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9:19 AM on 04.06.2009

Comics You Need To Read: The Walking Dead




We obviously love games, but there are times we need a break, from the eyestrain and thumb blisters. Here's something everyone should check out, especially fans of survival horror/Left 4 Dead/RE. Be warned, people, this is a VERY MATURE book, but is also something anyone, within reason, can easily read and enjoy.

The Walking Dead is a superb ongoing zombie comic, written by Robert Kirkman, art by Tony Moore, then later on Charlie Adlard.

Set in the U.S, it all begins when the zombie apocalypse mysteriously happens, thrusting the world as we know it, into the meat grinder. What remains, are seas of walking dead, chaos and small pockets of uninfected survivors, scattered all over the place, trying to survive. No one knows the reasons of why this happened and every moment is a fight, to not get bit, find fuel, water and food, and outrun the shuffling hordes.





The story revolves around its main character, Rick, a cop who wakes up in hospital, after an incident during his shift, put him in a coma. In a very RE style way, by the silence and lack of medical staff attending, he soon discovers, things are not right and the adventure begins. Yep, there's no more room in hell, so the dead walk the earth. With zombies eating anything alive and no law and order in control, Rick seeks to track down those dear to him at all costs, namely his beloved wife Lori and son Carl, and hopefully find out why the world has hit the fan, along the way. What follows, is one hell of a rollercoaster ride, you will not want to put down. Its an epic tale of love, betrayal, tragedy, kick ass action, a chomping zombies aplenty.





As a story, its interesting to see how this plays out, as its really a story about people (with their pros, cons and baggage) trying to survive, in a weird situation. For all the years of watching zombie movies, I'm sure we've all dreamed of what we'd do in this kind of extreme situation. Strangely, not even a tv series has attempted to try this kind of apocalypse on screen, but that's only to the benefit of comics to do this. I'll not spoil it for you, beyond the above, because I think The Walking Dead is really something you have to experience for yourself. It also significant, in a comics industry overrun with too many super heroes and villians, that IMO, truly hold the comic medium back from what it really could be, something greater than its parts and something everyone can enjoy, not just the seasoned, comic shop loitering crowd. I guess the gears of positive are moving and that's a good thing.


The Walking Dead Compendium is now available to buy, which covers issues 1-58, into a spanking 1,088 pages. This is available in a limited run, (heaven knows why, but its obviously a silly comic reason). If you can't get this and hate fiddling with single comic issues, eight previous collected trade paperback volumes of The Walking Dead are also available. I highly recommend you Dtoiders check this series out, no matter your gaming/movie or book taste or whatever. Buy, tell your friends and lend it to them etc. Check amazon etc for prices.





Overall, its obvious I'll rate this highly, but to be honest, it deserves its accolades. The story is addictive, with characters of varying degrees, but overall brilliant and yet they're all expendable at the story's mercy. The art, while its changed hands and is in black and white, doesn't derail carrying the story, characters etc. And the icing on the cake, is that this is an ongoing series. More zombies, than you can shake a rotting limb at, await us.

Indeed, a superb, fun and clever series. Definite comic boner gold. Lucky for you people, you can now check out the first issue of The Walking Dead for free at the following link. Enjoy.

http://www.imagecomics.com/iconline.php?title=walking_dead_001&page=cover&resize=now   read


8:08 AM on 03.21.2009

Expanded Universes: Should Capcom outsource the RE Gun Survivor series to Valve?



All this talk of Resident Evil's controls got me thinking, about other parts of the RE series that, didn't fly as well as they should have. Firstly, I'll agree that Capcom can tweak the controls for the future of RE, but not too much, to go down an FPS route.

Anyway, back on topic, RE games haven't all been good. The Gun Survivor series was an new FPS area for Capcom, at a time where they were still struggling with the change from 2d to 3d. While they are nice attempts to broaden the series, they fall flat in ways here and there. RE Outbreak also had its problems but that's a topic for another day.

You'll notice that there hasn't been a Gun Survivior game in some time (last one being on PS2), probably because they didn't sell as well as the main series and lacked a lot.

