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You missed out on the $15 Children of Mana by a little more than 2 hours - it was part of the Amazon.com video game deal of the day.

I meant that i ordered CoM, but in addition i ordered those other 2 games. At least my email says this

"1 "Children of Mana"

Video Game; $14.99"|

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Really? *spoiler* I've read that it's four you only have to save and I did get three done and it still failed the mission for me.

*spoiler*But I only saved 3 and still passed on my first try*/endspoiler*

So I'm on the final boss...I was at the very last blow I think and I died. That blows.

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Drack's rambling review of Diddy Kong Racing DS

Executive Summary: Diddy Kong Racing DS fails to impress.

I replayed the N64 version all the way through about 2 weeks ago so it's fresh in my mind - That was a hell of a lot of fun by the way. What impressed the most me about DKR (N64) - And Rare in general during that period - was attention to detail. This is completely lacking in DKR DS.

While DKR DS has somewhat preserved the cool trick used in DKR (and more extensively in Banjo-Kazooie) where the island's music would change based on location, but they overlooked the Dragon Forest entrance, and proximity to Taj changes to the island music. Speaking of Taj ... His voice sounds like a gay, emo teenager in DKR DS. In DKR N64 brake + slide in the car made you do an animation where two wheels would lift off the ground due to the shift in center of gravity - that doesnt happen in DKR DS. In DKR N64, if you kept holding brake after you had stopped, you would reverse. DKR DS requires you to let go and re-press the brake button to reverse after you stop. TT's voice is the only one that's remotely close to the original's voice acting. Honestly, why not just import the wavs from the N64 game? DKR N64 changed the color of boost flames based on what rank boost you had, and whether you let off the accelerator for a better boost ... DKR DS does not change the color of the flame. The music is worse than the N64 version - They kept the same note patterns, but they changed the samples, mostly replacing them with similar, though definitely worse, samples. The SFX are worse as well - the "whoosh" sound of the boost is gone, replaced by a rush of static. Also gone is the "bullet" sound your missiles made

Even the "win race, get a gold balloon" animation is half assed. No 3D camera panning, no "This is for you!" no very well rendered golden balloon in your face ... Just a static camera watching Taj silently and linearly ride up to you, hover doing nothing a few seconds, and send a shrinking balloon UNDER YOUR CAR! WTF

One thing that was done well was the conversion from 640x480 to 256x192 - the DS screen doesn't feel cramped at all and the graphics are fine.

The missiles now upgrade single -> 5x -> Homing, instead of Single -> Homing -> 10x ... they also cause a much greater time penalty when you're hit, as do oil spills. Also, if you shoot a homing missile in first, you hit YOURSELF! The genie races are left unchanged - Still waaay to easy and if you veer so much as an inch off the path it immediately cancels the race. I'm not going to fault DKR DS specifically on that point though, N64 DKR was exactly the same way. A level 3 boost will no longer do the cool animation where it moves the camera forward temporarily.

Even the characters are now unbalanced. Timber is the obvious all around choice - Diddy, Dixie, Tiny, and Bumper all have the same stats - Timber's, but with one less top speed. Why remove the diversity, and create unwanted characters? Also, why did they remove the skull on Krunch's jacket?

If this game were a straight port, reusing as much code / content (and by content I mean samples, voice wavs, etc) as possible - It would be awesome. The only things DKR DS did wrong were the changes from the original - and while I am aware of the nostalgia bias, I still say this and can back it up

This is not a port, it's a half-assed remake.

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@Drack:

I appreciate the review. This is considering the fact that there are some titles on the DS that I would like to get but are also reincarnations of other titles. The details do matter from one game to another. I think that it's hard to ask for the exact same game but better most of the time. But it's another thing to make a poorly made hash of a remake than making a game with forgiveable mistakes.

I know it sounds stupid, but with the Yoshi's Island game on DS. I don't think I want to get it because someone mentioned they took out that water noise. =( I really liked Yoshi's Island for the SNES. It's hard not to be disappointed when you buy a sequel when you loved the previous game so much. Sad but true.

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Drack's rambling review of Diddy Kong Racing DS

Executive Summary: Diddy Kong Racing DS fails to impress.

I replayed the N64 version all the way through about 2 weeks ago so it's fresh in my mind - That was a hell of a lot of fun by the way. What impressed the most me about DKR (N64) - And Rare in general during that period - was attention to detail. This is completely lacking in DKR DS.

While DKR DS has somewhat preserved the cool trick used in DKR (and more extensively in Banjo-Kazooie) where the island's music would change based on location, but they overlooked the Dragon Forest entrance, and proximity to Taj changes to the island music. Speaking of Taj ... His voice sounds like a gay, emo teenager in DKR DS. In DKR N64 brake + slide in the car made you do an animation where two wheels would lift off the ground due to the shift in center of gravity - that doesnt happen in DKR DS. In DKR N64, if you kept holding brake after you had stopped, you would reverse. DKR DS requires you to let go and re-press the brake button to reverse after you stop. TT's voice is the only one that's remotely close to the original's voice acting. Honestly, why not just import the wavs from the N64 game? DKR N64 changed the color of boost flames based on what rank boost you had, and whether you let off the accelerator for a better boost ... DKR DS does not change the color of the flame. The music is worse than the N64 version - They kept the same note patterns, but they changed the samples, mostly replacing them with similar, though definitely worse, samples. The SFX are worse as well - the "whoosh" sound of the boost is gone, replaced by a rush of static. Also gone is the "bullet" sound your missiles made

Even the "win race, get a gold balloon" animation is half assed. No 3D camera panning, no "This is for you!" no very well rendered golden balloon in your face ... Just a static camera watching Taj silently and linearly ride up to you, hover doing nothing a few seconds, and send a shrinking balloon UNDER YOUR CAR! WTF

One thing that was done well was the conversion from 640x480 to 256x192 - the DS screen doesn't feel cramped at all and the graphics are fine.

