Game On!: "Peggle Dual Shot" & "Rhythm Heaven"
Last weekend, Nintendo released the latest revision of its portable Nintendo DS gaming system. The new hardware, called the Nintendo DSi, drops support for the now-ancient Game Boy Advance games (and the Guitar Hero portable games, too) while adding integrated cameras and memory slots that support downloadable games through Nintendo's online game store.
If you're not already a DS or DS Lite owner, the DSi might be worth the investment, but it's not something to rush out and purchase if you already have a Nintendo portable. In honor of the release of the new platform this week, we're reviewing two puzzle-oriented titles playable on all the DS handhelds.
"Peggle Dual Shot"
PopCap Games is the master of the addictive casual video game, and the developer's Peggle has grabbed the attention of both part-time gamers and hardcore digital addicts.
It's a fairly easy game that requires a good deal of strategic thinking. Players attempt to remove colored pegs from a game board, using a pinball-like shooter to advance.
The game is deceptively simple, as players have a limited number of balls to complete levels. You can rack up huge point totals by knocking out lots of pegs in a single shot, or by removing special colored pegs.
This is a near-perfect translation of the original game, with some nice features for longtime Peggle fans. All the levels of the PC versions of Peggle and Peggle Nights are included, and some of the classic levels are enhanced with new hidden underground levels.
Plus, a new Dual game mode allows players to challenge an opponent to clear levels as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Nintendo DS is no stranger to rhythm-based games, or to games that require users to use the Touch Screen in challenging ways. Rhythm Heaven channels elements of Elite Beat Agents and WarioWare in more than 50 games requiring players to match the beat. The game, played with the DS turned sideways, also asks players to execute stylus moves like the tap, flick and slide.
A simple tutorial introduces the three basic moves before players proceed to the main game, where they earn medals for successful play while unlocking mini-games. The game is good for helping both DS pros and new DSi owners really get a feel for the handheld's touch-screen controls.
"Peggle Dual Shot"
System: Nindento DS, DSi
Rated: E for Everyone
Who Should Buy?: Peggle maniacs and tap-n-flickers
GameOn! Grade: A
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