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Posts with tag arcade

Quiz Magic Academy presents worthwhile trivia on the DS

Arcades aren't doing so hot in the U.S., but Japanese gamers still love frequenting them and inserting coins into the humble machines. Through arcades, series that most of us in the West are unfamiliar with become super-popular in Japan. Take, for instance, Quiz Magic Academy.

Since popularity often leads to system jumping, it should come as no surprise that the game is making its way to the DS. It's essentially a trivia title, but what makes it so appealing is its eight player Wi-Fi support. Trivia is at its best when you're competing against others and showing off your vast pools of useless knowledge, so this extensive use of online-play is most certainly appealing. Unlike games such as LOL (aka just LOL), though, you can still choose to solo your way through Quiz Magic Academy if you prefer to go it alone.

Other nifty features in this arcade-cum-DS title are that it transmits new questions wirelessly, and also links up to Quiz Magic Academy V, the as-of-yet unreleased arcade sequel.

All in all, it seems like Konami has taken trivia as far as it can go. Well, color us jealous.

[Via Siliconera]

Essential Extras: Taito's paddle controller

Let's just get this out of the way first thing: the import paddle controller works on the U.S. versions of Arkanoid and Space Invaders Extreme in both the DS Lite and Phat. But with that answered at last, the question that remains is: should you go to the trouble of importing the Japan-exclusive peripheral?

We've been test-driving both titles, with the paddle and without, and it definitely adds to the experience. Arkanoid without the paddle is fun, but not terribly engaging, and seems like the kind of game that would work only as a temporary diversion. For a budget title, that's fine! But with the addition of the paddle -- which turns the purchase into something decidedly not budget -- Arkanoid really comes to life as an exciting way to spend some time with your DS.

Continue reading Essential Extras: Taito's paddle controller

Emulating the gaming world on DS


One of the first things homebrewers do when they gain the ability to run unsigned code on a game console is to see what other console's games they can get running. Although the use of commercial ROMs varies from legally ambiguous (in the case of backup copies of your own software) to unambiguously illegal (in the case of just downloading stuff), emulator programs are perfectly legal -- and capable of running legal homebrew software designed for the consoles. We don't really want to get into the legal and ethical issues. We think that programs designed to run like old hardware are just cool.

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.

Continue reading Emulating the gaming world on DS

Neo Geo emulator turns the DS into an Advanced Entertainment System

Even though it's totally old now and its games are ported everywhere, the Neo Geo still seems like a special, vaguely magical system -- probably because of the price. It doesn't seem like the DS should be powerful enough to run its games, but homebrewer Ben Ingram has proven that it is possible with NeoDS, a Neo Geo AES/MVS emulator.

Full sound emulation and (most importantly) multiplayer have yet to be implemented, but according to DCEmu, "

[Via DCEmu; thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Sega uses 'Answer x Answer' arcade game for a little cross-promotion

Answer x Answer is an arcade quiz game from Sega that involves answering trivia questions and also solving various puzzles, and competing online to be the fastest and most accurate. Sega is taking advantage of its success by throwing some advertising for one of its other licensed properties, Doraemon, in.

In March, special Doraemon-themed questions will appear in the quiz game. In addition, a visual puzzle will have players staring at the Doraemon: Nobita to Midori no Kyojinden DS boxart as it is slowly revealed over the course of the game. The game, by the way, is also tied in to the Doraemon movie (warning: sound).

Playing a game and seeing an ad for another game is like using your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to reveal "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

[Via Siliconera]

PAX 07: Namco Museum DS has more options than games


Poor Namco Museum DS was sitting there in the Bandai Namco booth all alone, while people ignored it in favor of new games. It needed just the right person to come along and play some Dig Dug II.

Dig Dug II is, of course, unchanged, as are all of the games in the collection-- that's kind of the point of Namco Museum (with the exception of the oddball Wii version). However, players have the option to change the method of presentation significantly. You can view the game in the normal DS orientation or turned sideways, with the screen rotated in either direction, depending on how you want to access the controller. You have the option for full-screen or the original aspect ratio in all of these configurations. There's also a softening filter that can be applied to the graphics. With so many options for displaying the games, it's slightly frustrating that there are only eight games in the collection. We want definitive DS versions of Bosconian and Metro Cross and The Legend of Valkyrie!

Konami to announce something new (yet old) at Leipzig

In addition to several other titles, Konami has announced that they'll debut something (mostly) new for the DS at Leipzig -- a remake! That's right, the remade game isn't just for Square Enix anymore, though it was starting to seem that way. Konami's planning on showing off an all-new take on one of their "classic arcade smashes," which leaves the door wide open for speculation. We're guessing it won't be something in Konami Arcade Classics, since they'll be showing that at GC already, as well as Let's Yoga (we approve) and Steel Horizon.

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.

Namco Museum screens are as new as Namco Museum screens can be

We've seen countless releases of the Namco Museum collections over the years. We remember feeling quite special about the Playstation versions-- they were the real versions of real arcade games! At home! But now the Namco Museum series is, itself, old. How old?