The missiles now upgrade single -> 5x -> Homing, instead of Single -> Homing -> 10x ... they also cause a much greater time penalty when you're hit, as do oil spills. Also, if you shoot a homing missile in first, you hit YOURSELF! The genie races are left unchanged - Still waaay to easy and if you veer so much as an inch off the path it immediately cancels the race. I'm not going to fault DKR DS specifically on that point though, N64 DKR was exactly the same way. A level 3 boost will no longer do the cool animation where it moves the camera forward temporarily.

Even the characters are now unbalanced. Timber is the obvious all around choice - Diddy, Dixie, Tiny, and Bumper all have the same stats - Timber's, but with one less top speed. Why remove the diversity, and create unwanted characters? Also, why did they remove the skull on Krunch's jacket?

If this game were a straight port, reusing as much code / content (and by content I mean samples, voice wavs, etc) as possible - It would be awesome. The only things DKR DS did wrong were the changes from the original - and while I am aware of the nostalgia bias, I still say this and can back it up

This is not a port, it's a half-assed remake.

I agree. Still, Diddy Kong Racing was all I played with my friends the entire summer my fifth grade year. That and Starfox 64. So, even though they messed it up, it still brings back the memories.

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I wouldn't say so. There are plenty of games that people play for a while, but put down for one reason or another. I remember playing a lot of Sim City (original) and a fair amount of Sim City 2000--but haven't touched the series for roughly a decade. With any long-lived series their will be some people who enjoyed the older versions, missed out for a while, and are willing to consider newer versions.

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Yes, I nitpicked the hell out of the game. In its current state, especially if you turn the sound off, DKR DS is ... decent. Not appropriate homage to the original, but decent.

I guess we can't hold Rare to the standards we did in ye olden days.

Anyone want to netplay? Or even better, netplay the original using an emulator?

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Uhh... SimCity DS came out in Japan like last week I think.

You can find impressions if you look.

lol, whoops. Well, damn that IGN then (the first sentence in their article was "Today, Electronic Arts announced that its popular SimCity franchise would be returning, and this time it is getting the dual-screen treatment.").

I wouldn't say so. There are plenty of games that people play for a while, but put down for one reason or another. I remember playing a lot of Sim City (original) and a fair amount of Sim City 2000--but haven't touched the series for roughly a decade. With any long-lived series their will be some people who enjoyed the older versions, missed out for a while, and are willing to consider newer versions.

I wouldn't doubt that it will still definitely appeal to people out there and whatnot, but for me personally I got a little sick of the franchise during SimCity 2000's reign. For that reason, the DS version doesn't immediately appeal to me. Like I said, gonna take a wait-and-see approach (just gonna wait for the metacritic score to total, since I'm not interested in this enough to do further research).

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Just got it so I'll be playing it this afternoon!

My R4 card is jam packed with tons of awesome DS games. Love it! Fans of the Point Blank series should check out Point Blank DS. It's pretty much exactly like the PS1/arcade games except you use the stylus obviously. Works really well though! It's a great pick up and play game.

Anyway, I was wondering if there is any homebrew software for the DS you guys would recommend. Not really interested in games since I have more than enough of those (although if there is a homebrew game that really stands out, please do mention it!), but are there any apps or utilities that make good use of the touch screen? Maybe like a cool drawing program or something I'm not thinking of? Thanks.

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Just got it so I'll be playing it this afternoon!

My R4 card is jam packed with tons of awesome DS games. Love it! Fans of the Point Blank series should check out Point Blank DS. It's pretty much exactly like the PS1/arcade games except you use the stylus obviously. Works really well though! It's a great pick up and play game.

Anyway, I was wondering if there is any homebrew software for the DS you guys would recommend. Not really interested in games since I have more than enough of those (although if there is a homebrew game that really stands out, please do mention it!), but are there any apps or utilities that make good use of the touch screen? Maybe like a cool drawing program or something I'm not thinking of? Thanks.

ask drack he knows

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Hey, more cheap DS games! Todays Amazon DOTD is Magical Starsign for $15: http://www.cheapassgamer.com/go.php?http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GHG9VG/ref=nosim/cheapassgam08-20

Also if you're looking to buy some games on amazon.com, there's a coupon for 30% off your video game purchase (works on this too, I just bought this, Trauma Center DS, and Loco Roco for $43...by abusing another 30% off promo) - coupon code is: JKF4VS99

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Hey, more cheap DS games! Todays Amazon DOTD is Magical Starsign for $15: http://www.cheapassgamer.com/go.php?http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GHG9VG/ref=nosim/cheapassgam08-20

Also if you're looking to buy some games on amazon.com, there's a coupon for 30% off your video game purchase (works on this too, I just bought this, Trauma Center DS, and Loco Roco for $43...by abusing another 30% off promo) - coupon code is: JKF4VS99

How do you use coupons? Do you type them in at the checkout or something? Can't find out where, but this would be the PERFECT opportunity to get Phoenix Wright. Thanks man!

-Nick

EDIT: Dayam, Amazon.com doesn't ship video games to Canada. Seems kind of absurd, but whatever. And unfortunately, the coupon code doesn't work with Amazon.ca which would ship to me. :(

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