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Posts with tag taito

DS Fanswag: Space Invaders Extreme, Arkanoid, and a paddle to play 'em with

We've got an ultimate game pack up for grabs with this latest DS Fanswag! One lucky reader is going to walk away with Space Invaders Extreme ($19.99), Arkanoid DS ($19.99), and an import paddle controller (in white; $29.99), and all for the low, low price of a comment.

What do you need to do to win? Well, since it's almost time for E3, tell us what you hope will be announced at the show! You may enter once per day and the contest will run through Sunday, June 13th; that night, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, entries will close, and we'll choose one winner in a random drawing. To enter, you must be 18 or older, and a current legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). Have questions? Check the official rules.

Pet Shop Story launching with cuteness and executioners

The "other" game in Taito's catalogue is coming out very shortly in Japan, where aspiring Pet Shop Story owners can come together and scrub penguins. See, even if a pet shop that actually sold penguins existed, we're sure there would be more interesting things to do with them.

There's a launch party in Yokohama on July 13th, when an "entertainer" will meet and greet the first customers for Pet Shop Story. It's this guy, so don't bring the kids.

Go ahead and fawn over more screens of cuteness after the break. If you can handle disturbing happy-chappy music and grown Japanese men dressed as dogs, then check out the official website.

Continue reading Pet Shop Story launching with cuteness and executioners

Exit DS escapes Japan, according to ESRB

We're happy to report that despite their efforts to stop unannounced games from showing up, the ESRB is still a source of news. The latest update reveals that, as seen on Gamefly's "Coming Soon" page, Taito's Exit DS is being planned for release in the U.S. Like Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid DS, Exit will be published by Taito's parent company, Square Enix.

Exit DS is a new version of Taito's popular PSP/Xbox puzzle platformer Exit, which involves maneuvering a character named Mr. ESC out of buildings, and rescuing other inhabitants while doing so. The DS version adds optional, potentially weird, stylus controls.

Gallery: Exit DS

Pet Shop Monogatari is unbearably cute

The only pet-care game we find ourselves caring about is also one of the few that isn't planned for release here. Taito's Pet Shop Monogatari DS is a pet-adoption RPG with Cooking Mama art and penguin washing. Penguin washing! We usually react coolly to the proliferation of pet games on the DS, but this one has the distinct possibility of being interesting, due to Taito's involvement.

There's also the fact that it's uncommonly cute, even for what it is. Screenshot after screenshot proves this point adorably. If there's even the slightest chance that a game this cute can also be non-terrible, we're on board.

DS Fanboy Review: Space Invaders Extreme

Anticipating a game can be a very dangerous diversion. If you have high hopes for a title, it's easier to find yourself disappointed than satisfied. This is what I was afraid of with Space Invaders Extreme; after drooling over the renovated Taito classic for months on end, I was worried that my expectations would set the bar too high. Basically, if it didn't completely blow my mind, the game was going to be a letdown.

Consider my mind blown.

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Space Invaders Extreme

DS Fanboy Review: Arkanoid DS

I love Arkanoid. I purchased the NES game, with its included paddle controller, as soon as it came out in 1987. I still play it. It's still really hard, and I still think level 3 -- level 3! -- is one of the most devious and challenging video game levels ever devised. When Taito revealed that they were updating Arkanoid for the DS, I was beyond thrilled. I have been waiting for the American release of this game since last year. While I thought Space Invaders Extreme looked like a more creative update of its source material, Arkanoid DS had Arkanoid as its source material.

It's pretty good. It fails to hold up perfectly to the original, but it's pretty good.

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Arkanoid DS

Friday Video: Yes, it has a story

The Arkanoid series appears to be fairly abstract. The paddle and blocks can't be anything other than gameplay elements, right? The Tetris blocks don't represent animals or anything, and Arkanoid is the same kind of non-narrative puzzle-action experience.

Except it isn't. One of the things that elevates Arkanoid beyond other Breakout clones is its ridiculous sci-fi storyline, which pits a cylindrical spaceship called the Vaus against barriers put up by the evil Doh, who is a giant moai. The Vaus's primary weapon is ... a giant ball that the crew bounces off of the ship's own body. The spacefaring backdrop makes the game a lot more enjoyable -- especially once you realize that your every action jostles the crew of a spaceship as if they were in a giant cocktail shaker.

For an example of the kind of epic narrative featured in the series (which, to an extent, is also found in Arkanoid DS), we've chosen to present the ending from the Super NES Arkanoid: Doh it Again.

WRUP: Paddle-tastic edition

This weekend, the DS Fanboy staff will likely be knee-deep in conflict. Whether it's against invaders from space or gigantic blocks, we'll be armed with one weapon that will aid us in defeating these threats: Taito's paddle controller. Seriously, it's all Arkanoid DS and Space Invaders Extreme for us this weekend.

What about you all? Going to be playing the same games as us? Playing something else? What will you be playing?

