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1. Quickie: Impressions June 2014
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1. Musings 45: Penny Arcade and The Gripping Hand
2. Movie Review: Pacific Rim
3. Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph
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Topic: Mobile gaming (GBA/etc)

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
 Jun 28, 2011 - 07:31 AM - by Michael
Capcom Goes Stupid
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Capcom has announced the latest in their "fuck the customer" line of games, after the debacle of Bionic Commando purchasers losing access to their title when Sony's PSN went down. The upcoming Resident Evil: Mercenaries for the 3DS will have a single, unwipable save slot that prevents players from starting over from scratch.

Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries 3D a one-time play affair. Once you've unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game's save data and start fresh as if it were a new copy. Consider this: lending Mercenaries 3D to a friend, a little brother or sister will be worthless because they'll only be able to continue playing the game with your saved settings and create their own.
It's like they WANT nobody to buy the game.

 May 11, 2011 - 12:05 PM - by Michael
Naruto Shippuuden: UNI
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Next up, Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact for the PSP:
SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 11, 2011) ? Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America inc. today announced NARUTO SHIPPUDEN?: Ultimate Ninja Impact? for the PSP? (PlayStation?Portable) system. Featuring large-scale battles against massive groups of enemies, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Impact puts players in the middle of epic fights as their favorite NARUTO SHIPPUDEN characters through electrifying single-player and multiplayer modes. Based on the popular animated NARUTO SHIPPUDEN series from VIZ Media, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Impact is set to deliver the most action-packed and dynamic fighting experience ever seen for the PSP system.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Impact lets players unleash their honed Jutsu skills through exciting single-player and multiplayer modes. Story Battle lets fans become part of explosive NARUTO SHIPPUDEN fights straight from the anime with more events and battle sequences than ever before on the PSP. Tag Battle lets two friends connect through Ad-hoc to team up and complete over 20 missions cooperatively, while Versus Battle lets players battle against each other with their persistent customized characters across all modes. Over 20 characters are available to choose from across the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN universe with customization options that carry through each mode within the game.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Impact continues Cyberconnect2?s commitment to accessible and strategic gameplay with cel-shaded graphics evoking the hit anime series. Beginners and long-time fans of the Ultimate Ninja series will be able to feel immersed in the fast-paced on-screen ninja action.


 Mar 02, 2010 - 01:07 PM - by Michael
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) XSeed is shipping out their newest PSP RPG - Lunar: Silver Star Harmony.
Torrance, Calif., (March 2, 2010) - XSEED Games is pleased to announce today that Lunar: Silver Star Harmony has started shipping to retailers across North America.

The standard edition of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.99, while the Limited Edition version, which includes a CD soundtrack and a set of 13 exclusive "bromide" collector cards highlighting the girls of Lunar, will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 from, EB Games, GameStop, Game Crazy, and other fine retailers. A digital download version of the game will also be available on the PlayStation? Store for a retail price of $29.99 starting March 4th. An entirely revamped iteration of the classic RPG, Lunar: Silver Star Story, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony was developed by Game Arts and will launch exclusively on the PSP? (PlayStation? Portable) system.

Following the epic journey of a young boy whose adventures to become the Dragonmaster eventually set him on a path to save the world of Lunar, this classic RPG masterpiece has been reborn with all new graphics, added gameplay features, and a re-mastered soundtrack. This re-imagined entry welcomes a new audience to the unforgettable series, with added story elements sure to intrigue returning fans. Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB.


 Mar 11, 2009 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
Avalon Code
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) A brief word from XSeed, who have launched a new DS title called Avalon Code:

Torrance, Calif., (March 10, 2009) ? Videogame publishers Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games announced today that Avalon Code has started shipping to retail stores across North America. Avalon Code is an action RPG developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS platform.

Time is dwindling down and the world is on a path headed towards a fiery destruction. As ?the chosen one,? players must hold on to everything worth saving in this dying place, and take it into the new world, to begin anew. Guided by the Spirits, players embark on a journey to fill the pages of the mysterious tome, the Book of Prophecy, with items worthy of being saved.

Developed by Matrix Software, Avalon Code extends the creative capabilities of the Nintendo DS to a new limit with highly detailed characters, landscapes and monsters, all modeled in beautiful 3D. Experience the game world come to life as almost any object in Avalon Code can be recorded and manipulated within the Book of Prophecy, making the possibilities endless. In addition, Avalon Code features extensive voiceovers and a dynamic animated opening sequence.

Critics agree that the Book of Prophecy offers a completely new gameplay mechanic unlike anything seen before on the DS:

?Avalon Code offers a unique experience among action RPG?s. Capturing people and objects in the Book of Prophecy and playing with their attributes is a compelling mechanic you won?t find anywhere else.? ?, 8.3 out of 10

?The Book of Prophecy is a great idea, and it?s far from the game?s only left-field innovation.? ? Nintendo Power, 8.5 out of 10

Avalon Code boasts incredible graphics, a deep and engrossing storyline and innovative game play mechanics. Using the main character?s Book of Prophecy, players can modify the rules of engagement during battle, as well as weapon and monster attributes. Choose to play as male or female, affecting which characters you may be able to develop a romantic relationship with.

Avalon Code is rated ?E10+? for Everyone 10 and over by the ESRB and is available exclusively on the Nintendo DS for the suggested retail price of $34.99. For more information, please visit:

 Oct 02, 2008 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
New DS dumps GBA slot
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Kotaku has pics and info on the Third Generation of the Nintendo DS; it's thinner, lighter, but dumps the GBA card slot.

I'm actually a fan of the original DS - the GBA-SP-style shoulder buttons on the Lite just suck!

As for the rumoured additions, both have proven to be correct, with "audio enhancements" made to the handheld, while it will also now include a .3 megapixel (640x480) camera. And that's just the start of it.

The DSi also features an SD memory card slot, making it possible to take pictures with the DSi and then view them on the Nintendo Wii. The DSi features a built-in browser, and it's possible to download games and keep them on the DSi.
A 640x480 camera is kind of piddly - most people have a better one in their phone these days. As for the SD card slot... interesting potential there.

 Sep 04, 2008 - 05:13 PM - by Michael
Valhalla Knights 2 gone gold
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) I didn't really enjoy the first one - hopefully they've cleaned up their act a bit, and gotten some story into the game.

Anyways, Valhalla Knights 2 (for PSP) is hitting stores shortly.

Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games announced today that Valhalla Knights 2 for the PlayStation? Portable (PSP) has officially gone gold and will ship to retail outlets nationwide starting on October 1, 2008. Developed by Marvelous Entertainment Inc., Valhalla Knights 2 is the sequel to the hit 2007 PSP title. The game is the first co-published title under the previously announced partnership between Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games.

Valhalla Knights 2 offers more features, content and freedom of customization, allowing players to create the ultimate six-member battle party and embark on an incredible adventure penned by the scenario writer of Final Fantasy XII. The player must fulfill a 1,000 year old prophecy and destroy an ancient evil hiding in the center of the world. In addition to the intense single player experience, Valhalla Knights 2 also features two-player Co-op adventures and wireless Vs. battles. Explore over 100,000 skill, race, appearance and equipment combinations. Experience more job classes, weapons, monsters and magic than ever before!

