DS Demoman: Skadoosh

23 Jun

KaBOOM!

(Each week, I’ll be taking a look at the DS demos offered through the Wii’s Nintendo Channel and giving my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the buyable.)

THE GOOD

Wall-E

Despite being a movie game, Wall-E seems pretty fun. That’s probably because the gameplay revolves around a pretty interesting concept. Instead of fighting generic baddies with a crappy control scheme, Wall-E has you maneuvering what appears to be a garbage dump. There, you compress piles of garbage into blocks and hurl them around at different trajectories to activate switches.

There are no touch controls. Instead, you press a button to compress garbage, and then you have four different options. You can hurl the block forward, lob it upwards, slam it into the ground, or place it back down. Each action has its own use. For example, to reach that switch resting across a large gap, you have to launch a block forward. To activate a switch behind a laser fence, you need to lob it over. And to get over a ramp and across a gap, you need to detonate an explosive block behind you by slamming it into the ground. The shoulder buttons maneuver the camera, allowing you to throw blocks with precision.

It’s all pretty fun and refreshing, but unfortunately, I’m sure there’s something similar yet better and free on the internet.

THE BAD

Kung Fu Panda

I actually saw this movie and thought that the characters would lend themselves fairly well to a video game…if it weren’t handled like a typical movie game. Unfortunately, Kung Fu Panda has a flawed control scheme and boring demo.

You attack by dragging lines on the touch screen. This isn’t too bad, and there’s even a neat feature that lets you call upon the fun characters from the movie to launch attacks for you, but the problem comes in when it comes to moving around. You can move left and right with Y and A, and you can jump with X, but that pretty much forces you to play left handed if you don’t want to sacrifice jumping or attacking.

The demo itself is nothing but a tutorial throwing enemies at you left and right in a small room. Pretty boring stuff.

THE BUYABLE

Contra 4

I haven’t kept up with the Contra series, but this version seems to maintain the classic gameplay with a few DS touches that I’m sure Contra fans would enjoy.

Both screens of the DS are used at once, both are often filled with enemies, all of which can finish you off with one touch. You have a grappling hook that you can use to grab onto certain platforms on the top screen. The most frantic addition is the ability to have two power-ups. If you double up on the same power-up, you increase the effect, but you if you die, you lose the power-up you had equipped. To get a second power-up, you need to actively switch to your other gun. Unfortunately, you always have to switch if you want two power-ups, even when one of them is the deafult gun.

The difficulty is extreme, especially if you want to double up on your special guns. There’s just so much to concentrate on. It’s all pretty fun, even when you lose, and you’ll wanna’ keep coming back for more.

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