Nintendo DS Game Adventures
Here’s a fun little fact: The top selling game for the PSP is Need for Speed, which has sold, year to date, 325,000 copies as of July.
Nintendogs sold 250,000 copies in a week.
Pursuing a tasty trade-in deal at EB Games earlier today, I was told by the guy behind the counter that not only was the trade-in expired (bummer) but they were totally sold out of Nintendogs. He said they received info from Nintendo that they won’t get any new units until the end of this month.
Still wanting to expand my DS collection, I got my trade-in value anyway and picked up Pac n’ Roll.
An hour later I was back at the store exchanging it for another game (a first in almost 20 years of playing video games). It was that bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I can see why some people might like it. 1up gave it a 7.5 in their review available at the link above. Pac n’ Roll has an unlockable classic PacMan mode, but the main game itself just felt a little… cobbled together. I was expecting something like the 8-bit Marble Madness with better 3D graphics and some exciting game play. After a half hour of playing I realized I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had wasted my money. Even worse, I realized that Pac n’ Roll has to have the greatest potential for damaging your touch screen out of the entire DS line-up. I found myself really abusing the screen trying to get the roll part to work correctly and made myself stop playing out of concern for the hardware.
Some shoddy programming also doomed the game’s chances of remaining in my collection. I’m no game programmer, but I recognize the quality-of-coding difference between a masterpiece like Meteos and the seemingly barely running code in Pac n’ Roll. There weren’t any glaringly obvious bugs or anything like that, just little things here and there that made me think the DS was really struggling to work with the game. And while it is 3D, there is NO REASON why this game should have any issues running on the DS hardware.
Back at the store I returned it for a copy of Advance Wars: Dual Strike (which I honestly can’t believe I didn’t see in the first place as I would’ve picked it up). Advance Wars has been a dependably great series since the first two came out for the Game Boy Advance in the last few years.
Unfortunately I did break one of my normally iron-clad rules. I didn’t play Pac n’ Roll before I bought it. I have to admit I feel a little bad (in the same way little kids feel bad when they mistreat stuffed animals). I feel like I didn’t give the game a fighting chance. But I can say that I would’ve felt worse if I’d just swallowed my pride and forced myself through a mediocre game.
UPDATE: Advance Wars DS rocks. That is all.