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Discussion - The Low Points of DSiWare

posted 21 Nov 2010, 05:55 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 10 Dec 2010, 12:53 ]
21st November 2010; By KnucklesSonic8 & Daan

While DSiWare is home to many quality releases, it's also littered with titles that seriously bring down the overall image of the service. Read on as Daan I discuss some of these points together.

Daan: What is it about DSiWare and developers sometimes? You have this great platform to work with and they don't have the proper mindset. Sometimes you see too many games from one genre, sometimes you see very unneccesary software and sometimes it's just plain awful.

KS8: Very true. One thing that bothers me is the fact that many just view it as a way to earn more money for ports. And these are ports that may not have been all that successful to begin with. Mind you, it's not as bad as WiiWare. And there are a number of ports that turned out well. I can think of a few off the top of my head like Zenonia, Dragon's LairFire Panic...

Daan: True, there were successes on both platforms but the big stinkers come from other markets.
KS8: Oh, and Maestro! Green Groove, too.
Daan: In Maestro's was already a DS game. The problem was that they didn't have the money to give the game a second chance. DSiWare is a good platform for that purpose.

KS8: Yeah! And it gave people in North America the opportunity to experience the game. Even if it was an abbreviated version, I was really grateful for it! But can you think of a port that didn't work so well?
Daan: Well, let's do this in all three groups. Let's start with the unnecessary. So first off... Petz.
KS8: Heh. Yeah, I'm a bit unsure who they were trying to reach out to with those. To be honest, most in that category barely even know DSiWare exists or, if they do, probably didn't even know that those games became available.

Daan: Isn't DSiWare only reached by gamers so far?
KS8: I don't know about that. After all, we do have music applications which appeal to a different niche. Case in point: Abylight's Music on series.
Daan: True. Still, the Petz seem like they're for an audience beyond their reach.
KS8: Yep. Almost like a last ditch effort to generate more sales numbers. To that end, I'm surprised they didn't try bringing anything from the Imagine series over. Now that I think about it...
Daan: Right. I believe some of them are now on iPod Touch... Next: Sudoku.
KS8: Goodness me. To be honest, I haven't thought about it too much since the Sudoku proliferation has died down a bit. But it was ridiculous at one point. I'd be interested to see which ones had the most/least amount of sales.
Daan: Indeed it was. I think Japan has around 14 or something.
KS8: I think there's such a thing as too many options. Seems like we have 10.
Daan: What in the....'kay.
KS8: To be fair, there were a select few that were actually slightly innovative in their approach.
Daan: What's the point? There are already great ones: Brain Training/Age Sudoku and Hudson's Sudoku games.
KS8: Yes, I loved Hudson's.

Daan: And the Brain Training allowed you to play Brain Age Test exercises seperately.
KS8: Good point. To answer your question, though, the purpose of the innovation would be to appeal to those who are at an intermediate/hardcore level. Like how Sudoku 4Pockets had a Candidates system. That was kind of neat, albeit not very user-friendly. But there were other Sudoku games that were really barebones, like DTP's Crazy Sudoku.
Daan: Yeah, that was Crazy alright. That reminds me... too many Board Games.
KS8: Oh? I haven't really noticed.
Daan: Like Mahjong.

KS8: That I agree with. But what else? One or two Chess games, Academy: Tic-Tac-Toe, the Clubhouse Games re-releases, and a few others. Let's not forget Number Battle, hm?
Daan: Number Battle was great.
KS8: So was PictureBook Games: The Royal Bluff. That was a sleeper if you ask me. Anyway, most of the other Board Games fall under the sub-category of Card Games. But y'know, one that still bugs me is Scrabble Slam.

Daan: Oh really?
me: I never played it but honestly, it seems totally worthless. I have the ACTUAL card game and based on that, I can't see why someone would choose to get the digital version over the hard copy one. Multiplayer is the main draw, and in order to participate, each person must have a copy of the game.
Daan: Well, that is a bummer.
KS8: Yeah. And if you don't know anyone with the game, then you're only able to play on your own with AI. I can assure you that that's barely fun... Plus, it was 500 Points on its own.
Daan: Hmm. Well, let's see... Applications we don't need?
KS8: Alright, let's go there. Starting with Photo Clock. Seriously, that should've been free, like with the bundles they now have.
Daan: Totally, can't agree more. What do you think of the recent Countdown Calendar?
KS8: Well... That's a tough one. I mean, it received our second-lowest score for any DSiWare title. But if I had myDiary to compare it to, it might've done worse. It's okay... but it could've done a bit more in terms of execution. 

