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Posts with tag simulation

DS Fanboy Review: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

There's one thing you need to know right up front: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 is one of the best DS games to date, even without the benefit of some of the things that were added to the Wii entries in the medical franchise. The gameplay is much improved over the already-excellent first title, and the biggest complaint made by the original's detractors -- the difficulty -- is mitigated here by the inclusion of a range of difficulty settings. The result is pretty close to spectacular.

But when the gameplay is so good that there are few complaints, it's a lot easier to nitpick other aspects of the title, and we've got nitpicks in spades. That's all they are, though: tiny complaints that hardly matter. Under the Knife 2 should be remembered as one of the most satisfying experiences on the DS. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen.

Gallery: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

Step into Viva Pinata video paradise

Gamespot has uploaded five new videos from Rare's upcoming DS romp, Viva Pinata Pocket Paradise. The videos focus on what matters most: gameplay. While they are brief in length, the combination of all five make for a nice little diversion in the usual rigmarole of your day. We suggest you take a break and check out the rest of the videos past the break.

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

Continue reading Step into Viva Pinata video paradise

The Tower DS's Japanese release looms

The Tower DS, the latest entry in the SimTower/Yoot's Tower/The Tower series of building simulation games, comes out this week in Japan. Publisher DigiToys released new screens featuring zoomed-out views of entire towers, showing off the incredible amount of detail that frazzled players will have to deal with. We also get to see inside the Mario monument, which is a playable tower like any other, though it has only one inhabitable floor (an observation deck inside Mario's hat).

The new game includes some wacky DS options, of course. You can yell into the mic to deliver wake-up calls to your residents, and put out fires with your breath. We should have expected as much from a guy who made a game about talking to fish, and another game about yelling at troops to encourage them to push a pinball around.

Gallery: The Tower DS

DS Fanboy Review: Disney Friends

No, this one isn't new, and it's probably not the kind of game most of you are looking for when you browse the racks, but if there are young gamers (or Disney freaks) in your life, Disney Friends is worth a second look. It's one of those games that's mystifying in its invisibility, the sort of thing that should be advertised until we desperately hunt down the remote just so we don't have to see that damned commercial again. Instead, it slipped by with nary a wave in the pool of DS games, and that's just criminal.

If you know a younger gamer who loved Nintendogs (or one of these people), this may be a surefire recommendation. Surprisingly, it's that good. But that seems to be par for the course when it comes to developer Amaze Entertainment -- who also worked on the GBA's incredible Spyro title last year. They take old franchises and licenses that no one seems to care about, and sometimes put out gems no one notices. Not all the time ... but when they're good, they're great. And for what it is, Disney Friends is pretty great.

Gallery: Disney Friends

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Disney Friends

Nintendo has a vacancy for Hotel Giant

The trend of PC porting continues with Hotel Giant, a simulation title heading to the DS in Q4 2008. Instead of getting stuck with the same boring people every single day, you'll be able to build some luxury hotel and routinely get new guests to roll in, drop you some cash and get out.

It's a six-year-old game, but that pretty much makes it perfect for the DS. You'll be designing rooms and adding various hotel-y items, all the while ensuring John Q Guest is satisfied enough to pay the upgrade fee for the ultra-chump room.

All joking aside, the original PC title was a big hit and it should be very well-suited to the stylus and touch screen when it comes out in Europe and -- pending iron-clad confirmation -- North America. Bellboy!

[Via press release]

Animals in Paradise, again

Nintendo attracts cute animals like nobody's business. If it isn't Nintendogs, it's Animal Crossing. If it isn't that, it's this. And if it isn't any of those -- it's Animal Paradise 2. As if pets aren't celebrated enough in video games, we need to give them a paradise. How about Blogger Paradise 2?

The original game isn't even out in North America yet, and the release for AP2 only mentions a European release date. That's Q2 2009, a long time from now, and an even longer time for the rest of the world. The game focuses on managing a park (read: paradise) filled with an array of Hanadeka animals. That's way too much cute for any one person to take, so waiting a while before it comes out is probably good for the heart.

[Via press release]

Panpaka Panya-San baking away in the oven

Since general cooking games aren't obscure enough already, Starfish is placing its development clout right in the middle of the bakery. With no messy Cooking Mama kitchen tomfoolery, Panpaka Panya-San lets you work the oven and bake like a madman. Or, in this case, baking like a cute little girl with pigtails.

The official website is ready for perusal, and it's stylish in a "brown crayon" kind of way. Along with the female hero Roux, the world of Panpaka is populated by a group of smiling pastries and cakes, blissfully unaware of their inevitable demise within the mouths of hungry gamers. Happy music accompanies this disturbing scenario.

Cooking fanatics can pick this pie up when it hits the shelves in Japan on July 3rd.

[Via Siliconera]

What is the deal with these Apartment Pets?

Off the top of our head, here's a quick list of questions we immediately asked after noticing several odd details with this The Sims 2: Apartment Pets cover:
  • What are those lines on the woman's pants? We swear to Pete, those better not be some damn convertible pants. It is 2008, lady. You should know better.
  • Why is she walking around the building's hallways, puppy in hand, teasing kittens with toys?
  • Is that cat on the bottom right corner cuddling with the PEGI rating? This might be the only creature in the world who has actually taken a liking to the unsightly box.
  • Why didn't this guy block the door when he opened it to grab the morning paper? He could have prevented this gang of animals from spilling out of his apartment.
  • Is that stoic rabbit doing the shoulder lean?
Grab a leash and meet us past the post break for more insightful commentary!

Gallery: The Sims 2: Apartment Pets

Continue reading What is the deal with these Apartment Pets?

What Was QT is now POP CUTIE!

