Arkanoid DS Hands-On Impressions

arkanoid_ds_tgs07.jpgTaito's classic brick-breaking arcade game Arkanoid is some twenty years long in the tooth, with the latest iteration, Arkanoid DS, bringing little to the table in the way of evolution. Instead, Arkanoid DS simply brings itself to another platform, taking advantage of the Nintendo DS touch screens for stylus control and using the Game Boy Advance slot for an arcade accurate dial controller. The cross-pad and button controls work fine, but stylus controls and the custom controller are the ways to go.

The dial controller, in particular, brings back that arcade feeling, as the add-on has real weight to it. You'll feel the ball bearings spinning as you move Vaus, the space ship at the bottom of the screen left and right. Stylus controls aren't twitchy and felt very accurate.

The only complaint that DS fans may have is losing track of the ball as it crosses the top and bottom screens, obscured by plastic. It's not a game killing problem, but you may find yourself annoyed.

Arkanoid DS features classic arcade modes and two player options, but is also loaded with some 140 goal oriented challenges. These include smashing a number of bricks in a certain time limit, achieving a certain number of points, or destroying one particular block in a field of dozens.

The real draw, though, is in the arcade accurate experience with the new dial controller. If Taito can bring it out stateside for a reasonable price, fans may should consider picking it up. Arkanoid DS feels like a fun distraction for most, but a solid sequel for hardcore fans.


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