Gaming 9251

Published on March 30th, 2010 | by Greg


Personal Gaming with XSeed for Your Nintendo DS

Okay, IÊ»m going to admit a dirty little secret here — IÊ»m not a gamer at all. I play Rock Band and thatÊ»s about it. However, I got completely sucked into the joys of a Nintendo DS a couple of years ago on a long flight to Hong Kong. It turns out there are all kinds of fun games that donÊ»t require the same kind of 17-button mashing sequences that are necessary to play (most) console or PC games. There’s a considerable variety of games to choose from, and a few that feel more like iPhone applications than games. Of course the quality can vary wildly, even within a single game company. I tried out a couple of games this time around from X Seed, one new one, and re-visit to a game Truly Obscure tried out last year.

First up is the Korg DS10 Plus, which has a few updates from the original game we tested out. Included in the new version are 12-voice polyphony, 4 tracks for the analog synthesizer simulator, and 2 drum machines. Changes to the original game are song mid-playback editing track and mute feature in song mode. This game got passed around the office a bit; I asked our resident digital music maker try it out, and he enjoyed it. He said it was a lot like the VSTi he has with his Korg Legacy synthesizer. As someone who knows his way around a Korg he had a lot of fun playing with it and said he’d absolutely keep using it.

I’ve got a music background, so a lot of the fundamentals of the program make sense to me, but I fumbled some with the controls. Ultimately I was able to make music with it, but not without a bit of headache. Lastly we gave it to a gamer with little musical experience, and he stood by his original review that it’s a powerful program that is a bit limited by the sounds the DS can make. There is a feature for the DSi that isn’t available for the DS, a function that makes two effects layers available, essentially giving users the functionality of two original KORG DS-10’s.

In an entirely different genre I tried out Ragnarok DS. This game is a scaled-back version of a hack and slash style MMORPG based on a relatively obscure series of manga drawn by Myoujin Lee. Part of why gamers like the original version of this game is that it’s a massively multi-player game, and that part isn’t possible when put to a personal game system like the DS.

Up to three players can play at the same time in several different dungeons, which is better than being on your own entirely, but a lot of the community that gamers appreciate about MMORPGs just isn’t there. Honestly, I was unimpressed. I think there’s probably a good story in there somewhere, but it ended up being a lot of level-grinding, and visiting the same places over and over again. If you’re a big fan of anime style games, and don’t mind the tedious nature of this type of RPG you’ll likely enjoy it just fine.

Korg DS10 Plus and Ragnarok DS are available now, ranging in price from $30-$40. Look for them at game stores, and online both from X-Seed and Amazon.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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