Jul 06

Nintendo DS: Wired for Silence

FT + TMFD11 comments • 975 views

DSI think we’re all agreed by now that the DS is GRATE, are we not? Despite all fears of RSI, styluses going missing all over the shop (*fingers xed) and a redundant second screen – it’s worked! We love it! We love washing the Nintendogs in front of Big Brother, mining down in Mr Driller: Drill Spirits on the train, ignoring our holiday companions by playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (translate more Gyakuuten Saiban games NOW pls Capcom) and even though we’re stuck on like the 4th operation in Trauma Centre: Under the Knife, we’re SURE we’ll get those aneurisms operated on one day.

But what’s missing? Nowhere in these games have I made any mention of what’s supposed to be Nintendos fabulous biggie – WI-FI! WHERE ARE YOU?? Nintendogs makes a huge deal out of being able to meet up with other dogs. However, you have to specifically sit opposite someone with a DS, also running Nintendogs, and ensure they have their game switched to “Bark Mode” before you can do it. There is absolutely zero chance that you will EVER find ANYONE else randomly on Bark Mode, as: if you’re in Bark Mode, you can’t do anything else in your game, you can’t play with your dogs, walk them, nothing. All you can do is watch your dog running and look at the “searching” box. Nothing to do. So you put your DS away, and in the vague case that someone else is running down their battery in Bark Mode on the 0.00001 chance someone else might be doing the same, you’ll miss the alert ANYWAY cos you’re not paying attention to the game!

SURELY it would make more sense for Bark Mode to be an option to turn on in the background of your game – dogs could come and visit each other’s houses for example and walk to the park, this ludicrous forcing pre-determined link-ups completely moves any random dog-fun (*carefully avoids reference to “dogging fun”*) that I was looking forward to on first purchase – although it’s so great I’d have got it anyway. I read an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto where the interviewer mentioned he kept flicking his Nintendogs into Bark Mode to catch any “passing trade” as it were – I wonder if he ended up as disappointed as I am?

Further madness comes when playing your old GBA games. Yes, they can be played on the DS. Hooray! But… all the interactivity and link-ups between them are null and void on the DS. You can’t swap Pokémon from a DS-DS, or DS-GBA, so it’s a return to your dust-gathering, un-backlit GBA and fingers x-ed your mate still has it too. Sob.

And don’t even START on Animal Crossing wi-fi hotspots…


  1. 1
    Sarah on 25 Jul 2006 #

    OH how come I can’t do the bastard [!–more–] thing (but with pointy brackets obv) argh.

  2. 2
    Tom on 25 Jul 2006 #

    Yeah I wonder if the DS wireless stuff has been only designed for super-dense urban Japan population centres: not a hope in hell of getting Picto-Chat et al to work.

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    (If you using rich text editor, the box to the right of the picture/tree icon insters a at the cursor. Done for ye.

  4. 4
    jel on 25 Jul 2006 #

    I have managed to purchase some pretty rubbish games for the DS — Pix Pac and Pokemon Dash! Arrggghhh….

    Yoshi Touch and Go is fun though.

    The DS needs a little printer like the gameboy once had, then you can print out your pictochat pics.

  5. 5
    Sarah on 26 Jul 2006 #

    I’ve used PictoChat with Kat in the pub, but seeing as we’re IN THE PUB only for a couple of minutes, it’s been a mild diversion but misses 1x point surely. And Tom, it’s not as if London isn’t a dense urban population, it’s just badly implemented.

    Jel – is Pokémon Dash rub? I was thinking of getting it! All the ones I mentioned are good – also ZOOKEEPER! I am finding it hard getting into Mario DS tho. What is Yoshi Touch and Go?

  6. 6
    Tom on 26 Jul 2006 #

    Yes well I’ve used Picto-Chat at home with my wife, but as with you and Kat I could have been SPEAKING TO HER WITH MY VOICE.

    (I dunno if London is super-dense in quite the same way, it tends to build out rather than up.)

  7. 7
    mar-c on 26 Jul 2006 #

    Animal Crossing, people! Although, even then, the wifi is not perfect. But simple joys like lost kittens blubbering all over your town til you reconnect to your friend’s town and reunite the kitten with its mother make it all worthwhile. And then discovering hilarious new constellations in the sky that your friends have designed.

  8. 8
    jel on 27 Jul 2006 #

    Yoshi Touch and Go, is the one where little baby Mario is falling through the sky and you have to draw clouds to protect him, and then he lands and Yoshi picks him up – and you basically go on drawing clouds!

    Sarah, I’ll bring Pokemon Dash to some future FT/ilx/LJ whatetc. event, and you can borrow it if you like. I would say don’t buy it!

    Animal Crossing on the GCube depressed me a little, the townsfolk didn’t really want to be my pal.

  9. 9
    katstevens on 28 Jul 2006 #

    Pictochat = blatantly for use in SCHOOL. Imagine rows and rows of Japanese schoolgirls furiously scribbling away whatever passes for kanji slang and telling their best mates who they fancy without having to pass notes and get caught by teacher!

  10. 10
    alex on 28 Aug 2006 #

    Can any one help me i am stuck in nintendo dogs, the supplies icno wont apper whats wrong?

  11. 11
    alext on 29 Aug 2006 #

    I am stuck in nintendo dogs

    Did the screen open up and suck you in?

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page