Gallery: Dragon Ball Origins
Though it first appeared as a freeware PC game and was then remade and enhanced as an Xbox Live Arcade game, there is no denying that N is an ideal handheld game. You really couldn't come up with a better design for an on-the-go game.
N+ from Atari is basically N, on the DS, with new levels. So, naturally, it works out pretty well.
We've got new screens, too! Check 'em out below. Look now and get bonus character portraits, just because we care.
Gallery: Dragon Ball Origins
First, the kinda bad: N+ appears to have been delayed again, from August 12 to August 26. While it troubles us to think that the game is just never going to come out, we're glad it's at least not coming out on the same day as Bangai-O Spirits. The good news is that N+ will now launch at $20, which is an insanely good deal for a new, polished N with hundreds of new levels and a stylus-based level editor.
There's a third bit of news too, which didn't really fit in the "good news/bad news" thing we were trying to do, though it falls into the "good" category: Amazon orders will include a download link for a digital strategy guide.
Imagine (in a non-dirty way) if Cooking Mama and Cooking Guide had a baby. What's Cooking teaches real-life recipes, and then has players simulate their preparation with touch-controlled actions. Without holding your hand, at all. I actually couldn't get past the initial steps of my first recipe, because the thing is so deep. To make a sugar paste (the first step), you have to first get a bowl out of your inventory of kitchen implements, then pour some sugar into the bowl, then mix it with a wooden spoon. To heat something up, you have to move it (via a 'stove' icon) to the stove area of the kitchen, then turn on the heat, and stir it around. The game doesn't really tell you when you're done, or even when you've failed. You just cook, like in real life. You could really learn how to cook by playing this.
You can start learning about the mind-bending N+ experience with our hands-on preview, effectively taking "the best platforming engine in Flash, ever," for a ride. The thing is, no matter how many screens and videos you ogle, there's plenty more brand new levels being created constantly. Best of all, the DS version is just as full-featured as any other installment, including a full level creator and Wi-Fi multiplayer. N+ should be a sure-fire hit when it's released in August.
It was, we suppose, inevitable. Nintendo's Cooking Guide released in Japan two years ago (as Cooking Navi), where it shifted a decent number of units. It recently emerged in Europe, and did pretty well there, too (it'll be coming to the U.S. this November). And what happens each time Nintendo releases a successful non-game? Answer: as sure as night follows day, (usually inferior) third-party alternatives appear.
That's what has happened here, with Atari following Nintendo into the cooking-with-your-DS arena. What's Cooking? with Jamie Oliver will feature 100 recipes (Cooking Guide has 245), space for 100 of your own, a shopping list mode, and competitive cooking games. It's very similar to Nintendo's game then (though apparently you can share recipes via WiFi), except you get to look at Jamie Oliver and his smug, squishy, Mockney face a whole lot more.
If, like this blogger, you regard Oliver as an affront to all that is decent about humankind, it might not be your thing. But it might be okay as a game.
[Via press release]
I grumbled, but the fault was wholly mine, not the acrobatic N's.
"You've got what the indie scene will call the best platforming engine in Flash, ever," said David Geudelekian, producer of Metanet Software's N+. "What N did really well was it presented this incredible platformer with 1000 levels, it was crazy difficult. N the ninja was this lithe, acrobatic guy with all the things developers had learned from other platformers. You can wall jump, you can press along the wall as you're falling to slow your descent. Because it's a full-featured physics engine, momentum can kill you, but if you use a ramp's natural curvature, you might be able to catapult yourself across the level."
You can check out some of the high-flying gameplay in the new trailer above, along with two more after the break. N+ hasn't been dumbed-down for portable installments at all, and includes a full level editor and downloadable content. If you haven't tried N+ before, it would be in your best interest to slide down to your nearest store on August 28 and hand over the cash for this bad boy. Ninja-style.
Unfortunately, the original game wasn't the greatest. We have nothing against horse games at all - why, we went nuts for those yappy dogs, and they aren't half as useful. You can't ride a dog, or force it to lug around big bags of cement for construction purposes. Still, something isn't quite right down at the ranch, and the developers can't seem to nail what would make a horse game great fun. We don't know for sure if MHAM2 will be good or bad, but there is one thing we do know -- it'll be bad.
Just like every other console, the advent of DS flash cards has brought with it a booming emulation scene. And since homebrew is so easy to run on the DS, and MicroSD cards so copious, it's easy to turn the humble DS into a classic gaming Swiss Army System.
We've outlined some of the most important DS-based console emulators below, along with a ton of lower-profile emulators.
Speaking of things we'd need explained to us, how does matching two identical signs help you learn anything about driving? We suppose it's important to train your ability to look at things. Or maybe this game of looking at signs is an 'entertaining' break from the business of looking at signs?
[Via press release]
Of the three Godzilla: Unleashed games released (Wii, PS2, and DS), the DS version is, without a doubt, the worst of the bunch. That's saying a lot considering that GameSpot described the Wii version as "the worst thing to happen to Godzilla since getting killed by Mothra's babies." In its review of the DS game, Godzilla: Unleashed Double Smash, Nintendo Power opined, "The slow descent in Godzilla games has finally hit rock bottom."
Nevertheless, publisher Atari had a job to do -- sell copies of the game -- and it did its best to win over fans with monster-sized ads befitting of the radioactive monster. Lurch past the post break to see what we mean!
We won't be too harsh on IGN for billing this video of N+ gameplay as the "first N+ DS footage." We'll just casually point over in the direction of, ahem, last month. Nonetheless, N+ video is always welcome. This short clip of a bizarre new level is no exception.
This level's devious design centers around a large open area full of gold that is also guarded, panopticon-style, by a sentry, with a set of switches that forces the player to run back and forth across the area multiple times. You could choose to jump up and grab some of the copious gold, but it may slow you down, and that expanse has nowhere to hide from the targeted lasers.
If that's not enough N-Plussery, IGN also has an interview up with Metanet that discusses the DS version briefly.
The entire purpose of this British nongame is to prepare people for their driver's license test. As an interactive study guide, it's probably not a bad thing -- but we'd prefer to study the old-fashioned way and save our money. We don't mind edutainment, but the thought of something as dull as driving theory on our DS seems rather unnecessary.
Should you think differently, though, you better hope that you live in the UK. We're sure learning British driving lessons as a U.S. driver would be a bad idea, as you'd wind up driving on the
[Via GamesPress press release]