Metareview: Arkanoid DS

We've already seen critics rave over Space Invaders Extreme, but how about Taito's other redone classic, Arkanoid DS? Well, not so much. Reviews on this game range from good, to bad, to mediocre:

IGN (45/100) felt that the developers took everything that was great about Arkanoid and flushed it down the toilet: "But once you played the game it's easy to see just how bad of an 'Arkanoid' game it is. The Paddle peripheral is absolutely fantastic: the knob has great weight and interfaces with the system and game extremely well. But the gameplay is so far away from the original Arkanoid. The sound effects and power-ups may have matched the arcade game but the same action is nowhere near the original."

Gamespot (80/100) was on the other side of the spectrum, and thought the game had a lot to offer: "There's more than enough fun to be had with Arkanoid DS to justify its budget price tag, and the multiplayer content and online leaderboards that compare your performances in the single-player Clear mode ensure that there's no shortage of replay value if you're the competitive type. Arkanoid was a great game in 1986 and it's still a great game in 2008. Arkanoid DS is even better."

Nintendo Power
(65/100) found the game to be fun, but not on par with Space Invaders Extreme: "Though not as glossy as Space Invaders Extreme (another Taito update from Square Enix), brick-breaker Arkanoid DS takes advantage of the DS hardware more than its classic-reborn cousin by offering a vertical playing field and a touch-control option." [July 2008, p.89]

Gallery: Arkanoid DS

Metareview: Space Invaders Extreme

For us, the release of Space Invaders Extreme carries the same weight as a world-altering event. Mainly because our own world has been altered to include such an inspired recreation of the original Space Invaders, which we never could have imagined possible. It's like finding an extra $20 in that jacket you have in the back of the closet, only that bill somehow managed to reproduce asexually and gave way to a whole colony of legal tender. Oh, and the money also talks and calls you "God." That's how blessed we feel just knowing such a game exists.

How do the critics feel? Well, let's dive in, shall we?
  • 1UP (A-) says "Space Invaders was never intended to be a graphical powerhouse, and with its solid, pick-up-and-play action and an easily digestible $20 price point, Extreme makes for a perfect summer gaming distraction."
  • IGN (90/100) found the DS game to be better than the PSP version: "Space Invaders Extreme is a certified hit and easily the company's best effort in contemporizing its classic property. The game's an absolute steal at 20 bucks on either the Nintendo DS or the PlayStation Portable, but if you want the definitive version of this fantastic classic revisit, the Nintendo DS version is it."
  • GamesRadar (80/100) thinks it's a solid title: "[...] for quick-to-play, compelling arcade action - complete with a two-player head to head mode - it's hard to imagine a better package. Don't miss this one."
  • Game Informer (83/100) said it's almost a stroke of genius: "It takes some clever thinking to take something this old and make it feel new again. Square Enix has done exactly that by maintaining the core "shoot the aliens" gameplay while dramatically expanding the strategy and skill required to succeed in the endeavor." [July 2008, p.95]

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme

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.

Gallery: Taito paddle controller

Continue reading Essential Extras: Taito's paddle controller

Taito game screens invade our weekend

Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid DS come out next week, at which point we'll be able to look at the equivalent of thousands of screenshots every minute as we actually play the games. Until then, we've got some more screens of both games to enjoy, courtesy of a Square Enix press release. In case you want to stare at boxart (which means that this is probably directed at DS Fanboy staff), we have high-resolution images of both.

On the subject of the boxart, we just noticed that both games' logos use variations of the same font. The things you learn when you ... hastily composite a box image!

Gallery: Arkanoid DS

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme

Ponder the paddle as you watch Space Invaders Extreme videos

Space Invaders Extreme is out next week, at which point we'll be able to put paddle speculation to rest. The Arkanoid DS demo found on the Nintendo Channel doesn't support Taito's paddle controller, but, it turns out, neither did the Japanese demo. That means it's still possible for the retail Arkanoid and its contemporary to include paddle support -- don't offload your paddles on eBay just yet. Besides, Square Enix told Game|Life in April that the U.S. games would still support the paddle, though of course that could have changed!

We can confirm that these two Space Invaders Extreme videos are awesome. We have proof: the awesome videos. Two minutes of single-player gameplay are in the video above; a multiplayer video, featuring a different musical track, follows after the post break.

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme

Continue reading Ponder the paddle as you watch Space Invaders Extreme videos

Everything you wanted to know about Space Invaders Extreme but were afraid to ask

With the release of one of our most-anticipated summer games next week, along with partner-in-crime Arkanoid, DS Fanboy has lovingly prepared a recap of our most important (and silly) coverage of Space Invaders Extreme. We've got video, screenshots, and more importantly, alien undies -- everything you need to get ready for the shooter's release. All that's missing is your copy of the game.

Oh, and that paddle controller. Sigh. Go check out all the shooty goodness anyway.

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme

Space Invaders Encased

If there's one thing we love, it's DS games. Obviously.

If there are several things we love, Space Invaders swag is somewhere on a list of those things, especially with Space Invaders Extreme so close, feeding our Invader mania. These keychains feature pink, blue, and yellow Invaders embedded in acrylic cubes like prehistoric flies in amber. Each order comes with three of them for $8.50.

It's up to you whether the awesomeness of the Invaders is worth cramming a big plastic cube into your pocket. That's a personal decision. Alternately, you could get a bunch of them and stack them in the classic Space Invaders configuration. Inside the clear cubes, they'd look vaguely like they were suspended in midair!

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