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DS Fanboy Review: Undercover: Dual Motives

The revival of adventure games on the DS is great news for gamers, but it can make things tough for developers like Austrian outfit Sproing, whose Undercover: Dual Motives will be competing with prestigious genre stablemates such as Ace Attorney, Hotel Dusk, and Professor Layton and the Curious Village. With the likes of Gyakuten Kenji, Jake Hunter, and more Layton on the horizon, the competition isn't about to get any easier.

In other words, we DS-owning adventure fans are a spoilt bunch, which means it takes something special to impress us. And, as hard as it tries, Undercover: Dual Motives isn't it.

Gallery: Undercover: Dual Motives

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Undercover: Dual Motives

Undercover: Dual Motives randomly reappears [Update 1]

After a lengthy silence stretching back to last July, Sproing's Undercover: Dual Motives has finally reemerged with a dozen or so new screenshots.

If you had forgotten about this Eidos-published adventure -- and we can't blame you if you did -- then we should probably remind you that it's an adventure title set in England in 1943, and stars a pair of busybodies (researcher-turned-spy Dr. John Russell and his secretary Audrey) as they investigate a German nuclear threat. And yes, you read that right: it's a World War II game that doesn't involve one-man-army types mowing down screeching Nazis. That fact alone is enough to keep us interested.

There's also a twist on the usual adventure game formula, as players have to switch between the doctor and Audrey to solve puzzles (each character gets their own screen), some of which require both characters to lend a hand (a bit like Resident Evil 0, we daresay).

It's been available in German-speaking regions since last year, and we're still waiting on news of an English-language localization, but the fact that Eidos is suddenly distributing new screens gives us hope -- even if some are still in German.

Update: After chatting to the good folks at Eidos, we've learned that this will be getting a 2008 release. The "end of April/beginning of May" seems most likely, but that's not official just yet.

Gallery: Undercover: Dual Motives

[Via press release]

DS Fanboy Review: Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the Royal Air Force

Big John Games' Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the Royal Air Force is a simple game -- and I mean that in a good way. I'm not saying it's an easy game (far from it) or that there isn't enough to do. Spitfire Heroes is simple in the way that arcade games are: the controls are intuitive and easy to pick up quickly, and the objectives are clear. Despite its appearance as a flight sim (one of the most complex genres of all), Spitfire Heroes is an action game through and through, more After Burner than Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Unfortunately, some fairly major issues prevent Spitfire Heroes from an unqualified recommendation. Right up front: the game is too hard, which may prevent you from seeing the majority of the content. While it's easy to understand how to play, it is remarkably difficult to play.

Gallery: Spitfire Heroes

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the Royal Air Force

Tank Beat 2: Tank Beater

Well, that's not actually the real title of the Tank Beat sequel (it's the decidedly less catchy Tank Beat 2 Clash! German Forces Vs. the Allies), but maybe if the game is localized, O3 or whichever company will pick up on our suggestion. Their title is more descriptive, we guess.

The first Tank Beat detailed a fictional war between the countries of Codusal and Kyushengaard, though it included some real-world tanks. This one, however-- unless they've invented a new set of "Allies" and "Germans"-- takes place in World War II. You know, like every other game.

Did any of you check out Tank Beat? We didn't, though we like the idea of an arcade-ish tank game with stylus controls; we're thinking an updated Battlezone.

Metareview: Brothers in Arms DS

Considering the look of it, Brothers in Arms DS has been a game to watch since the moment it was announced. DS games are forging new 3D ground lately, and with all the rich textures and increased action, we diehards have been busily chewing our nails and wondering just how all these games would play out. Early verdicts are in on Brothers in Arms, and so far, things are looking alright. Print media seems to be scoring the title higher than online reviewers, but that may change as more reviews trickle in.

CVG -- 77%: "The first thing that gets you about Brothers on DS is just how incredible it looks and sounds. Okay, it's not the PC or 360 versions but as far as DS games go, this is up there with the best of them ... Brothers In Arms DS is a good little action-shooter that makes great use of the DS's unique interface. With the tactical aspect of its gameplay removed in favour of a linear action approach, it loses some of its style and identity, but it's nevertheless the first war shooter for DS, and sets a high standard to beat."

Eurogamer -- 60%: "Despite brevity, simplicity, and the slow turning, it's really very exciting to be playing an FPS of this complexity on the DS. The above problems are significant, but never stop the fun of blamming your way through a level, sniping out distant soldiers, or, best of all, explodifying everything in a tank. The story is hugely underwritten, but ultimately unimportant; the motivation, always the need to reach B from A without the Ns shooting you in the face with their Gs ... With some tighter programming, and far fewer invisible barriers and dumb deaths, BiA could have been rather good. As it is - flawed and fun - it's a fantastic signpost."

So what's the word? At this point, it looks like Metroid Prime: Hunters fans need to look no further than Brothers in Arms for a chance to get their shooter on. While the game loses some of what makes the franchise unique, it's a great mark of what's to come -- and anytime a word like "explodifying" comes into play, there may just be something worth checking out.

Photoshop + bad scans = Brothers in Arms screenshots

The scans we had for you yesterday of images from Brothers in Arms look like they got a clean-up job, because they now almost resemble actual screenshots. Well, screenshots rendered by a pointilist, perhaps, but at least we can get a good idea of how the game will look. It's much more impressive this way!

Check out the two other screens after the jump.

Continue reading Photoshop + bad scans = Brothers in Arms screenshots

All the news on Panzer Tactics DS

With Panzer Tactics set to roll onto the DS this winter Nintendo site Cubed3 decided they needed the early details on the down and dirty. They sat down with CDV's Mario Kroll to get all the details on the historical strategy title, and Kroll had nothing but praise for Nintendo's handheld.

Most of the interview is given over to the push for historical accuracy. They originally wanted to include more than 350 units, but considering that some of the finer details are impossible to discern on the DS screen, and with system limitations, they cut the initial number down to about 150 unique units for the final game. They also discussed in depth how the development team worked to offer multiple solutions for dealing with those who cut and run rather than just taking a loss, and how the online component will function. For strategy fans, this is shaping up to be a must-have title.

New Panzer Tactics screens

Because it's not a war unless zee Germans are involved, CDV's WWII strategy game Panzer Tactics needs to get some love around here. With the success of Advance Wars on the DS, this is sure to find a niche, particularly because of the multiplayer features.

Tank battle! Four new screens up at GameSpot to add to their already sizeable collection.

We debate the hot topics!

Upcoming Releases

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Sep 23
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Sep 23
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SimCity Creator
Sep 23
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Sep 30
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Sep 30

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