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Friday Video: Love is a sweaty field

With the flow of media from TGS finally slowing, we thought we'd dedicate one last video spotlight to the awesome games we've seen lately, and all the footage from the show. While that left us with many options for today's featured video, one clearly slid to the head of the pack: Duel Love.

Because, you know, we're all about touching around here.

Bungie silences official Halo DS rumors

Spencer Yip of Siliconera snagged some facetime with Brian Jarrard and Frank O'Connor of Bungie to ask the question that a lot of us have yearned to ask ourselves: what's with the whole Halo DS thing that IGN's Matt Casamassina keeps insisting is real?

The official word is: if he played it, it wasn't from Bungie. So Casamassina's probably not insane or lying, but it's not anything resembling a "real" Halo DS with the official stamp of Bungie approval. Apparently, the idea of Halo on the DS has been pitched numerous times, so Jarrard and O'Connor said that if Casamassina played a handheld Halo, it was probably a prototype mockup for one of those pitches. Sorry to dash any hopes, but the Bungie duo didn't sound too enthused on the idea of Halo on Nintendo's dual screens. They wouldn't rule it out, but it seems we're not the only ones who have a few reservations about FPS games on the DS. That doesn't mean there couldn't be a Halo spinoff of some sort, however!

We can only hope this puts a stop to the discussions of whether or not Halo DS ever existed, even if it doesn't really answer the question. We can, at least, say for sure that Bungie didn't make an official version, but maybe your neighbor Bob is working on one right now. Why don't you go give him a hand?

Casamassina teases Halo DS again

Remember when IGN's Matt Casamassina said he was going to reveal a DS Halo game? No, the other time. The time when he said we were all going to be owned. Well, it didn't happen-- we'd probably remember if it did, and if we didn't, our search feature would. We don't feel owned.

According to a post on the IGN forums by Mr. Casamassina, the ownage has merely been delayed until after E3. He's already drained pretty much any goodwill Halo fans may have had toward him, so he can afford to take his time. After being jerked around so long, we doubt we can be owned by Halo DS news.

Halo DS ... never existed?

lolcluezPut on your sleuthing caps, ladies and gents, we have a bonafide mystery on our hands. Surely you remember, with chagrin and unfulfilled longing, the news of the canceled Halo DS project, reported by IGN editor-in-chief Matt Casamassina. He even went so far as to say that he played the title, and love him or hate him, Matt tends to speak verily.

Enter: last night's San Francisco Halo 3 beta event. The Bungie team, responsible for the development of all things Halo, were interviewed by numerous gaming outlets and media sources, including one Rumor Reporter. When asked about the ill-fated Halo DS, Bungie's Brian Gerrard, Director of Franchise and Community Affairs, commented, "Wow, I have never heard or seen such a project, nor do we have plans for any DS Halo title."

We doubt either of these two respected news sources were lying or mistaken, which leaves the question: who made the mysterious Halo DS, the one Matt C. played? There's only one obvious answer, of course.

Shiggy made it.

[Thanks, Bruce!]

EGM so-so over Phoenix Wright, anoints Hotel Dusk

While we haven't seen it, word is that the upcoming issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly has some very interesting scores (and reviews) for a pair of upcoming DS titles. The March issue takes a look at both Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (it's long title month around here), and offers a lackluster-to-good range of scores for one, and great scores to the other ... and it's not the way that you may think.

Word on the street forums is that the scores for the two games in the issue are as follows:

Justice for All
: 6.0, 7.0, 8.0
Hotel Dusk: 8.0, 8.0, 10 (yeah, that's a ten)

Now, it's true that this edition of Phoenix Wright is not judged to be the best by those who've played deeper into the series, and those are decent and respectable scores (which mean nothing, since we're all playing it anyway, and probably twice). But the scores for Hotel Dusk are surprising, and something of a relief as well. Whether or not you're a fan of EGM, it's nice to see such enthusiastic review scores. As a point of comparison, Trace Memory (often invoked when mentioning Hotel Dusk) scored much lower with EGM -- that game posted an average score of 6.17.

[Via Go Nintendo]

It could have happened: Halo on DS

Matt Cassamassina over at IGN has updated his blog with a supremely interesting entry: apparently, a version of Halo was quite deep in development for the Nintendo DS. Though several publishing mishaps resulted in the eventual cancellation of the project, one must wonder what could have been.

Indeed, Matt C. even got to play an early build of the project, impressed with the accurate recreation of perhaps the world's most popular console shooter. He compares the gameplay to that of Metroid Prime: Hunters, but, you know, Halo-fied. Certainly, when you walk past the pearly gates and into Gamestop's heaven branch, this game will be at the forefront. You know, right next to Chrono Break and NiGHTs 2.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon review [update 1]

Is it us, or is IGN scoring tougher? Not that we think this a bad thing. In fact, we admire brutal honesty if a game is not up to par. Just because the title says Final Fantasy Pokemon, doesn't mean it will be great. Just look at Final Fantasy X-2 Pokemon Dash.

