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$20 Game of the Week: Knights in the Nightmare (DS)

kitnThis turn-based strategy RPG is easily one of the most underrated Nintendo DS games of last year. In fact, I’d almost go as far to say that it was one of last year’s big sleepers. It introduces a unique style of play that sets it apart from other games on the DS, as well as other games in its genre. I would be hesitant to even call it a strategy RPG, as it takes a lot of pages from other genres, such as real time strategy, shooter, and even some tower defense games for good measure. It’s Episode 4 in developer Sting’s Department Heaven series, which also includes the Game Boy Advance titles Yggadra Union and Rivera, although there isn’t much of a relation between them, and one does not have to have played the other two to enjoy KITN.
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$20 Game of the Week: Desktop Tower Defense (Nintendo DS)

desktoptowerdefenseThe Nintendo DS’s library is a recipient of a huge amount of shovelware. As an unfortunate side effect, many good games get lost in the shuffle because their publishers and developers had inadequate funding behind them. Such is the case of THQ’s Desktop Tower Defense. Basically a DS version of the online flash game of the same name, DTD is your basic tower defense game with a few twists. Like in other games of its kind, DTD has you building and upgrading towers to prevent waves of creeps from crossing the screen. You can even control how fast the waves approach for an increased challenge. You can customize the look and animations of each of the creeps and towers, and share your creations with other friends. There are several different modes you can play, adding variety. While the interface isn’t always as intuitive as one would like it to be, it gets the job done, and for a stylus driven interface, you could do worse. While the pixel-based editing tools aren’t exactly LittleBigPlanet, they help you put your own personal touch on the game.

If you’re into casual games, this is a good addition to your DS lineup. Although it would have been better suited as a DSIware title, it’s still a fun game at a good price. You can also play the flash-based game online for free here.

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Powetcast Episode 31: Pokewalker, Monster Ranger

ep31-pokewalker

Back into the swing of things after PAX with news… and Cool Beans? Find out what you’ve been missing on LOST, what you can expect in Doctor Who, and just what the heck a Pokewalker is for, anyway.

Direct Link: Powetcast Episode 31: Pokewalker, Monster Ranger

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(Did you go to Anime Boston or Boston Comic Con? Enjoying the direct of LOST or Doctor Who this year? Do you have a Pokewalker? Leave a shout out below!)

Show notes after the jump!

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Transformers War For Cybertron Gameplay

Activision by way of GTTV on Spike has released footage of the next Transformers game. Looks like action gets pretty heavy with huge boss fights! Spot any favorite Generation One characters? Certainly looks like Ironhide doing that take down at about 1 minute in! A good mix of shooting and hand to hand combat will be key for this game, hopefully the promise of this trailer is realized when the game releases in May.




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Maximum Letdown: Marker Man Adventures (DS)

markerYou might see this game in a Best Buy or Gamestop and you may be tempted to pick it up, wondering why I haven’t already featured it as a $20 GOTW. Before you do, you should know that there is a much better version of this game available on PC for the same price. It has better level design, a better save system, more responsive play control, a level editor, and an online community with custom content and high score lists. It’s called Crayon Physics Deluxe.
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Hi-Def Nintendo DS a Tentative

Because having 2 variations on the original Nintendo DS handheld system wasn’t enough, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has announced a new DS varient that will sport high-definition visuals, as well as motion-sensoring. Squinting at your DS screen will now be a thing of the past.

No official release date has been mentioned, so we could be waiting a while. Given the sales of the DS in North America, as well as how popular motion-sensors in things like iPhones and Nintendo’s own Wii console, you’d hope they’d be pushing for a release sooner rather than later.

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$20 Game of the Week: Retro Game Challenge (Nintendo DS)

retrogamechallengeGotta love the 8-bit era of gaming. Playing the old NES brings back so many classic memories. Remember using the drift technique in Rally King to make it through to the end of the race? Or how about seeing if you could make it to level 64 in Cosmic Gate? Or how about when you finally defeated that mega-tough guardian in Guadia Quest after some serious level grinding? What’s that? You don’t remember any of those games? Good. There is a reason for that (besides me calling you a liar if you said yes). Those games, along with 5 others, are retro-style games created for this cart. While they have 8-bit NES looks, rest assured, they are as current as Gears of War or Halo.
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$20 Game of the Week: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (DS)

ninjagaidendragonswordAnyone who has read my articles on Contra 4 and the Mega Man ZX games knows how much I loathe it when DS game developers use stylus/touch screen controls for the sake of using them. However, I have equal praise for those who can make stylus functionality work well. After all, it is the main selling point of the DS, and if a developer can implement in a way which enhances gameplay, then more power to them. Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is one of those games which utilizes a stylus-driven control scheme in a way that’s intuitive and innovative. Not only that, it makes this DS entry in the series every bit as engaging as its console counterparts.
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