Guitar Hero: On Tour (DS)

It’s Guitar Hero! On the DS! With added hand cramp!

That’s right – hand cramp. It’s pretty much all the DS version brings to the game, actually. No matter which way I hold it, I get cramp on my little finger and wrist. Not that my little finger is of much use, as I can barely reach the blue button with it, meaning I have no hope at all with the harder difficulty levels.

But I persevered with it, and it is really just more of the same. Actually, the way you strum (with a pick-stylus) is probably better than in the “grown up” console versions, but that doesn’t really make up for the hand cramps… Oh, and the track list isn’t all that great.

Anyway, I made it to half-way through the third “level”, which, if the menu screens are anything to go by, is half-way through the game.

Still Alive DS (DS)

Still Alive DS is a freeware game you can run on your DS if you have one of those evil, obviously only used for piracy, flash cards. Like an R4 or something. It’s a 2D sort-of remake of Portal, featuring the same sorts of puzzles, turrets, cubes and plasma balls, as well as the two-portal gameplay.

It’s a bit fiddly to control, and it doesn’t look all that amazing, but it’s a solid, clever puzzler. Unfortunately, I’ve now come to an impass, being totally unable to complete the level I’ve reached (29, I think). There’s a narrow shaft I have to fall down, but there’s a plasma ball bouncing back and forth in it, and I can’t time the drop to miss it. Bah.

If you want to play it yourself, you can find it here.

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword Demo (DS)

That’s right – a DS demo! The new Nintendo Channel on the Wii allows the download of DS game demos, which is pretty ace. Well, except I had all the games already. Apart from this one!

And it’s pretty good. It seems very similar in style to the Ninja Gaiden II demo on the 360 I played last week, only you do everything with the stylus. And it works better than you’d expect too. I was quite impressed, although I don’t think I’ll be buying it.

Nodame Cantabile (DS): COMPLETED!

Erm, yeah. Already.

After just another half and hour’s play, I reached the final performance, in which it was revealed that virtually all the other characters in the game are, in fact, the orchestra. I imagine you’d know that if you’d seen the anime the game is based on, or can read Japanese. And then there were the credits.

After that, racoonhamsterbear thing played a Special Stage (the game’s theme tune), and it was all over. And! Shock! Racoonhamsterbear was just someone in a suit! OMG!

So, a game that’s excellent fun, but very short. However, Ouendan is also very short (albeit a lot harder than this), so I can’t really hold that against it. And it was only four quid. It’s gone up in price a bit now, but Play Asia still have it pretty cheap if you want it.

Nodame Cantabile (DS)

So I’ve had this for ages, but because we were redoing our lounge and ditching old bookcases and stuff, it got packed in a box soon after arriving. It was unpacked a few weeks ago, and I remembered it today. So I thought I’d give it a quick go.

Two hours later, I had to put it down. Yes, it is very good.

If you haven’t heard of it (and that’s pretty likely – I hadn’t and only bought it because it was really cheap), then I will try to explain. You’re a bear. Or possibly a giant hamster. Or a racoon. Something like that. Or maybe even a man in a costume. I DON’T KNOW. And you seem to play some sort of mouth-keyboard-organ-recorder instrument, you know, like off of the 80s.

Anyway. You’re in a school, or college. Or university. And you talk to people, who talk back. I don’t know what you or they say, as it’s all in Japanese. There’s quite a bit of talking too, but you can skip it all. After some talking, you’re asked Hai or Iie. That’s yes and no, if you didn’t know. Replying Hai takes you onto a game. And the game is… Ouendan! Sort of. Only a bit different (notes come in from the right and pair with note symbols – you tap them as they pair up). And all the music is classical music. But it’s ace! Honest!

And it goes on. Different characters, different (or possibly the same – who can tell?) chats, different ye olde bangin’ choons.