Now, Valve are masters of the FPS genre, and in a similar way to Capcom, have a great sense of community and also are create great games. In a post Left 4 Dead world, what if Capcom were to outsource the Gun Survivor series to Valve? Would making this series be more FPS than light gun, benefit those who have problems with RE5.

The thought of it excites. An east to west co-production of a now classic game series. Putting their heads together would surely create something epic, and bring it back from previous average to awful efforts.   read


10:33 AM on 12.18.2008

A time to destroy: Badly planned, bastard achievements/trophies





The advent of 360 achievement points (and trophies too) has added a superb thing to gaming, and while many may bark at those, like myself that enjoy them, I can honestly say I finish more games now because of them and the fun of any game.

One thing that has annoyed me though, is when I buy a superb game, only to later find out that the developers have not thought out and placed their achievements fairly throughout a game. Along side that it seems some developer don't bother to even put any thought into rewarding the players with them, placing the player to achieve what seems impossible at best, or a switch off bore at worst.

I 'd have to say, that the guiltiest parties of badly designed achievement placement at the moment, are some japanese developers, perhaps they still haven't gotten used to the concept yet. My hopes is that they do, because some of my coolest games have been spoiled by their lack of imagination and fairness in this area. Come on guys, show us you care enough.

I purchased DMC4 and while a fun game, it was spoiled by an odd save system (why it so hard to just let you save anywhere is beyond me, Capcom) and unforgiving achievement rewards. While it might mean little in japan, achievements need to be either planned out properly, and to not do so and release a game is quite annoying.

Has anyone had these kinds of problems with achievements, that they have just given up in frustration, or does the difficulty spur you on further? What games did you experience such frustrations with the most or least? And do you thiink those jap developer will ever get there achievement to be as good or inventive as western developers?   read


7:27 AM on 10.05.2008

Take Note, Sony: How To Save The PSP

Sony recently were bleating about wanting more games on PSP, naturally being disappointed about the situation. I feel its good that they are coming out and saying so, but such news bites require actions to have effect.

Anyway, I've decided to put my oar in, and give Sony some ideas, to help make the PSP more successful. This post will be in two sections, the first relating to games that should be on PSP, and the second relating to aps and extras that the PSP could have over the competition.

More Arcade Ports with online play, via possible download: Note most of these are quick fix games, and with arcades on the demise, the only other place these will appear now, is online or in game compilations.

Scud Race
Motoraid
Daytona USA
Street Fighter 3rd Strike
Rage of Dragons
Martial Masters
Xmen: Children of the Atom
Xmen VS Street Fighter


Being able to access online radio, record and playback via PSP. This is another angle that PSP could trump iPod on. I heard Apple recently refused an ap for Ipod, which would allow it to access online radio via wi-fi, a really stupid move IMO. If Sony were smart they'd look to exploit that, and really should sell the internet online radio aspect of PSP over iPod touch and iPhone. Online radio is the future.


DivX support. As a buyer of a lot of anime, this is one constant problem for PSP, lack of Divx/Xvid support. What's really odd is that Xbox 360 and PS3 supports it, so PSP should have no trouble at all. Using aps like PSP Video 9 to convert files is a dragged out exercise, which leads me to not bother converting any files to play on my PSP. That might seem cool from Sony's viewpoint (because of UMDs), but there are plenty of other portable media players out there that do support DivX. Movies are cool, but stuff from tv, like big sports events you can't buy.


Lastly, is the addition of trophies for PSP games. If it were possible to give all PSP games trophy support, the same as PS3 or with its own account, its very possible that such trophies could help PSP sales. It would be like the Live Achievements all over again. You could then view your accounts online. There were some whispers of this idea 08', but don't wait to long, Sony, as its possibly this one thing, could raise PSP game sales and yet save the PSP. So suprised they haven't done this yet, even if you shared a PS3/PSP account.   read


3:07 PM on 07.12.2008

Aussie/NZ Gamers Must Unite & Fight the Powers That Be



Focused group effort = more win.


