Retro arcade games that need a DS re-design

05Dec06

Here is a list of four retro-arcade games that could easily be developed to take advantage of the Nintendo DS’ special hardware features. The Nintendo DS’ touch-screen, microphone, wireless-play, and dual-screens could have turned some of the classics on their ear if only the DS had been released in the late 1980’s.

In the late 1980s Nintendo had changed from the company that created Hanafuda; (which thanks to Club House Games I know that I’m not smart enough to win even a single game) cards to the Nintendo Entertainment System, which may not have rivaled the graphics that arcades had but was certainly a turning point that home video game systems were making a resurgence.

Forgive the basic graphics attempting to give a view of what the game could possibly look like and enjoy the ideas presented. This list is in no particular order and are just a few of the games that could be rebooted as Nintendo DS success stories, so take it or leave it, here are my picks.

1. Klax was released by Atari in 1989 to follow on the success of Tetris. Just like Tetris it would be a perfect addition to the Nintendo DS’ ever growing assortment of puzzle games. Use the stylus to move the paddle back and forth, the trigger button to drop the collected tiles sliding from the top down to the bottom screen.

By adding Single-Card Download play multiple players could compete in multiple play modes. In multiplayer games each player attempts to remove tiles from their screen which results in tiles appearing on an opposing players screen. Taking advantage of the built in microphone each player yells “Klax” when a row of tiles is removed to double the number of tiles being sent to their opponents.

Mission based modes; where players have to remove tiles of a certain color in a certain pattern, time attack, score as many points as possible in a limited time, and the ubiquitis story mode, would allow the player to tally points to unlock new skins, play modes, music, tile colors, and special effect tiles for use in multi-player.

2. Gauntlet – Originally released by Atari in 1985 it was the first 4-player dungeon crawler arcade game. Released today it would set records on Nintendo WFC. Four player wireless play and track total levels played, number of times food is shot, total generators destroyed. When a player meets certain criteria (i.e. destroying 100 monster generators) they unlock hidden options; more player classes (just like in Gauntlet 3 for the Atari Lynx), different Magic spell capabilities, and new levels.

Players could use the stylus to create new stages to exchange with other players online. Select a tile set, treasures, monsters to fight, ingenious ways to block the exit and so much more. People could meet up online to play, exchange levels, and compare stats using voice chat directly in game

3. Quartet – Released by Sega to compete with Gauntlet. It was a 4-player side scrolling action game in a race to grab the most power-ups and destroy the boss to get access to the key and exit the level.

The Nintendo DS could add Single-Card Download play and Nintendo WFC to the mix and allow for 4 player head-to-head/co-op action to determine who the best of the Quartet is. With an added story mode built specifically for multi-player, players would be required to work in unison to complete levels and defeat enemies. Challenge stages could test players to beat specific goals to unlock new characters, special items, and levels.

4. Rampart – Released by Atari in 1990 Rampart required the player to build a castle using Tetris-like blocks and then defend it from invaders by firing cannon balls using a trackball. The game would take advantage of the dual screens and stylus controls like few others would.

The player would build their fortress on the bottom screen, placing blocks precisely using the Nintendo DS stylus and place canons within the walls, while watching their opponent on the top screen prepare just as quickly. When the battle is about to begin the screens would flip, placing the opponent on the bottom screen and the player at the top, the player would then move a targeting sight around and fire volleys of canon fire at their opponent. When the battle was over the screens would return to normal and the rebuilding process would begin again.

Building on top of the original would involve adding different armies to choose from, allowing for special abilities, different weapons, and the ability to play as an invading army instead of just the defender-you use the same pieces to build boats of varying sizes and attempt to land and seize the opponents castle by overwhelming numbers.

This is just a small sampling of what could be done to add to the extensive list of games available for the Nintendo DS, as the system hits it stride I wouldn’t be surprised to see some old franchises become the latest and greatest release of tomorrow.

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