Author Topic: GBA/NDS Game reviews  (Read 11538 times)

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Offline MagNet

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GBA/NDS Game reviews
« on: March 22, 2008, 06:29:39 PM »
I've tested each game that has been submitted and tried to compile a list with descriptions, pros, cons and scores and some neutral notes of sorts. Hope you like it. However I have yet to finish Escape From Island so some of the details for that particular game may change.

Sliding puzzle Ecchi, Arcade, Sci-Fi 6.5/10
A sliding puzzle collection

If you always wanted a lot of sliding action this might be just the homebrew for you, but otherwise pass this one.

+Lots of pictures (150 spread over 3 theme packs)
+Uses both screens
+Can diplay grid and preview
+Neat transition effects

-No sliding animation
-Lacks touch control
-Same music for every pack

Alright motion support and graphics

ASCII War 7.5/10
ASCII roguelike

This entry clearly shows that graphics aren't the most important part of the gameplay, using ASCII graphics this game manages to offer simple to pickup gameplay and will have you trying again and again to defeat the damned @, the fake RAM controller.

+simple yet fun story that fits the setting
+good viewing implementation
+simple to understand (albhabetically sorted enemies)
+crazy RAM REFRESH concept

-complete rom restart after death along with FAT init
-stat screen isn't shown right after getting back to game from the help screen
-touchable commands would be neat

simple in graphics
would expect less than 400kB

ChessNET 7/10
A Chess game with „play-by-mail“ online mode

This one definitely has a lot of potential and already a lot is done. Online mode is intact and even though there's still a few things missing it's really close to being the definite Chess game on the system.

+Online mode
+Simple yet really polished look
+Board rotates for each player

-It's hard to see in the menu which button is selected
-Lacks castling and En Passant
-No local CPU opponent
-There are bugs to be found
-Game just kinda ends on the checkmate

Dice Soldiers 6.5/10

Quite simple in presentation this game allows you to play a game of Risk with as many as 5 players at once. Not really any real problems with the game except for maybe no control over the dice as it is fully random.

+CPU opponents
+Many players possible
+10 countries to choose from, each has its own tune
+Randomly generated map and level editor
+Well implemented stylus controls.

-No control over thrown dice
-Readme lies about the end turn button

Electro 6/10
Original puzzle game

Electro... don't really know what to expect from such name, eh? Well basically it's something between Tetris, Panel de Pon (Planet Puzzle League) and maybe Bejeweled. You're trying to connect the left and right side of the very wide gamefield with blocks of the same color. One block falls at a time in classic mode and in puzzle mode there are blocks already stationed and a new row is added to the bottom time to time. From my testing it's very complicated to connect the left side to the right even when you can change the color of the falling block once. With some fine tuning this could turn out to be a nice little puzzle game.

+Ok graphics
+Nice idea

-Motion controls are oversensitive
-No pause (except for closing the lid)
-Touch and drag controls are annoying
-Blocks can spawn even above full columns
-No highscores
-In both modes it's very hard to connect left to right
-Music doesn't fit
-9 megabytes? How did that happen? Mindblowing collection of classical music.

Escape from Island 7.5/10
Point and click adventure game

Your plane crashed on a deserted island and you're trying to get home. Search for items that may aid you in your quest and then find the right use for them. You can even connect two items to form new items (hook and wire for instance). Definitely one of the better ones in this competition, has a nice graphical style to it and simple gameplay that will test out your adventurous wits.

+Nice graphical style
+Polished look and gameplay

-Some minor description bugs (tank filled with water says „Tank, it's empty)
-No way to save

Ok motion support
Also I'm stuck

Lone Wolf: Flight from the Dark 8/10
Gamebook on your DS

Hyena, the audiogame player from Collecting Smiles wasn't bad but this one is the obvious winner. This game uses the portrait view (Brain Training) and displays the text on the right side while on the left side is your action chart. Dice is simulated by a looping number which you can stop with the tap of the stylus. Save and load is of course supported. In a nutshell it's like playing a gamebook without having to do all that annoying pageshifting and writing into the action chart yourself.

