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Joystiq presents

Trauma Center supply resuscitated

Addictive cut-and-preserve hospital sim news now, with Atlus announcing that they'll be sending out enormous crates filled with copies of Trauma Center: Under the Knife to stores everywhere at the end of July. This should come as most excellent news to those who have experienced difficulty in getting their gloved hands on one of the best DS titles available, as well as to those who simply enjoy slashing a stranger's spleen into tiny, unrecognizable pieces.

Jim Ireton, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Atlus USA, notes that the "continued demand for Trauma Center: Under the Knife is both gratifying and overwhelming. We apologize to Nintendo fans who've had a tough time finding the game, and we hope this scratches their surgical itch until we ship Trauma Center: Second Opinion for the Wii later this year." Apology accepted, Mr. Ireton.

Rejected titles for this post:
  • "Trauma Center stock receives transfusion"
  • "Atlus bypasses Trauma Center shortage"
  • "Anemic Trauma Center supply cured"
  • "More copies of Trauma Center discharged"
  • "Trauma Center is a really good game"
[Thanks to everyone that sent this in!]

Nintendo losing their Touch (Generations)?

If Nintendo's desires are realized, it won't be too long before the image of Grandpa hunching furiously over his DS Lite and murderously screaming "Blue" joins that of the bespectacled nerd in the ranks of uninformed gamer stereotypes. In an effort to reach out to those who would normally shy away from electronic devices and their confusing beeps and boops, several forthcoming and readily available DS games have recently been shoved under the Touch Generations banner. The range highlights Nintendo's popular "non-games", titles that are meant to be approachable by any person, regardless of their previous gaming experience.

In North America, games like Nintendogs, Brain Age and Sudoku Gridmaster seem to gravitate towards the label quite naturally, but it seems that the selection differs significantly from that of other regions. Anthropomorphic neighbour sim, Animal Crossing: Wild World, slots right in with Electroplankton in Europe, but the choices of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Trauma Center: Under the Knife seem to fit in less comfortably. The latter two titles are far more traditional, with linear stories, clear conditions for success and failure and, in the case of Trauma Center especially, a more pronounced difficulty level that requires intricate stylus strokes--lest your patient's internal organs become reduced to a bloody mush (technical term). In other words, all the stuff that the mythical casual gamer doesn't want.

The Japanese selection is almost the exact opposite, filled with English trainers, dictionaries and travel guidebooks. If you looked up "game" in one of those dictionaries, you'd likely find a description far removed from most of these titles. It raises an interesting question, then: What constitutes a game that, according to Nintendo's mantra, anyone can pick up and play? Is it a game that almost exclusively relies on intuitive touch screen controls? Or is it something with simplistic gameplay mechanics? Perhaps it's not even a game at all. Nintendo's pretty clear about the kind of people they're chasing with the DS and the Wii, but things seem less vivid when it comes to matching specific games with specific audiences. With games being such unique and often personal experiences, it's doubtful that the line between hardcore and casual will ever become especially obvious. 

Nintendo updates European release schedule

Hot on the heels of some evidence that the guys and gals at Nintendo of Europe have been dragging their feet when it comes to release dates, comes a fresh list of their forthcoming titles. Things are looking considerably less dire here, but I still feel a bit sorry for those Europeans that were unable to import and had to wait so long for Trauma Center. It's almost criminal.
  • Megaman Battle Network 5 Double Team DS (Capcom/Nintendo) - 14 April
  • Tetris DS (Nintendo) - 21 April
  • Trauma Centre: Under the Knife (Atlus/Nintendo) - 28 April
  • Pokémon Link! (Nintendo) - 5 May
  • Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo) - 5 May
  • Super Princess Peach (Nintendo) - 26 May
  • Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? (Nintendo) - 9 June
  • New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) - 30 June
Also worthy of note is the Euro release date of what is undoubtedly the biggest GBA game this year--Final Fantasy IV arrives on 2 June.

Over 500 download kiosks being placed in UK

Though our own efforts at finding the DS download kiosks that were supposedly hitting US retailers this month have thus far been rather abysmal, those living in the UK or Ireland will soon have a much easier time when attempting to do the same. Nintendo has declared that over 600 new Wi-Fi hotspots will be installed in GAME, Gamestation, HMV, Toys R US and Smyths Toys shops, along with a smattering of smaller retailers.

Over 500 download stations will also be installed, with initial demos including Meteos and Polarium. Demos of Brain Age and Trauma Center: Under the Knife, some Animal Crossing goodies and a Metroid Prime Hunters video will follow shortly in April and May. Let us know when you spot one!

[Via CVG]

Gamespot's Best and Worst of 2005 Nominees

Charlize TheronGamespot has kicked off their Best and Worst of 2005 awards extravaganza by announcing a list of all the nominees and the awards they are eligible for. Of course, the DS wormed its way into several of the categories, only getting truly snubbed in the "Best Use of Sweat" section. Come on developers, get your act together! We want sweat!

DS Nominations:

Funniest Game -
Animal Crossing: Wild World (What? No Mario & Luigi?)
Best Multiplayer Game - Mario Kart DS (duh)
Most Innovative Game - Trauma Center: Under the Knife, Trace Memory
Flat-Out Worst Game - Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, Peter Jackson's King Kong (note how both of these games lack realistic sweat)
Best Action Adventure Game - Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Best Platformer - Kirby Canvas Curse, Sonic Rush
Best Adventure Game - Trace Memory, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Best Driving Game - Mario Kart DS
Best Puzzle/Rhythm Game - Meteos
Best Strategy Game - Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Best Nintendo DS Game - Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs

There you have it. What are your predictions? Is there a DS game you feel got left out or didn't deserve a nomination?

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