I've been playing a lot of DSi lately and the only games available at this point are WarioWare-based or Art Style. Not really a problem though thanks to this game: "Birds and Bees" (literally).
More on that later since this comic took waaaaaay longer to draw than I thought it would.
Here are some of my impressions of the DSi since I was fortunate to receive one for Christmas. IGN has heard rumours that it will come on April 4th in North America, which is far earlier than predicted but I donít mind if that happens even though DSi games are region locked. The odd twist is that DS games are still region free on the DSi. However, this seems like standard practice to be consistent with region locking as I tried Japanese PS2 games on the region free North American PS3, only to find they donít work.
The DSi is a bit thinner and a bit wider in comparison to the DS Lite. Itís hard to imagine now that these are based off of the original brick DS, the DS Phat. Using the DSi for the first time is strange since the exterior is no longer plastic-glass like but more along the lines of a chalkboard in texture. After becoming used to it, this new feel is fine and appears to be more solid than the DS Lite.
The DSiís biggest surprise was the software interface. More comparable to Wii channels, the DSi features one long horizontal bar of blocks (as seen in the second panel of the comic above) that get filled in with downloaded games and other software. Pressing up on the D-pad pops a block out of place and lets you move it to a new spot. Besides Pictochat and the DS download utility, there is now picture taking and editing, audio recording and the DSi shopping channel.
Pictures can be saved onto a SD card, which can actually be transferred to a computer in a non-draconian manner. I havenít been able to figure out if audio files can be transferred to PC as well but it doesnít look like it at this point. The DSi comes with 1000 points preloaded for the shopping channel. I was lucky to have some help getting the shopping channel to work because I thought I kept getting an error message when it was telling me to update in Japanese. Of course, that message didnít update the software automatically; that was done in the second last option out of fourteen or so in the settings.
Right now, there are four different levels of pricing in the DSi shop: 800, 500, 200 and free. When I saw this image in the DSi shop, I knew right away that it was the greatest game ever:
Yes, Nintendo brought the WarioWare paper airplane game to the DSi and it was only 200 points. The game features three modes: a ďgo foreverĒ mode, time challenges, and a two-player mode on one system. The ďgo foreverĒ mode becomes challenging quickly. I found the hardest part was to anticipate when WarioWare characters would pop-up in a window and shout with the lap time. Along with a change of wall colour, that usually results in my plane crashing into a wall. The downside to this game is they did not keep the superb racing music and sound effects from the Gamecube WarioWare. Those certainly made the feel of the game, while this one is more airy and peaceful.
Back to this guy that I mentioned in the previous post:
New to me since I missed out on the original WarioWare, this is another 200 point DSi Ware game called the Birds and Bees. While it sounds like there is an obvious and un-Nintendo like connotation, this is not the case; there is are simply two playable birds and then there are bees.
In the game, you play as the bird and can move side to side to avoid fruit floating down from the sky. However, eating the fruit (or in another mode, spitting to destroy it) gets you points. Pressing A will stick out the birdís tongue at a 45 degree angle and the longer you press A, the further the birdís tongue will stick out. The higher on screen the fruit is collected, the more points are awarded. The points for eating fruit are 10, 50, 100, 300 and 1000 so collecting fruit up high is key.
However, if the fruit is not collected, it will hit the ground and destroy the block you used to walk across. The bird is then limited to a smaller area of movement and only eating white or flashing fruit will cause a bee to come down with a block to replace it. Later on in the game, there starts to be a ton of fruit on screen and the pace picks up. Collecting flashing fruit almost becomes necessary to eliminate all the fruit on screen (while collecting 50 points for each one) and to replace several blocks at once. This gameís worth ten times itís cost but hopefully Nintendo wonít figure that out when itís released in North America.
For more pictures of some of the DSi games, you can check the page on Nintendoís Japanese site at http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/dsiware/index.html. The new WarioWare DSi is also crazy as usual and only makes use of the camera.
And now for some non-DSi topics:
The Mega Man E-tank drink Ė Surprisingly not sugary. This didnít taste horrible but at the same time, it didnít really taste like anything. Maybe itís the equivalent of vitamin water. Despite all this, I must have more due to its heartstring branding..
Tiny Jeff sent a video of a ton of Famicom games my way. How many do you know? Some were never released in North America, so if you know them all, wow.
And lastly, hereís a video from a Japanese variety show that Mario fans might like (or fans of awesome), courtesy of Andre finding it on Kotaku: