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Posts with tag Arkanoid

Arkanoid gameplay details revealed, once hidden behind wall of colorful blocks

Taito's new versions of Arkanoid and Space Invaders fill us with happy feelings about being people who play games on the DS. Every time we're reminded of the existence of the little DS paddle controller, we smile. NCSX is now taking preorders on Arkanoid DS, both in bundled and non-bundled form, as well as separate paddle controllers in four different colors. The game is expected to ship on December 6th.

But until then, we can look at screens and learn what we can about the game. For example, levels will come in 7-, 9-, and 11-block-wide variants. "Decoration" options will become available for purchase using points obtained ingame. You'll be able to buy new backgrounds, block shapes, Vaus paddle shapes, and even sound effects.

The "Clear Game" mode is the normal Arkanoid mode in which you break all blocks to clear a level. It will contain 28 zones, each made up of five rounds, for a total of 140 rounds. And that's entirely separate from the "Quest Mode" which has different (as yet unknown) conditions for winning each round! So basically what we are saying is that there are a lot of levels in Arkanoid DS. That guarantees infinite playability for people like us who can't even reliably clear round 3 in NES Arkanoid.

TGS07: Kohler validates our enthusiasm for Arkanoid and Space Invaders

Whereas we must be content to sit here and tell you how awesome we think Arkanoid DS and Space Invaders Extreme will be, people like Chris Kohler get to go walk up to the things and play them-- with the Arkanoid paddle controller.

He played the demos of both games at TGS and came out with positive impressions of both. He described Space Invaders Extreme as "a light-and-sound-orgy, frenetic, what-is-going-on, super fun shooter that spans both screens of the DS." It's a mix of, say, Rez, Galaga, and Space Invaders, in which waves of invaders swoop in, all in different shapes and sizes, and you shoot them, which creates sound effects that play along to the beat of the music. There are weapon powerups and semi-random bonus stages. It all sounds a lot more involved than the original Space Invaders, or any of its extremely similar sequels, while maintaining the hypnotic rhythm. Could this be a good Space Invaders for 2008? If this is marketed correctly, a well-updated Space Invaders on the DS could generate bajillions in Japan.

Kohler's Arkanoid impressions weren't as detailed, focusing instead on the peripheral, about which he was more than effusive. He says that the paddle is "literally just like standing in front of a miniature arcade machine." The dial spins on "ball bearings or something," so you can spin it like the steering wheel on a Super Off-Road machine.

Read - Space Invaders Extreme
Read - Arkanoid DS

Play Arkanoid DS right now

The websites for Taito's largely retro-tastic DS lineup have all appeared, just in time for TGS. Unfortunately, the text is not going to be of much use to anyone who can't read Japanese (or, as personal experience can attest to, anyone who can only kind of read Japanese). And even if it were, most of the links in the sites are still greyed out, awaiting updates.

However, the site for Arkanoid DS contains treasure in the form of a generous five-round Flash demo. We are impressed, both with Taito's largesse and with the actual game. New additions to Arkanoid include a robotic voice that announces the name of every powerup you pick up, and thumping, hypnotic techno music courtesy of Zuntata. We didn't even know Arkanoid needed techno music, but it turns out it totally does.

Speaking of thumping techno music, the Space Invaders Extreme site is basically a browser rave-- which works, for us. Here are all the new Taito DS game sites:
  • Arkanoid DS
  • Cooking Mama 2
  • Exit DS
  • The Legend of Kage 2
  • Pet Shop Story DS
  • Space Invaders Extreme
A demo for Exit DS will be on the game's site soon, but the link is inactive at the moment. May we suggest playing the Arkanoid demo as a way to pass the time?

[Via GoNintendo]

Space Invaders Extreme gets a techno-fabulous makeover

What's the Extreme part of Space Invaders Extreme? We believe it's an extreme visual similarity to Q Entertainment's stylish puzzle games like Lumines, Every Extend Extra, and Gunpey. Or, to make a more direct connection between shooter and shooter, Space Invaders Extreme looks a lot like Rez. And you will never hear us say that's a bad thing.

