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Nintendo DS Launch

by the NWR Staff - October 13, 2004, 9:59 am PDT

Ever wonder what the PGC staff talks about behind your back? What if they’re saying mean things about you? Only one way to find out… the return of PGC Blah Blah Blah!

[Jonathan Metts] Topic: How good is the Nintendo DS launch?

[Chris Bethea] i give it a B for effort

[TY SHUGHART] There's Wario Ware somewhere around here, and hey, it

still works with GBA games. Approved!

[Dragona] Mediocre for the US, slightly better in Japan. The best

games aren't coming out until later, such as DS WARS or Shin Megami Tensei.

[Mike Sklens] I'd say it's pretty good, but not excellent

[Bloodworth] I think it's a good set of games, but nothing stands

out as a must have really.

[Michael Cole] I think it is the lesser of two evils: on time

versus more games at launch

[Mike Sklens] America needs more Wario Ware at launch

[Jonathan Metts] Personally, I think Japan has a better launch lineup,

though it may have fewer total games.

[Bloodworth] Japan's definitely got the edge

[Chris Bethea] That tends to happen :D

[Dragona] Once January hits I think things will be much better.

Castlevania unveiling should light some fires.

[Chris Bethea] The US launch titles don't excite me, but some of the

ones in the works look awesome.

[Jonathan Metts] Would you guys say that this is similar to the GBA

launch, when there was no huge killer app but a good spread of games?

[Chris Bethea] I think the system on the whole will be solid, but the

launch might be a bit disappointing

[Bloodworth] Oh yeah, but we need Kuru Kuru

[Michael Cole] You can complain about the titles all you want.

The fact is, Nintendo is sending a strong message: we're on time and keeping

our promises

[Mike Sklens] I'm only certain of two launch titles: Mario DS and

Feel the Magic XX/XY

[Jonathan Metts] Feel the Magic may be the sleeper hit

[Chris Bethea] Well, I'd compare it to the SNES launch.

[Chris Bethea] There was a good selection of software

[Bloodworth] I think mini-game compilations are going to be really

common on this system.

[Jonathan Metts] It seems like everyone is interested in Feel the

Magic, if only out of pure curiosity.

[Chris Bethea] but everyone still walked away with Mario World and

"something else"

[Jonathan Metts] And it may be a good substitute for Wario Ware.

[Dragona] UGA made some of the best, unique games of the generation,

is why.

[Mike Sklens] Mario 64 DS' 36 minigames is very impressive

[Dragona] Now that they're part of Sonic Team, (even without

Mizaguchi) they're a strong force pulling me (a female gamer) into wnating

to try it at least.

[Jonathan Metts] It didn't catch my interest until I learned about the

goldfish-puking game.

[Michael Cole] Yes, Mario 64 DS is not the shameful port we all

feared, which puts my mind somewhat to ease. It could turn out better than

the original

[Bloodworth] LOL What?

[Bloodworth] Yoshi Breathes FIAR!

[Mike Sklens] the whole blowing out the candles by blowing into the

DS microphone is ACES

[Jonathan Metts] Your character swallows a bunch of goldfish, and you

have to pull them out with the stylus and guide them into his esophagus for

him to throw up (on the top screen).

[TY SHUGHART] I'm looking forward to pretending it's a PDA in

classes/at work for a few days before it gets found out

[Michael Cole] Yeah, now trivia players will not get mad at me

when I blow into a microphone!

[Bloodworth] hah hah

[Bloodworth] But there IS a PDA application coming out

[TY SHUGHART] hahahah oh noes

[Chris Bethea] i wonder if that'll be worth anything

[Michael Cole] Yeah, I'm seriously considering getting that as

a poor man/cheap-ass's PDA

[Jonathan Metts] Someone joked that Boktai DS could detect rain (touch

screen) and wind (microphone) as well as using the sun sensor. I actually

think that would be really cool if it's not required too much.

[Mike Sklens] I'm looking forward to sending hilarious drawings to my

roommates via pictochat

[Mike Sklens] and by hilarious I mean hilariously disgusting and/or


* Dragona holds DS under tap of running water with a fan blowing

[Jonathan Metts] I'm disappointed that none of the launch games seems

to use the micrphone very much.

[TY SHUGHART] Like horrific scrawlings of trash cans being tipped over

by bears

[Dragona] Seriously even I'm going to be drawing crude genetalia

back and forth. I think that's the purpose of it. :P{

[Bloodworth] I'm not surprised at all

[Mike Sklens] heh

[Jonathan Metts] I can't believe Madden doesn't use it for audibles.

[Mike Sklens] I will write "keke ^_^" on it

[Chris Bethea] I'm just going to be writing "BUTTS LMAO" to everyone I

can find

[Bloodworth] I'm not a football guy at all, but I'm really

interested in the features in Madden

[Michael Cole] I think we'll see the mic being used more when

publishers are more comfortable with the system and don't feel rushed to get

a product out at or near launch

[Mike Sklens] I thought the touch screen audible thing was cool,

until Jonny pointed out that voice audibles would be muchcooler

[Dragona] What I want to know is when the headset will be revealed.

