Monday, July 23, 2007

Point Blank DS

Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: June 14, 2006
System: DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Who needs a light gun when you've got a stylus?

0:01 The title screen features a balding professor and a giant parrot with headphones. OK ... that should be easy to explain ...
0:02 I loved this game in the arcades, so obviously I'll pick arcade mode first. The "Advanced" difficulty sounds a little less insane than, um, "Insane."
0:03 You'd think just clicking on stuff instead of shooting would be easy. It's not... these little guys move fast. I hit nine targets when I need 10.
0:05 One problem that wasn't present in the light gun version -- the stylus blocks your view of part of the screen. Annoying.
0:06 The next test is one of those gator-whacking arcade games. I love those! But I only get 39 out of 40. Rats!
0:09 Quite a good variety of game types. Some tests let you go nuts and just tap everywhere. Others require careful aim and planning. Keeps things fresh.
0:10 That was quick, I'm already at the final stage. I like the specific rankings. My accuracy needs work, but my "attention" is great. Hey, if I didn't pay attention, how could I write incredibly insightful blogs like this one?
0:12: I'm obviously too advanced for Advanced ... let's check out the Insane difficulty.
0:14 Three stages attempted, three lives lost. I guess I was insane to try insane mode, eh? EH?
0:15 This game sports some harsh penalties ... hit the wrong color target once and you automatically fail the whole test. It was just as harsh in the arcades, but still ...
0:18 I finally fall into a bit of a groove in Insane difficulty ... it only takes me one continue to finish 8 stages. Some of these targets are very small. A lot of my shots look like they should hit but somehow miss. Is the touch screen sensitive enough?
0:20 I decide to try out the interestingly named "Brain Massage" next. Like Brain Age plus some "mass," I guess.
0:23 This mode has tests suited to specific tasks. I get a 72% "Alienated Alien" rating, whatever that means. "Don't ask me for the earth, I'm not the leader." says the green, headphoned parrot. Um, did someone mistake you for the supreme ruler of the planet?
0:26 Next up is the "Good Luck" category, with games about ... what else? ... shooting colored targets. Wait a minute ... there seems to me to be no luck involved at all. What's going on here?
0:29 The "Eagle Eye" tests all seem focused on tapping things quickly and over and over. This time I'm rated "full bodied sommelier. Just random enough to make me giggle.
0:31 I totally fail a "Shoot the Differences" test. Years of training with Highlights for Children magazine were apparently not enough.
0:33 I totally embarass myself with a "sick doctor" rating in the Mental Focus tests. Focus, Kyle, FOCUS!
0:36 Apparently shooting criminals mindlessly is more my speed. I love the carboard cutout aesthetic for the criminal targets.
0:39 "Are You Stressed?" I am after playing these super-stressful tests. Jeez! "You need more training. Do 110 sets of shadow sniping before you go to sleep." I smell a Jack Thompson lawsuit in the making.
0:42 While the game loses something without the sound effects, the music is very annoying. Why can't I turn it off in the options?
0:43 This test has you sheering sheep with your bullets. I'm pretty sure any farmer will tell you that doesn't actually work.
0:48 My latest rating is as a "Wrestling Beautician" with a "Lucha Facial." What's this game rated again?
0:50 I'm just now noticing that almost every game gives you unlimited ammo, in stark contrast to the arcade original. Are they expecting you to miss?
0:55 I take five minutes to play the remaining tests in free play. I love the one where you shoot debris thrown from an orchestra audience. The animation when you screw up is hilarious.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes.
Why? Despite some flaws, it's still pretty endearing and fun to tap away at. Not sure how long it will last though.

This review is based ona retail copy rented from GameFly.


Paul Cosgrove said...

The "stylus blocking part of the screen" issue has lost me more than one level in Ouendan, especially on the final difficulty, but I've been able to learn where the next segment appears.

I'm sure that's not really an option in a lightgun shooter.

rachman blake said...

-Rachman Blake