In fact, Extreme looks pretty cool, and not just in its presentation. The movement of the Invaders is now tied into the game soundtrack (another nod to Rez), adding a new element to the already-hypnotic Invaders experience. And, yes, the Arkanoid DS paddle controller works.

Poll results: New games in old franchises

Last week, we asked you which of the many upcoming DS sequels to NES-era classics turned your heart to a heart-shaped powerup. No surprises here: the overwhelming majority of you picked Konami and WayForward's Contra 4, which we've been hyping into the stratosphere ourselves. If you voted for Contra 4, CONSIDER YOURSELF A HERO.

Of course, all of these games look unfathomably awesome, and are all winners. But in the other regard of receiving votes from DS Fanboy readers, Super Dodge Ball DS is more of a winner than Arkanoid DS, International Track & Field, and The Legend of Kage 2, in that order. The important thing is that you guys cared enough about these games to click on a button within a blog post.

Taito goes DS-only at TGS

Taito knows where the money is in the Japanese video game market: the DS. Thus it seems that they've decided to concentrate their development efforts on games for the money-printing handheld. The company released the list of games they'll be displaying at this year's Tokyo Game Show, and every single one is a DS title.

Most of the games are things that we already know (and have said "yay") about, but two games are new: the first is Space Invaders Extreme, which, we hope, is either more of an update than Space Invaders Revolution or includes Akkanvader. We also hope it works with the Arkanoid paddle controller. The other is Pet Shop Monogatari DS, which is an RPG about a pet shop.

The lineup includes: Cooking Mama 2, Exit DS, Arkanoid DS (and its controller), The Legend of Kage 2, Pet Shop Monogatari DS, and Space Invaders Extreme. All games that we would totally play at TGS ... if we were going. Which we aren't.

Poll: New games in old franchises

The DS is seeing an unparalleled boom in surprise sequels to venerable franchises. That leaves retrogamers and other sensible people in a dangerous financial situation. With many of these games currently yet to be confirmed for US release, we face the possibility of expensive imports, or letting them pass us by.

Even if everything on this list comes out stateside, picking them all will make for a costly exercise and a terrible poll. So we're asking you to choose: given the opportunity to pick up only one new DS game based on an 8-bit series, which would you choose?

International Track & Field
Super Dodge Ball DS
Arkanoid DS
The Legend of Kage 2
Contra 4
Free polls from

Track your pain relative to others' in Arkanoid DS

Arkanoid is not especially well-suited to multiplayer. In fact, Breakout and its ilk serve as a single-player alternative to Pong: the sentient or AI antagonist is replaced by an immobile target set that requires as much precision and reflexes as the opposing paddle would (Of course, Arkanoid complicated things by adding enemies, but those are still more obstacles than opponents). When we first saw the news about Arkanoid DS, our thoughts did not go straight to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. We never said that this game would be totally awesome if it were online.

But it is awesome. And it is online. Sort of. Arkanoid DS will feature online rankings, which are perfect for a classic arcade game. We look forward to sharing our humiliatingly low scores with the gaming public. We also look forward to hearing the new music from Taito's house band, Zuntata. The original Arkanoid music was sparse, limited only to a short tune at the start of the game and cues at new levels and deaths, but it's all great.

[Via GoNintendo]

DS Daily: Extras

Sometimes, extras and add-ons can be great ... but sometimes, even nifty ideas (like sewing machines) don't really go anywhere. The DS has already been home to several offbeat additional devices, though they tend to surface in the Japanese market only. Recently, Slide Adventure: Mag Kid featured a brand-new control mechanism, and the wildly popular Love & Berry brought a card reader to the DS. Let's not forget the camera, either, or Arkanoid, or ... we could go on.

The question is: do you want any of these? Of course, unless you import, it's probably a pointless question, but let's be hypothetical here.

Three control schemes for Arkanoid DS, two are for crazy people

You aren't limited to the awesome spinner controller if you want to play Arkanoid DS. If, for some reason, you'd like to play with the stylus or the d-pad and shoulder buttons, you go right ahead. Taito has made those options available for fun-hating people like you.