I jumped across to gamepolitics.com and found this news post, concerning more bullshit in the land of Australia. It appears the muppets of their ratings board has band Fallout 3, upon the lame excuse of the game depicting drug taking. Follow the link. http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/07/10/report-australia039s-fallout-3-ban-prompted-game-drug-use#comments

Once again, this is the double standard nature of the ratings board and aussie government, who still refuse to enforce an new R18 category for games. The true reason for this perhaps lays in pressure from the established media of film, when in truth they would also surely benefit from such a new rating in the end, as it may eventually trickle down to film too (feel free to correct if wrong).




Films about drugs or drug taking are okay.

Has any of the australian government seen films like Blow, which I'm sure is still on sale in australia. Drug taking/selling/dealing has been depicted many times and has been prevalent in films for many years. The question l'd be asked why is it okay for films and not games. I'm not buying that 'because you can do it in games' jibe excuse, because in all these games with such depictions, the player can't get high or feel the effects of the taking. If the player can't get high, and can only visually see the drugs onscreen and possible effects, how is this any worse than films?

I really think australian gamers should step up, grow some balls and stop this rubbish from happening. Australia is one of the largest nations on the face of the planet, which should account for a hell of a lot of adult gamers, who for too long have been treated like children (because only children play games, don't they?). Only they can break this vicious cycle.

I believe in response to not letting the australian government thought police get away with it, aussie gamers must unite and take them on. I'm surprised that none of them have got together already, especially with the power of the internet, to combat the ratings menace that plagues their past time.

If aussie (and new zealand) adult gamers love their games enough, I feel they should be doing the one thousand gamer march to their government parliament building and make their voices heard. Throw in some media coverage and it would be a stewing pot of unexpected trouble for the powers that be. I guess its all about how badly gamers down under want it. Keep pushing and you'll get what you want. I'm sure the ESA would help out in order to get thing rolling.



Perhaps you'll have to hire Snake, to get your copy of Fallout 3 into Australia.

Another interesting part of this saga is the australian government also trying to cut the importing angle in an effort to stop gamers second means (good luck with that, when has it ever worked). Hope they have enough manpower to handle it. I'm sure many will still brave this avenue than miss Fallout 3 altogether.

Do you want it enough, gamers down under? I pray this post will ignite the passionate spark in any aussie/new zealand gamers out there and get them to act. Only then will any change happen. A one thousand or million gamer march would really be something (wishful thinking perhaps). I'll refrain from convict island and prison bending over jokes, once you gamers unite and fight back.

Feel free to add your opinions.


[img][/img][b]   read


8:52 AM on 02.28.2008

Video Armageddon!! Gametrailers VS Gamevideos? Who gets your vote?

I frequently visit 1up.com, as well as mighty Destructoid, and thing only thing that pisses me off about their website is the Gamevideos service. Good video shows and clips shown in tiny boxes. Come on 1up, while Game Videos are okay but their service leaves a lot to be desired next to Gametrailers.

Gametrailers design is more appealing and less confusing to use, compared to Gamevideos yellow n black mess too. So I'll throw it open to you guys, which do you prefer to use when new trailers are out?   read


9:45 PM on 01.08.2008

Attention Dtoid/Nintendo: Official Colors DS Release Please!!




Being an artist is a brilliant life of creative torture. Everything you see gives you ideas, and everthing else scrubs those ideas from your creative mind just as easily. Everywhere I go, I take a drawing pad and pencil with me, to capture such moments of inspiration. Problem is I use an A4 pad.

Cue the day, I purchase my regular copy of u.k digital art magazine Imagine FX, and I see this beautiful dream for my DS in a news segment. Its art art application called Colors which lets draw and paint on your DS. An Ingenious idea that's long overdue on DS, right? Just the kind of thing we've been wanting from day one of DS release. (Pictochat was nice but wasn't cutting it.)

But wait, there's a catch. It's only available on on homebrew DS's. Sweet but, god dammit!! And just how the freak do I do that then? What a shame, I don't have time to do that. Damn.