Koei's That's QT, a fashion management simulation in which players created fashion lines based on input from chibi moppets in the virtual streets of Tokyo, seemed like a long shot for localization. Why would Koei sink valuable resources into something like that that could be used on painting very serious portraits of historical warriors?

But the DS allows companies to make crazy decisions that sometimes pay off. Koei will release POP CUTIE! Street Fashion Simulation (known henceforth as Pop Cutie, because we have a strict budget of capital letters and exclamation points) in the U.S. in September.

Pop Cutie puts players in charge of a fashion boutique. The game involves running the boutique, hiring staff and models, and decorating their shops. It also involves fashion design based on capturing and combining "images" from kids on the street. Two-player "Fashion Battles" are also possible, limited only by the ability to find someone else who has a copy of Pop Cutie.

As for us, we think it looks insane, ridiculous, and therefore irresistible. Screens and character art (featuring psychotic "fashion") can be found in our gallery.

Gallery: Pop Cutie

More Evangelion, less substance

Ears and eyes are on high-alert with every potentially awesome Neon Genesis Evangelion game. Even though some sketchy first details were examined, a true Eva fan doesn't give up hope that easily. Shinji didn't, Misato didn't, and Iruel didn't, even after adapting to toxic ozone, until finally being destroyed by the quick fingers of Ritsuko and the power of the Magi ... what? Ah yes, the game ...

Neon Genesis Evangelion Asuka DS
should be pretty lousy, akin to Princess Maker with Eva characters. No brutal combat or complex storyline -- just playing around with some anime girls as they go about their daily lives (with some obligatory mini-games thrown in). If the above anime seduction isn't enough for you, pop on over to Famitsu for a few extra screens. Want to play a little dress-up? Follow your dreams with Rei and Asuka.

Trauma Center: Hands on the Knife 2

Good news for Trauma Center fans -- if you liked the first game, it stands to reason that you'll enjoy Under the Knife 2. All the slicing, stitching, and ass-kicking potential of the first is here, and with more options lifted from the Wii version. But if you didn't like Trauma Center the first time around, the Easy mode may not be enough to tempt you into this one.

Of course, if you didn't like Trauma Center, you're probably more interested in spending your time kicking puppies, or otherwise engaged in some horrific habit. Honestly, the pain of (repeated, egregious) failure aside, it remains one of the best and most intense experiences on the handheld. Can a sequel hope to measure up? We spent a little time with the upcoming title in an effort to find out.

Gallery: Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

Continue reading Trauma Center: Hands on the Knife 2

I am Ugly Baby

Babies are pretty harmless -- well yeah, they can't even walk. Most people think they are cute, while some aren't huge fans. No big deal either way. That is, until Babysitting Mania came along.

This new gallery is an insult to babies all over the world, featuring pretty ghastly renders of a stereotypical bald little tyke. Babysitting Mania. It's a time-management simulation game, featuring teen girls taking charge over piles of babies in the most efficient way possible. These kinds of games can turn out to be pretty addictive, but the cuteness-challenged mascot isn't doing the game any favors so far.

Gallery: Babysitting Mania

[Via press release]

Kumatanchi wallpaper plus a bit of backstory

The site for Vanillaware and Dimple's bizarre zookeeping game Kumatanchi has opened, though it currently offers absolutely nothing other than guest wallpaper. Eventually, it'll have an introduction to both the game system and the setting, and ... probably more wallpaper.

Last week, Zepy of Canned Dogs uncovered the reason that Vanillaware, best known for sidescrolling RPGs like Odin Sphere and Princess Crown would veer off into a game about little girls with animal ears, and it's pretty interesting. One of their staff artists makes amateur doujin games, like Habanero-tan House (which looks like Kumatanchi with plant-girls), in his spare time with a group called Ashinaga Ojisan. Somehow, Vanillaware decided to work with the group on a DS game.

It's not uncommon for an amateur-made game to become a console release -- Melty Blood comes to mind, as does ABA Games' TUMIKI Fighters. But since this is being done professionally in collaboration with Vanillaware, Kumatanchi isn't exactly a doujin game.

Take this, animal-hating landlord

We've already seen The Sims get portable with pets, but now it's time to move those animal-loving sensibilities into trendy, high-rise apartments. Getting very specific with Sim titles these days, EA has announced The Sims 2: Apartment Pets for the DS. Don't leave the penthouse window open for Fido to go barrelling out.

Apartment Pets features a bunch of different animals, including cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits and snakes. Question - can you let the snake loose in the loft with all the other furry critters? Can the snake be a King Cobra? Funny if possible, but highly unlikely.

You can run your own pet spa, and interact with fellow upstart professionals who fill their lives with a bunch of wildlife. It'll be just like Seinfeld, only Jerry is a nonchalant house cat while Kramer is the wacky next-door macaw.

Apartment Pets is scheduled for an August 28 release, and you can check out the first images in the gallery. We urge you to pay attention to your real pets for a while before this one comes along. They don't want some hot-shot hamster stealing the limelight.

Gallery: The Sims 2: Apartment Pets

Cooking is so fun, cooking is so fun ... yay! Video is ready!

Cake Mania 2 is roasting away in the proverbial oven of development, ready to rock our socks on the DS. The original title was a bit on the non-good side, but hopefully this latest entry can pull something magical out of the baking tray.

Funnily enough, the above trailer claims that we will experience "cake-baking nirvana," reaching a higher plane of human existence localized entirely within our kitchens! If a lifetime of happiness isn't enough, CM2 features Endless Baking Mode -- for those who feel the need to get their cake on until the end of time.

Ice up that mouse and click through past the break for some extra screenshots. This is simulation with sugar, people.

Continue reading Cooking is so fun, cooking is so fun ... yay! Video is ready!

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