Valhalla Knights 2 carries a suggested retail price of $29.99 and is rated ?E10+? for ?Everyone 10 and Older?. For more information on Valhalla Knights 2, please visit the newly launched website at

 Jul 11, 2008 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PSP CFW Update
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) If you're one of those people who doesn't like Sony's official PSP firmware and likes extra features and longer battery life (plus not having to worry about putting your UMD's in your pocket and sitting on them), you'll be happy to know that the latest firmware has a custom version available.

No word on when there will be a Popsloader update, though.

 Jun 19, 2008 - 10:55 AM - by Michael
Sony lying again on PSP
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) At MCV, Sony's David Reeves says the PSP has a "piracy problem."

We know about it, we know how it?s done. It sometimes fuels the growth of hardware sales, but on balance we are not happy about it,? said Reeves, telling attendant developers that Sony will unveil new ways to combat piracy soon.
Actually, the larger problem for Sony is that the PSP has a crappy games and software problem. Not enough good games, and un-crippled firmware takes far more file formats and plays far better than Sony's crap firmware.

To say nothing of the ability to go UMD-less and extend your battery life by 30% or more.

 May 30, 2008 - 01:31 PM - by Michael
Wild Arms XF
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Reviewing on Wild Arms XF is almost done - and it's an interesting title. Wild Arms actually holds my interest a lot better than many Final Fantasy titles do, especially the newer Wild Arms titles from XSeed (let's face it, WA2 and WA3 were kind of bland).

They've made a game that feels sort of like Final Fantasy Tactics, but not entirely, and it's an interesting thing to watch unfold. Room for a shallow or deep gameplay all at once.

Look for the review this evening.

 Apr 29, 2008 - 08:46 AM - by Michael
There's a game in here...
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core.

There's a game in here - I just know it. It's in there somewhere.

Review will come later this week.

 Apr 07, 2008 - 08:58 AM - by Michael
Crisis Core First Impressions
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Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) So over the weekend, I started playing Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core. Lots of hype surrounding this one... first "big" FF7 storyline title (rather than the side story Dirge of Cerberus), finally meet this "Zack" guy who Sephiroth kills in flashbacks during FF7, etc...

Right now, the game's sitting at 86% aggregate on Gamerankings. To my impression, this is just "Square Effect" - all the big print mags love Squaresoft, high-rank the game just because Final Fantasy is in the title... and let's face it, they're more than a little blind to the downsides.

My problems?
  • You can do "missions" from within missions. Seriously, you can plop down in the middle of a storyline mission, touch a save point, and do "missions" all over the globe.
  • "Missions" consist of tiny sections of other maps; bring up the mission map and you can see that while there's a huge map available, you're only allowed to travel a tiny portion (marked with "do not pass" lines) for your "mission."
  • Time-wasting is encouraged. You're supposed to do your storyline missions "right away", but true to Square's form, you're also supposed to run around town, talk to everyone, do the "side missions" from the save point till you're blue in the face... the last time I saw storyline avoidance this blatant was Final Fantasy X-2, which was horrid beyond horrid.
  • Cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes... when you're not doing little 4-5 minute "side missions", you're sitting through 5-minute cutscenes broken up by maybe 2-3 minutes of gameplay each. Worse yet, half the cutscenes have audio, and the other half are just you push-buttoning through dialogue with no audio attached.
  • Ok... the battle mode is at once interesting and pointless. Yes, I know they're trying to hide the PSP's limitations,but confining the player to a "free moving" roped-off circle while enemies beat on you isn't the way to do it. The combat system hurts this way, really; it's basically button mashing, with the occasional tap to engage healing materia.

    Overall, I just can't (so far) get into this one. They're doing a nice job of trying to explain where Sephiroth went nuts in the storyline, but they're not doing a great job of pulling me into the story. Instead, at every turn I'm being encouraged to avoid the storyline missions to do repetitive fight sequences in tiny little roped-off areas.

     Jan 16, 2008 - 08:44 AM - by Michael
    Wild Arms XF Screens
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Wild Arms XF is coming for the PSP, and XSeed were nice enough to shoot us some screenshots. Enjoy!

     Oct 03, 2007 - 01:04 PM - by Michael
    Japan bans PSP, DS from Airlines
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Japan's apparently gotten all crazy over the idea that wifi-enabled devices like the PSP, DS, and various pocket-PC devices might be on during airline flights.

    Japan's transport ministry has concluded that the electromagnetic waves from the wireless networks can interfere with aircraft navigation systems, so it's no Nintendogs for passengers flying with Japanese airlines.

    The new law also bans wireless computer mice, and headphones that have not been provided by the airlines, although the use of electric razors, calculators, and cassette players is permitted, readers may be relieved to know.
    Pikachu, Japan ban YOU!

     Apr 30, 2007 - 02:45 PM - by Michael
    Pocket Gaming Evolution
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) PocketGamer's put together an interesting graphic on how our favorite portable consoles have evolved.

    They do screw one thing up, though; the PSP's standard speed is an underclocked 333 MHz, and only homebrew apps run faster.

     Apr 16, 2007 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
    Gone Portable
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) I picked up Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the DS.

    Fun game. A lot easier than its Wii counterpart; the stylus gives a sense of physical feedback and control that waving the wands in the air just doesn't give. A couple levels remind me of a game "Bomb Squad" back on the old Intellivision/Intellivoice hookup.

    XSeed also sent over Valhalla Knights; I'm working on getting into it. Looks to be an interesting twist on the "tons of characters" RPG. I'm a little unhappy with the trend to "real-time" fighting systems in RPG's, as I'm a big fan of some of the better turn-based games of the past, but this looks like it could be fun.

     Mar 02, 2007 - 01:21 PM - by Michael
    The DS wish list
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) PocketGamer has 10 old games they'd like to see made new again on the DS.

    I agree. I'd especially like their first idea: those old LucasArts adventure games, perhaps Zak McCracken, would be great to play on the DS.

     Oct 30, 2006 - 10:31 AM - by Michael
    Game Design: Megaman Zero
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Just a bit of a thinker today, examining things I liked and didn't like of the Megaman Zero (now Megaman ZX) series.


     Jul 11, 2006 - 12:40 PM - by Michael
    DS kicking butt in Europe
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Looks like the DS Lite sold really well in Europe: then again, the PSP's all but given up the ghost already.

    Looking back, the PSP looks a lot like the Dreamcast: a nice set of hardware that people love to code for, but really bad game selection after the first few months holding it back from being a system people would actually buy (or more to the point, use regularly).

     Apr 05, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Why the DS is growing so well
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot's got a great interview with Nintendo DS hardware designers, showing why the machine's so successful.

    Word of warning: I own an original DS. I have no plans to "upgrade" to the new DS Lite, because it does everything I want it to, and it does it quite well.

    Sakiyama explains, "For instance, the DS Lite uses two different LCD displays. The bottom one is the same as the display in the DS, but the top one is different. The lid tends to get bumped, so we were looking for an LCD module that was both stronger and slimmer than the one in the DS. We had trouble finding a pre-existing part that met all our requirements, so we worked with an LCD manufacturer in a process of trial and error to create a customized part. Rather than shoehorning an existing LCD module into the slimmest case that it would fit in, we designed and built an LCD module that fits a slim case and is also exceptionally durable."