My advice to Nintendo, or perhaps even my french cousins over at Ubisoft, or somebody out there with some strings they can pull, contact Colors developer Jens Andersson, and see about getting this baby released officially. There's so many gamers and artists out there that would purchase this at retail.

If you feel the same, please drum up your support and give this brill little piece of genius some exposure. How about it Dtoid?

[img]

Perhaps Destructoid should contact Jens Andersson for an interview. We need this thing to happen in a very Jam Sessions way and get it released.

So you all want to see how effective the art work can be on DS? Head over to the links below and check out the art some have been up to.

Hopefully Colors will be better than the upcoming Paint By DS game. I think so, but go to the links and judge, some of the art work is great. There's nothing like uploaded art you can share with everyone.

Videos of Colors DS in action are also available on You Tube.


www.collectingsmiles.com

http://colors.brombra.neet   read


4:11 PM on 12.02.2007

A tale of lacklustre gaming freebees



Call of a great game and a poor art book. WTF!


Feeling the stress from my work, I popped into a local game shop, to pick up something to keep me going, until that pile of xmas gaming presents arrives. I opted for Call of Duty 4 and a damn fine game it is too.

The copy I purchased was a limited edition one, something I was looking forward to then. Everyone loves free stuff with their game, to give you that fuzzy warm feeling inside, that you have purchased something special.



Another fine effort from Capcom.

Now of late, kind of since Lost Planet and Gears of War hit 360, there's been an increase in the limited edition cuts of games, adding in extras to entice the crowd, indeed a good idea. However, it's easy for crap to get packaged with your game, leaving you scratching your head as to why you bothered spending extra money.

Once I busted open my Call of Duty 4, inside was an extras 'making of' dvd, the game dvd and something that was supposed to actually be an art book. Now I love art, being an artist myself, I can appreciate the design concepts that go into making any game. However, since getting my halo 3 limited edtion and being underwhelmed by that, and now getting this same sinking feeling with Call of Duty 4, that the western definition of an art book and the japanese one (as well as a sense of treasured value) are worlds apart.




Even from Atlus, this Persona 3 pack is clearly better value.

The japanese have been doing this similar kind of thing for years, problem is they are much better at it. Case to point a recent example. Atlus recently released Persona 3 stateside PS2 (a game I'm gonna have to import, as the on PS2 dies slowly in the U.K and we may never see it released here), with which they gave away the game, plus a Persona 3 soundtrack and a beautiful, reasonable size 52 page artbook. Now how is it even Atlus can get this right, but many of the mainly western big boys like Bungie, Activision etc, (exceptions for Capcom, Atlus and Konami here) can't get it right?





Konami always deliver this kind of deal well.



The best limited edition games I've had in all my years of gaming were my PS1 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (which came with a lovely little art book and soundtrack cd) and again Konami with my Metal Gear Solid Limted Edition (which came with a Snake t-shirt, soundtrack cd and game, all in a cool silver box). Something similar was also done with a recent DS Castlevania game.




Now this is how things should be done.


After being disappointed by such extras like western artbooks that are poor, I might refrain from buying these editions again, until they package something worth my time, that I can be proud of. Problem is, how can I ever know what's inside without buying and getting stung? Many games are sealed in cellophane too.

So, come on western publishers/developers, raise your game and get better at this.




More of this, yes please.

[/i]

So next time you buy a limited edition cut of a game, if the contents don't meet your standards or could be better, feel free to give the developer/publisher some feedback. Or just come here to winge like me. Lol.   read


11:11 AM on 10.25.2007

The Adventure Game Strikes Back on DS: Point, Click & Enjoy

If I'm correct, there was an episode of Retroforce Go recently, which went on about ScumVM games and adventure games in general. What I'm doing here is joining in, and trying to raise more awareness of some cool looking DS adventure games, which are available on import, coming soon in english or I've seen while messing about or whatever.








First up is Tecmo's DS Nishimura Kyotaro Suspense Shin Tantei Series: Kyoto Atami Zekkai no Kotou - Satsui no Wana. This game I found the short video for over at Game Trailers. Even though the trailer is short, what's clear is that like Hotel Dusk, the DS is ripe for this game to be translated into english. I have no idea if Tecmo have plans to translate and release this series (since they are focused on Ninja Gaiden DS), but I do feel the DS could do with it. Surely, its doing well in the japanese charts for a reason. Please someone pick this up for western release. It looks like a great detective style game.

I'd like to point out that there's been a few detective graphic adventure games on DS, since its been out in japan, like a Detective Conan game, based off the japanese manga, plus others. Perhaps its a shame we will not get to play most of them.

For those of you who know some japanese, if you trot over to the japanese Tecmo website link below, there's a little browser that lets you sample part of the game. Check the Keep Out section.

http://www.tecmo.co.jp/product/nishimura/









The second is known as Project Hacker Kakusei. A nice looking game, you play as one of two hackers, where the player uses the DS to hack firewalls and stuff, for the greater good of the government and the anime based spook style story. This is done via mini games, possibly in a similar way to those hacking exploits in Bioshock, but most likely more varied and stylus based. Another cool adventure title that I've heard nothing about a translation, but i'll keep my fingers crossed. Browse more screens at the official game website.

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/adhj/index.html














Kabu Trader Shun, from those lovely, talented folk at Capcom. After the success of the Phoenix Wright series, Capcom couldn't go far wrong with this little Wall Street style adventure. Sure, fiddling with stock and shares can't be fun, can it? If you know nothing about shares, trading and stuff (i know I don't), I pray Capcom translate this not only as a cool game, but also as a guide to a world we all avoid. We might all learn something valuable along the way too. I love the way Capcom can make boring stuff fun.

http://www.capcom.co.jp/shun/




A late addition to this post is Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle. A DS version of a point and click PC game of the same name. This ones created by french developer Cyanide, is on course for a U.S release 2nd quarter of 08, and looks really sweet. Had probs with pics for this one, but follow the link below.

You can find the video for Runaway DS over at www.gametrailers.com



Along the two Professor Layton games on the way, Phoenix Wright successor Apollo Justice, euro adventures Sinking Island and Undercover: Dual Motives alongside Myst DS etc, 2008 could well be the year DS adventure games make a real impact. I just hope some nice publisher out there checks some of the above titles for release. Otherwise I'll have to importing them, but I can't read japanese. Either way, its all looking good.

Thanks for reading.   read


10:28 AM on 10.20.2007

Should MS Make All Xbox Live Accounts Equal and Totally Free?




The joys of Xbox Live I was once guilty of laying into, once before when I didn't have an Xbox. And while MS had their problems, and I once got my fangs out for their entering the games industry, age, a bit more maturity and my love of games, made me take the plunge. After all, I edplenty of games on various formats over the years, so why not an MS console?

I purchased an original Xbox in the last two years of Xbox life. The X beast is big but plays its part in my collection of consoles. Then I wasn't online and just enjoyed the difference in the games. Great stuff and I'm glad I did.

In September 06', I purchased a 360, after sampling a friends 360, I knew I had to have one. What really sealed it for me was Capcom's Dead Rising, after their E3 video of it in action. In October 06', I finally got my 360 online. While I wasn't happy to pay �40 for a year at first, I found a cheaper way around that price.

Now for the �40 price, I was pleased with what I got, but it always made me wonder, would I seriously get any less, if MS scrapped the silly Silver/Gold partitions? And just what does our �40 pay for on a yearly basis? Is there anyway to find this out?

Currently, my 360 account has been down graded to Silver, since my 12 months are up. What's funny here, is that when I purchased my 360, you are supposed to get a free one month gold pass. What they don't tell you is that you need a credit card in order to activate it. Now, I don't have a credit card (my own fault and no I'm not using anyone elses), which voids such access, and MS have yet to provide alternative means to let you get that month. I feel a bit cheated, even after calling 360's customer support line and enquiring about how to get the month they owe me. Surely they could have sorted it out on their side, but alas no.

