all go to the lobby....and get ourselves a treat!
19, 2006 - If
you're old enough to remember the animated sequence
of dancing hotdogs, candy bars and soda which enticed
hungry patrons at the movies or drive-in theaters
to visit the snack bar many moons ago, you'll kind
of understand why I opened with it for this review
of Bandai Namco's Point Blank DS game. Seeing that
incredibly corny sequence brings back fond memories
anytime I hear that song or see that sashaying popcorn
box waltz across the screen and playing Point Blank
on the DS releases similar feelings of nostalgia.
Blank debuted on the PSone and was one of the only
light gun games aimed at a younger audience. Namco
kept the series under the umbrella of "light
breezy entertainment" and as a parent I appreciated
that. Not everyone wants their kids playing those
gosh darn murder simulators that the other "evil"
game publishers release on an unsuspecting public
in an attempt to hornswaggle and taint their young
impressionable minds. Okay, so I'm half-kidding. While
the Point Blank series sounded like it featured murderous
mayhem, nothing could have been further from the truth.
The games were brimming with a variety of shooting
gallery-type mini-games that have now been ported
to the DS. Instead of a light gun, players take charge
of the DS stylus and surprisingly the gameplay doesn't
lose almost anything in the translation.
main mode is Arcade and anyone who's played a Wario
Ware game (and who hasn't?) will instantly be familiar
with the rapid mini-game execution. This collection
actually features about 40 games plucked from the
various Point Blank games on the PSone / arcade and
most last anywhere from 15-20 seconds or so. There
are 4 difficulty modes to select which as you progress
will require more rapid-fire reflexes combined with
reasoning and judgement to ensure you aren't shooting
anything that is not meant to be shot. Outside of
the Arcade mode, players will be able to play a classic
collection of 4 shooter games, that really aren't
that much to get excited about and they can also play
the mini-games of their choice in the Freeplay mode.
unique mode entitled Brain Massage has been added
which attempts to chart your particular progress in
the areas of Accuracy, Judgment, Attention, and Reaction.
This mode is certainly addicting as you'll always
want to better your score. It's not quite Big Brain
Academy or Brain Age, but it will make you feel like
you're improving at least a small portion of your
cerebral cortex while getting an extreme thumb workout.
It's win win.
you've got that competitive edge going, two players
can go head-to-head with one Point Blank DS card which
really helps to elongate the entertainment as the
repetitive gameplay begins to show itself after hour
the game isn't going to win any awards as it's just
a port of some games from days gone by, but they get
the job done...and actually manage to look sharper
on the DS small screen then they did on the TV. The
music can grate but the sound effects are wacky and
fun and totally suit the onscreen antics.
$29.99, Point Blank is honestly a little steep simply
because the game does lose its charm after the first
couple of hours. Had Namco Bandai shipped this one
out the door with a $19.99 price tag, I would have
highly recommended it as it's a quality game aimed
which all ages can (and will) enjoy. At full price,
you'll really have to be in the mood for some oddball
stylus target practice.
Shooting Gameplay: Using the stylus as your weapon
of choice, tap tap tap your way to testing your
of Shooting Mini-Games: Play through 40 different
mini-games including shooting clay pigeons, aliens,
cardboard criminals, etc....All collected from the
original Point Blank series.
1. Arcade: Play through four different levels of
difficulty with varying numbers of stages.
2. Wirelss VS: Challenge your friends utilizing
the wireless feature with only one game card and
find out who's the quickest draw.
3. Brain Massage: Play through various stages while
the game analyzes your abilities and gives you feedback
4. Freeplay: Select any stage at any time to challenge
your best score.
5. Classic Coin-Op Games: New stages adapted from
Namco's classic coin-op arcade series.