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If Mama’s place is in the kitchen, Papa’s is in the laboratory, blowing things up, creating deadly viruses and putting lipstick on beagles. Alas, in gaming land, the laboratory is a boring place where your duties as Papa’s assistant mostly involve watching a timer slowly tick along then tapping the touch screen at the right moment. Where are the exploding test tubes?
The Scooby-Doo cartoon was rubbish really, wasn’t it? Yeah, yeah, it’s a ‘classic’ – whatever. It wasn’t particularly scary or funny, and if we wanted to watch a stoned bloke talk to a weird dog, we’d hang out at the local park more often. Its continued popularity is therefore a mystery to us, particularly when Scoobs and the gang turn up in limp games like this.
If you’re like us, you have high hopes for Scribblenauts. This little DS game represents something revolutionary not just for the DS’s library, but also (we’re being serious) for videogames as a whole.
The original Shantae for the Game Boy Color was remarkable for a number of reasons. For one, it was created almost entirely by a single man - Matt Bozon, and published by Wayforward. It looked great and played wonderfully, and created an engaging new mythos in which gamers could enjoy some tight platforming goodness. Some things never change...
Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘consulting detective’ pitches up on DS in this port of a seven-year-old PC point ’n’ click adventure. Though calling it an adventure is a bit of a stretch, as that implies excitement, of which there isn’t much here.
Shin Megami Tensei, the cult Japanese RPG franchise, continues its march to America, where it has been met with open arms. Though long successful on Sony consoles, it goes into fresh territory on the DS with its newest sub-series, Devil Survivor.
Some fans call the Shin Megami Tensei games ‘Pokemon with the lights out’. Even though the SMT series predates Pokemon by quite a few years, the flow of catching, levelling up and fusing demons feels very much like the basic Pokemon grind. But what sets SMT apart from other JRPGs is its willingness to tackle mature and truly apocalyptic themes. Strange Journey fits right into that tradition, telling the story of a doomed multinational effort to investigate a mysterious black hole called the Schwarzwelt that has appeared at the South Pole.
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