This past Sunday, I went with my friend Daniel to attend the Nintendo's Touch! DS event held at the Tokyo Big Site, which is in Odaiba. Originally, we were going to ride the monorail to Tokyo Big Site, but it's too expensive and actually takes longer to get there by monorail, so we just said 'screw it' and went by regular train.
I'm not a Club Nintendo member (yet), so Daniel had a platinum pass that let him invite up to eight of his friends to come, so I was able to go without any of the effort! He got a gold Mario statue though, which I am totally envious of! I played a bunch of Nintendo DS games, and I loved them all, but of course, the best one was SaWaRu! Made in Wario. Good lord, words cannot express how much fun I had with that game. I also played Feel The Magic XX/XY and I was kind of unimpressed with it. The other DS games that I liked were Nintendogs, Balloon Trip (Yoshi platformer) and Meteos. Oddly enough, Feel the Magic had the longest line, while Meteos has the shortest line. But I thought Meteos was infinitely more enjoyable, and seeing as it's a puzzle game, is going to be an instant purchase for me once it's released. Feel the Magic on the other hand, seemed like a Made in Wario also-ran with stylish graphics. The mini-games that it had weren't all that fun to play compared to SaWaRu! and were actually kind of boring!
SaWaRu! Made in Wario: Game of the show easily. Plays much like the other Wario games except you do a whole lot of other stuff too. You can use the touch sensor for some games,the A button for others, and the microphone (yes, the microphone) for others. I already preordered this because the Made in Wario series has been my favourite series for the past two years, so I'm happy that they did some amazing stuff with it. All of the games at the show were totally brand new. The games that used the microphone were a smoking cat game and blowing into someone's ear. With the first game, you had to blow into the mic to blow away smoke, while the latter you had to blow into the mic at the right time to send wind into someone's ear. Other notable games were a hammer throw game where you had to spin some guy around and then release at the right time, a toilet paper game where you had to constantly roll out toilet paper until it was empty, a game featuring a urinating baby statue that puts out a forest fire (I'm not joking) and a platforming game where you had to draw platforms so some alien could trampoline back onto his planet. The last one was actually the boss stage for the demo.
Meteos: I didn't think this game would be great after being unimpressed with Lumines, but I was wrong. It's actually quite a great puzzle game! The touch sensor works really well with this title, and it has a nice gimmick going for it. Multiplayer was great, and as usual for Mizuguchi's titles, the music is awesome. Dual screen use isn't all that great though (just a standard display showing planets). The game plays like Tetris Attack, except you have to switch blocks vertically instead of horizontally. By matching three or more blocks together, you can 'rocket' them off your screen and away from your planet, but sometimes those blocks don't have enough power to lift up the entire tower. So what do you do? You start matching blocks in the 'tower' itself! Give it enough juice and it's gone forever. You can also 'throw' up blocks from beneath the 'rocket' to add more fuel to it. The multiplayer segment of the game is absolutely astounding. Although only 2-player versus mode was shown, it was pretty intense seeing two people duke it out while standing in line.
Feel the Magic XX/XY: Why the hell did this game have the longest lineup in the entire show?! Freakin 80 minute wait! The game is a group of minigames like Made in Wario, but I didn't like any of them that much. None of them were particularly inventive, and to be honest with you, Wario does it 100 times better. I'll have to play this game more when it comes out to give a final verdict. The games that were playable on the show floor involved hitting scorpions off your gal's dress, blowing out a giant candle that's invading the earth, forcing a guy to throw up your goldfish, shooting bulls that are charging towards your girl, and 'wiping' your girl clean of dirt. The candle mini-game was the most interesting one, mainly because you could either use the mic to blow out the candles, or the touch screen to use each person individually (there were 5 in total).
Balloon Trip: The game was decent... but the controls were exclusively touch screen, which pissed me off. They could easily do directional pad in conjunction with the Touch screen, but noooooo.... Yoshi would've been easier to control had I had some actions mapped onto the dpad (jump, tongue, stomp, etc), but oh well. The basically works like a regular platformer, except that you use the touch screen to draw clouds for Yoshi to use in order to escape certain doom. If you draw a tight circle around an enemy, they turn into a coin (different types depending on the enemy) and you can actually "throw" them to Yoshi! One thing I noticed is that if you get hit even once, you die. Kind of weird, but I guess those are the breaks. Graphics were awesome and the gameplay is really fun though, so I'm really looking forward to this game once it's released.
Although I was pretty much sold on the DS ever since I played it at E3, I was completely sold on games like Balloon Trip that were kind of iffy. Balloon Trip and Meteos were definitely some of the most enjoyable games I've played in a while and I can't wait 'till they're actually released!
Unfortunately due to the lineups at each game (most titles required a 30 - 40 minute waiting time!) I didn't play as many games as I wanted to despite staying there for a good seven hours, but at least I took some nice photos, right?
Stay tuned for more Nintendo DS coverage later this week!