Then… it went a bit odd. I had a tune I had to drum along to, like that Namco drumming game. In fact, with the Namco drumming game drum in it. And then I had to cook a meal by chucking ingredients into a frying pan (like Cooking Mama). And then, most bizarre of all, it turning into a side scrolling jumping game on the moon where you control a boy who has to jump and duck bears, rabbits, fireballs and spikes, whilst The Can Can plays in the background. WTF? Then I had to sort books and laundry and rubbish for some girl?

But it is excellent. I never knew so much fun could be had from tapping along to The William Tell Overture.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

With virtually no rupees left at all, I needed some quite badly. I went back to the Deku Tree and filled all my bottles with Life Dew, hoping to make BIG CAHS MONEY$, only to find they’re worth just 80 rupees each. Pff.

I then made a few new foods, selling one to the creepy fat trader on the pirate ship for quite a lot of money, and the others to people in the town. This netted me quite a lot, so I braved the Gooey Marsh once more, although I couldn’t find anywhere to hire a bodyguard from so had to do lots of running away.

Found the three butterflies for the exploration party, netting me 15,000 rupees, meaning I could buy back the map of the previous area, buy the Queen Juice recipe for reviving the journalist (again), and buy the map of the marsh. And still have enough left over for the bus fare home!

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

I seems I only needed a couple of thousand more rupees in the pool for it to grow another level – to so high I’ve opened up a whole new continent. There, I found an island covered in marsh gas, and spent a fair while blowing up the vents spewing the gas into the air.

With that done, I’d pleased a queen bee (as the flowers could grow again). I also found a hole to fall in, to find it was actually a giant bottle. With a man in it, who claimed to be the inventor of empty bottles. I’m sure he is.

He also found being in the cramped space with Tingle a little uncomfortable in more ways than just it being a tight squeeze. Amazing.

After all that, and cooking some stuff with my newly available ingredients from the marsh and Deku Forest, I went back and did some stuff for Junglo and finished off a couple of maps. With all my made money, I managed to “grow” the tower some more, and open up yet another island – with lots of really hard baddies that I don’t want to take on yet as my bodyguard died and I didn’t have enough money to revive her. Yeah, her – I ditched Titch and hired Valerie or whatever her name is. She has a tache like Hitler.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

Just a bit more wandering on this today, and went off to find the kid who’d gone walkabout.

Made some more money selling things I’d cooked as well, but despite chucking all my rupees (almost 15,000 in total) into the pool the tower didn’t actually grow any further.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

Had a wander around the Deku Forest for a while, digging lots of holes, and finding Junglo – an aging Tarzan type who, although advertising himself as strong and brave, needed rescuing from some dung beetles.

No, really.

I then went back to some earlier areas to stock up on some more ingredients, made some more things and sold them.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

After eventually figuring out how much Duke the Gay Workman wanted for his spade, I could start digging stuff up. Stuff like sweet potatoes and rupees! Well, OK – only sweet potatoes and rupees. Although I did dig some holes I could fall through and found some treasure chests with more rupees in.

Then the tower shrunk! I didn’t know it did that! It seems if you don’t keep chucking rupees in, it shrinks again, undoing all your rupee-earning. Rubbish!

Thankfully, I made a pile of rupees from the jeweller for saving his daughter from the Oinkers in Lon Lon Meadow, so I could grow it again, and then grow it some more. Phew! I’ve unlocked Deku Forest now too.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

First off today I went and cooked a load of stuff using up most of my ingredients. Then I wandered round the map for a while picking more ingredients, and collecting some Snatched Pearls and other stuff of value.

Selling these things, and more food, I scraped together enough rupees to make the tower grow another stage. This gave me access to Lon Lon Meadow, which is full of evil cows and mushroom things. Wandered round there for a bit, but became a bit low on rupees so retreated to my house.

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS)

The pirates are amazing. They’re all dead, and as a result are skeletons. And they act all hard and they’re not scared of anything, until a dog appears, anyway…

So found may way into their hideout, did some mundane tasks for them (including killing cockroaches), and then beat up their boss. I found a load of “swag” too, although I’m not really sure what to do with it yet – it just sort of sits in my loft.

Oh, and the dog has been “Tingle-ified” with a green hat and tights. And now lives in my house. It’s very odd.