this time for the Japanese release of Final Fantasy IV. Impatient fans have been translating the game's script since the 3D remake's release last month, and they have already released a "semi-final beta" translation patch with most of the description text now in English!

According to the group's progress table, only a few sections still need translation (e.g. monster descriptions, location names), so a full and final English patch doesn't seem too far off. A Translation Wiki is also available for those missing bits or for those of you who'd rather pass on using the patch altogether.

Square Enix has yet to announce its plans for Final Fantasy IV's release outside of Japan. Our best guess? Mid-to-late 2008.

Next Page >

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!

Popular on DS Fanboy

The story
More like it
Nintendo reveals the DSi
Lock's Quest review
BTS: Cakemania
G2G: Clubhouse Games
Gaming to Go
Preview: Big Bang Mini
Another Week in ... (50)
Bury the Shovelware (16)
Contests / Giveaways (20)
DS Daily (569)
DS Fanboy Lite (42)
DS Fanboy poll (41)
Friday video (70)
Game Night (157)
Gaming to Go (15)
Items of Import (7)
Metareview (58)
Point/Counterpoint (6)
Promotional Consideration (58)
Show and Tell (73)
The DS Life (67)
What are you playing? (90)
Accessories (147)
Downloads (68)
Fan stuff (1419)
Features (291)
GBA (130)
Hacks (82)
Homebrew (230)
How-tos (75)
Imports (937)
Interviews (155)
Meta (135)
Mods (17)
News (3324)
Nintendo Wi-Fi (190)
Reviews (192)
Sales (196)
Screens (994)
Video (737)
Rumors (193)



Powered by Blogsmith

Featured Galleries

Mother 3 Fan Translation
Show and Tell: Five ways to love the Game Boy
Neopets Puzzle Adventure
Hot 'N Cold
Show and Tell: Epic
Goodbye, GBA slot
Mario & Luigi 3
Nintendo DSi
Chocobo and the Magic Storybook: The Witch, The Maiden, and the Five Heroes


Most Commented On (14 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

  • Autos
    • Autoblog
    • AutoblogGreen
    • Autoblog Spanish
    • Autoblog Chinese
    • Autoblog Simplified Chinese
  • Technology
    • Download Squad
    • Engadget
    • Engadget HD
    • Engadget Mobile
    • Engadget Chinese
    • Engadget Simplified Chinese
    • Engadget Japanese
    • Engadget Germany
    • Engadget Korea
    • Engadget Polska
    • Engadget Spanish
    • Switched
    • TUAW (Apple)
  • Lifestyle
    • AisleDash
    • DIY Life
    • Gadling
    • Green Daily
    • Luxist
    • ParentDish
    • Slashfood
    • StyleList Blog
    • That's Fit
  • Gaming
    • Joystiq
    • DS Fanboy
    • Massively
    • Nintendo Wii Fanboy
    • PS3 Fanboy
    • PSP Fanboy
    • WoW Insider
    • Xbox 360 Fanboy
    • Big Download
  • Entertainment
    • Cinematical
    • TV Squad
  • Finance
    • BloggingBuyouts
    • BloggingStocks
    • WalletPop
  • Sports
    • FanHouse Main
    • NFL
    • NBA
    • MLB
    • NCAA Football
    • NCAA Basketball
    • NASCAR
    • NHL
    • Golf
    • Free Fantasy Football
  • Also on AOL
    • African-American Culture
    • Cars
    • Games
    • Maps
    • Money
    • Movies
    • Music
    • News
    • Radio
    • Sports
    • Stock Quotes
    • Television
    • Travel

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

PS3 Fanboy
  • Not even the mainstream press can resist SackBoy's charms
  • Trophies: Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 1
  • Upcoming BioShock patch will fix graphical issues
WOW Insider
  • Analyst: WoW to add a million players in a year
  • Shadow Council gnome rogues learn Draconic
  • AotV, Exotics to be changed
Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • Download fresh and free Marketplace content
  • Free N+ level pack leaps onto XBLM
  • MK vs DC Universe brutalizes stores November 16
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
  • Metareview: Sam and Max: Season One
  • Wow, that's a Wiimote controlling a spy robot!
  • Wii Fanboy Review: Art Style: Cubello
PSP Fanboy
  • Trailer: DJ Max Fever
  • How Japan advertises the PSP-3000
  • TGS 08: See the second Tales of the World
Big Download Blog
  • Nvidia's new graphics chip set run PC games at "acceptable" speeds
  • New EQ2 trailer gets you ready for the Shadow Odyssey
  • Stardock updates its game plans; releases teaser shot of fantasy title
Fanhouse Golf Blog
  • Hey, What Do Ya Know? Justin Timberlake Is Hosting a PGA Tour Event
  • Old Course Could Be Sea World by 2050
  • Tiger Is Expanding His Empire to Mexico