The Philip Rational:
DS Life Volume 3.
-By Philip Wesley-
-Presented by DMG
-May contain harsh language-
-Presented April 18, 2004-

Sometimes, Nintendo scares me. It has been how long since they announced the Nintendo DS? Let me see, January 20th, 2004 was the official announcement of the system. Less than five months later, Nintendo will show off 30 games for the system at E3 and a majority of the games will be playable. The latest buzz is that Nintendo hopes to launch the Nintendo DS in September 2004 with at least more than half of the 30 titles that will be shown at E3. That would be a nine month total "visual" for the system. While some larger companies claim to have had development kits since the beginning of 2003; the time schedule that Nintendo has proposed for the system is INSANE. Some people are unaware of what the system IS yet. No one in the press that is not under a Non-Disclosure Agreement has even seen what the DS LOOKS like. Nintendo is planning for a simultaneous launch on both sides of the ocean. Meaning that the USA and Japan will get it at the same time, with Europe and Australia following before the end of the Fourth Quarter. To say that the DS was a surprise is not a false statement. Just like when Nintendo blind sided most of the press with the GBA SP's design. Here we were, drooling at Afterburner sets, and complaining about Nyko, Gamester, Pelican, and Nuby's respective lights; then suddenly Nintendo shows off pictures of the sexiest portable we had ever seen. It just goes to show that Nintendo can not be predicted as easily as some may think.

What is my take on the Nokia N-Gage QD? Well, Nokia is constantly evolving their phones on a frequent basis. I do not believe this is the last re-iteration of the N-Gage; but it is the best one so far. Nokia removed a few bits and pieces of the systems superfluous designs such as the MP3 player. However, what good is an MP3 player in a phone when there is the Apple iPod to do that? I still believe the N-Gage does not stand a chance against dedicated portable game systems. With the Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo DS, and the Sony PSP on the horizon: There is still no chance that Nokia will be able to make a dent in the handheld market: Even with system having the noteworthy distinction of being home to the first viable, portable Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). The QD looks a little better than the normal N-Gage; but it is still a dog as far as gaming devices go. So, I may have to agree with EA's president on that; even though the president of EA calling something a "dog" is tantamount to the pot calling the kettle black.

But the N-Gage may win in the mobile phone market, maybe. The system already has a better equipped Web Browser on it than the Danger Hiptop (Or Sidekick) and the QD fixes the worst problems the N-Gage had. You can change games easily, games drain less battery power, a brighter screen, you no longer have to hold the system in a strange position to use it as a phone, and the system is smaller. The newest feature would be the ability to customize the new QD in more ways than the previous N-Gage. However, the BEST feature of the N-Gage is the new smaller size. This means that you may have it in the same pocket as your Game Boy Advance SP with little to no trouble.

I am currently watching an interview with Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Former Sega UGA President and developer of Rez, Sega Rally, and Space Channel 5) and I have to say that he is a bit of a technology enthusiast. I get the impression that he has trouble expressing himself in English to the British interviewer. You kind of have to set your mind into a certain frame set to understand some of these Japanese developers. I guess you could say that many developers require you to have an unusual outlook on life. For example: Shigeru Miyamoto requires you to have a love of nature and the process of more biological relationships in terms of games. He takes environment and elemental aspects into his games. Pikmin being about ants, and Mario Sunshine being about taking care of our environment by cleaning up pollution. I would say that -in terms of Japanese geography- Miyamoto is a Rural Developer. He would feel better on farms in the Northern parts of the continent. Now, Mizuguchi is an Urban Developer. He would feel more at home in a loud and musically dense area such as a Night Club or Arcade. He does however have the heart of a Rural Developer in that he sees a crowd and believes they should be communicating with each other. His ultimate vision for a game would be addictive, easy to play in five or less minutes, musically inclined, and able to communicate to other users quickly and effectively. I think he may someday create a Massively Multi-Player Online Musical RPG. The interview is up at and I would have to say I recommend that site.

He (Mizuguchi) goes on about how he wants to play Half Life 2, and he also is asked about the Nintendo DS. He's watching both the PSP and the Nintendo DS and he thinks they are both good in different ways. He likes the sound and the large screen of the PSP. He says the screen resolution on the DS is not as good as the PSP; but the DS is more complex. He believes that the Human Mind is adapting and evolving to do more than one item at once. We have grown and changed to where we can use multiple monitors and multiple windows easily. We came from being unable to walk and chew gum at the same time to being able to work on three or more spread sheets or conversation windows at once. We are an multi-tasking world. The Nintendo DS is the forefront of this idea. He understands exactly what the DS is about. He also said that he does not want to make the same game for both systems; because they are both separate systems. He believes that the kids that play games may no longer care about 3D graphics, and will embrace the Nintendo DS much, much more. However, he is in love with the PSP's sound. I'm not going to deny it: The Sony PSP will probably be the best sounding system until the Game Boy Next hits - in terms of audio. So, he thinks that (maybe) the PSP will be embraced more by an older set that wants DVD movies and sound.

The big emphasis though is that the two systems are completely different, according to Mizuguchi. Although, some websites said he spoke badly of the Game Boy Advance in the interview; no such section of the interview exists. So, many sites are lying to us in that regard. I suppose the best thing I can say is that you should go see the video. I look forward to seeing what Mizuguchi would do on the Nintendo DS.

You came here for the GAME ideas though and I will deliver! Today, in honor of Mizuguchi, I will do three games and how they would benefit from the Nintendo DS. Those games would be Wario Ware, Pilotwings, and an original musical game idea.

