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Posts with tag microphone

DS Daily: On the mic

We've spent our fair share of time complaining about usage of the microphone in most DS games (it's just often unnecessary), but does that mean the mic has no redeeming qualities? In non-games, certainly, the microphone at times has its uses ... but what about in regular old-fashioned games? Sure, it's fun to yell "Hold it!" at times, but do you need to be able to do so? Would games that use the DS mic be just as good without it?

Tied into this question is, of course, another one -- do you ever use voice chat in the games that support it? If you do, do you use a headset, or just the built-in mic?

DS Daily: Too much mic

During last week's DS Daily, which asked about games with bad stylus controls, one of our readers gave us an idea: what about games with unnecessary or gratuitous microphone usage? We're all tired of blowing into the mic (or worse -- shouting into it) for no good reason, but which DS titles are the worst offenders?

On the other side of the spectrum, and there any games that you think incorporate the mic well?

DS headset comfortably priced at Amazon

We always liked the headset Nintendo manufactured for the DS. In fact, if we weren't obligated to give the thing away, we would've been content on lying about its existence forever and holding on to the darn thing. But, then again, we'd probably lose this sweet gig we've got going now.

Anyhow, you all should know the peripheral has dropped in price on Amazon, only requiring the small sum of $7.34 of your Earth monies. That's pretty low, if you ask us, and a must-buy for anyone who enjoys playing Metroid Prime Hunters or Pokemon Diamond & Pearl on the regular. And, in checking out the price at other outlets like and Wal-Mart, we found the headset was priced much higher (around $15 and $20, respectively).

[Via Go Nintendo]

DS Daily: Franchise reboot

We were looking over the reviews that have come in so far for Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and we were thinking about how that franchise rebooted itself on the DS. Now, it didn't really need a reboot, nor is it 100% a reboot in the normal way we think of reboots, but it did take an established franchise and retool it for another platform. Now, whether it was a good retooling or a bad retooling remains to be seen.

But, we were wondering what other established franchises could use a reboot in this manner? What about a Crazy Taxi game on the DS that has you controlling an interactive steering wheel on the touch-screen or only turning with the shoulder buttons? What about a Sims game that allows you to control them only by barking commands through the microphone? How about a Space Channel 5 game redone with Ouendan controls?

What can you come up with?

DS Daily: Our good pal, the mic

One of the features the DS has that we feel gets underused most is the microphone. It's always getting left behind by the school bus, receiving countless wedgies in the hall from more popular features of the hardware and also getting its milk money took. It's a hard-knock life for the DS's microphone, if you ask us.

Do you feel the same as we do? Could you care less about the microphone on the DS? Do you think it should only be utilized in Ace Attorney games?

Minae Matsukawa: Ace Producer blogs

Minae Matsukawa, Ace Attorney series producer, has started a developer blog on the official Ace Attorney website. In the first entry, she discusses the early planning of the U.S. version (and therefore the DS port in general) of the first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. According to Matsukawa, the idea to yell into the microphone came from American Capcom staffers who thought it was an obvious must-have. "'So, do we get to do some yelling?' an American staff member asked me. 'E-excuse me?'"

The Japanese staff weren't keen on the idea of adding a bunch of unnecessary features, but creator/writer Shu Takumi recognized the importance of making the American audience happy. The rest, as they say, is an optional feature in a video game.

Speaking of American Ace Attorney staff, the post mentions an interesting bit of trivia that we've been looking for an excuse to share. Ben Judd, who was part of the localization team, provided the American voice of Phoenix Wright. He's now the producer on the new Bionic Commando games.

Man lays into DS microphone, we leap to heroic defense

Over at Next-Gen, Ben Reich has penned an article on the worst ideas to hit gaming, with two Nintendo creations in his choices. The first, Friend Codes, we can kind of roll with. They're unwieldy, awkward, and let's face it: there are better solutions.

Perhaps they deserve to be there, but the DS's microphone? Not so much. See, we quite like the mic. OK, it's not as widely used as other parts of the handheld's unique feature-set, but we're struggling to swallow the argument that it's one of "gaming's worst ever ideas." Not in a world where the Roll & Rocker exists.

Two things seem to irk Reich about the DS's mic: that it can be embarrassing to use in public, and that not enough game developers have used it well. We partially agree with his first point -- e-nun-ci-at-ing "Buh-loo!" into your handheld while on the bus to work would make most people feel like a bit of a nugget. Then again, nobody is forcing you to play such games in public. It's all a question of choosing an appropriate location.

