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Posts with tag minigame

E308: Hamtaro tries extra hard to scare off older gamers

You shouldn't be ashamed if you're an adult (or even just a non-elementary schooler) who's played a Hamtaro game. People who've tried Ham-Hams Unite for the Game Boy Color or the GBA's Ham-Ham Heartbreak know that the sickeningly cute series can translate into a fun adventure game. Even Ham-Ham Games, which strayed away from the adventure formula and landed itself in minigame territory, wasn't half bad.

Hamtaro's handheld history was enough to make us consider picking up Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge once it released on the DS, but E3 swiftly changed our minds. Throwing up and spitting out everything that made Hamtaro bearable in the first place, the new game is not only a collection of minigames, but it features educational ones designed for young children. Basically, it looks like Brain Age for five-year-olds, with cute little hamsters taking the place of Dr. Kawashima.

Don't fret, though, Hamtaro fans. There is another title based on the license that came out in Japan last year, which seems to return to the adventure-like goodness we know and love. Unfortunately, that's not the game releasing this summer, and that's not the game Natsume decided to show off at E3. Hopefully we'll see it get localized soon enough, so that we can forget Ham-Ham Challenge ever existed.

Gallery: Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge

Wark! Two Chocobo trailers waddle into view

Making sure that you get the message -- the message being "Chocobos are really cute; buy our Chocobo games" -- Square Enix has posted trailers for its two recently revealed fall-bound Chocobo titles, Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+ and Chocobo and the Magic Storybook: The Witch and the Girl and the Five Heroes.

As you might be able to tell in the promotional clip and the game's title, Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon is an enhanced port of Chocobo's Dungeon (released in the U.S. for the Wii this week) with more focus on Final Fantasy regular Cid. Given the nature of roguelikes, this DS release doesn't look like that much of a "downgraded" experience compared to the Wii version!

The Chocobo and the Magic Storybook clip isn't nearly as epic, but if you're enough of a Chocobo fan to have read this far into the post, you'll likely want to watch it anyway. Jump past the break for more of the flightless, chubby bird.

Gallery: Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+

Continue reading Wark! Two Chocobo trailers waddle into view

Square Enix announces new Chocobo Tales, Chocobo roguelike

As a promotion for its Virtual World -- yes, it's a virtual world titled Virtual World -- Square Enix held a special event in the beta 3D space unveiling two new Chocobo titles for the Nintendo DS -- Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+ (fall 2008) and Chocobo and the Magic Storybook: The Witch and the Girl and the Five Heroes (winter 2008).

Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+, as you can guess, will be a roguelike starring Final Fantasy figures Cid and Chocobo. This will actually be Square Enix's fourth Chocobo Mystery Dungeon entry, an enhanced port of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon for the Wii, now with new jobs and a storyline told from a new perspective (Cid's).

The chances of this one coming to the U.S.? Given the current "surge" of roguelikes hitting the States, it's very likely we'll get this one! You can preview some of Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon's first screenshots in our gallery below.

The second title, Chocobo and the Magic Storybook: The Witch and the Girl and the Five Heroes, follows 2007's Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, a minigame collection with RPG and card-battling elements. If you remember our favorable review for the original game, we called it "just about the cutest thing ever." Screenshots below!

Gallery: Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+

[Via Duckroll]

Away: Shuffle Memory

The official website for Mistwalker's Away: Shuffle Dungeon is up, with something to help pass the time while waiting for the dungeon crawler's eventual release: a Flash minigame based on Concentration/Memory (click on the circle with the word "open" on it). Away: Shuffle Minigame (that's the official title!) comprises three levels of Memory played on a 6 x 3 grid, with the goal of flipping matching pairs of cards to reveal portraits of Away's characters.

For the first two levels, it's straightforward enough: you have 60 (and then 50) seconds to find all nine pairs, just like any other Memory game. In the third level, all the cards are blank but three: one pair to match, and one card that resets the locations of those two cards. Oh, and the rows of cards are constantly moving around. At the end, you're awarded with a desktop wallpaper. Have fun! Or just download the wallpaper here (1024x768, 1280x1024).

'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of a perfect tea ceremony'

Bangkok-based Studio Nocturne has kept busy cultivating its games and shopping them around for interested publishers, so it's understandable that we haven't heard much about Housewife Superstar or Makeup Diva since last year's Game Developers Convention.

As chauvinistic as Housewife Superstar's title sounds, it's a tongue-in-cheek production in which players master a collection of minigames in their quest to become the perfect stereotypical Japanese housewife. Those minigame activities include mochi making, flower arranging, traditional fan dancing, and, of course, hosting a tea ceremony. Sounds like a bizarre scenario, right? Well, that's what people thought about Cooking Mama, and look at how that turned out!

Studio Nocturne has brought in Insert Credit's Brandon Sheffield to handle the game's story, a name some of you might remember from his wonderful work on Barnyard Blast's script with Sanuk Software, another Thai developer.

Let's go through these details one more time:
  • offbeat title from a little-known, DS/Wii-exclusive developer
  • strong, colorful art direction
  • peculiar premise for strange minigames
  • promises of a humor-filled script
Color us excited! Color us badd, too, because we want to sex this game up. Hit the gallery below for screenshots and artwork from Housewife Superstar.

Gallery: Housewife Superstar

Promotional Consideration: Return of the reused assets

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Revisiting last week's theme of recycled assets, we're taking a look at the familiar artwork seen in a recent print ad for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Unlike the Flower, Sun, and Rain commercial which repurposed an old promotional music video to great effect, this one's a forgetful piece, the video game equivalent of a comic book cover with a generic superhero-team action shot.

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: Return of the reused assets

Strawberry Manuals Forever

We're over a year late on this, but you'll have to excuse us on not keeping up to date with the Strawberry Shortcake video games series. Insert Credit pointed us to the delightful fact that Strawberryland Games, Ms. Shortcake's 2006 minigame collection for the DS, comes with a Strawberry-fragranced instruction manual, just like the original dolls! One reviewer even described the booklet as having captured "the scent of Franken Berry cereal."

As amusing as we found this "bonus feature," should companies spend their time, money, and imaginations on such trivial details? Well, it convinced us into talking about a licensed children's game 15 months after its release, so there's obviously some value to this approach.

In fact, we wish more publishers would follow The Game Factory's lead and put out their own appropriately scented manuals. Wouldn't it be cool if Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles smelled like an ashtray when you opened its box? Or if My Horse and Me's manual wafted a farm-like aroma? Okay, so those examples aren't too great; we're sure you can come up with much better ideas.

[Via Insert Credit]

Double take on Duel Love boxart

Our eyes passed over Duel Love's cover design and dismissed the art as typical shoujo fare at first, but a second glance revealed a disturbing detail -- the shirtless figure in the foreground, Yuuki Jin, has no nipples. Sorry, Bandai Namco, but no nips, no sale.

If you're planning on picking this one up next March anyway, don't miss out on the preorder gift, an "entrance guide" DVD. For the uninitiated, Duel Love has you currying your crush's favor by cheering into the mic while your he wrestles one of his classmates, toweling off his sweaty chest using the DS's touchscreen, and nibbling on his earlobe via a rubbery Ear Pak that slides into the GBA slot*. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there'll be any opportunities for any tweaking minigames, given the dearth of male bumps.

Though many have mistaken Duel Love as some sort of homoerotic adventure, this simply isn't the case! Not only do you play as a female student, but the game is marketed towards women and follows a plot/style very much in keeping with the melodramatic manga popular with girls in Japan. Maybe that explains the missing nipples? Perhaps women just don't find our manly nubs very romantic?

*This last part is untrue and ridiculous.

Teenage Zombies won't eat your neighbors

Despite its similarly campy plot and titular promises of zombies, Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Brain Thingys (due next spring) won't be the spiritual successor to Konami's Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Yes, we were fooled too when we initially saw the game announced -- jumping off the couch and doing karate kicks in the air, such was our excitement -- but reading more about Ignition Entertainment's title revealed very few similarities with the SNES/Genesis classic.

Instead of fighting off zombies and their B-movie colleagues, you'll be playing as the undead in this comic book-styled adventure, choosing from one of three reanimated characters, each possessing unique abilities. You'll swap between the three to take advantage of their powers and defend the Earth against invading Alien Brain Thingys.

