The Nintendo DSiWare Media Summit
Whilst the more recently launched DSiWare service is still taking its baby steps, the fanfare at the WiiWare and DSiWare summit in London was definitely heralding the Wii's titles, little attention being given to DSiWare during Nintendo's conference presentation.
However, marketing boss Laurent Fischer did mention A Little Bit of Brain Training: Arts Edition, touting the success of the brain-expanding series in general, while at the same time only showed a static screenshot without any actual gameplay footage on the new title. Next up, and more importantly, was a neat little piece of software called Flipnote Studio, which is free to download.
Flipnote Studio allows DSi owners to get creative and show off their animation skills to the world. During the twelve-week run up to Christmas, those of you who have downloaded the app will be treated to twelve animations created using Flipnote Studio by Aardman Animation (of Wallace and Gromit fame). Fischer followed this news with an explanation of the social aspects of Flipnote Studio and how it ties to the Hatena website, along with the DSi Camera's Facebook connection, and topped off by showing the first of the twelve animated shorts, the rather short and amusing Sandwich Twins.
If this is the kind of random goodness that you can achieve using the software, then I shall be downloading and raiding the deep, dark recesses of my mind to unleash upon the world. Although the emphasis was on WiiWare, there are a few DSi titles worth keeping your eye on, which emerged at Nintendo's event. Here is a run down of the best DSiWare games that were on show:
All the regular power-ups plus up to eight players can battle it out locally or online, over some 21 dual-screen maps. The Bomberman we all know and love what more can I say?
An iPhone stalwart. My DS usually comes into play on long journeys, killing the minutes on planes, trains and automobiles. This little title could well be added to my collection as an ace time filler. You have to control planes coming into land on various runways using the stylus to create their flight paths without letting them collide with each other. Each successful landing earns you a point and the aim of the game is to beat your previous high score. Basic visuals, basic gameplay, basically extremely, freaking addictive.
Flipnote is an extremely simple, yet fully featured animation program that enables anyone with the use of their hands and the barest of stylus skills to produce animations quickly that actually look half-decent. As a child (or adult) if you ever drew stick men in the corner of book, then animated him doing something rude by turning the pages, this is the equivalent for this generation. Flipnote Studio also gives budding artists the ability to share their animations. You can collaborate with friends by transferring your file directly to their DSi or upload directly to the internet via the Flipnote Hatena social network website.
Reflection is Konami's first ever DSi game where you take on the role of an adventurer named Kirra who is tasked with retrieving a magical mirror that has been inadvertently broken, unleashing a shattered reality and splitting Kirra's character into two parts. The hook here is that the bottom screen mirrors the movements carried out in the top screen. This requires some heavy brain use, as navigating platforms and overcoming obstacles sees you having to use both characters in tandem. Call me stupid, but it took me a few tries to get my head around it all, but it could well be a good or frustrating mix of cerebral entertainment.