     Mar 20, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    The next big portable?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) The Mobile Xbox? Could be. Microsoft is working on a PSP/GBA/iPod killer.

    he Microsoft product would compete with Sony, Nintendo and Apple Computer's products,
    including the iPod. And Microsoft has some of its most seasoned talent from the division that created its popular Xbox 360 working on it. Game executive J Allard leads the project, and its director is Greg Gibson, who was the system designer on the Xbox 360 video game console. Bryan Lee, the finance chief on the Xbox business, is leading the business side of the project.

    By anchoring its entertainment device as a handheld game player, Microsoft is starting from its position of strength in the entertainment business that it hopes Apple cannot match, even with its iPod. The game press has dubbed it an "iPod killer,'' but its functions would likely more closely resemble Sony's PlayStation Portable multimedia gaming device.

     Jan 11, 2006 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    Return of Tetris
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Well, there goes my March.

    Nintendo-themed, online capable Tetris hits the DS.

    Each new mode of Tetris DS will have a theme based on a popular Nintendo property like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. There will also be several multiplayer modes, including two- or four-player contests over the Wi-Fi Connection. For ad hoc bouts, up to 10 players will be able to play a single multiplayer match using just one copy of the game.

     Dec 21, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    Traveling games
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Wired looks at the best games on portable systems for you to enjoy when flying home for the holidays:

    On the Nintendo DS, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time sees the hapless Princess kidnapped again, only this time she's taken backward in time. Mario and Luigi follow her, and in the process meet up with toddler versions of themselves. The four team up; much of the game's action is spent solving puzzles that require you to think critically about how to use all four brothers to hit switches and traverse traps.

     Oct 26, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    DS gets handwriting
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Good news for DS owners: Palm-style software edges closer with Nintendo licensing handwriting recognition for the DS.

    Thinking about how this technology may be used in games is a difficult one. Perhaps SEGA might be able to make Writing of the Dead and utilise handwriting in a similar way to how they used typing in Typing of the Dead. Handwriting recognition could also be used in RPGs, where you must remember passwords and messages and rather than selecting them using on screen menus, you will have to write them on the screen.
    How about - since the thing already has a calendar and clock - an actual PDA-type app for the DS?

     Oct 18, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Dawn of Sorrow
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Spent a large amount of my time while sick playing Dawn of Sorrow on the DS. As far as Castlevania games go, it's one of the top two.

    That's right. One of the top two. As good as it is, it doesn't quite surpass Symphony of the Night.

    I was sitting back and admiring the mechanics. The Soul system is back, and the fact that certain Souls can be powered up by getting more of them is well done. On the downside, just about every soul is that way, including many of the three-star "you'll be lucky to find one in four hours of just killing this one enemy" souls. Which leads to my second gripe: the Soul system is nice, but come on guys, when accessing certain parts of the game REQUIRES certain Souls it shouldn't require endless hours of just killing the same enemy constantly to get those souls. Castlevania should not be about level-grinding.

    As for the touchscreen mechanics, they're actually used very little, which is painful. "touch the screen to break the ice blocks" for a couple very minor areas of access, and the seal system, are it.

    The storyline is decently well done, or as much so as can be expected from what Castlevania has established. On the other hand, as big as it is, the castle still doesn't have the sheer size that Symphony of the Night's did, nor does it feel quite as cool.

    On the other hand, I'll say that I am enjoying it a bit more than I enjoyed Aria of Sorrow.

    Word to the wise for Konami: give us a SotN director's cut porting the Saturn version, with the FULL castle, either to PS2 or even to the DS and you'll get some amazing sales.

     Aug 24, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Anime hits PSP
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) The PSP just got a few more movies:

    Chicago, IL ? Japanese animation film distributor Manga Entertainment proudly presents three of the most influential anime films of all time formatted for viewing on the Portable Sony Play Station player. These UMD versions of Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll and Blood: The Last Vampire will be released simultaneously in the USA, Canada and UK on August 23, 2005 by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

    Based on the original manga by Masamune Shirow, Director Mamoru Oshii?s original anime feature film Ghost in the Shell first took the world by storm by introducing audiences to a new wave of Japanese animation. Employing mesmerizing cinematic expression and seamlessly merging traditional cel animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle broke through the boundaries of mainstream animation with its detailed artistic direction and uniquely intelligent story line and was a primary conceptual influence for Hollywood directors the Wachowski Brothers in the development of The Matrix films.

    Set in Japan?s turbulent feudal past, Ninja Scroll transports viewers to a time of danger, intrigue and deception in which Jubei, a masterless wandering swordsman undertakes a desperate quest to find The Shogun of the Dark - an evil autocrat who plans to overthrow Japan?s Tokugawa government. But in order to stop him, Jubei must first defeat ?The 8 Devils of Kimon? - the Shogun's fearsome force of demonic henchmen, each possessed of awesome superhuman powers. Joined on his journey by the beautiful and deadly female ninja Kagero, together they must defeat the dominion that rule in terror and restore order to the land. Amazing, beautiful and mysterious, Ninja Scroll is a tale that combines the mysticism of 17th century Japan withan all out action adventure. Produced by acclaimed MADHOUSE animation studio (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Perfect Blue, Spawn), Ninja Scroll features a wicked cast of characters, extraordinary fight scenes and an intense story line.

    As Japan?s first fully digital animated feature film, Blood: The Last Vampire is unlike any anime features of the past. Painstakingly produced by the visionary animators at Japan?s Production I.G Studios (Ghost in the Shell, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Dead Leaves), the project was conceived in cooperation with legendary anime Director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor ? The Movie, Patlabor 2). Set in the Fall of 1966, Blood: The Last Vampire takes place at Japan?s Yokota Air Force Base where tensions run high as the U.S. military machine mobilizes for action in Vietnam. But the escalating international conflict is not the only crisis troubling the base. A series of inexplicable suicides off-base has drawn the attention of the ?organization? - a covert team of special government agents committed to the elimination of Chiropterans ? shape-changing horrors who feed on human blood. In the guise of a schoolgirl, Saya ? the last remaining original pureblood vampire, must infiltrate the base?s school, uncover the origin of the plague, and eliminate the ghastly threat before time runs out.

     Aug 19, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Kart DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamecube Europe have some screens of Mario Kart DS.

    Looking sweet...

     Aug 16, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
    Kid Icarus on DS? Sadly, no
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) It's fake, but still worth dreaming about...

     Jul 19, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
    Shrek Superslam on DS?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamecube Europe has a screenshot from Shrek Superslam on the Nintendo DS.

    Further proof that some games should just not be made.

     Jul 15, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    More Kart DS specifics
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Turns out Mario Kart DS will feature at least 15 new tracks:

    Players will also be able to change the colour of their character's clothes to avoid mid-race confusion, which could be vital when you need to know who to gain revenge on for that ruthless red shell attack.

    He also revealed that 15 of the tracks will be brand new ones while also confirming that the rest will be drawn from such concrete classics as Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Super Circuit and Mario Kart Double Dash.
    I'm just hoping some of my favorite tracks from Mario Kart 64 make it back in. I loved racing on Toad's Turnpike.

