Setup & Timing
Getting around in Big Bang Mini was easy enough, but not without one problem. The opening credits were respectable and the download time, while a little long, wasn't too bad. Before the game is played the first time, there's a forced tutorial (training stage) that can't be skipped. While it's unlikely that players without experience would find every ability/feature on their own, it'd be better to allow experienced players (and adventurous players) to skip it and come back later if they desire. The tutorial would be well-suited as a downloadable demo to introduce others, but isn't available as such.
Menus & Navigation
The menu navigates well using the direction pad, but can get confusing when navigating via touch screen input (which is why it wasn't addresses in DSSingleCard.com's Big Bang Mini Instructions. For touch screen input, the host would have to tap on the wrong icon (to the left or the right) to recenter the screen until the "Versus" option is on-screen and it's possible that the wrong option could be selected.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
The touch controls are very responsive and accurate. The firing and the moving feel natural and make sense. The controls will take a little getting used to, as will the need to watch out for shots fired and sparks, not to mention an offensive strategy. Firing while not moving your character accidentally is also a concern while still getting used to the controls and the game.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Graphically, the game features a good contrast between projectiles and the background so that there's no confusion. The little background music adds ambience, but it's a very "take-it-or-leave-it" in its effect. The sound effects help, but aren't necessary if you're paying close attention (which you pretty much have to if you want to win. In other words, feel free to play/listen to anything you want to. Or just smack talk (either way). Feature-wise, there are three selectable stages (which act differnt, not just look different), and selectable win conditions. The number of other potential mini games (no pun intended) could add more to the title, as would downloadable demos for verious levels and for the tutorial.
The mini game that Big Bang Mini features is weird, but not. It's the same, but different. It is, undecidedly, fun. The main single-player experience (which is not reviewed here) involves the player holding their Nintendo DS system normally, with the touch screen below the non-touch screen. The Single-Card Download mini game features the players' Nintendo DS systems held side-by-side like a book (in-game hints talk about different angles to hold the system at, but then the gravity affecting the fireworks can mess you all up). In the single-player experience, you're a triangle. In the Single-Card Download Versus mode, you're a ball with wings, kind of like a Harry Potter Snitch (from the in-books/in-movies sport Quidditch). The control scheme otherwise is very similar: shoot with short, quick stylus motions and move by dragging your "character" around the touch screens. I enjoy the game and it's a fun and quick one-on-one shoot-em-up with unique physics and controls. Undoubtedly, I hope to see a whole much more Bang!
Offer a downloadable demo of the tutorial.
Make ther first level(s) available as a downloadable demo.
Simplify touch-screen menu navigation.
Alternate control scheme: moving your character requires a button to be pressed while dragging (no accidental movements).
Add in additional Single-Card Download Mini games using the Big Bang Mini's controls.
Include a Mini game where player compete (or work cooperatively) to shoot down objects in a mode more cloely resembling the single-player levels.
Adjust the already-included Mini Game to feature up to 4 players ("2 on 1" or "2 on 2" team play) or more.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 85 / 100 (a.k.a. 42.5/50)
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