27 July 2013

Longing for Nintendo

For the past several months, I have been in the mood to play Elite Beat Agents. For those not familiar with the game, it was a rhythm title released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS. It was one of the first games I bought for the kids when I got them DS units for Christmas. Although there are a lot of rhythm games on the market, none of them approach the infectious style of this game. What set EBA apart was the silly stories. Most rhythm games just have you play song after song. In EBA, there were three "Men In Black"-style agents with whose job it was to swoop in and solve random problems with music and rhythm. There would be a story that played across the top screen while you swiped and tapped on the bottom screen with the agents dancing in the background. The controls were more fun than the ones on other games; it was almost like my fingers were dancing. I still have the Elite Beat Agents game cartridge, but we haven't had a working DS in this house for ages. Now that we all have devices with touch screens that play games, I can't justify buying even a used DS. I sure miss that game, though.

Recently the gaming podcasts I've been listening to have stirred up my Nintendo lust again, but this time for another game. Everyone seems to be talking about Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Ever since I discovered Harvest Moon back in the day, I've had a thing for life simulation games. I especially like the ones that are tied to the real-life clock so that you have to check back in for new events and such. I thought that I was satisfied with the farm simulation games that I was playing on Facebook and iOS, but they don't have quite the same charm as the Nintendo games. The randomness of a game like Animal Crossing can't be achieved in a game like Castleville, which starts with a bit of a story but quickly slows the player down with obstacles that can only be removed with real-world cash. Although I tend to lean toward the free games, I would be more than willing to pay up front for a port or clone of Animal Crossing on the iPad if it meant that I never had to deal with in-game purchases mucking up my gameplay. In the meantime, I guess I will have to pull the Game Cube out of the garage to get my life simulation fix.

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