Valkyrie no Densetsu (1989) was eight years old when it was released on Namco Museum Vol. 5. The original Namco Museum Playstation game is eleven years old. In other words, Namco Museum is now older, in relative terms, than a game that was old enough for Namco Museum.

Speaking of the Playstation editions, the new Namco Museum DS has something not seen since those days: an actual museum mode, in the form of a trophy collection and music player, as well as scanned instructions and flyers.

Relatively newer features include bottom-screen maps and hints for Galaga (?), Xevious, and The Tower of Druaga. Of course, the most exciting relatively-new thing is Pac-Man Vs., which, now that it won't require so much of a financial outlay, we may actually try with another person.

Gallery: Namco Museum DS

DS Dragon's Lair makes a Daring choice


The laserdisc classic Dragon's Lair is back again, after appearances on basically every system ever built, either in its original form (PC, Sega CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, Game Boy Color) or in some kind of terrible adaptation (NES, SNES, PS2). This time, Digital Leisure is releasing it in more or less original form on the DS, with some ... interesting options.

Of particular interest is the ability to control the game via touch screen. We imagine this will involve tapping the appropriate side of the screen. There are also optional move indicators, voice control (?), rumble support, and multiple difficulty settings.

And then there's the big feature. You can choose to play the game on one screen, or stretched across both. This allows Dragon's Lair to benefit from the advanced view obstruction technology not available in the arcade version.

[Via NeoGAF]

Rhythm Tengoku taunts us even more

Rhythm Tengoku, the Game Boy Advance rhythm-minigame collection from the Wario Ware team, is headed to the arcade as a collaboration between Nintendo and Sega. And as an arcade game, it's even less likely to come to the US.

Rhythm Tengoku is a collection of weird minigames in the same style as Wario Ware, but all involving performing exceedingly random tasks in time with music. It appears to contain the same minigames as the original, with some new stages, as well as the welcome addition of simultaneous 2-player.

If this arcade game comes out somewhere we can play it, we'll take back every bad thing we ever said about minigames and recent Sega games. We'd also take a localized version of the GBA game. We're simple folks.

New Touchmaster screens - bar favourites on the way

Here are a bunch of new screens for Touchmaster DS, which should awaken a few hazy memories. The collection of 23 minigames will be familiar to bar patrons everywhere, as they come from Midway's touch screen range.

The minigames include trivia, solitaire, and a range of card and puzzle games. You'll also be able to upload your high scores onto worldwide leaderboards. Better start saving that beer money now-- Touchmaster DS goes on sale June 11th in North America.

Continue reading New Touchmaster screens - bar favourites on the way

Friday Video: Masters of drums

Since Taiko Drum Master was announced this week for the DS, and we also happen to be a little fond of rhythm games, we thought we'd bring you another pair of videos dedicated to getting your drum on. The first makes us yearn for arcades, because there's nothing like huge drums or motorcycles and steering wheels to really get you in the game. We also want that guy's skill, because he really knows how to rock out. The video was originally posted to Chris Kohler's Game|Life blog, so you've probably seen it before, but we felt it was a good finisher for the week.

The second shows off a Taiko Drum Master mini-game featured in Nodame Cantabile, which was recently released in Japan.

Continue reading Friday Video: Masters of drums

Taiko Drum Master headed to DS



Poor Sony. First we stole Crash Bandicoot, and now it's Taiko Drum Master, which previously appeared (outside of the arcade) on the PS2. But the move only makes sense, for a number of reasons; in 2004, the PS2 was on top. Now it's the DS, and publishers can't fit their popular properties on the dual-screened handheld quickly enough. Second of all ... it's a rhythm game, and as we've seen, there's really no better platform for rhythm games.

Namco Bandai is trying to be all secretive about the controls, but let's see ... rhythm game ... DS ... anyone out there have any idea how this might work? If you said "touch screen," you're probably correct. If you said something else, like "donkey face" or "mudpie," you might want to check for, uh, insanity. Or something.

Game|Life's Chris Kohler has a translation of the partial songlist from the Japanese version (including the Mario theme!), which is set for this summer. There are also a couple of scans, and you can check those out after the jump.

Continue reading Taiko Drum Master headed to DS

Touch the Dead changes name, sharpens up

Touch the Dead seems to have gotten an upgrade along with its new name ... and speaking of that, we appreciate the need to work in a 'DS' subtitle or some clever witticism about touching, but really, Dead 'n' Furious seemed a more appetizing name. We're not sure we want to touch any of these guys, and it doesn't exactly look fun when they touch you.

But what's in a name, really? It's what's in a video that matters, and we've got one after the jump, showing off the new look of Touch the (really angry) Dead, and it's step up from where it was before. We'd like to see the main character in this -- as one of our commenters aptly noted, last go-round he looked a little big like a refugee from a Lego game. Originally, this game was to be published by Virgin Play (according to the Dead 'n' Furious website, which is still there), but IGN is reporting that it's Eidos that's picked up the title. Touch the Dead is now scheduled for a release in May, so what you see in the video is likely to be what you get in this shooter. Frankly, we think it looks a little better than we expected, since we've seen it since a rough beginning, and the style is intriguing if nothing else. Light gun without the gun? We'll try anything once.

Continue reading Touch the Dead changes name, sharpens up

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