+Great looks
+Fitting music
+Ability to influence the dice
+Lovely, lovely portrait mode
+If you like gamebooks this one's for you

-No lefthand support
-The font isn't AA'd

Not possible to play from pocket like in Hyena since the text isn't read

Game Melody Oratorio 9/10
Melody learning game

From developer Multiple: Option comes this very interesting package. It sports a virtual piano that you can either freeplay or learn various game themes, including: Mario, Sonic, Bubble Bobble, Tetris and Zelda. Why not learn a melody or two and then amaze your friends on a real piano :D

+Original idea
+Polished look
+Nice sound

-Could use a bit more melodies

Hard for people like me :D

jaPongG 6/10

Here's another pong. This time it allows for 3 players at once in a quite unusual way when one player defends the top while others defend the sides. It's very simple in aesthetics and doesn't add much to the well known pong mechanics. Also using Start and Select for controlling the 3rd player wasn't the wisest decision.

+Allows for a 3 player game
+CPU opponents

-Player 3 mapped to Start and Select, how about the touchscreen?
-In 3 player mode pause is achieved by pressing L and R simultaneously
-Awkward mode selection

Very classic pong like

Legion 8.5/10
Isometric shoot-em-up

If there would ever be a Tech Award in the NEOFlash competition Legion would be the one getting it. What you'll see when you launch up the game is a full 3D world with big environments and full story. Yes some of the textures might be a bit muddy, stretched, it's really close tho. Also you'll be meeting CHAP, the never mouth shutting machine that will both help and annoy you in your quest.

+Great tech
+Good apocalyptic atmosphere
+Fast loads
+Diverse environments
+CHAP has some interesting things to say

-Camera desperately needs zooming out
-Controls take a little time to get used to
-Can't shoot while strafing
-There aren't many ways to avoid the enemy fire
-Angled floor is sometimes hard to see
-Sometimes it's hard to tell where the objective arrow is pointing
-CHAP isn't dubbed

NoobMiniGames 6/10
Spot the difference

Once you get over the slow loadtimes in the menu you'll get to play a pretty much flawless spot the difference game. Question is though if that's what you really want to play.

+Good use of the two screens
+Selecting the differences works well
+Homer Simpson sounds

-Menu navigation and overall loading is very slow
-No names for highscores
-There's just one game even though the name indicates otherwise

Pong Classic 7.5/10

Not really innovative in any way but it manages to keep the solid pong gameplay mechanics intact. If you're bored, have nothing else to do and have a friend next to you this along with Explosive Gas, Tunneler DS and some others is the perfect way to kill some time.

+Menus can be navigated with both stylus and buttons
+Many CPU difficulties to choose from, including adventure mode (increasing difficulty)
+2 players on one DS
+Brilliant music :)

-Stylus and motion controls just mimick pad controls

Might be too fast for some

Puzl 7/10
Jigsaw puzzle

Do you like jigsaw puzzles? Yes? Get this one. Already a nice selection of pictures after download and you're free to add as much as you want. On top of that you can choose between 12, 28 and 120 piece automatically generated puzzles from those images. Neat. Suffers from some minor loadtime and gameplay issues though.

+A huge 3D puzzle pieces in the menu
+12, 28 and 120 pieces modes
+Displays the completed picture on the top screen
+Allows for your own pictures to be added
+Neat music
+Dancing pesoguin ingame that reacts to your gameplay

-Pieces snap only to their proper positions thus allowing for some little cheating
-Pieces are only on one screen and thus make it quite cluttered
-Thumbnails in menu take a long time to load
-No highscores

Scogger 7.5/10
Frog puzzle

I know I've seen a game like this in RL but I can't remember the name at all. Scogger is all about sinking all tree trunks by jumping on them with your frog. Problem is the frog can't move backwards and that's where it becomes puzzling. Even though it may not sound too appealing it's quite fun solving the puzzle actually.