Also, while Zombies Ate My Neighbors was a run-n-gun shooter from a top-down perspective, Teenage Zombies will be a side-scrolling platformer supplemented with puzzles and stylus-based minigames. ZAPS! (Zombie Assembly Pop-up Screen), one of the minigames, has you collecting dismembered body parts to put together a zombie and regain "unhealth points."

Though Ignition Entertainment's short trailer for Teenage Zombies shows very little in the way of action or the actual game, we've embedded it past the post break anyway. To make up for the brevity and vagueness of the video, we've also pasted some lyrics from Salt-N-Pepa's hit single, "Let's Talk About Sex," reimagined as an ode to zombies. We have a lot of these "fixed" songs just lying around our hard drive, waiting to be shared with you.

Continue reading Teenage Zombies won't eat your neighbors

It's a party with all of these Mario Party screens

JeuxFrance has put up a slew of new Mario Party DS screens, depicting some of the different minigames and game boards within. Mario party DS is easily one of our most anticipated titles for the DS and we're incredibly anxious to get our hands on it and see how the gameplay transitions to the handheld.

Be sure to hit up JeuxFrance and check out 16 fresh screens.

Gallery: Mario Party DS

Get down with these new Mario Party screens

We're anxious to see how the Mario Party franchise will translate to the DS. While the nature of the titles can easily lend themselves to the handheld gaming scene, the whole multiplayer aspect of it might lose something there. Especially so as the state of Wi-Fi Connect compatibility is still up in the air.

After hitting up our gallery below, be sure to head past the break for a scan.

Gallery: Mario Party DS

Continue reading Get down with these new Mario Party screens

UFO Catcher Tengoku

We still haven't heard word on whether or not Nintendo will ever bring Rhythm Tengoku to the states (Highly unlikely), but Sega has been keeping the rhythm-action title going in Japan with its GBA-to-arcade port and, according to this new find, UFO catchers filled with Rhythm-Tengoku-themed prizes!

Provided that you're proficient with maneuvering a claw to pick up crap, you'll be able to win a number of brightly-colored, long-sleeved shirts with the minigame collection's characters screen-printed on them, as well as pillows shaped like Rhythm Tengoku's iconic, hairy onions. Click the link below to the beat, and check out more photos of the vending machine goodies past the post break.

Continue reading UFO Catcher Tengoku

The latest look at Mario Party DS

Though we still aren't sure whether Mario Party on the DS will feature Wi-Fi multiplayer or not (though we so hope it does), we're still happy to check out new screens as they're released. Though the game is due next month, we really haven't heard a lot since E3. Then again, beyond the issue of multiplayer modes, is there much to say? We know the format for the game -- after all, we may have played a little Mario Party here and there over the years. And from the screens, particularly these latest, we know it looks good. So bring on the party!

Gallery: Mario Party DS

Joystiq's hands-on with EA Playground

Joystiq's Zack Stern recently got a little hands-on time with both the DS and Wii versions of EA Playground, and the results are mixed. While he reports that a few of the games seem pretty fun -- skateboarding and dodge ball are standouts, as we could have predicted (and did!) -- but some of the others seem to lack the depth necessary to keep players interested. The biggest downfall, however, comes in that the cart doesn't offer download play; each player has to have a copy of the title in order to participate in multiplayer bouts. Now, we understand that EA is in this gig to make money, and we can't blame them, but not only is download play one of the handheld's best features, but it also serves as a fantastic marketing tool. Invite a friend over for some multiplayer, get them hooked, and watch as they pick up their own copy of the game. In fact, that's pretty much Nintendo's entire marketing scheme in a nutshell, and download play helps rather than hinders.

The specific problem here, as Stern states, is that EA Playground seems like the sort of title that will fare much better in multiplayer than in single player over the long run. So unless you happen to really love the idea of playground-style minigames, or you have several friends who plan on picking this one up, it just may be a game to skip.

Gallery: EA Playground

MySims improves just in time for release

GoNintendo offered us an updated look at the DS version of MySims, and we must say that we're pleased to see such vast improvements. The few review scores that are in so far are all over the place, however, so the jury is still out on whether or not the updated graphics will be enough. If you're picking up the DS version, let us know what you think!

The updated screenshots are in the gallery below, along with some older shots for comparison.

Gallery: MySims

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