Renewed interest in the Nintendo DS
I found a homebrew program called Moonshell (Get it here) that plays MP3's and displays Jpegs. The MP3 playback is leaps and bounds better than the GBA Movie Players. No file conversion is required on a modified GBAMP, but on flashcarts and the supercard you have to add the MP3s into a bootfile. I hooked up my DS to my computer speakers and it sounded great! There are minor skipping problems, but I don't mind since this is homebrew software. I'm sure the author will improve it since it's gaining popularity.
A few games got into my hands for me to test out. My comments on those are below:
Tiger Woods - PGA Tour
My PSP-owning room mate said that someone showed him this game the last time he went to Arizona and he thought it was weird using the stylus to swing. That left me slightly skeptical going in.
After figuring out the controls in a couple of minutes, my opinion is: There's nothing weird about it! I find it BETTER than doing the age-old double button press. A game finally showed me how unique the Nintendo DS is.
Admittedly though, I was slightly disappointed in the graphics. However, I'm sure this relates to me having already played the PSP version. But I did enjoy the GBA version, so graphics really aren't all that important.
The only other problem I've come across is trying to use the stylus for putting. It's hard to be precise because of how fast your aiming cursor moves. Thankfully EA put the ability to do the familiar tapping-of-the-D-pad option which makes up for it.
For players into golf games and the Nintendo DS, I give it my 100% recommendation.
Need for Speed Underground
Racing games haven't had my attention since Grand Turismo 1 & 2. This probably relates to the fact that I love Taurus SHOs, and GT2 had one. The car selections were amazing. My automechanic buddy did introduce me to Burnout 3's crash mode which we played for hours. I never did buy that game though.
The first thing I noticed about NFSU was that there were street drag races available. Although far from the real thing, it's fun to shift through the gears while having to pay attention to engine temp. It's my favorite race type in the game. Thankfully it is simple to jump into a drag with a car, which makes this racing game perfect for a portable.
What would a racing game be without the ability to modify your ride? NFSU has the player earning points to use toward obtaining modifications to keep up with faster cars as races become unlocked. One unique feature is the ability to create your own decal. I haven't done that since some NASCAR game I used to play on the computer. My Halo logo was easy to draw really quick, so I slapped that on my hood. And it looked pretty good! Unfortunately, I haven't unlocked the ability to put a custom decal on the sides yet, but that is also a cool option.
I cannot say a player should rush out to get this game, but it's a good one to have if your NDS case.
It is easy to see why this game has mixed reviews. A shooter is still a shooter, no matter what special guns or options it has. Shooters being one of the oldest action-type games, I personally believe they have lost their appeal over the years. I've recently found a copy of Einhander for the PSX and have been enjoying it though.
Nanostray is actually quite a beautiful game from what I've witnessed so far. The enemies and backgrounds have some of the best graphics I have seen on the DS. Everything is clear, and I haven't noticed any pixelation yet.
The gameplay is interesting as well. Rather than starting with a weak boring weapon, the game starts you out with a few options. From what I remember at the moment, there is a front laser, side spray, curve shot, and one more. Each of those have a stronger secondary attack but with limited ammo. Bombs are standard. Changing weapons is done via the touch screen which is a novel idea, but can get difficult since there is so much to dodge in this game. The player has to learn the locations of the touchscreen buttons (without looking) which may be awkward at first.
I didn't get very far in the game, but I will probably play it more later. The other games have my attention for the moment.
Is Nanostray worth getting? I say yes since it's cheap, but get it as a side game that you'll only play once in a while.