[Dragona] We know it's there.

[Jonathan Metts] Ping Pals seems redundant, but you only need one copy

of the game for up to 16 people to use it.

[Dragona] Nintendo knows its coming.

[Dragona] Where is it?

[Bloodworth] we'll probably see more when the headset is revealed

[Mike Sklens] But everybody who has a DS has PictoChat, so that sorta

shuts Ping Pals multi-cart feature down

[Jonathan Metts] Yeah, good point.

[Mike Sklens] though apprently Ping pals supports something like 100+


[Mike Sklens] which PictoChat doesn't

[TY SHUGHART] ds irc

[Jonathan Metts] Typing, even on a touch screen, is not very fun.

[Mike Sklens] Frankly though, 100+ people chatting on DS would be

very rare, and absurdly confusing.

[TY SHUGHART] voice to text would be rad

[Dragona] Also it's by the WayForward guys, let's hope we get to see

Shantae GBA turned into Shantae DS

[Jonathan Metts] I bet Shantae is one of the avatars

[Dragona] She better be.

[Jonathan Metts] Well, the only first-party launch title is Super Mario

64 DS. Is this a satisfactory offering for launch?

[Bloodworth] I really wonder how this thumb attachment works

[Michael Cole] Yeah, I'm hoping games will make use of "custom

avatars" and the like. Kind of like face mapping, but with drawings. I

could see great monster creation games using a touch screen

[Jonathan Metts] They gave us a remake for the GBA launch, but they

also had F-Zero Maximum Velocity, which was new.

[Dragona] Not really, as interesting as it is with the new features,

it's a port. And there's no analog stick.


[Mike Sklens] I'd say it's unsatisfactory, but it also sends a

message that says "We do care about 3rd parties, and we are using them to

support our launch"

[Dragona] Though I'm very curious about the analog touch pad control


[Mike Sklens] as opposed to a bunch of first party stuff and no third

party (N64, GameCube)

[Bloodworth] I'm happy there's a lot of thought being into different

control modes overall

[Michael Cole] Yes, once again Nintendo is at least making a

bold statement with only 1 launch title....even though I'd rather see one of

the Japanese launch titles here as well

[TY SHUGHART] http://coinop.org/g.aspx/100288/Journey.html

[Jonathan Metts] I find myself not very excited about Mario 64, even

portable. But it seems like an excellent choice, considering how well it

sold and how much everyone loves it.

[Jon Lindemann] It's pretty obvious that Nintendo wanted a Mario game -- any

Mario game -- at launch, and they've done everything else so Mario 64 DS got

the nod

[Bloodworth] Like with the left-handed friendly options in Metroid

[Mike Sklens] speaking of monster creation games, apprently Magic

Pengal is being made for DS

[Jonathan Metts] Yeah, I think you're right Jon.

[Dragona] I personally don't see how that's left handed friendly

[Dragona] Regardless of my feelings on "Prime"

[Dragona] I'm lefthanded.

[Dragona] I'm used to directing with my left hand on the Dpad.

[Michael Cole] No argument--Super Mario 64 DS is a smart move

on Nintendo's part, especially since it isn't a direct port. But that

doesn't mean it should stand on its own

[Dragona] Using my right hand for that purpose is going to be very

strange, and hard.

[Jonathan Metts] I'm thinking I'd like to use the thumb-pad-thingy on

my left thumb, actually. Then it would feel like using the N64 controller for Mario.

[Dragona] The VB showed me how woefully underused my right hand was

for any sort of directional controls. :P

[TY SHUGHART] The VB showed me what my own shriveled retnas looked


[Jon Lindemann] I think Nintendo is trying to introduce some younger people

to Mario 64 DS, even though the DS is supposedly aimed at an older


[Michael Cole] What, people are actually thinking to use their

RIGHT HAND for the touch screen analog thumb thing? No, that's left thumb

all the way

[Jon Lindemann] It was released in 1996, after all

[Jon Lindemann] almost a decade ago

[Jonathan Metts] I don't have a problem with remakes or even ports, but

it feels underwhelming to have one as the only first-party game at launch.

[Michael Cole] I could actually see myself using a stylus in my

left hand for Mario 64 DS

[Jonathan Metts] On the other hand, the level of third-party support

this early is VERY encouraging.

[Bloodworth] yes

[Mike Sklens] If I'm using my stylus I will use it in my right hand.

[Mike Sklens] I CANNOT write with my left hand

[Michael Cole] I think Jonny summed it up

[Chris Bethea] I honestly prefer that to an overwhelming first-party


[Mike Sklens] i can't do anything involving pen-like objects with my

left hand

[Michael Cole] I can't WRITE with my left hand. But I think I

could manage analog control with my left hand

[Jonathan Metts] As Dan said, the DS makes even Madden interesting.