Secondly, plenty of games find a good use for the microphone. Being able to yell "Objection!" just before you start dismantling your rival in the Ace Attorney games is a fantastic touch! Summoning your hound in Nintendogs with a whistle or a shout of their name is equally nifty. My French Coach, which Alisha is covering all this week, makes terrific use of the microphone, allowing users to record themselves, in a bid to achieve greater fluency.

In other words, Mr Reich, we're going to have to politely disagree with you.

DS Daily: Most innovative

Yesterday, over on Wii Fanboy, we spent a little time discussing some of the best control schemes we've seen so far on the new console. We thought that today might be a good time to get the DS readers in on the action, since after all, the handheld has really brought a lot to the table. What games do you think have really made the best use of the touchscreen? How about the mic? Best games overall? No real rules or categories here -- just talk up what you've liked best about what the DS has to offer.

Nintendo DS headset pre-order sale at Amazon

With the US release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl approaching -- both versions supporting VoIP communication before, during, and after battles -- we've given the idea of purchasing Nintendo's official DS headset some serious thought. Having a first-party alternative to the DS' less-than-exemplary microphone and speakers would be nice, but we're not thrilled about having to spend $14.99 to purchase one.

Amazon makes our decision an easy one, cutting the headset's pre-order price down to $9.99. How are we supposed to turn down a deal like that? If you add an item or two to your cart, you'll also be eligible for free shipping! Why not pick up one of the many DS games that the site has on sale? Check out the list of Amazon's $24.00 titles past the post break.

[Via CAG]

Continue reading Nintendo DS headset pre-order sale at Amazon

Nervous Brickdown brings sexy back to Breakout

Nervous Brickdown breathes new life into the Arkanoid-Breakout genre, updating its basic template with ten distinct gameplay modes. This might be Arkedo Studio's first game for any console, but the charming soundtrack and highly-stylized environments -- ranging from 70s mod to playful retro -- really give Nervous Brickdown a first-rate polish that other Breakout-clones usually lack. The break-a-brick game takes advantage of the Nintendo DS' hardware, making use of the system's touchscreen, microphone, and WiFi (multiplayer) features.

Ecrans has a few videos showing how hectic the game can get as it forces you to dodge bullets, fight bosses, and catch items, all while keeping the ball in play. No release date has been announced yet, but we're happy to hear that Eidos has picked this title up for publishing. You will definitely be hearing more about Nervous Brickdown from us in the future.

[Thanks, Sebastien!]

A different headset solution for your DS

If the official Nintendo headset isn't to your liking, Turtle Beach offers its own solution with the Ear Force D2 headset. Retailing for $19.95 US, the headset is a little chunkier than it's official Nintendo cousin, however it looks as if in the long run the D2 could be a bit more comfortable. Not only that, but it comes in a few different colors (black, white and pink), allowing those of you with a need for matching colors to have the headset that goes with your DS Lite.

[Via Gadgetell]

DS Daily: Unfulfilled potential

Pretty...potential.The DS has a myriad of unique features, and as developers quickly learned, it isn't necessarily wise to throw them all into a game as cheap gimmicks. Many titles have used these features as essential elements of gameplay (see: Trauma Center, Kirby's Canvas Curse), but in many cases, we can't help but feel that developers are missing out on the some of the opportunities afforded them by the DS.

Where is our hockey game, in which the stylus is used as a mini-hockey stick to accurately handle the puck? Why don't games with magically-based battle systems allow you to shout a short incantation to activate a spell? Lost Magic had a player draw runes, which was creative, but we've been wanting to bust out dramatic Latin phrases for quite some time.

Do you have any ideas that you think developers should implement? Has the true potential of the DS been fully reached? Only time (and your comments) will tell.

Confirmed: Nintendo DS headset

Confirmed by the big N, this external microphone/earpiece (we'll just call it a headset) will be releasing to the Japanese gaming public come September 14th for roughly $10 American. Rumor has it that the headset is going to be utilized by the upcoming cash cow Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, which will allow for full voice chat. Personally, we'd like for it to release a bit earlier, say right around the time Starfox Command comes out. Now there's a game that could benefit from the use of a headset!

[Via Go Nintendo]

[Note: That is not an actual shot of what the final product will look like. If you have access to such top-secret pictures, please send them to us.]

[Double Note: That is, in fact, NOT my father, despite popular belief. He just plays him on the internet.]

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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