     Jul 15, 2005 - 09:23 AM - by Michael
    Kirby DS mini-review
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) After going back and forth, here's a mini-review on Kirby DS; while possibly one of the most innovative games to come out in a long time, there's one major flaw.

    The screen size.

    I've been going through this for a long while. The Nintendo DS is a REALLY cool idea. Two screens, and the touchpad can be adapted for many different varieties of control. Or, rather, it could if it weren't so darned small.

    The PSP, meanwhile, has a huge honking screen but no games (save perhaps one or two) that really utilize it properly.

    Kirby DS is a perfect example of a game that Nintendo could have done more with IF the DS, rather than being two split screens, were one unit that was entirely touch-capable.

    The gameplay elements of drawing lines for Kirby to follow - indirectly, rather than directly, controlling the character - are great. It's like a little squishy silly-putty version of Lemmings, and it's tremendous fun. For that matter, Lemmings on the DS would probably be a blast.

    The problem is, the DS's touch screen is too hard to pull off this level of control properly. With the screen sized as it is, putting the lines where you want them without inadvertently tapping Kirby is painfully hard, and the level design requires some pretty precise control on those lines.

    Sorry guys. I love the concept, but the Kirby: Canvas Curse is maybe a 3.5 out of 5 for execution.

     Jul 11, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    DS kicking PSP butt?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) The sales numbers will be interesting to see - but two handhelds with radically different concepts are clashing heavily, and it looks like the DS is winning.

    You just can't beat those innovative titles when the biggest "news" for your console is that people beat your "copy protection" and got the thing to play 15-year-old games, Sony.

    Wavemetrix, a company that specialises in working out what customers think of products, has released a new report on the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. The report, rather shockingly, reveals that the "DS is better than the PSP in every important area." This includes games, quality, screen and value. The report is based on research looking at user opinion on a vast number of internet forums. It seems that while the PSP is talked about twice as much as the DS, it just can't compete in overall customer satisfaction.

     Jul 06, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    PSP Piracy Begins... or not
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamasutra reports that pirating PSP games by downloading the ROM and sticking it on a memory card is now possible.

    The question is: WHY?

    The games are $50. A single 1GB memory stick (which won't hold more than a single game) is $200.

    Unless the price of the memory sticks floors itself, expect this to be a nonissue for quite a while even if Sony start screaming about it. I'd be more worried about someone figuring out a way to homebrew UMD discs.

     Jun 29, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
    DS Sells 1 Million in Europe
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Looks like the Nintendo magic is working in Europe - 1 million DS's sold.

    "The European launch of Nintendo DS has been a massive success," said senior director of European marketing Jim Merrick, "with sales shattering all previous records in the opening weekend and remaining consistently strong." The new European figure brings the total Nintendo DS worldwide sales up above 5 million, according to Nintendo.
    If they keep the games coming, this could be an interesting year for portable gaming.

     Jun 21, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
    Cool Castlevania DS artwork
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) I can't read a word of Japanese, but the site for Castlevania DS looks pretty good.

     Jun 21, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    DS Linux improved
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) DS Linux has gotten a few updates, including a nifty touchscreen keyboard.

    They appear to keep going and going... not something I will necessarily play with much, but it's interesting to see.

     Jun 16, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    Game Boy Micro, Naked
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Spong's got the photos of the operation; a Game Boy Micro stripped apart. Or at least with its faceplate removed.

     Jun 14, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Kirby Canvas Curse ships out
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Planet Gamecube has word that Kirby: Canvas Curse has shipped out. This is early: it wasn't supposed to be out until 6/13.

    I've been looking forward to this one.

     Jun 14, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    Nintendogs USA gets New Breeds
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Looks like USA gamers for once get MORE - their version of Nintendogs will have three new breeds.

    As in Japan, the US Nintendogs will be released in three editions, each with six different breeds of canines for a total of 18. The Chihuahua and Friends edition will feature German shepherds, King Charles spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, and the all-new boxer. The Miniature Dachshund and Friends edition will include beagles, pugs, Shih Tzus, and the new golden retriever and Siberian husky breeds. The Labrador Retriever and Friends pack will contain miniature Schnauzers, toy poodles, Pembroke Welsh corgis, Shiba Inus, and miniature Doberman pinschers.
    Ok... so it's a tamagotchi crossed with Pokemon. Got it.

     Jun 09, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    DS cracked
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamesradar reports that hackers have managed to pull game images off of Nintendo DS cartridges.

    Numerous games, such as Nintendogs and Super Mario 64 DS have now been illegally leaked on to the internet, with players able to download and play them via specially designed flash memory cards (pictured on the right).
    While Nintendo will probably raise a legal ruckus, I don't think it affects them too much; the cost of the specially designed carts usually makes it not worth bothering with them.

     Jun 07, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    Tamagotchi: it's back
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Following the success of Nintendogs, the Tamagotchi is coming back on the Nintendo DS.

    Yikes. And I thought the previous reincarnations were silly.

    Bandai brought back Tamagotchi last year with the release of two new versions, and the new Tamagotchis are making a minor comeback among grade-schoolers in Japan. Its latest release, Shuku Keitai Kaitsuu! Tamagotchi, allows owners to connect the toy to the Bandai site through the use of a mobile phone.

     Jun 06, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    DS winning in Japan
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Turns out all it took was one app - the DS is now winning against the PSP due to the popularity of Nintendogs in Japan.

    It's the Tamagotchi all over again, folks. I'm scared of what happens when my PSP gets a dog.

    They tried to program a cat version, but as the Mascots have proven, a cat simulation would consist mostly of the cat sleeping on-screen.


     Jun 06, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    Lunar "DS"
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) In a slightly clever bit of word play, Ubisoft has announced that their upcoming RPG on the DS will be Lunar: Dragon Song".

    That's Lunar DS for short.

    # Dragon Song will be a prequel taking place 1,000 years prior to Lunar: The Silver Star and will feature three new protagonists: Jian, Lucia and Gabriel.
    # Card battle system: players will be able to collect "battle cards", which have the capability of increasing magic, attack and skills.
    # A ton of new items and weapons, which can be traded between players through the DS wireless connection.
    # Developed by the original creators of the Lunar series.

     Jun 02, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
    PSP Emulation Galore
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Slashdot's got a small roundup of emulation projects for the PSP - apparently the memory card and ability to run whatever code you want from it make it a great platform to stick emulation programs for older systems on.

    I'm certainly looking forward to loading up a few titles on it later.

     May 31, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
    Dawn of Sorrow Trailer
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Konami's uploaded trailers of Dawn of Sorrow and Curse of Darkness - the two new Castlevania games - for you to take a look at.