+Nice graphics and gameplay mechanics
+Upbeat music

-No highscores

10 levels of increasing difficulty
Motion support is ok but it's not the way you'll want to play the game

Star Wars Battles 5/10
Battleship in Star Wars universe

Okay I don't know what to say, it's Battleship with added minigame that can decide if an attack is successful or not. It's got some nice pew pew lasers and sound effects but that doesn't make up for a good game. AI opponent sometimes gets stuck and there is no way to play with a human opponent.

+Star Wars music, oh yes
+Improves the battleship formula by adding a fight minigame

-Pieces don't snap automatically
-There are some ugly music stops to be heard
-No 2 player mode
-Broken AI
-Not particularly fun

Piztog Tower Defense 8/10
Tower Defense

Even though this genre is widely accepted by the public there aren't many Tower Defense games on the platform. All I know of is Warcraft Tower Defense. But now Piztog Tower Defense is here and it seems to be solid enough to hold its ground against its main rival, the already stated WTD. There aren't any custom levels yet but the gameplay you can experience in Piztog is indeed gold. No silly screen switching anymore!

+Controls very well
+Lots of upgrade types
+Game pauses when building
+Adequate difficulty
+Polished look
+Cool music

-Only 1 map
-No sounds except for building

Could use motion controls for camera movement maybe.

Snake Dual screen 7/10

How often do you see a snake eat Yoshi's eggs? Well now you've got the chance! In Snake Dual Screen you take the role of a green snake that is determined to eat every green spotted egg there is to be eaten. Are you tough enough to navigate yourself through more than 20 levels of nicely crafted visuals. And of course it's got some chickens to make stuff harder.

+Nice change of gameplay mechanics from the traditional snake
+Pretty nice graphics except for bushes

-Motion controls as well as stylus controls are useless

MarbleMan: The Arena 7.5/10
Motion game

The gameplay mechanics in MarbleMan are simple, get your ball to the red zone and thus gain some extra time. You can also break blocks that spawn from time to time for extra score. There definitely isn't much to explore in this game but there are always highscores to beat. Some may love it while others hate it, it really depends on the taste of the player but it's definitely worth a tryout.

+Interesting concept
+Fast paced
+Very responsive motion controls
+Nice music, sfx and graphics

-No names for highscores
-The stylus controls are always based around the center
-The game doesn't get any harder after a certain time
-No bonus items (yet)
-Can get repetitive

13. AREA TEN 7/10
Ball sorting

This game's about getting blue colored balls on the bottom screen and red balls on the upper screen. To do this you are given a narrow gap you can move around and allow some of the balls to pass while making others stay where they are. The farther you get in the game the more balls you have to sort. Simple concept and can be fun. Try it out.

+Interesting concept
+Crazy music
+Graphics are ok even though they don't always fit together

-Motion controls just mimick the pad ones

I'd rather have this one reversed, controlling the balls and trying to filter them through the gap. Something like that would play well with motion controls.

Dual Shooter 6/10

There's sure potential in this game but at this moment it lacks a lot of polish. First of all please turn your volume down if you don't want your ears torn off by the high-pitched laser sounds. Since when did WW2 planes have lasers mounted on them actually? Anyway what's ruining the game are the attack patterns, enemies are shooting so many speedy bullets that often you'll find yourself dodging instead of shooting the enemy planes down. Also there are no bossfights and not a single hint of any kind of story. If the developer continues working on this it can definitely grow into something much better, but at this moment I suggest you to wait.

+Good stylus controls
+Many bullets onscreen

-Very basic and sometimes impossible to avoid attack patterns
-No boss fights
-3 stages only
-Backgrounds are undetailed and have visible seams
-Stylus and pad modes should be separated
-Enemies shamelessly pop up on screen
-Some sprites get corrupted on second play

Super Mario: The Last GBA Quest 6/10


We've played many Marios before and will play many more in the future. What makes this one special? It's got some new enemies and powerups but it's all hampered by shoddy controls. It's prolly Mario's last GBA outing so you better give it a shot.

