I don't know where to begin.
You have the KORG MS-10. It's from the late 70's and is one of the primary insturments in the electronic music scene only to be superceded by the MS-20, which is only slightly more complex by virtue of a few extra toggles and switches. Fast forward to today and we have the KORG DS-10. Developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS, the KORG DS-10 is a decent synthesizer suite for anyone who has any desire whatsoever to make their own kind of music.
To start, there's much to be said about the fact that it's on the DS. Why the DS? The original MS-10 kinda had it's on "dual interface" back in the day.
What we've got is a bunch of patchboards and some knobs attached to a keyboard. KORG and AQi, the developers, have taken this a step forward by combining the mixer/patchboard portion of the MS-10 with a 4 pad synth drum kit, a KAOS pad, along with a 6 channel mixer and a small suite of simple yet effective FX.
A very blah interface, but it works.
What you get is the ability to create something wholly different than the experience you get with Electroplankton, and more like Daigasso Band Brothers x10.
You can compose music. And a step above Daigasso, you can create some REALLY deep music. Playback is done on the fly as with a standard synth looper.
I will admit I am not in the least bit technically proficient in using these devices, but so far I can see that for all the simplicity and transparency in the device's interface, it's going to require a bit of work to make sense of it all to create something.
This is clearly something that's more of a title that you're going to get more out of it the more you play with it. A nice feature is that the game seems to support WiFi sync with other DS units which will allow you to sync up playback to create really deep compositions.
I'll be playing with this a LOT leading up to PAX, and hopefully if I get some decent runs at translating (or translating the controls of a MS-10 into it's equivalent on the DS) anything the manual has written in it, I'll have something worth showing to everyone.
I have a feeling that a lot of indie musicians will eat this up.
As of right now, I handily give this a 9/10 for the average beat freak like me. If I had to knock it for anything, it's got a scary interface that will intimidate people who've never been exposed to a mixing board or faders before. Thankfully the entire game is in English, so it's not really all that bad, but still, it's imposing for those who've never been inclined to touch an instrument before, real or otherwise.
Oh, and if you're the musically inspired type, this will make you want to get a second copy and another DS lite, so be forewarned.