Setup & Timing
Lost In Blue 3 is a sequel game, and one targeted mostly to "hardcore" gamers. The developers (of the English-language version, at least) made some decisions that could throw some people off. Those trying to play the multiplayer aspects (both Single-Card Download and multi-card play) before the main game, for example, are treated to "Survive Together" and "Multi-Survival" (the latter is the multiplayer menu). While this is a minor inconvenience to some, many players don't read the included booklets and some new DS owners may find themselves working through part on the single-player experience while their friend(s) sit around bored.
Menus & Navigation
In regard to the menu programming, there are no problems at all. The options are legible. Selectable area are large. Buffer zones are more than enough to prevent mis-taps.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Lost In Blue 3 (when compared to Lost In Blue 2) has made some improvements as well as some steps back. One of the three mini games from 2 reappeard in 3: Fire Starter. Fire Starter is much easier to control and succeed in the second time around. The first new game, Bat Wipe Out, is exemely simple and consists of only a simple tapping mechanic (tap the bats). The second new game, Diving, was extremely awkward. Telling you to hold your breath, the game doesn't explain how (and pressing and holding the "A" button doesn't pop into my mind as the natural respionse without being told). The game also relates more to the single-player campaign's storyline than basic survival (gold doesn't help when stranded on an island) and the mini games otherwise don't otherwise ackwowledge anything about the single-player game's storyline (just like the single-player game isn't part of this review).
The graphics in the game are fine, and the sound effects add to the mood and setting. Again, the problem is in the amount of what is provided. There are three mini games where you're competing alongside your opponent(s), but not directly against them, and there is no option to download the games as demos. Two of the mini games focus on survival while the third makes reference to a single-player plot that isn't even brought up. Also, considering how small each mini game is, why remove the other two mini games from all availability (they could be an alternate choice in the multiplayer menu).
In my review for Lost In Blue 2, I noted how short the experience seemed and how disconnected it felt to the single-player experience (which is what Konami expects to sell the game, since it is the game. It seemed to me like Konami wanted to fix these problems, but ended up making them worse. A much more in-depth mini game (Diving) was included this time around. Unfortunately, there were insuficient instructions and some unnatural expectations. Diving makes acknowledges the single-player experience's existence with the gold, but doesn't discuss it or try to sell it up in any way. Diving also breaks the theme, dropping the focus on survival and inserting a quest for gold, which makes no sense when avoiding the main game's storyline. Lost In Blue 3's Single-Card download multiplayer is not terrible, it just can't decide what it is.
Program at least one or two mini games that are cooperative.
Include a downloadable, interactive demo that introduces new players to the main/single-player game's story.
Attempted, but not successful.
Make the mini games Rumble Pack compatable.
Change the menu labeling (see above).
Include better in-download instructions.
Provide storyline details if the background storyline is going to feature in the Single-Card Download mini games.
Offer each of the three mini games as a downloadable demo.
Give details that help to sell the single-player game if its plot is being used.
Restore the missing games from Lost In Blue 2.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 61 / 100 (a.k.a. 30.5/50)
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