    Dawn of Sorrow is a sequel to the great Aria of Sorrow from the GBA:

    The year is 2036, one year after the events of Castlevania?: Aria of Sorrow?. Soma Cruz finds himself at the center of a mysterious cult's plan to resurrect their evil lord and master Dracula. In order to save himself and protect the lives of those he loves, Soma must infiltrate the enemy's home base, a towering replica of Dracula's castle that is teaming with monstrous creatures.
    Curse of Darkness is the upcoming Xbox/PS2 Castlevania title:
    The legendary Castlevania series returns with a new story and a new hero. Hector, one of two Devil Forgemasters who once trained under Dracula, has fled Vallachia disillusioned with the ideals of his mentor. Now, three years after Dracula was defeated in battle at the hands of the Belmonts, Isaac ? a former friend and fellow Devil Forgemaster suddenly reappears and orchestrates the execution of Hector's beloved. Fueled by revenge, Hector returns to Vallachia to confront Isaac.

     May 26, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
    Wired reviews Twisted
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) I'm going to have to pick this game up - Wired really likes Wario Ware Twisted.

    The motion sensor is accurate and responsive; even slicker is the built-in "rumble," which makes the system vibrate a little to increase the tactile "feel" of the rotation controls. Unfortunately, the game's menu screens can be a little difficult to navigate; you, of course, have to spin the system to select the different options, but it can sometimes go a little batty. Luckily, this rarely happens during gameplay.

     May 24, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
    Castlevania DS official
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Planet Gamecube's got the announcement: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is now official.

    To save himself and protect the lives of those he loves, Soma must infiltrate the enemy?s home base, a towering replica of Dracula?s castle that is teaming with monstrous creatures. Players? abilities develop as they collect items and gather experience points by defeating a multitude of gruesome enemies. In their quest to defeat enemies, players will utilize original gameplay concepts that leverage the Nintendo DS? touch screen technology. One example is Dawn of Sorrow?s ?Magic Seal? system. By using the stylus directly on the screen, players must connect a series of symbols in the proper order to unlock an enchanted opening and disperse their enemy?s magic into it when they are weakened. The touch screen technology will also be used to destroy ?Crystal Blocks.? This ability will allow players to access unreachable areas as well as eliminate obstacles. The Nintendo DS? dual screens also allow game information to be readily displayed. During gameplay, the top screen of the Nintendo DS will display an environment map, as well as information on player status, enemy vulnerability, and acquired power-ups.
    It looks like they've done a good job on the design; I'll be eagerly awaiting this one.

     May 17, 2005 - 01:49 PM - by Michael
    Incoming: an even tinier Gameboy
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Behold - the Game Boy Micro.

    The sporty, silver metal Game Boy Micro measures a mere 4 inches wide, 2 inches tall and 0.7 inches deep, allowing it to sit comfortably alongside today's hippest technological gadgets. It weighs an astonishing 2.8 ounces, or about the weight of 80 paper clips. Yet Game Boy Micro has the same processing power and plays the same games as Game Boy Advance SP models, complete with standard face controls and gleaming shoulder and Start/Select buttons that literally shine.
    Yet another Game Boy. Yow.

    [UPDATE]: The AP Newswire has a picture of the thing.
    I suppose it's not a bad thing, but I'm just fine between my original GBA (plus Afterburner mod) and my DS.

     May 12, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    Free downloadable GBA game
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Here's something unique: Mygamer reports on a SNES/PC title that was ported to GBA and is now being given away by its creators.

    To play, you'll need a flash rom device, or else you'll just have to play it on a GBA emulator.

    The disbanded Delphine Software team was responsible for the development cycle of the original game, but the programmer Cyril Cogordan has ported it to the GBA. Erich Chahi, the game?s original creator, has reacquired the rights to this cult classic. Corgordan worked hand in hand with Chahi to recreate the game on the GBA?s small screen.
    It's GREAT to see homebrewers and responsible owners of old titles give something back to the fans. You can download the game here.

     Apr 19, 2005 - 12:30 PM - by Michael
    Electric Blue DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Nintendo's announcing the DS is going to get varying color schemes with the next round of production.

    Well, damn. Electric Blue is a really good color. Too bad I already have the silver one.

     Apr 11, 2005 - 10:30 AM - by Michael
    Upcoming PSP Titles...
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) GamingHorizon caught Toys 'R' Us posting titles of upcoming PSP games: the list isn't bad.

    An NBA title, Need For Speed, Harry Potter, and Batman Begins are on the list.

     Mar 31, 2005 - 09:16 AM - by Michael
    Taking the DS to strange places
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Yeah, you take your game boy everywhere. But do you take it to the top of Mt. Everest? Two guys are doing just that - on their non-climbing, non-sleeping time, they're going to play games on the Nintendo DS.
    ?Climbing mountains like Mt. Everest is 10 hours of tough climbing, with hours of nothing to do once the sun goes down,? Muller said. ?We thought the DS would be perfect because we can play games wirelessly against each other, as well as draw pictures and send messages. When we were waiting for that (Russian cargo) plane, all we had to do was play Hearts for hours. Believe me, that can get old.? Nintendo is appartenly psyched because the climb will give their engineers some much needed data on the effects of high altitudes and sub-zero temperatures on the handheld. Because, you never know when you?re gonna have to break out your DS on an attempt to reach the top of the world. I sure hope they?re bringing that hand-crank charger with them, because I seriously doubt the batteries are gonna last the trip.
    It's still a nice experiment; if this thing survives to the Peak, Nintendo will have some serious crowing to do, especially since the PSP's screen can shatter if dropped from a mere four feet.

     Mar 30, 2005 - 09:48 AM - by Michael
    Incoming Nintendo Titles, Yay!
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) On the mobile gaming side, we get Kirby: Canvas Curve on the Nintendo DS, AND we get Meteos as well.

    Hooray for Nintendo!.

    Nintendo has announced they will publish Meteos in the USA. The Nintendo DS puzzle game from Q Entertainment has been creating quite a buzz amongst Japanese gamers and eager importers from the USA and Europe. The game will hit store shelves in North America on June 27th 2005.

     Mar 28, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    Will Sony fix dead PSP pixels?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Some ( say yes:

    There were reports earlier in the week that Sony may not deal with dead pixels on their new device. But, slowly, the truth has come out that they will. The manual says that dead pixels are a standard part of any screen, but if you follow these instructions you can explain your displeasure to a human being, who should do the right thing.
    It'll be an interesting test case, if and when I get one.

     Mar 22, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    DS Camera not real... sort of
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc)'s got word that a picture of the Nintendo DS with a camera attached was really a clever photoshop hoax.

    On the upside, they claim that they know that some form of a camera IS coming.

    However, the fake that has done the rounds does jog SPOnG?s memory, taking us back to 2004 when we were granted access to a preview of the DS, just weeks before E3, which outlined how the DS would be pitched to non-gamers as an alternative to what was and would be on the market. A camera was specifically mentioned, so perhaps this could be one of the packages that will be shown in Los Angeles this May.
    I'd love to see a good camera - especially with computer transfer capability for printing/storing photographs - for the DS.

     Mar 21, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    Katamari Damacy for DS?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) If true, this is awesome - it's just the sort of game that would make the DS shine. says the DS might get Katamari Damacy.

