Party in Your Pants #1

With the release of a new handheld (it’s only a redesign, but looks oh so good enough to get us salivating and wanting one) from the omnipotent beings over in Japan that we fondly call Nintendo comes a new set of articles from us – the equally omnipotent guys at DarkZero (that’s an outright lie on our part). In our opinion there could not be a better time to debut our new article as the whole world is once again abuzz with the joys of gaming on the move. Who needs your Xbox 360s with their bazillion giga-quads of power? Who needs the PS3 with supposed has the ability to move mountains with a swift wave of the hand of Ken Kutaragi? We’d rather climb that said mountain with our handhelds deep in out pockets and choose to game when and where we want to. Welcome to PiYP issue #1

Where else could we possibly begin this month? It has to be the handheld that has got the whole world talking, the brand spanking new retina burning DS lite from Nintendo. Released two days ago (2nd March), all across Japan it saw over 100,000 gamers of all ages rushing to stores trying to get their hands on one. Due to manufacturing difficulties, a hell of a lot of the DS lites missed the launch date with only 93,000 of a promised million and only one of a supposed three colours available at retail all over a country longing for some new form of handheld hardware.

For many of us the DS lite is far off in the future, not many people on this side of the world will be lucky enough to get their hands on one any time soon. Even many people who choose to import may still be facing a very long wait to get their hands on the new Nintendo beauty. For this reason we will continue to focus on the old the old DS, or the DS heavy as we like to call it and start the long wait for an official lite release date on this side of the water.

So what’s been going on it the world of the DS lately? Well the simple answer to that is: a hell of a lot. There have been oodles of big name games coming to the console as of late and March seems brimmed to the overflowing tip with great DS titles. Within the next month: Brain Training, Worms: Open Warfare, Animal Crossing, Phoenix Wright, and Resident Evil: Deadly Silence along with a few lesser known titles will be sitting on store shelves yearning for you to spend your cash.

A quick look at this list will give you a small hint at why the DS is doing so well (some may say unexpectedly well). You will instantly notice all the well known games and upcoming franchises on there which instantly appeal to long time gamers but then you have Brain Training. A few months ago no one would have cared about such a game (or non-game as they’re fondly known as) but that title alone is driving Japanese sales along at a speed akin to the fabled warp 10 in Japan. Who would have known that the “untapped market” Nintendo talked of so much this time last year would be doing so well for them?

The future is looking very bright for Nintendo, but what about right now? What games should you be playing at this minute in time? Well there is no doubt you have a lot of games to choose from but if we had to choose one game from the long list to have in our DS right now it would have to be The Rub Rabbit! Yes we chose “The Rub Rabbit” over the likes of Mario & Luigi: PIT and Mario Kart. Why? It is just a very innovative and fun title to play, making you do all manner of weird thing and holding you DS in many weird positions…Break time!

Lets not forget about the all powerful but at the moments perhaps slightly unloved PSP. Some may argue that the PSP is turning into a gadget that movie lovers desire rather than a gadget that all gamers feel like they should have with them at all times. A quick look at any release list and you will noticed up to 30 UMD destined to hit store shelves but little to no actual games being released that week at all. Nevertheless there are still some interesting and fun titles on the way which DS gamers will not get a sniff of and gamers that stay “Sony-only” can remain smug that you choose to buy a PSP. “The Godfather”, “Worms: Open Warfare”, “From Russia with Love”, and “Fight Night Round 3” amongst others are all set to hit the shelves for PSP this month but by far our most wanted PSP title for the month of March is without doubt the revival of the old classic, “Lemmings” (released Friday 10th). We are hoping this edition of Lemmings brings back fond memories of the original game and by the looks of it we should not be let down. Datel are also releasing their “4GB Max Hard-drive” for the PSP over the month of March but some would wonder (at least we do) why bother with it when you can get a couple of Sony’s own 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo for an equal price (actually for a lot less if you look around).

Finally, here comes our recommendation of what you should be playing right at this minute if you own a PSP. Sadly due to the PSP dry spell a small step into the “way-back machine” is needed as we need to go back to last November to find a game that is really worth shelling out your cash for. That game is of course the PSP version of Pro Evolution Soccer 5. We will admit it does have some technical shortcomings when compared to its bigger brothers but there is no doubt it is a capable game and can stand on its own tow feet as a great game to play when you are also standing on your own to feet. Things may be looking grim for the PSP gamers at the moment but fear not, like I said there are lots of good titles on the way and in the next issue we will be taking an in-depth look at theses titles.

And…

What’s left? Well there is the Gizmondo (dead) and the N-gage (dieing) which were never home to many awe inspiring games (they had about one title worth mentioning each). You will probably never hear us utter either of those words again in the little series of articles. Oh, and then there’s the GBA which is still going strong in terms of sales with a few interesting games in the pipeline including Mother 3 and two Final Fantasy games (which is not something many other consoles in the world can boast about). If you only have a GBA to entertain yourself at the moment then there is no doubt the game you should have firmly inserted in your handheld right now is the recently released Castlevania Double Pack. If any big name titles pop up for the GBA in the next few months we will gladly give them pride of place on our little corner of the internet.

Well that’s it for Issue #1, over and out!