I'm a bit jealous of EU because you guys get the Translator Dictionary and that Map application. I really want that Dictionary.
Daan: Well, those weren't impressive.

KS8: All I cared about was doing French-English translations on the fly.

Daan: Translator has a very limited amount of words. Something that is important since we...well live in Europe after all and travel a lot. The support of Japanese was kinda cool, but we didn't need it really.
KS8: What are your thoughts on the Master of Illusion releases? I never tried them, but I'll honestly say that I was tempted to try one. Just because I never tried the retail release and I kind of wanted to.
Daan: You can buy the game with a pack of orginal cards for 15 bucks over here. That is a way better deal and the best tricks are in the retail release

KS8: Oh, so the best ones are not even DSiWare releases?
Daan: In my opinion? Not really. I remember one or two being decent, but i think those were DSi exclusive.

KS8: Hm. Don't get me started on those lame releases from Kaasa... Seriously, I know they can't REALLY list something as Free, but then why bother? For the purpose of earning money off of unsuspecting consumers I suppose.
Daan: Or somebody who goes, ''Oeeeeeeeeeh, shiny lightssss''. But come on...really REALLY...Flashlight and Discolight.
KS8: Yeah... I don't even want to talk about those anymore.... How about Gameloft?

Daan: Meh, I have mixed feelings about them.
KS8: Same here. I don't have a huge problem with them but apparently, a large number of people do. What do you think of their releases as a whole?

Daan: Good, with one problem.. Can you guess what it is?
KS8: Oh! Loading times!

Daan: Yes!

me: Ha ha. To be fair, it seemed like they were improving in Crystal Monsters. There weren't long loading times anywhere from what I remember. Actually, not many loading screens at all. Mostly just quick transitions, which surprised me greatly.
Daan: Huh? Really? Interesting. There is one Gameloft which is... really bad.
me: Oh, Legends of Exidia?
Daan: Don't speak it's name! It's my most hated DSiWare release. Too short, too many loading screens, ripped from it's license, lazy dialogue and so forth.
KS8: So if that's your most hated, what other games are on the bottom?
Daan: I think Ludia's stuff should be on there. Releasing Price is Right in Europe is a silly idea, not to mention Hells Kitchen.
KS8: If I remember correctly, they're bringing Family Feud over too.
Daan: Anything else? Euhmm...i don't dig most releases of Enjoy Games and Engine Software. Come on! Just Sing.... Spot the Difference... 

KS8: What do you think of WarioWare: Snapped? I ask cause I know some view that with very low regard.

Daan: I view the western version with low regard. The JP version works better, believe it or not.
KS8: Oh really? Wow. I had no idea there was even a difference!
Daan: In the calabration, yes. Crazy huh? Why they changed idea.
KS8: What did you think of the Domo releases? Are any of those close to the bottom of your list, by chance?

Daan: Haven't played them. They're not out in EU.
me: Oh, right. I got all of them except Hard Hat Domo. And Rock 'n Roll was probably the worst of them. It was very meh... I'm trying to think of what else would be at the bottom of my list... Puffins: Let's Roll for sure.

Daan: Why?

KS8: Well... there are just so many issues with it. First off, let me say that the game is intended for children. However, even then, I can see children getting more frustrated with it than anything else. Rolling the egg is incredibly slow and boring. The game goes down to a ridiculously-low framerate at certain portions. And a couple other things I think, but those were the main issues I had with it. It's just so boring...
Daan: Anything else unnecessary or bad? I think that's about it, huh?
KS8: I can't really think of anything else... I didn't really play many "Bad" games. I typically stayed away from that stuff.
Daan: So... your final statement on the bad stuff for DSiWare?
KS8: Well as a whole, they're certainly affecting the way people perceive DSiWare nowadays. But I honestly don't think the service has a lot of "bad" games. Unnecessary or worthless ones? Yes. I'd say the biggest problem is that there are way too many games that don't really do anything for the player. In other words, they're either meh, so-so, or borderline sub-par. And I think these, along with the titles we discussed earlier, create a sense of imbalance on the service.
Daan: I think that DSiWare is an underappreciated platform and these releases are not helping the service. With the effort, time and budget at hand that some devs truly do have, you can have the right titles in your collection.

So readers, what are your thoughts on the DSiWare service as of late? Let us know via emailFacebook or Twitter!