Friday, September 21, 2007


The device I've chosen to specifically review in my technology assesment is my DS lite - and my favourite game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. (:

The DS
A portable gaming console; it's about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide (closed). It's equiped with two screens; a top viewing screen, and a touch-screen on the bottom. A stylus should be used on this touch screen (a stylus is provided, obviously, and there's a little spot on the side of the console to slip it in when you aren't using it). The sysem has a built in wi-fi adapter for those games that are online, and it is able to connect with other DSes nearby to share certain games with them. With the help of a DS Browswer, purchased seperately, the DS can even browse the net. The system plays both DS games and Game Boy Advance games.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
A fascinating game where you take on the role of Phoenix 'Nick' Wright, defense attorney. There are five cases in each game and it is your job to solve each of them, proving each of your clients 'not guilty'. It's a 'point-and-click' action game - you use the stylus to select various items around you as 'evidence' and to select answers to queries on the touch screen. The storyline has been critisized as being 'too linear'; there is /one/ story to follow and it is difficult to fail in court, but I think the in-depth characterization of the colourful cast makes up for it. (:

Two consecutive days of using my DS wasn't difficult at all ;)
I find I use it in between class times - at lunch, while waiting for a class to start, etc. I like to play at home when I have free time, too, because this is when I can take advantage of the game's voice commands ...

The game Phoenix Wright is equiped with a very interactive voice function that allows for the user to hold down a button and yell "HOLD IT!!!!" when pressing a witness's testimony, "TAKE THAT!!!!" to present the witness with evididence, and "OBJECTION!!!" when you find a flaw in the testimonies.

Using this device is pretty basic; you rely on sight to see the game, touch to use the stylus/press buttons (the 'pyshical' aspect of this device), anddd voice commands in some games (like Phoenix Wright!)
The game itself requires cognitive thinking - one must be able to reasonably judge the situation/assume what is needed to get the gameplay moving along. It's difficult sometimes to guess what evidence needs to be presented in a trial; items have to be selected/presented at just the right time or else you gain a strike against you.

There are very few frustraions involved (my enjoyment of the system/game obviously outweighs these frustrations):

The voice commands:
I rarely use them - when I do, however, it seems I have to yell in a certain tone for the game to even recognize my commands. I'm sure it'd be funny to hear me from the other room shrieking 'OBJECTION ... OBJECCCTTTIONNNN .... OBJECTION :[' in different tones in an attempt to have the voice recognition pick me up ahah This feature is simply an add-on, though; you don't need to use it to enoy the game. So, 95% percent of the time I just enjoy the game on it's own, knowing the voice commands are there if I want to embarrass myself.

Advancing the Plot:
At some points (ie. the point I'm at in the game right now) the game is difficult to advance; the player has a hard time determining what exactly would move the storry line further. What bit of evidence is needed before you can proceed to the trial? Or, what exactly do you have to ask a witness/show them so that they might slip up in their testimony? It gets really frustrating because the game only responds to certain, very precise, commands and actions to advance the storyline.

The touch screen:
This might just be a frustration to me, but my touch screen gets really worn/needs cleaning frequently. Both screens, actually. Any touch to them (fingerprints, I mean) are extremely evident and if I tilt the DS a certain way while I'm playing, and notice these finger prints, I lose it. =| The DS system itself, I have a white one, tends to get dirty - the left and right shoulder buttons are now an offwhite colour from usage haha =/

♪: Blondie: Sunday Girl

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