Wario Ware is an obvious choice for Nintendo DS because you can do so very much with it. The game is pure genius and pure Game Play. Two screens allows for so much in that game. Features would include these ideas!

  1. Extension of storyline: As games only appear in a single screen at once, the second screen would be used to show what is happening while you play the game. We can take the level where you throw bananas at police cars to avoid getting pulled over for speeding to work. We would see the character aiming and launching a banana on one screen when the game shows up on another. This allows you to fully appreciate the weird employees of Wario Ware and their desperate storylines.
  2. Crazy Game Play: To further keep you on your toes, the game screen appears randomly on the top or the bottom screen. So, when the game flashes into view, the top or bottom screen becomes an UP or DOWN ARROW for one second to alert you to the location of the game before it continues the storyline sequence. This would make for instinct gaming at its best. You would have to be fully awake and aware to avoid losing!
  3. TAP! SLIDE! TRACE!: There are games that only show up in the bottom screen and would require you to lightly tap a target, or slide an object across the screen with your finger. You may also be required to trace a circle, square, or other shape using the touch pad.
  4. Wireless Fight ON: Use the wireless capability of the Nintendo DS to play against other people. Also talk to them and taunt them with the headset while you prove you are better than they ever could hope to be.

Pilotwings would be nice. Only two Pilotwings games have been made. The Super Nintendo one and the Nintendo 64 one. The Nintendo DS one could look like the N64 one in terms of graphics; but with many new features.

  1. Improved Plane Diagnostics: When flying a plane in the game, you would be able to view all your flight data in the bottom screen. It would monitor wind direction, fuel, compass, stability, etc. This would be similar to Microsoft's amazing Flight Simulators.
  2. Improved Targeting: When in a plane that fires projectiles ala the N64 game; you would fly the vehicle in the top and see an aiming view in the bottom screen. This way, you would be able to better calculate your shots.
  3. Improved Jumping: Distances are configured on the bottom screen and shown visually in a side view screen. You can also choose between pushing a button, press and releasing the screen, or dragging your finger on the screen to open your parachute.
  4. Co-Pilot Battle: Using the wireless: pilot a small two person vehicle that is similar to the ones used in the anime Last Exile. Each person has a different set of diagnostics to watch. Race against teams of other people and computers with this option. This requires good team work from both players as one player mans a gun or pilots the ship. To get the plane off the ground, one player has to draw circles on their touch screen or quickly press a button multiple times to prepare the vehicle for launch. One player watches fuel, while the other watches ammo. You can switch off flying control to the back or front guns as well. So, if a corner comes up that the front pilot can not do, he or she may pass the controls to their co-pilot for that corner. The player not in control of the plane controls the guns. Trusting your partner is vital to winning.

If I made an Un-Named Original Music Game, it would be like this. I enjoy musical games and I want to see them on the DS. To play this game, the bottom screen switches into four sections, one for each corner of the bottom screen. These buttons are assigned notes that you can affect with the control pad. You can make the notes a higher or lower octave with the control pad by pushing UP or DOWN. Make other notes by pressing them with the buttons. Pushing LEFT or RIGHT causes Vibratto or Softens the notes in a way similar to how the pedals on a piano work. The A, B, X, Y, L, and R buttons can be used with the game to create musical notes. L would be FLAT and R would be SHARP.

A B C D E F G are the main notes and they would be assigned like this. The corners will be noted like this TLC is TOP LEFT CORNER, TRC is TOP RIGHT CORNER, BLC is BOTTOM LEFT CORNER, and BRC is BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER.

A(Button) = E
B (Button) = F
X = G
Y = For switching between preset instruments on the fly. Use it in conjunction with the L, R, UP, DOWN, LEFT, and RIGHT buttons to set an instrument for switching on the fly.

The controls sound complex; but it is a lot like learning a new instrument. The main game would focus on teaching you to play along with songs using the controls. Once you have those down, you can learn to play along with harder and harder songs by following the instructions on the top screen. So, it eventually becomes a much more challenging Beatmania; but with a few twists. You can compose your own songs and send them to your friends to try out. You can save your performances and send them to others to hear.

The game has a lot of instrument sounds, so you can choose whether your system makes a sound like a wind instrument, a piano, a string instrument, a MOOG, or any other kind of instrument. The game would come with a special loud speaker device so you could hook up your Nintendo DS to an amplifier if you like. The game would also include a special offer for a pair of gloves so you can look cooler while tirelessly jamming out on your Nintendo DS.

The main game brings you up to speed by playing some notes for you; while it works on improving your ability to respond. So, if you were playing DO RE MI, the computer would play DO and MI when you are first beginning. You would just have to remember RE. Then on a higher difficulty, you would need to know RE and MI, and the computer would play DO. After a while, you would play DO RE MI and the computer would just cue you to play those on-screen.

Session Mixing would be a big thing. You could record up to 16 layers of sound. Set up the main track and then play the additional tracks along with your main track to create full fledged band music by yourself. You can also trade over additional tracks to friends so they can remix or add their own musical line. Create a VIRTUAL SYMPHONY.

The best thing would be to get licensed songs for use in learning and playing the game. Imagine being able to learn to play your favorite Final Fantasy music on your DS, then remixing that music and sending it to a friend or recording it straight off your DS for submission to your favorite remix websites. In a way, the sound creation aspect of this game would rival Little Sound DJ for on the go music. You could also choose a tinny "GB Instrument" so you do not have to sacrifice the beloved NOISE-CORE of the original Game Boy.

I love doing this. Less than a month away to go before the DS debuts at E3! YAY!

-Editorial by Philip Wesley-
-Sources: Nintendo, Kikizo
-Property of