     Mar 17, 2005 - 01:45 PM - by Michael
    TrustedReviews on the DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) TrustedReviews has reviewed the DS - and they like it.
    So the best and the worst thing about the DS is that Nintendo certainly isn?t playing safe. If you want the games you play on your TV in a unit that fits in your hand, then the PSP is going to blow your mind. The DS won?t do the same, but it does bring you something genuinely different. Buying one is a bit of a leap of faith, but for every person who dismisses it outright, there will be someone else who picks it up and remembers the days when games used to be a lot less complex and ? perhaps ? a bit more fun. Who knows? If Nintendo finds enough of them, the DS may not seem so crazy after all.i>
    After trying out the PSP, I've been less than impressed, but I'm loving my DS.

     Mar 07, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    Strange Fish for the DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc)'s got a few screenshots of what looks to be a cool - if strange - fish game for the DS.

    We defy anyone not to raise an eyebrow at least after looking at Electroplankton. We sat for several minutes entranced by the dulcet chimings of the stylised aquatic life. Exploration of the game's (mostly Japanese) microsite suggests that 10 ?plankton? are featured, each with its own attributes. There are videos of people playing (and obviously enjoying) it, too. All of which begs the question: I think I like it, they like it, but what exactly is it?
    I don't know either, but I somehow want it.

     Mar 03, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
    New Game Boy to be revealed in May?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamesradar's got word that the new Game Boy might be revealed at this year's E3.

    Seasoned stat-watcher PJ McNealy of respected nerd-thinkers American Technology Research is the man who made the predictions, saying: "We believe it is likely that the next version of Game Boy Advance SP will ship as early as this Christmas, ahead of most expectations of 2006."
    I still say that Nintendo should focus on the DS for a while, rather than trying to push yet another Game Boy edition this year. There's too little games for the DS as of yet.

     Mar 03, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
    New DS colors revealed
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc)'s got the word on the new colors the Nintendo DS will soon be available in.

    Pink? Yep, pink is one of them.

    Now if Nintendo would get working on some games, to go with those fancy new colors... the DS finally has the power so I'd love to see them finally give us a portable version of F-Zero X.

     Feb 28, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
    New DS coming this year?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Word on the street is that even with the DS available, Nintendo may be pushing a new Game Boy out by the end of this year.

    But a new hardware launch would help keep Nintendo top of mind with consumers during the holiday season. Sony will be heavily promoting the PSP as December draws near ? and Microsoft is expected to launch the next version of its Xbox gaming system this fall. Without a new device, Nintendo could easily be overshadowed.

    There's also the real threat of piracy with the current generation of Game Boys. Although piracy of GBA games has not been a major problem in North America, the company has seen a dramatic rise of digital theft in the Asia-Pacific region. The cartridges used for GBA cards are fairly easy for hackers to crack and the games are often posted online. The DS, which uses flash memory cards, has not had the same problems, writes McNealy.
    Piracy questions aside, I wonder whether another new Game Boy is really a great idea, especially since it would then be a direct competition with the DS rather than a complement like the GBA currently is.

     Feb 15, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    Nintendo's new gambit - Palm DS?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) GamerCentric is floating rumors that Nintendo has licensed PalmOS for the DS handheld, possibly in relation to their recently registered "V-Pocket" trademark.

    Nintendo had recently licensed Palm OS based PDA software without any details on why they had done it. Nintendo sources have now revealed that the V-Pocket patent filed by Nintendo a few days ago concerns this licensing. E3 2005 will be the first witness of the Nintendo V-Pocket suite: a complete line of personal organizer tools for the Nintendo DS.
    The first time I picked up my DS, I was amazed by the fact that it had (A) the touch screen, (B) an alarm clock and calendar, and (C) no PDA-type cartridge.

    Looks like Nintendo got smart about that.

     Feb 14, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Tetris for the DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) A homebrew programmer named Desktopman has released a port of Tetris for the Nintendo DS.

    That's the good news.

    The bad news: until someone kicks out a programmable home cartridge for the DS, the only way to actually load and play this thing is with a clunky pass-through device that's at least twice as big as the DS is.

     Feb 11, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    Metroid Pinball?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot has word that an upcoming DS title may be Metroid Pinball.

    I wonder if they'll have some add-on tilt sensor, like Kirby Pinball did. Probably not, the cartridges wouldn't seem to be set up for that.

    Web surfers bouncing around may have come across a peculiar game: Metroid Pinball. Though the Web site has no detailed information on the game, it does list Metroid Pinball as a DS game scheduled to ride the retail ramp December 5.
    Darn, a whole year away.

     Jan 20, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
    Megaman Zero 4 teaser site opened
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Capcom's opened a teaser site (Japanese, sorry) for Megaman Zero 4.

    One of these days, I need to pick up Zero 3 and play through it. Some interesting screenshots and art, though.

    There's also scuttlebutt that the game's coming in April. We'll see.

     Jan 20, 2005 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
    Is the N-Gage Dead?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamesradar examines the question of whether the N-Gage may be toast.

    While Nokia have yet to confirm or deny that they plan to shut the factory, they have revealed that the job losses will be from their multimedia division, which was responsible for developing some of Nokia's camera and smart phones as well as the N-Gage itself.

    Meanwhile, a further indication that N-Gage is failing to capture the gaming public's imagination is that ChartTrack have recently dropped the N-Gage chart from its weekly listings after sales fell short of making any impression on the market.


    A Nokia representative has this afternoon told us that "as far as we're concerned, there are no plans for that [N-Gage production to cease] to happen at all. It's completely unfounded. We've got a great line-up of games coming out this year and Nokia are completely committed to N-Gage."
    Yeah, that's great.

    Now if you'd put them out for a better platform, people might actually PLAY your "great" games.

    Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead playing with the Ear Taco, nor will I ever touch a system that tries to make me pay for a cell phone plan just to play games that I could get for (and would look better on) my DS.

     Jan 12, 2005 - 09:28 AM - by Michael
    Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap ships
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has shipped to stores today.

    As an elf, Link has always been a bit short of stature, but The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap takes his diminutive size a step further by spinning the tale of how he acquired his trademark magical green hat. The fully cognizant cap has the ability to shrink Link down to the size of the Minish, an altruistic miniature race trying to make the world a better place.

    Shrunken down, Link will battle a host of new enemies usually unseen by the naked eye. To progress through levels and to solve puzzles, he will need to use his wits and numerous kinstones, magical stones with the power to both open up new areas and reveal new characters.
    After seeing some of the gameplay, this is an interesting new twist on Legend of Zelda. I'll be picking mine up shortly.

     Jan 11, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
    Bungie quashes Halo-on-Gizmondo Rumor
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot has the details: Gizmondo will not be getting Halo after all.

    Now, Bungie has gone on record to say that it is most definitely not making a handheld port of its megapopular shooter. As part of its Bungie Weekly What's Update, a Bungie staffer directly refuted the rumor, saying "I am told Microsoft does have a relationship with the handheld maker, but I can tell you right now the arrangement does not include Halo."
    Bungie's weekly update also included this little gem on cheating:

    Well, let's preface this answer by explaining that we hate cheaters and have a duty to respond to cheating and exploits on Halo 2. We ARE doing everything in our power to investigate, alleviate and remove the problems, but they are many and varied.