With PS3 and Wii offering free online gaming, I can't help but ask whether MS should take the leap and do the same. Many people purchased 360s, but have yet to take that extra leap online, but with PS3 and Wii offering it out of the box, MS may need to match that and show the benefits of Live, and costomers will be able to see which service they prefer for each console.

Would MS servers go into meltdown from not being able to manage our gaming? I doubt it but there's only one way to find out. I guess MS really want to monitor our activity by making us sign up. The thing is they could easily do the same thing, by just giving each console sold an online ID based on when and where it goes online, without the need for paying.

Truth is MS could do it for free, since the PC has been doing this for years, long before Games For Windows appeared. The advantages of doing so would hugely increase over the negative disadvantages. And if it was free, I wouldn't have to register with cheaper foreign Live Gold Account cards, the pound is a god send like that sometimes.

I'm sure Live, would really be Live with activity, if MS tried it, if even for a temporary time.


Feel free to leave your views via comment, people.   read


2:04 PM on 10.18.2007

A Few Words About Capcom

I have to hand it to Capcom, they've really served up a week full of gems. I've got a lot of games they have in the pipe on my list. SFIV is a mystery still but at least we have confirmation is coming. Bionic Commando looks superb, Lost Planet for PS3 and Okami for Wii are sweet surprises. Hell, we still have Zack and Wiki to come out yet, let alone Dead Rising 2, but things are looking good.

Capcom seems to be adjusting to embracing and creating games for the western market, than most japanese developers. It makes me so happy that while they are building on classic IP, they are also great at creating new ones, much more than we might have once thought.

Once upon a time, Capcom looked quite different. Their reliance on SF series used to be priority, back when the arcades were booming, but its true that consoles changed Capcom. Since the creation of the Biohazard series, and later DMC and Onimusha series, their fortunes changed for the better in 3D, while also providing great 2D game support, with SF Alpha, Marvel vs Capcom, Xmen vs Streetfighter etc. A fine juggling act indeed.

I do think that Capcom learned a lot from their GC development days. Many would have thought their decision to switch the Biohazard series from PS1/2 to GC was commercial suicide. Such commitment, against the odds, paid much back to those that stuck with GC, as well as Capcom. RE0, RE1, and more importantly RE4, where great visions and shifts for the series.




[b]Yeah, right between the eyes, Leon.[b]



With RE4 now also doing well on Wii, after already cleaning house on GC and the PS2, Capcom are clearly laughing all the way to the bank. What's clear is RE4 showed how good a third person game could be, while putting the scare factor back into the series, that had long since dulled.

RE: Umbrella Chronicles is due soon on Wii. Its a shame its a light gun game as I'm sure many would have prefered a bonafide RE4 style game, in the vein of RE4, and from what I've seen it looks like a step back, while RE5 is two steps forward. Who knows, perhaps that will come later. I tend to play these games just for more info on Umbrella and the dark tales about them.




[b]Welcome to Planet Capcom[b]



Creating new IP is the life blood of the industry, so its always great to hear about new stuff. Getting one Street Fighter game is one thing, but getting two is unheard of. These will please a lot of 2D/fighting fans, who get pretty neglected by the industry, forever pushing 3D games. Expanding to new worlds and horizons many other developers/publishers may find hard to do. What's clear though is that Capcom stand to make a lot of money next fiscal year, if the majority of these games hit our consoles next year.

The highlight of 2008 for me was gonna be RE5, and still is really as I'm such a zombie buster monkey, but with these new IPs on the way, Capcom will be getting a lot more of my money.

I have a confession to make, I haven't played Bionic Commando before (it does grace one of my PSP Capcom Collections), but so far I like what I see of this new next gen cut. I was kind of hoping for a new Captain Commando or Strider game but maybe they'll come later. Striders 20th anniversary is up in two years, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Okami will light up the Wii, and I'm still holding out for a new DS version. If it can work on Wii, DS should be cool with it too.

The other great thing is, I still can get a great dose of Capcom games with my 360. Capcom games used to be really solid on Sony formats, so it's nice to see 360 playing a major part in Capcom's plans, when many japanese developers sidestep it, an attitude which makes little sense. Along with Tecmo and Sega, Capcom stand to make more money by understanding the 360 audience, as well as struggling with the online frontier. PS3 will play its part here. Outsourcing is gonna become a big part in their plans too, like Sega have done with some of their games, over the last few years.

