Feel the Magic: XX/XY
Developer: Sonic Team
Release: Launch Title
Ever seen that girl you know you never had a shot with? Looked at her and said, “Damn, what I wouldn’t give to just have a small chance with her.” Then Feel the Magic: XX/XY may be for you. This very odd Sega title is definitely the most interesting launch game for the Nintendo DS, and it’s easy to see why. Basically it goes like this: You’re just the average person until one day you’re strolling along, minding your own business, when you catch glimpse of such a beauty that it hurts your eyes to look at her due to her sheer magnificence. After roughly .0001 seconds you decide this woman is worth devoting your every waking moment too, even to the point of joining a decidedly weird group called the Rub Rabbits. This group’s claim to fame is that they’re a troupe who prances around in bunny ears. Like I said, this game is weird, but it’s also intriguing. From here you and your group go from situation to situation doing anything and everything to make this woman notice you. A couple of examples include you having to wash your perfect woman off so she doesn’t accumulate any dirt and grime. Another has you and the group trying to save your unattainable woman after she has fallen down in the famous Running of the Bulls held in Spain. Needless to say, you’ll do just about anything to get her affection… including risking injury, embarrassment, and whatever else may happen.
Every one of these events or mini-games you take part in will be taking advantage of the Nintendo DS and its unique features. Making use of the built in microphone, using the touch screen and the stylus pen, and other DS features are all very prevalent throughout the game. When compared to the rest of the launch titles, this seems to be the sleeper of the bunch. It has the potential to be unlike any other game we’ve seen in quite some time. Its graphical style is unique, and while not overly breathtaking or impressive it gives Feel the Magic: XX/XY an over-the-top and eccentric feeling. Of course this is exactly what Sega is aiming for with this release, as it simply does not adhere to the standard gaming rules you may expect. If you’re on the fence about what to buy come launch day after you pick up Super Mario 64 DS (and let’s face it: we all WILL pick that up) then I think there is a strong argument for making Feel the Magic: XX/XY your next choice. It’s got style and originality, two qualities that too many games these days sorely lack. Feel the Magic: XX/XY aims to offer new game experiences that push us outside of the gaming box we are used to, which is exactly why Nintendo and Sega made this a launch title. The Nintendo DS is about innovation and new technology in the handheld market. And in the end it simply doesn’t get much more innovative than Feel the Magic: XX/XY.
|– AJ Angeloni|
Everyone loves Rayman! Now he’s back in the palm of your hand. With the release of the Nintendo DS, one of Ubi Soft’s more popular game titles is back for a spin. When Rayman Advance came out for the Game Boy Advance it quickly became one of the top-ten best selling launch titles at the time. So now it’s no surprise that Nintendo wants Rayman DS to be one of the first games you can buy when the DS system is released into the wild.
Why choose Rayman and what makes him so popular? Maybe it’s his friendly smile or the casual way he can fling his flying fists at enemies that stand in the way. Even having no arms and legs, it doesn’t keep Rayman from being mobile. He can jump to hitch a ride on a rocket or tame a whirlwind. Then when things heat up he can surf lava to his next destination. Without the help of his environment he’ll still be able to swim and fly using his clever helicopter haircut.
This happy-go-lucky guy also has 45 new areas that go anywhere with you. The rich 3D graphics bring you through Rayman’s world with the surreal cartoony quality that has become the trademark of the Rayman series. Battling the badguys that have enslaved the world has never been more dynamic. Rayman makes his way through waterfalls and into pirate hideouts where the badguys gather. He’s ready to free his friends(again).
The benefit of the DS is the second interactive screen. While you’re battling and manuvering on the top screen you can keep track of Rayman’s health and how many lums you’ve collected on the bottom screen. Even as many times as Rayman has been around the block he’s hard to resist. What’s better than an unlikely hero picking up all the magic pieces and putting his world together again?
|– Geli Warner|
The Urbz: Sims in the City
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Griptonite Games
Release: Launch Title
Nintendo is also bringing everyone’s favorite digital crack to the DS this month. However, EA’s The Urbz: Sims in the City won’t be what hardcore Sims fans are used to. This time around, the Sims are trading in their cozy, safe suburban neighborhoods for Escalades, Cristal, and bitches. .Okay, no, not really. But they are moving to the city, where they will engage in a fast-paced lifestyle that only an urban environment can provide.
The game offers unique job locations, such as in the Sushi Bar mini-game (one of five different ones), which definitely deviate from jobs in previous Sims games. It also allows players to create characters with bolder, funkier styles. However, it is more important to note that the Urbz are not focused solely on reaching the top of their careers and raising the perfect families like their suburban predecessors; in fact, this game’s main objective is to improve a character’s reputation through completing various goals, eventually becoming the most admired and emulated Urb in Miniopolis.
Of course, The Urbz: Sims in the City has virtually the same core as the GBA version, but this game boasts lots of features that showcase the capabilities of the DS. For example, it will have a touch-based menu and a wireless multiplayer mode. As for the game itself, the DS version will have twenty-four items that are completely exclusive to it, as well as an entirely new district called Splice Island (where all of the Mad Scientists from the suburbs work, apparently). Yet one of the most unique additions is the ability to create and train loveable, genetically engineered pets that are more interactive than the aquarium fish of previous games; there are eight pets whose genes players can manipulate.
The game is scheduled to be released late this month, right alongside the Nintendo DS.
|– Melissa Blum|