    Cheating, by its nature is the act and responsibility of a group or individual. We can't do anything from a technical standpoint that stops people being jerks. That's not an attempt to dilute our responsibility ? it's a fact. Cheating is caused by cheaters, not by bugs. That's why nobody uses pepper spray in a Ping Pong tournament, even though it would fit nicely in those short shorts. The problem with a video game of Halo's scale ? we've sold 6.3 million copies ? is that the number of jerks playing rises proportionally.

    We've seen all kinds of cheats and griefers. From simple team killing, abusive language, racism ? people playing loud music or screaming continually through their headsets ? to sophisticated, planned network exploitation. No matter what we do in the immediate and long term future, people will still find ways to be asses. The cheating will in all likelihood decrease with the lifespan of the product, as cheaters become bored, or move onto their next "project." In the interim though, we see it as an irritating and serious problem that we are addressing.

    Right now, we have a team of people working on technical fixes. Those are being investigated and tested ? some will work, some will be out of our control (ISPs, hardware exploits and other elements may be out of our reach) but we are endeavoring right now to identify good ways to prevent cheating and adjust systems to penalize those who do cheat.

    We realize that some cheating is caused by software glitches ? flags passing through geometry etc., and of course those are our responsibility entirely. We can't even really blame people for abusing that type of minor glitch, but we're also looking into those. The reason we?re not giving details is that we don't want casual users repeating the cheats, and we don't want to promise fixes for things that might later turn out to be impossible to fix. Hence the delicate language in this answer.

    What have we done so far? A lot. Certainly on the technical side we're making progress and politically, we've been banning Xbox Live accounts regularly when we find clear evidence of cheating (and the evidence is hard to refute since we track very detailed information about the game and network experience) and we ban offensive Gamertags, abusive players and other miscreants all the time. It just takes time. If you ARE cheating, quit it now, firstly because we're politely and respectfully asking you to do so, and secondly because it's very often a terms of use violation, and one we can act upon by banning you, banning your credit card, etc.

    No surprise, as in every online game, we knew there were going to be abuses from the start, which is one of the reasons for such detailed custom game support and we knew this process was going to be an evolutionary one. We're working very hard.

    Sigh. So, there you have it, a long-winded answer with few real details, for reasons we've tried our best to explain.

     Dec 14, 2004 - 01:39 PM - by Michael
    DS Legacy Hack a Hoax
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) It just keeps going...

    This Jerk re-posted last night's "mod your DS to play GB/GBC titles" hoax on his own livejournal, then faked a bunch of "yay, it really works" responses.

    The hoax came complete with faked screenshots, done in an emulator that purposefully emulates the yellowness of the old GB screen.

    Thankfully, it's been thoroughly debunked.

     Dec 13, 2004 - 06:33 PM - by Michael
    Modding a DS to play Legacy cartridges
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Someone's done something I was wondering about - they've modified a Nintendo DS to accept GB and GBC cartridges.

    Or that was the news... seems the link has already been pulled by the time I've written this.

    Apparently it's illegitimate, since the GBA and GB worked on different voltages; the GBA had an internal switch that changed the voltages when a GB cart was inserted.

    Slashdot has speculation that by emulating the GB or GBC on the GBA, which has been a project of coders in the past, it might be possible to get the functionality using a GB Rom inserted into a GBA flash card.

     Dec 13, 2004 - 05:00 PM - by Michael
    PSP Battery Journal
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) IGN's started up a Battery Journal for users of the PSP, trying to answer the question of how much life the thing's got.

    Why do it that way? Because watching movies, playing games, and listening to music all take differing amounts of power, and so unlike the GBA SP or the Nintendo DS, you can't really say "Well it uses X hours on a GBA title or X hours on a DS title..."

    The key so far? One game ought to last about 5 hours or so, uninterrupted.

    So we've at last played our way through a full battery charge cycle. In case you don't feel like counting, the battery died after about four hours and fourty-five minutes of five different games and one hour of MP3 play. We didn't use the WiFi features of the system at all during this time.

    Keep in mind that we avoided charging the system a number of times that we could've easily plugged it in (in particular, as we slept). Unless we plan on playing games for more than five hours in a row, the battery seems like it'll be okay to us. Of course, for long trips, we may find ourselves picking up a spare just in case (they're about $40 at retail).

     Dec 10, 2004 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    Gameboy Garage Band?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) From the world of the wierd, brings you Gameboyzz Orchestra Project, a Polish group who make music using the 8-bit bleeps and bloops of the Gameboy.

    Actually, I remember some of the old Gameboy music being pretty entertaining. Likewise the old NES game soundtracks, many of which are recreated today by groups like the minibosses.

    Carry on.

     Dec 09, 2004 - 07:21 PM - by Michael
    Game Boy Good Before Surgery
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) In a variant on gaming not seen before, hospitals have discovered that letting a child play with a Game Boy while waiting for anestesia and surgery significantly reduces their anxiety levels. That's a VERY good thing - so good that some of the physicians are talking about making Game Boys standard equipment.

    On average, the Game Boy group showed no increase in anxiety before surgery. But on a standard, 100-point scale for measuring preoperative anxiety, the tranquilizer group jumped 7.5 points and the parents-only group 17.5 points.

    Shani Willis, whose 10-year-old daughter Nykia had a cyst removed at the Newark hospital Tuesday, said the girl was nervous until she got a Game Boy. She then relaxed and played with it until she was anesthetized. "It was like she put everything out of her mind," Willis said.

     Dec 08, 2004 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
    Nintendo fixing DS dead pixels for free
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Nintendo's making good on their promises, and replacing the screens on DS units that have dead pixels. (Thankfully, my DS's pixels are all happily alive).

    Using the Nintendo Repair Form, I just had to fill in my name, address, the month I purchased the unit, and the serial number from the bottom of the system (pictured at right). It asks you to describe the problem with the system, I just typed, ?Dead pixel; top screen.?

    In a few minutes, I got an email from Nintendo with my Repair Order number and an RMA number to use with a FedEx shipment. That means that Nintendo actually pays for the shipping. All you need to do is put the Repair Order number, your name, and your address in an envelope and throw it in a box with the DS and take it to a FedEx location, a FedEx Kinkos, or you can even set up the shipment from the FedEx website (use the RMA number and they wont charge you). I went to a FedEx Kinkos and paid $8 to have a professional package up the unit safely in bubble wrap, but the shipping itself was free of charge.

    Nice to see them taking responsibility for the issue... though I'll guess many gamers wish they had an advance-replacement option.

     Dec 02, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    SNK releases Metal Slug Advance
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) SNK's shipped out Metal Slug Advance. Not their first portable title - King of Fighters Advance hit in 2002 - but the first portable Metal Slug on a viable handheld system.

     Nov 23, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Nintendo DS internals
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Lik-Sang have opened up a Nintendo DS.

    As in completely opened up, taken apart, and gone over every aspect. The only thing they don't have is a shot of the darn thing running on both screens, just the stylus screen.

    Interesting to see how it all fits together.

     Nov 22, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Nintendo changes marketing with DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) The New York Times (registration required, or use BugMeNot) has a feature on Nintendo's changing marketing tactic with the DS.

    Apparently, Nintendo's finally caught on to the fact that the average gamer is nearly 30 years old, as opposed to 10 years old when they first hit it big in the US.

    Thus the sleek new DS marketing campaign. We'll see what happens. I know I plan on trading up from my SP to the DS, though.

     Nov 16, 2004 - 10:49 PM - by Michael
    DS, PSP to be in short supply on launch
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) has the story: apparently both the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP are going to be in short supply on launch.

    Nintendo's seeing higher than expected demand; Sony's pulling their PS2 trick and deliberately undershipping to make the console appear sold-out.

    Both Nintendo and Sony are anticipating short supply of hardware when their new handheld consoles launch, it has emerged, with the PSP likely to suffer most as only 200,000 units will be available on day one.

    Nintendo has seen demand for the DS rise to around double the expected level, with pre-orders for the console currently standing at two million units, leading to a third factory being brought online to manufacture the console.

     Nov 08, 2004 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
    Super Mario 64 DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) And the big title for Nintendo DS is... Super Mario 64.

    Apparently Mario's not the only playable character, either, though I don't know what else the others bring to the game.

    Still, it'll be nice to see. Now I have to get a DS... damnit.

     Oct 26, 2004 - 05:00 PM - by Michael
    Classic NES Series II Ships
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot's got the scoop: Series II of the Classic Nes Series (for GBA) has shipped out.

    New to this line: Castlevania, Dr. Mario, Metroid, and Zelda II.

    I'd pick up the Castlevania cartridge, but I still have an original NES cart and working NES.

     Oct 25, 2004 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
    Touching is Good?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Cube-Europe has the skinny on Nintendo's ad campaign for the Nintendo DS.

    "Touching is Good.

    Take that however you want. Thankfully, with the exception of a couple pinball titles, they haven't had a vibrating Game Boy yet.

     Oct 21, 2004 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
    Activision reveals PSP launch titles
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot's got the news: Activision will have Spider-Man 2 and Tony Hawk's Underground 2 as PSP launch titles.

    Which begs the question: what system are they NOT putting those games on?

     Oct 11, 2004 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
    Japanese prefer the DS
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Japan Times has a blurb up: Japanese gamers prefer the Nintendo DS to the Sony PSP.

    I can't blame them - I prefer the DS as well.

    Analysts say that while the PSP has razor-sharp screen resolution and stylish design, it is no match for the Nintendo DS in terms of uniqueness. It fails as an attractive game console, they say.

    "With a dual touch-sensitive screen, voice recognition and wireless communication, the Nintendo DS has a load of new features," said Eiji Maeda, game analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd.
    I'm sure the fact that it's completely incompatible with all old Playstation titles and DVD movies (due to the small-sized discs they're using), while the DS has ready access to the entire past Gameboy library, is hurting it too.

     Oct 06, 2004 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
    PSP Delayed?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Gamespot's got an article saying that the PSP may be delayed until next year.

    Key issues: weak title lineup, and battery power consumption.

    Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray & Co. paints an even gloomier picture for the PSP's launch ambitions. In a report released today, the securities firm expects the handheld "to launch later than the current March 2005 expectation. First, Sony is usually late with most product introductions?and we are hearing that the platform has other issues such as thermal problems (transistors are running very hot) and a very short battery life (90 minutes) that will almost certainly delay the launch." All this points to a November 2005 launch in the US (possibly alongside the next Xbox system), the report concludes.
    Ouch. If true, it sucks to be Sony right now.

    Though I'm not planning to buy the PSP anyways; the fact that it won't use standard size CD's, requiring users to buy special movie discs just to watch movies or play old, re-released games on it, is a bit much.

     Oct 05, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
    Mario64 for the DS?
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Indications are that a Mario64 remake may be one of the Nintendo DS's launch titles.

    If so, it's a good thing. I'm planning to acquire a DS, but perhaps not right when they come out.

     Sep 17, 2004 - 10:22 AM - by Michael
    Nintendo DS Priced - $200
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Wal-Mart's started to take preorders for the Nintendo DS.

    The price? $200.

    Ouch. I was hoping for $150 or so.

     Sep 01, 2004 - 09:45 AM - by Michael
    GBA SP Price Drop
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) GamesIndustry has word that Nintendo's dropped the price of a Gameboy Advance SP to $79.

    Not really surprising - they have to make the SP look cheaper by comparison when they roll out the DS.

     Aug 10, 2004 - 12:50 PM - by Michael
    Nintendo DS Western Titles
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Nintendo's released the list of coming titles that'll be available in the US for the GBA DS system when it releases.

    Viewtiful Joe (Capcom)
    Castlevania (Konami) - could be good or bad.
    Atari Classics (Atari)
    Bomberman (Hudson Soft)

    They don't list the internally-developed Nintendo titles either - I'm expecting a few goodies coming that way as well.

     Aug 05, 2004 - 10:42 PM - by Michael
    Bejewled takes G-Phoria "Best Mobile Phone Game"
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    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Bejewled has won the G-Phoria award for "Best Mobile Phone Game", apparently.
    LOS ANGELES, CA -- (August 4, 2004) -- Global wireless entertainment publisher JAMDAT Mobile Inc. announced today that "Bejeweled Multiplayer" was chosen as "Best Mobile Phone Game" at "G-Phoria - The Award Show 4 Gamers" - on July 31, 2004 in Los Angeles. Premiering on G4techTV on Friday, August 6 at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT, "G-Phoria" is a celebration of video game culture that honors special achievement in interactive entertainment. Winning games were determined by nearly 500,000 gamers who voted online.

    "Bejeweled Multiplayer" is a fast-paced wireless game that allows gamers to engage in exciting head-to-head matches with other players using wireless phones across town or across the country. "Bejeweled Multiplayer" was adapted and published for wireless by JAMDAT under license from PopCap Games of Seattle, Washington.

    "JAMDAT Mobile is proud that 'Bejeweled Multiplayer' was selected for this award," said Mitch Lasky, Chairman and CEO of JAMDAT Mobile, Inc. "We are pleased that so many gamers voiced their support for 'Bejeweled Multiplayer' in the 'G-Phoria' online voting."

    Commented Brian Fiete, PopCap's founder and President, "JAMDAT has done a great job creating the wireless multiplayer version of PopCap's biggest selling puzzle title - 'Bejeweled.'"

    Bejewled was a big online game phenomenon a few years back - a game people could pick up and play for a short or long time, didn't really matter. In many ways it was a modern-day success akin to the simplicity of Tetris. As for mobile phone gaming today, as I don't have a mobile phone, I don't know how big it is. More importantly, I'm still of the mindset that if I did have a mobile phone, it couldn't supplant my GBA SP for portable gaming. The GBA DS, when we get it, just might.

     Jun 16, 2004 - 12:07 PM - by Michael
    Tell Nintendo Which Games You Want!
    Mobile gaming (GBA/etc) Nintendo's doing something that's arguably VERY cool - they've put up a survey on what games players want to see in the new GBA "Nintendo Classics" series of releases.

    Yeah, that's right - we actually get to pick which games we want them to release!

    You get to pick 15 from the list that YOU want to see, or three alternates from a long drop-down list of titles.

    Unfortunately, the list is slightly out of date - some of the titles are already confirmed to be released, like Ice Climbers.

    Can'd decide? I'll give each a brief mention in the extended section.
    This is an extended story - Click Here for the Rest!

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