I don't understand the spelling on the name (hyphen?) BUT, this is an officially licensed product. I thought it was interesting that the game announced itself thusly in the begginning! So, it's listed as merchandise and Columbia Pictures is one of the publishers? At least their name is no the back of the box. I wonder if this was because of the weird licensing for Spiderman? Like, Columbia could do the movies and merchandising, so this game - which AFAIK is NOT based on any of the movies, was listed as merchandising so that it would fall within the licensing agreement because other companies had the rights to make videogames?
According to the wikipedia page that I just checked - the game was de-listed from digital storefronts on New Year's Day 2014... so, definitely tied in to the movie-based license.
The wikipedia page also notes that the game is (supposedly) "based on the styling of [the three first movies]" and that it "reinterprets big-screen moments and battles with a humorous twist". We'll see about that. I don't even remember the movies much at this point (Tobey Mcguire?) and it's even possible I didn't watch all three...so we'll see.
The first level so far has been interesting though because:
(a) There's two PCs! You can switch between Spidey and Black Cat(?) like you do between characters in the LEGO games. According to the back of the box it also has two-player co-op play, which is pretty neat (and not that common on the DS?)
(b) The game uses both screens in an interesting way. Rather than having a single "picture" that's cut in half. The lower screen represents a view that makes sense with the upper screen but, in a slightly different perspective. They're connected - but it's like there's a slight camera shift when you move into the lower screen. It's hard to explain in words - but it looks interesting as you play even if it's still something I'm getting used to as I play.
Gameplay so far is "meh" (it's a brawler, you collect tokens, etc.), but we'll see...
Huh, another interesting surprise. This is a virtual pet game but there's a twist - it also came with a robotic toy dog that - I think - you could interact with from the game somehow. That along was enough to get me interested, but I don't have to dog, just the game. I wasn't sure it would even work, but the game has two modes. One is when you have the robot and the other is when you're travelling (as in, don't have the robot).
It's a smart design choice, since - I'm guessing more often than not, you don't have the robot ('cause you're in the car, it's out of batteries, etc.). And, they added a "sync" option so you can send your data to the robot - so, you get to keep your progression in the game! I did that a few times, just to see what error message would come up ("sorry, robot's not here?) but it just acts like there's no problem, so perhaps it's all a sham? Or maybe it just saves it to send later?
The non-robot mode of the game is also deeper than I expected. There's the usual pet, groom, feed, and play options (and decorate!) which are "fine" (not my cup of tea) but there's also mini-games too play where your robot stars! The minigames, well, mini - but fun as well. The longer you play the more mini-games you unlock and you also level up the robot (more hearts in its friend meter). As far as I can tell there's essentially a progression system that takes into account how long you've been playing and what sort of of interactions. I don't think it's too sophisticated. I leveled up once, and the robot grew older by one year - how old can it get? can it die of old age?
I don't think I'll buy the toy, but I do wonder how much they sell for..
This is exactly what you'd imagine from the name. It's a serious (as in, no funny anime characters or other nonsense) "app" for learning and practicing yoga! I read/looked at some of the tutorials just to see what it was like..and, I pretty amazed that this was even created in the first place.
As I think more "big picture" it really seems like the DS was the first game console for which there was a SIGNIFICANT amount of non-game titles created. I wondering how many were commercially succesful. This one was published by Ubisoft, which is pretty suprising!
I know there are lots of "wellness" apps (we call them apps now, which is not what we'd call them back in 2008 or so when this game came out! not sure to call it a game either...), also a bunch for learning languages, there's even a "quit smoking" one. It's a huge category that I hadn't really appreciated.
THe other thing I think is interesting is that this came out in 2008 which is pretty early in the consoles lifecycle. It released in late 2004 - so we're only 4 years in? The DS Lite came out in 2006 an the DSi in 2008. So, this doesn't really seem like a "end of lifecycle" release? (definitely not a close to launch either). Interesting...
I'm having a real hard time deciding to make progress. I've played a LOT, and I've mostly been doing all the side-missions and quests, and locating places in the environment, and unlocking new abilities, and so on. I think I'm ready to "storm the castle" and rescue my uncle at this point and I'm worried about what will happen in the story. I've NOT been living up to the samurai code and I imagine this will be a source of tension? (of course, this is all assuming I'm even succesfull).
The game is still beautiful to look at and I've realized that it's not afraid to - for visual effect - making the environments impossible to look at. Depending on where you are and where the sun is in the sky (and what direction you're headed) you might not be able to see anything at all! (all white-out because you're riding into the sun, for example). It's an interesting aesthetic choice and, weirdly, I think it adds a lot to the experience.
What I'm still having a hard time with is how suddenly the weather and time of day seem to update/change. It feels like it goes from noon to dusk in seconds...or when I enter a town. It's strange - and note that I'm not thinking of those moments where you start a mission or something like that (some missions have pre-set times of day, for example they take place at night).
Oh, I've also started playing "Legends" mode - which was confusing at first because of how it's integrated into the main game. I thought it referred to "special super hard missions" of which there are several because there are several characters in the main game (NPCs) that are "Legends" storytellers, or something like that. Legends mode is basically the grindy progression mode that includes "zombies" and some other stuff. It's fun - but I suspect I'll get tired pretty fast unless I start playing with friends (it's also the only way to play co-op, up to 4 people AFAIK). We'll see how it goes!