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Monday, July 09, 2007

Newly-Announced DS Delights

In the weeks leading up to this year’s drastically-changed E3, a handful of cool new DS games were announced. We round up the games in this article. What an exciting year for the DS!

::: Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword :::

Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo
Release date: October 2007

Ninja Gaiden makes its debut on the handheld with one of the earliest announcement of the pack. The game is played by holding the DS vertically, much like the way it is held when you play Brain Age or Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on the handheld. The stylus is your best friend here – most of the gameplay action will be controlled by it, be it navigating the main character, Ryu Hayabusa, or to attack enemies in a variety of ways. The only time where you need to press a button is when you want to initiate a defensive block and that’s it. As far as graphics are concerned, the game has some impressive visuals there. Hopefully, it lives up to its expectations. Watch out for it soon.

::: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare :::

Developer: n-Space
Publisher: Activision
Release date: October 2007

Barely a few months into the release of Brothers in Arms DS, another war game is set to grace the handheld soon. The game is question is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which is also coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Unlike Brothers in Arms DS, which is a third-person shooter, CoD 4 for the DS will be a first-person shooter experience. The DS game’s storyline will run parallel to its console counterparts, but you will get to play as different characters. Missions will have some variety, like one which you and other soldiers get caught up in an ambush or the other situation where you are required to infiltrate a building under enemy control. Defusing or placing charges will be done by using the stylus. For weapons, they range from sniper rifles, SMGs to RPGs, including 2 types of grenades. Controls will be very mouse-like, with you using the bottom screen for aiming and to fire, you can hit either the L or R button on the DS. It’s all going to be very intuitive. Judging from the screenshots, the game looks great, and it supports online multiplayer as well, for which there will be a number of maps and game types.

::: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 :::

Developer: Other Ocean Interactive (former name Backbone Entertainment)
Publisher: Midway Games
Release date: November 2007

Arriving in the month after Ninja Gaiden is Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, another first for the DS. Although the game is also available on Xbox Live Arcade, the DS package will have additional content that you can look forward to. These include the puzzle action component of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Puzzle Kombat and online play via Wi-Fi. Touch screen functionality has not been finalized yet, though, but players can be sure of its usage in some creative ways. More details will be available on the game as it approaches its release date.

::: Geometry Wars: Galaxies :::

Developer: Kuju Entertainment/ Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Release date: November 2007

Anyone who owns an Xbox 360 console will recall the Xbox Live Arcade hit Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Well, the game is now coming to the DS and Wii as well, with extra content to boot. Geometry Wars: Galaxies will offer more levels (or in other words, planets) with varying sizes of grids, and not forgetting new enemies and gravity pools that will thwart your plan to earn a gold medal. The controls for the DS game are simple: d-pad for movement and the stylus for aiming. It will also feature online multiplayer play and leaderboards.

::: Bleach: Blade of Fate :::
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: Sega
Release date: TBA (Year-end 2007)

It seems that there will be another 2D fighter hitting the DS this year besides Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Gamers who did not import the Japanese version of the game, which was released in January 2006, can finally get a taste of what this game has to offer – in English. The game features 28 characters and players will have the ability to move between the lower and upper planes in the fighting arena to dodge opponents. There are a couple of different modes of play, including story, arcade, Vs., training, time attack, survival and challenge. There is a ton of variety there, if you ask me. The game also supports 4-player multiplayer over Wi-Fi.

Other newly-announced games:

Contra 4
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Konami
Release date: TBA 2007

Developer: NoWay Studio
Publisher: TBA
Release date: TBA


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