Or, you know, if you don't want to pony up the extra 1,050 yen ($9.15) for the package containing the white dial/spinner, or the 1,800 yen ($15.69) for a spinner in one of the alternate colors. We must admit we do understand financial concerns. However, most Japanese DS games cost as much as the bundle, and, to us, the spinner is an integral part of the experience.

Doh commands you to look at Arkanoid screens

Arkanoid DS is a game made by people who respect classic gameplay. Taito chose to make a block-breaking game on a system with a touch screen, but did they settle for stylus-based play? No! Arkanoid traditionally uses a dial controller to operate its paddle, and thus a new peripheral was born. Each copy of Arkanoid DS will include a white paddle controller; the black, pink, and silver controllers will be sold separately for 1800 yen ($15.29).

Since the game is so traditional, we were initially slightly (only slightly) put off by the choice to make the blocks square instead of the Arkanoid-correct rectangles. We changed our minds when we saw the Space Invaders level made possible by square blocks. It's only one of the 140 Clear Game levels, in addition to the Quest Mode challenges.

We still play a lot of NES Arkanoid, and we really want to see Taito succeed with this. We really want the DS to become the new NES.

Taito announces Arkanoid DS, special paddle included

Those boys over at Famitsu are at it again, breaking news that Taito Corporation will be bringing its much loved and often ported classic, Arkanoid, to the Nintendo DS. It's currently set for release in Japan on December 6th, and from what we can tell will also include multiple game modes like Quest Mode (which will presumably involve you heroically piloting your space paddle to save a princess from the evil clutches of Doh).

But what really tricks out this otherwise mildly noteworthy release is that Taito will include a special controller reminiscent of classic arcade paddles. The paddle will plug into the GBA cartridge slot below the Nintendo DS and come in four DS Lite-friendly colors. Nostalgia Get!

Hit up the break for the scan from this week's Famitsu, including shots of the paddle controllers and the long, dual screen Break Out action.

Continue reading Taito announces Arkanoid DS, special paddle included

Anxiety-filled Breakout videos

We've been on edge ever since Eidos announced its plans to publish Nervous Brickdown, Arkedo Studios' modernization of the Breakout genre. Much like how Tetris DS made block dropping seem fresh again, this high-strung title breathes new life into the break-a-brick formula with creative modes and a style overhaul.

IGN has a hands-on preview and some new videos of Nervous Brickdown's gameplay variations, and they're totally stressing us out for reals. In one of the game's ten distinct modes, you guide a paddle and ball through scrolling shmup stages -- making it a paddle-em-up, maybe? Drifting ghosts haunt the stages, hindering your progress, so you'll have to blow into the DS' mic to push them away. Another theme challenges you to manage a platformer on one screen while simultaneously playing Breakout on the other.

Just talking about it is enough to make our stomachs all queasy.

Majesco turns Mawasunda!! around toward the US

Majesco announced yesterday that they're localizing Taito's Mawasunda!! as Turn it Around. The game collects 24 minigames that all make use of a turntable on the touch screen. Many of the games are based on classic Taito games like Bubble Bobble and Cameltry.

Yeah, we know, it's more minigames. But most minigames aren't derived from Arkanoid or Elevator Action. The Taito pedigree makes this game worth a spin for us. Plus the spinning mechanic recalls Wario Ware: Twisted, which is a generally good sign.

Continue reading Majesco turns Mawasunda!! around toward the US

Devilish coming to the US after basically FOREVER

Only two years after the Japanese release date, and sixteen years after the original Game Gear release, Devilish: Ball Bounder has an American publisher.

Devilish is a Breakout-style game with complex level design, and, well, devilish trappings. UFO Interactive has it listed for a US release in "Summer 2007", though EBGames says the 17th of this month.

It may not matter when the thing is coming out, because apparently it's far less than perfect. Being the rabid Arkanoid fans we are, we're still intrigued, although Devilish lacks touchscreen control and we always used the analog controller for Arkanoid.

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