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A DS sequel to Shantae rests in our hands

Remember Shantae? WayForward certainly does -- the Contra 4 developer spent two years producing the delightful Game Boy Color platformer, only to see it die a death at retail, its chances cruelly crushed by the increasing obsolescence of its host platform, as well as the rise of the newly released Game Boy Advance. Boasting an engrossing mix of Metroid-style puzzles and neat visual tricks, the game was an unsung gem that emphatically failed to register on the gaming public's radar.

A sequel was planned for the Advance, only for the project to be inexplicably shelved with the game 50% complete, but WayForward hasn't forgotten about the series entirely. With the all-conquering Contra 4 now out on store shelves and begging to be bought, the developer has posted a poll on its site, asking whether or not we'd be interested in purchasing a Shantae follow-up, and what platform we'd like it to appear on.

Hence, we implore all of you to hit the link below and get your vote on. If you're still wavering about giving thirty seconds of your time to one of the best DS-related causes we've heard of in ages, go past the break for footage of the canned GBA title.

Then go and get your vote on.

Continue reading A DS sequel to Shantae rests in our hands

Rumor: Official flash cards for downloading Game Boy games

Normally, if we saw an unsourced rumor stating that Nintendo was planning to release its own DS flash media, for the purpose of offering downloadable Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles via a Virtual Console-type service, we wouldn't even take the time to write one very long sentence about it. But, as the previous very long sentence suggests, we have reason to at least consider the plausibility of this rumor. It was reported by the usually trustworthy EDGE magazine, so it gets at least a "we don't know" shrug from us. Maybe?

If true, EDGE speculates/reports, this development would then lead to a download service like Wii Ware, for original DS content. Confusingly, this is cited as a move to allow officially-supported homebrew content, and thus removing some of the usefulness of non-Nintendo homebrew devices, which can also, of course, be used for piracy. Would it be worth giving up homebrew for the ability to buy the same games? Standardization would at least be nice. And we'd all love some downloadable Game Boy games.

Five handheld accessories you should continue to live without

Portable game systems are completely self-contained. Unlike home systems, which require a TV, multiple outlets, and a separate controller unit, handhelds contain everything you need to play games, built right in to the unit. They are self-reliant. They are also-- and this goes without saying-- portable. They're designed to be small so you can carry them around.

Why, then, do jackasses feel the need to make accessories for handhelds? Accessories needlessly add bulk to Game Boys, effectively exiling them from casual pocket-drops. Here are five of the most pointless things you could ever graft onto a handheld system. We're giving a lot of attention to the Game Boy Color, as it turned out to be a focal point for idiotic doodads. Hopefully, these companies are still tired from their furious crap-assembling, and will largely pass over the DS.

Continue reading Five handheld accessories you should continue to live without

Non-Game Boy: Serious games before they were cool

Since the release of Brain Age in Japan, Nintendo has turned their attention toward casual, nontraditional fare for adult audiences. Much of it, like Brain Age, is casual game material with a slight educational slant, but other successful DS releases, like Cooking Navi and Eigo Zuke, are not games at all, but rather educational aids and tools designed to use the DS's unique interface. They're all doing massive business, which makes it difficult to laugh at them no matter how silly they are.

But Nintendo was not the first company to attempt to sell application software on a gaming system, however. That distinction probably falls on BASIC Programming for the Atari 2600. Nintendo wasn't even the first company to sell application software on a Nintendo handheld. In fact, Game Boy non-games appeared in 1991. They didn't change the face of gaming. But they make for an interesting historical footnote now, and isn't that better than selling millions of copies? It is for us!

Continue reading Non-Game Boy: Serious games before they were cool

DS Daily: The lost Color

Old school PokemansBackwards compatibility has always been a mainstay for Nintendo's portable systems, with every single new iteration reaching back toward the past to play legacy content. Even the Nintendo DS, third cousin twice-removed of the original Game Boy line, has a convenient second slot to play GBA titles, but it's not perfect. The slot is unable to play original Game Boy or Game Boy Color games, and for us old-schoolers, that's a bit of a buzzkill.

Does this even matter to you? Remember, the original Pokemon Red/Blue titles were original GB titles, as were classics such as Metroid II, Super Mario Land, and even the very first Tetris. We also miss out on the brilliant duo of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Zelda: Oracle of Seasons for the Game Boy Color, that system's final swan song. Do you still keep around a GBA (or older) system for playing these titles, or did you trade it in for store credit for your shiny new DS? Which game from the GB/GBC era was your favorite? And remember, if you answer ... we know you're old.

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