Friday, July 20, 2007

Picross DS

Developer: Jupiter
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: July 30, 2007
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E (for Everyone)
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Nonograms DS

0:01 Tutorials are for wimps. I remember having to figure all this out for myself back on Mario's Picross. Still, the dual screens allow for nice big tutorial text and play area.
0:02 I fill in my first five boxes and ... it freezes? What is this, and Xbox 360 game or something? What's going on?
0:03 Back again, no freeze this time. Weird.
0:05 There's no way to skip the tutorial, or even make it faster. I know this stuff! Let me at the game!
0:07 The tutorial finally comes to a conclusion. My little 5x5 doggy picture gets colorized and runs around. SO CUTE!
0:08 Whoops, the tutorial isn't over. There's yet another example puzzle. ARGH!
0:09 OK, now it's really over. They had to explain the hint roulette? Really? That's like a help section for the help section. What kind of idiots do they think are playing? (Don't answer that.)
0:11 I choose the Free mode for "intermediate to advanced players" because I'm cool like that. Another tutorial? LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!
0:12 OK, this tutorial explained the "Try it Out" mode ... like a scratch pad overlay to work out thorny problems. Neat idea.
0:13 Not a bad selection of puzzles. I count 60 in this mode alone.
0:17 Four minutes in and the drum-heavy rock music is already getting on my nerves. Let's try "House."
0:18 This is like a lounge singer version of house music. Less mind-numbingly irritating than the rock music though.
0:20 Interesting. If I use the d-pad, I can switch between X's and marks without having to move the stylus. Not sure if I like this or not yet.
0:21 My first puzzle is done in six minutes. It looks like a jumping purse monster. Oh, it's a hamburger? If you say so. The game keeps marking the wrong boxes. In the "Normal" mode this would mean time penalties. Bad news.
0:27 I'm beginning to realize that writing about the actual gameplay of a puzzle game like this would be extremely boring. But I'll try to keep you updated. Um... I just filled in a row of five marks then made a couple of Xs. Whoo!
0:28 OK if I can't comment on the gameplay, I can comment on the interface. I like how the numbers get lighter when you've completed them, but then when you come back it looks like you've made a mistake. Maybe they're too hard to see?
0:30 6:27 completion time for this level. That's the ugliest turkey I've ever seen. Let's try a real tough one... level 4, 15x15 puzzle. BRING IT ON!
0:32 ANOTHER tutorial. This one on zooming in and out for puzzles, which seems really annoying. Wait a minute... the original didn't need zooming for 15x15 puzzles... and that was on the tiny little original Game Boy screen. Apparently the touch screen is not precise enough for these big puzzles. I'll switch to the button control mode and squint, I guess.
0:39 Wow... I've made three huge mistakes on this puzzle and had to backtrack each time. I'd hate to see this in the less forgiving Normal mode.
0:43 Again I run into a logical contradiction. Nice to see they included some puzzles that are tough for regular players. I decide to quit out and try something else.
0:47 The Easy Creation mode is an interesting addition ... you draw a picture with the stylus and it makes a puzzle for you. Neat idea, but why can't I make one bigger than 10x10?
0:50 I get stuck plying a puzzle I created. If I didn't know what it was supposed to be I think it might well be impossible. Doesn't the game check for this?
0:52 Apparently it does. All the 20x20 puzzles I make in the regular Create mode get rejected. Luckily there's a "correct" button that makes the puzzle possible -- and much uglier.
0:56 This time they rate my puzzle at 2 stars of difficulty (out of 4), but I can't make hide nor hair of it when I try it. Bah, I know what it's supposed to be anyway. Can't wait to try some player-created puzzles downloaded off Wi-Fi.
0:59 Daily Play mode has a speed round that goes through five simple puzzles quickly. I finish in two minutes. A nice test of mental acuity, but why are the other Daily Play modes still locked?

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes
Why? I freaking love nonograms, and this version sports a nice interface and plenty of brain-benders. Too bad the stylus doesn't add much.

This review based on a retail copy provided by Nintendo.


Manic Morgan said...

I like your game reviews. I don't play many games, mostly because I find it hard to find good ones that hold my attention for very long, and reading reviews always helps me find new ones to play. Keep it up!

xxfouryounginxx said...

This is easily my favorite blog so far, i can't wait for the next review. :)

panicave said...

Hey man, I love your style of reviewing games, it's very refreshing.

Mavin said...

You're on blogs of note so decided to come by. This is good, I knew somewhere there had to be a blog of someone who plays and reviews games. I love games, I've been playing since I was a toddler.

Do you happen to still review games for magazines anymore?

I know a game you should play but I'm sure you've played it before way back when it came out for the PS1 called Castlevania Symphony Of The Night, to me this is by far the best Castlevania Konami has ever made. Or another old classic, Super Metroid for the Super NES. I love 2D side scrollers as well as every other genre of games.

Later. :)

Michiel said...

Make sure to finish it, there are some really nice bonus puzzles!

Matzei said...

Estoy viendo este juego que han publicado y me parece una reverenda cagada el que hayan dedicado un post a éste habiendo tantos otros mejores que comentar (^_^).
Si quieren pasen por mi blog, está escrito en español y tiene algunas boludeces que no le interesan a nadie:
Que suerte que todos ustedes hablan en inglés y no entienden un corno de lo que escribo, zoquetes.
Saludos :)