The future looks bright. Just don't mess up SFIV please, Capcom.



[b]Please Capcom!![b]


[img]http://monsterdesign.co.kr/image_2007/area88_440.jpg[img]
[b]I want to be a funny haired merc pilot again[b]


By the way Capcom, I'm still holding out on having Area 88/UN Squadron/Carrier Airwing on my PSP/DS one day (maybe in the next PSP collection). This is long overdue as I grow weary of having to resort to emus. Maybe a Live/PSN version would be nice too.


(lastly people, I don't know if I've attached these pics properly, so give me a break if it messes up, thanks)   read


12:12 PM on 10.01.2007

Wii and DS Demos: A Nintendo Missed Oppurtunity?

I've had my DS roughly since it launched in the U.S. I've been with mine ever since the biblical like drought of games turned into the avalanche of good stuff.

While I've sampled and enjoyed Mario Kart DS online, I've yet to experience any real demos on DS, besides the Metroid Hunters demo I got with my DS. We know there are supposed to be these DS download stations for demos in shops, but again they remain quite mystical (just like the oficial release of the DS Mystical Ninja game, in fact, why is that game still not available in english??) things to find and make use of.

Have you ever seen or used any of these DL stations, fellow gamers (cue mugshot)? I'm yet to spot one in any U.K stores of Game of Gamestation. By all means, if you know of any, let me know. Nintendo haven't done as much to let gamers know where these download stations are.

The big question is does Nintendo really need DS Download Stations in stores at all? The physical vs DL content match up raises its ugly head again. The nature of demos in the physical form has been exploited to the max, by developers since the PS1 era for consoles, and way before that by PC games. Their presence to the customer no doubt helped PS1 sell a hell of a lot more than N64, and in a similar way PS2 and Xbox over GC.

Fast forward in the De Lorean to today, where demos have more of an online presence, backed by their cover mounted mag brethren. Yet still Nintendo, the slow but brilliant poke that they are, still fail to exploit both of these valuable means to help sell their systems and not just their games, but second and third parties games more importantly, too (they need this help much more than Nintendo ever do).

I still wonder why this is. Both the DS and Wii have wifi. DS downloadable demos could be supported more over the net just like Wii ones (but ofcourse the lack of hard drive goes against it somewhat, but SD card or some Datel product could plug that). I'm sure if Nintendo switched their brains on here, they could easily release a DS official demo storage card and sell it to DS owners. Then, demos could be uploaded onto the net, for us to download and store onto the demo card for play.

Import games that might seem commercially dubious, could be tested like this and see official release (eg: Mystical Ninja DS), let alone other casual games. If casuals and mobile phone owners have no problem downloading ringtones or games, why the hell can't Nintendo exploit this similar angle and succeed.

Lets flip this thing on its ass and think about japan. While not as important as it once was, its still a big market. Their mobile market does great business with downloads. If this is the case, even when their mobiles are freaking years ahead of ours, why is this ass so hard for Nintendo to tap for DS? The DS Download stations might be plenty out there perhaps, compared to us. Online access will play more of a part in the future, and if Nintendo want to be where they are, especially with Wii gaming now getting online, demos are a positive step to get japanese gamers online and sampling different product (even our western games), both on Wii and DS, in a way they can only really experience at game shows or cons.

As I switch on my 360, I'm glad when a new demo is up to sample. And after playing the Jericho demo, I realise how much of my gaming purchases are made concrete this way. I just wish to god that Nintendo would do something with it, then perhaps less gamers would end up selling their Wii's in a haze of 'where are the games' disillusion. DS could benefit here too, as more sales could be generated for games that otherwise might not see them.

Lastly, I feel the only way to convince japanese gamers that online play can be fun is Nintendo themselves, as MS will struggle from trying but do their bit.

So, good or bad idea?


Let me know what you think, folks.   read


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