From the sound of it, turning into an actual Pokemon seems pretty rad. After all, Ash and the others shouldn't have all the fun. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is throwing a different ball your way by showing the softer side of these normally lightening-hurling captured creatures. And as the good Pokemon you are, you join the Rescue Team and help out any pals in danger while trying to figure out why you are a Pokemon. Best thing about it -- you finally understand what the heck those little guys are saying when they scream "Pika!"

While IGN gave the game compliments for Pokemon doing what it does best in gameplay, they were disappointed in the game as a whole, claiming it hasn't really evolved in the direction they had hoped. Their main complaints rest in the repetitive battle system, rarely used touch screen and drab GBA appearance.

Best way to describe it -- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a mere placeholder until the real Pokemon comes out on DS.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was rated a 6.5, making it a "passable" game.

[Update: Fixed a typo]

Fall gaming: the avalanche to come

IGN whipped up a little feature where they check out the cream of the crop of DS titles emerging this Fall. In being the busiest time of year for eager gamers, taking on such a task is equal parts daunting and deadly. Well, maybe not so much deadly. Chalk that comment up to our paranoia that everything outside will kill you.

Raging insanity aside, IGN has managed to provide a nice starting point to build your own list of must-have titles for the DS. They list games such as Mario Hoops: 3-on-3 and Elite Beat Agents, which gives them some very good titles, but what about Konductra and other smaller, lesser-known titles? Where's the Chibi Robo: Park Patrol?

Clearly, the list has games that need to be included. What would your list look like?

Metareview: Star Fox Command

One of the highest-profile Wi-Fi titles of the year has finally released and the critics were quick to offer up their opinions. Generally, the game has seen a fair amount of praise, however critics have mentioned that the title's multiplayer is not exactly on par with the game's single-player experience.

The scores are as follows:

  • IGN - 80%: "It's at the very least a great start to the franchise. Bump up the difficulty, add some variety to the missions, bring back the forced-scrolling on-rails levels and the wingman-in-danger elements in a sequel and you'll have yourself the ultimate Star Fox adventure."
  • Gamespot - 75%: "Star Fox Command has great controls and introduces a strategic layer that's fairly interesting. However, the random feel of the story battles and the frantic multiplayer mode don't make the most of this game's solid foundation, which might cause nostalgic fans to long for the series' good old days."
  • 1UP - 70%: " None of the strategy elements that comprised the core of the single-player game are in multiplayer -- how cool would it have been to battle for strategic positions and race to key items on the overhead map against friends? How loudly does this game scream for a custom map editor? Should Command see a sequel, competitive strategic multiplayer ought to be a big part of it."
We've heard from the critics, now how about the readers?

Screenshot roundup: Justice For All

One of the requirements for being a part of the DS Fanboy staff is an undying, borderline obsessive, love for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. There's just no dancing around it; if you've failed to play it then you're fired. As such, our previously stated love for Phoenix and his immaculate "lawyerin' skillz" causes many of the staff to often wake in the middle of the night, covered in cold sweat, screaming out for our hero.

As such, you can imagine we've been pretty excited for the latest installment, not only so that we may defend the innocent from an almost certain doom in the courtroom, but also so that we may scream "hold it" again in public without looking like total basket cases (people just don't get it if you aren't holding a DS). So, like they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do and join us in quietly, and quite disturbingly, fondling our monitors over these new Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All screenshots.

Final Fantasy III Wi-Fi confirmed

"I can confirm that Final Fantasy III contains Wi-Fi, but I can't reveal the details at this time."

That's the line a Square Enix spokesperson provided to IGN when they asked them about a leaked image that found its way onto Go Nintendo. So, the obvious idea is that there will be some sort of co-op gameplay and trading, whether it be items or chocobo (chocobii?). Given that, what other ways could Square Enix implement Wi-Fi into the game? Never having released stateside (our Final Fantasy 3 on the SNES was Final Fantasy 6 in Japan), I have no frame of reference for the game on a whole, unable to decide in which ways Wi-Fi would or could enhance it.

Bowser gets the business

Some videos popped up yesterday over at IGN showcasing several different situations the portly plumber might get himself into in his travels of eating mushrooms and balancing on ropes over lava pits in New Super Mario Bros. The first video even shows Mario duking it out with the big bad Bowser himself in the truest fashion, that is, in a recreation of their very first encounter back during the original Super Mario Bros. This time around has an exception, however, as once he is thrust into the liquid magma, Bowser emerges to the surface, much in the way T1000 did at the end of Terminator 2, thrashing about in great pain, yet displaying a ghastly skeletal visage. Could this finally be the end of Bowser?

Also, how odd is it that his hair doesn't even get scorched?

[Thanks TxdoHawk!]

Worms: Open Warfare interview

IGN recently conducted a nice Q & A session with Team 17, the studio behind those little gun-toting worms. Since the game is due to hit your local retailer any day now, they aimed to get some final tidbits of information out of them before getting their hands on a final copy and slapping up a review.

Team 17 goes on to say that they indeed did have plans to take the game online via Nintendo's WiFi service, yet the development time did not allow for it. They do, however, confirm that they've already begun work on another Worms title, so let's hope they've decided that it will utilize the service.

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