Monday, March 23, 2009

DSi Protector arrives, the DSi VC(?), and a gig at

A quick entry - my Hori DSi Protector arrived today. is very efficient and quite speedy. I will definitely be doing business with them again in the future, and suggest the same to any who have a need or desire to import some goodies.

I'm quite pleased with the Protector, though I knew I would be. I love the one I bought for my DS Lite, and it serves me well. I took some pictures below to compare - even though I've read on the internet and seen side by side comparisons, I had an image in my mind that it (the DSi inside the protector) was going to be a little longer. It's pretty much the same size though, just a touch (pun) bigger.

Length comparison.

Width comparison (sorry for the glare!)

DSi Hori Protector - stand tall!

What's missing from this picture? :(

All I need now is the actual DSi, and I'll be in business!

Rumor has it that the DSi is going to have an often fantasized about Virtual Console featuring Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games that can be played straight from the SD card. Sound too good to be true? Well it might be, since it is awfully close to April 1. This was either leaked info or a rumor created to disappoint many that came out of the recent DSi prelaunch parties that Platinum Club Nintendo members were invited to join.

To wrap this post up, I'd like to mention that I recently applied to join the staff of WiiWare World and was accepted to their main site Nintendo Life as a reviewer/reporter. Nintendo Life focuses exactly on what its name implies - all things Nintendo - reviews, news, rumors, etc. My first review was on Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume for the DS, and I'm working on one for The World Ends With You. I'm pretty excited about the idea of being able to help on a good network, as I really have enjoyed both Virtual Console Reviews and WiiWare World for as long as I've had the Wii.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The World Ends With You (and my DSi case arrives)

I've nickel and dimed 17 hours on The World Ends With You, and beat it last night. I have had this game sitting on my desk since October 2008, and had I known it was THIS good then, I would have played it sooner. As with every Christmas, due to the sudden influx of new games, and I suddenly had a lot of new stuff to play (Castlevania: OoE, Chrono Trigger, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and others). TWEWY is a great game with a brilliant battle system and very catchy music - I now see why IGN gave it DS Game of the Year.

Interestingly, I switched to the original DS to play it. The Lite's brighter screens are nice, but for the first time, my left hand cramped while using the dpad when fighting Minamimoto (so zeta slow!) - to whom I lost the first time, and had to take a break to give my hand a rest. After that, I started using the old trusty brick again (and started carrying a heal to boss battles!), and had no further trouble with top screen fighting.

I got my DSi case in the mail from playasia a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, the clear black DSi protect case by Hori went from 5-15 days to backorder. I'm waiting to see if this will effect my order since I ordered before then, but if it does, I'll settle for the readily available clear blue.

The DSi case carries three games, and even has a little spot for you to stick your extra stylus in (see above game card holders). The inside is very soft, it's like a little cozy bed for your DSi to rest in. I'm glad I went ahead and got it since Amazon's Hori DSi products won't be available until April 15...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nintendo DSi - Love me or hate me... read this.

I'm pretty excited about the Nintendo DSi now. I wasn't initially, but I see a great potential in Nintendo's newest rendition, and I know I'm not alone in that. The DSi is set to release on April 5, 2009 for $169.99 - it will be launched in Black and Blue (just like our economy!).

In my excitement, I've been hopping around to different sites looking for people talking about the DSi - this has shown me the love and the hate for the DSi. Some of the hate I see comes from misinformation - people who don't have their facts together. Other hate comes from loyalists of other products, iPod or PSP fans? Who knows. Then there's the hate that just seems to be an attempt to ruin other people's fun. Usually a combination of the previous two hates. I've seen some people complain because they've just recently gotten a DS Lite, and now they (understandably) have a bit of a chip on their shoulder.

I would like to clarify some of the "talk-downs" about the DSi, in hopes that at least one person reads this and goes away saying "Oh, I didn't know that..."

"The cameras are 0.3 Megapixel. My cellphone has a better camera than this!"
For the DSi's screen size, the cameras are more than adequate. A simple search on YouTube will yield you some entertaining results. The DSi cameras are not meant to compete with your cellphone or your digital camera - they're there for entertainment. The various photo manipulation techniques the DSi has to offer for example, as well as the downloadable Warioware. I'm sure we'll see some shovelware developed to use the cameras, but I bet we'll see some clever uses for it as well.

"It's $40 more than the DS Lite, and it's a downgrade!"
Wow, there's so much to say about this one... Yes, it's $40 more - but before I address the "downgrade" complaint, I'd like to point out that the original Nintendo DS from November 2004 was $150. Let's not forget how many of us gladly spent that money on a system ridiculed for having two screens.

A downgrade... honestly? The DSi has four times the RAM and twice the processor power of the previous DS models. Developers are sure to take advantage of that, and in the official press release, it's even stated that "In addition to downloadable games, Nintendo DSi is able to play games made specifically for the system and sold at retail." The screen sizes have been increased to 3.25 from 3 inches. The speakers are improved. It has 256MB of internal memory. It's not a downgrade, it's just about a brand new system.

"It's just a filler for Nintendo's next gen handheld!"
Big deal! Who knew there was going to be a DS Lite after the DS? Would you have waited then? Who knew there was going to be a Gameboy Advance SP? Would you have skipped the original? Who's to say there won't be an upgraded DSi [insert catchy abbreviation / phrase here] after the DSi?

The fact is that we don't know for certain what's next.

" GBA slot..."
Some DS games make use of the GBA slot - specifically Guitar Hero, and Pokemon. If there are people making heavy use of their GBA slot, whether it be for trading their Pokemon, rocking out, or just playing GBA games, and you won't be keeping your DS, then the DSi is not for you.

There are a couple of GBA slot accessories, though besides the terrible Rumble Pak (which made more noise than rumble), and the now inferior DS Web Browser expansion pak, nothing else worth noting was released outside of Japan - save for various homebrew tools.

In place of the GBA slot, you're getting a SD card slot, used for storing your music and photos, and more to come. You're also getting DSiWare, which Nintendo of Japan has been getting at the rate of about 8 games/apps per month since launch its launch in November. I would much prefer to have WarioWare, Dr. Mario, and Moving Memopad on my DSi all the time, then a GBA game. But that's me.

"The battery life is half that of the DS Lite!"
No. While the battery life is clearly less than the DS Lite, it's by no means half. On its lowest brightness setting, the DSi lasts 9-14 hours compared to the Lite's 15-19. The reason the battery life is less, is because the new, faster CPU requires more power. There's no question that this is a sad situation, but if you weigh the pros to the cons (better looking/running games), this is one bit I can let go.

"AAC? What's that?"
Advanced Audio Coding.

Open iTunes. Right click your song.

It takes seconds.

In closing... anybody else remember the complaints about the DS Lite? How small the dpad, buttons, and the system itself were? How far the GBA cartridges stuck out? How fragile the system seemed (and ended up being)? Just like the DS Lite, the DSi pros outweigh the cons, and I think it'll be a purchase worthy of your money.