+Copying mario assets went well
+Some new ideas
+Long levels

-Shoddy controls, no acceleration mechanics as in other mario games

Super Wings 9/10
Retro Shmup

Flying your Super Wings has never been so much fun. Shoot tanks, shoot helicopters, shoot planes, shoot space heads, shoot everything that gets in your way and in between shooting read some hilarious engrish. Great game to look at, great game to hear and great game to play. Loving it.

+Super retro feel along with proper engrish
+Polished gameplay mechanics
+Impressive music and nice retro graphics
+Great attack patterns

-Very short, only 3 levels

The last level significantly ramps up the difficulty

Chocobo World Deluxe 3/10
RPG Thing

Although you play as a Chocobo and level up time to time it's nowhere near Square's commercial offerings. The game isn't even remotely fun as the only way to play it is using fastmotion on emulators. Walking around takes ages and combat is nothing but button mashing to attack faster. But I guess we need to have a really bad game for each really good one so yeah. Try it if you have a thing for chocobos.

+It's got chocobo in it

-Weird movement system which requires constant checking of the map
-There's pretty much no difficulty
-Senseless buttonmashing combat

So what do you think? Do you agree with my opinions or not? Post away!
Also I can do the same for the APP division if you like these.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 04:52:44 AM by MagNet »

Offline Dr.neo

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 08:37:48 PM »
hehe,it's  a GOOD  review example!  ::sm-29.gif::
In my world,have 0 and 1 only ......Matrix World......

Offline MagNet

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008, 09:35:09 PM »
Thanks :).
I'm working on applications now but it's much more complicated, can't even get some of them to work and my root is getting very, very unorganised.

Offline Dr.neo

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 12:39:07 PM »
hehe,i can image it  ~sm-39.gif~
In my world,have 0 and 1 only ......Matrix World......

Offline minishlink

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 03:51:22 AM »
Yeah, i'm in your top 10 :D (don't believe it   ~sm-43.gif~ )

Can you say me in my game topic exactly what you think about "mimick" (i don't undertstand :-\ )

Thanks a lot  ;)

Offline MagNet

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 06:21:11 AM »
That's quite simple actually. When I say that Motion or Stylus controls mimick pad it means that they have no advantage over it. In practical use it means that even though motion and stylus can both be more precise and work in analog manner they're just virtual buttons. In your game for instance the motion controls work just like the buttons, if you tilt it a bit down the pad starts sliding the same speed as always down and vice versa. More fitting would be to have the pad go to position set by how much you've tilted your DS. Like Paddle.Y = SCREENCENTER+Motion.Y. And when it comes to stylus it would be much nicer if the paddle went to exactly where the stylus is, if (Stylus.Held) Paddle.Y = Stylus.Y-HALFOFPADDLEHEIGHT.

Offline minishlink

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 02:32:33 PM »
Okay thanks for explications (I'm french, 14y)
I will edit it  ~sm-37.gif~

Offline t4ils

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 02:02:59 AM »
Dice Soldiers 5/10

Quite simple in presentation this game allows you to play a game of Risk with as many as 5 players at once. Only real problem is that when there are human players in the game they can't end their turn.

+CPU opponents
+many players possible
+10 countries to choose from, each has its own tune
+randomly generated map and level editor

-No control over thrown dice
-!!! Couldn't manage to allow for the next turn

thx for the review

to end turn, just touch the red part of the screen (top part)
it's written "touch here to end turn" at the beginning of your turn :)

Offline MagNet

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2008, 04:39:55 AM »
Oh that does work indeed, next time please don't lie in the readme :D. I'll revise the review.

Offline t4ils

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Re: GBA/NDS Game reviews
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2008, 04:45:25 AM »
omg, didn't pay attention that it was an old readme ...

my very bad, it used to be controlled with buttons sometimes  ::sm-01::