[Bloodworth] What's up with Jam with the Band's "unlimited"


[Jonathan Metts] TYP, didn't you ever have an N64?

[Michael Cole] *Billy hunts down Jonny*

[Mike Sklens] I could manage analog control with their "thumb strap"

thing, but NOT with a stylus

[Jon Lindemann] That's part of the appeal of the DS -- gamers just want to

see what developers will do with it

[Michael Cole] LOL, I mean analog control with a Stylus Jonny

[Jonathan Metts] Hell, didn't you ever have a GameCube? ;-) Analog

control with the left hand.

[Mike Sklens] I'm just happy I can use my pimp light-up stylus

instead of that thin one shipping with the system

[Dragona] Hmm

[Jonathan Metts] I hope there is a way for everyone to get one of


[Bloodworth] I hope you take the chain off

[Michael Cole] Yeah, but probably only at home

[Dragona] A way for everyone to get one of what? :P

[Bloodworth] the E3 light up stylus

[Jonathan Metts] There is going to be a lot of Ridge Racer vs. Asphalt

Urban GT talk.

[Jon Lindemann] Kudos to whoever sent me one of those

[Dragona] Ah lucky them.

[Bloodworth] I pick Asphalt

[Mike Sklens] well I'm ok with it, because mine retains it's "The

Future of Handheld Gaming: Nintneod E3 2004" charm

[Jonathan Metts] Most people seem to think Ridge Racer looks a lot


[Dragona] Ridge Racer looks bad. :|

[Michael Cole] Yes, what do you think about the whole touch pad

wheel? I'm wondering how comfortable that will be

[Jonathan Metts] I think it looks decent, but Asphalt definitely has

better graphics.

[Mike Sklens] ridge racer has a crazy touch screen steering wheel


[Bloodworth] that sounds like it needs a lot of work

[Jonathan Metts] It's a great idea, but it sounds like they are doing a

poor job of implementing it.

[Bloodworth] I defended it too

[Michael Cole] Doesn't another game have that touch screen


[Bloodworth] until I hard people's impressions of it

[Jonathan Metts] I wish it could be set up so that you could use both

thumbs on the wheel, sort of like how you hold a real steering wheel.

[Jonathan Metts] one on the left, one on the right

[Jonathan Metts] but I'm not sure that the DS supports multiple touch


[Michael Cole] Yes, even at E3 I said I wished DS could support

multiple touch points

[Dragona] I'm not so sure about using fingers on the screen.

Smudging is bad.

[Mike Sklens] exactly

[Bloodworth] well, I wouldn't be surprised if some crazy bloke tries

to come up with a wheel that you physically attach to the system

[Michael Cole] But I have no idea how much more something like

that could cost for Nintendo (and the consumer)

[Jonathan Metts] There probably will be some insane peripherals for

this thing.

[Michael Cole] Well, with the GBA port free, who knows?

[Bloodworth] Spiderman is geared to use your fingers instead of a


[Mike Sklens] don't worry about smudges, some companies have already

announced screen shields similar to those used on PDAs

[Bloodworth] since you'll be using the buttons most of the time

[Dragona] Obi: but will they suck?

[Jonathan Metts] Fingers definitely work fine for the touch screen.

They did at E3. It's not a great option if you have big fingertips, like


[Mike Sklens] there is no reason for them to suck, the technology has

been around for years on PDAs and is already dirt cheap

[Michael Cole] Did anyone else notice how familiar Rayman DS

looked? Is that Rayman 2 on the Nintendo DS?

[Jonathan Metts] Could be

[Bloodworth] I think it's using the same engine at the VERY least

[Jonathan Metts] Ubisoft still hasn't spilled the beans on it.

[Bloodworth] but one shot makes it hard to judge

[Dragona] That's not a real sshot

[Dragona] It's faked

[Bloodworth] the touch screen being just to move the camera points

toward port in my mind

[Michael Cole] Well, it had a life bar similar to the one in

Rayman 2.

[Jonathan Metts] I'm with Dan. But you could find much worse games to

port than Rayman 2.

[Dragona] It's a FAKED screen FROM rayman2 :P

[Bloodworth] and I think there's probably a fair number of people

like me that haven't played it

[Dragona] they whipped it up for the press

[Michael Cole] Ubisoft made a faked screen for promotion?

[Jonathan Metts] It's pretty common

[Dragona] yeah

[Jonathan Metts] Microsoft did it for a lot of their games back around

the Xbox launch

[Dragona] they did

[Bloodworth] yeah like coughAmpedcough

[Michael Cole] Well, I think we're about done here....

[Jonathan Metts] Well, I think that's enough for this Blah Blah Blah

[Jonathan Metts] TYP read my mind :)

[Bloodworth] Blah

[Jonathan Metts] Blah

[Dragona] Blah

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