Setup & Timing
Navigation is atrocious, simply because the Single-Card Download portion of the title needs to be unlocked. When the game is first opened and played, the "Mini Game" multiplayer menu isn't present and locked out. It's not even there, which could leave gamers scratching their heads. After it's been unlocked, "Mini Game" is right on the main menu and download time takes around 25 seconds. The opening credit sequence is mostly skipable.
Menus & Navigation
While having almost the entire lower screen to utilize as they choose, they made the menu options very small, and for no obvious reason. Because of this, the options are difficult to tap and people may find themselves tapping the wrong options if they're not careful. The menu labels (while small) are clear and are labeled appropriately.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
The game begins with the screen nearly full of gems and the player's goal is to slide gems left and right so that a falling gem drops on a stack where the second gem from the top is the same color or where another of the same color is at the top of the stack. Sliding the gems with the stylus is a simple matter of touching the gem and dragging it (horizontally) to its destination. The fact that the game starts you at a near-losing level induces more panic and sloppy play on the player's side than should be necessary. The tiles are also small because the programmers fit both players' play fields onto the lower screen. The experience would have been better if each player's play field were displayed on a different screen.
The graphics present a mostly 3D display, which is fine for a puzzle. The sound consisted of sound effects that simply served as a reminder that you're falling further and further behind. As for options... well... there are none.
Disclaimer: Here at DSSingleCard.com, only the Single-Card Download features of a game are reviewed and reflected in the game's score, never the single-player experience and never any Multi-Card play or Wi-Fi play. The main, single-player experience, no matter how extraordinary it may be in this case, is not taken into consideration for this game's score.
One of my biggest pet peeves is a game that advertises a feature on the packaging, but doesn't say that the feature has to be unlocked, let alone how to unlock it. For what is essentially a single-player adventure platformer, finding Single-Card Download features came as a surprise to a lot of people. A nice effort was made to fit the feature in, except the programmers forgot to give the content some quality. You see, one of the biggest complaints about some early Nintendo DS games was the fact that touch-screen control would feel tacked-on, even forced. The same complaint is surfacing about some of the Wii games, with motion controls feeling takced-on and/or forced. In Mega Man ZX Advent, the Single-Card Download mini-game feels the same way.
Now don't get me wrong, I relish in any excuse to buy a game as good as this one('s single-player experience is), and having Single-Card Download gave me that excuse. (My money is very budgeted, you see.) With Single-Card Download features, what some programmers haven't quite grasped yet is that players who use this feature (myself included) don't want EVERY game to have it... unless it's good, quality content. I don't want touch-screen controls on a DS game that are clearly inferior (and less comfortable) than button controls, or I won't use them. I don't want a Wii game where the motion-controlled mechanics feel broken or unruly, or I won't be playing it. And I certainly won't be spending my time playing poorly-designed Single-Card Download content over and over again. I liked the effort, as it showed signs of being open to applying new ideas to existing game models & series. I just hope that next time, the quality of the Single-Card Download content is at least half as good as the single-player experience before the programmers choose to include it in the final release copy.
Begin with the Single-Card Download content unlocked, even if a cinematic is required before play begins the first time.
Increase the size of the menu options for easier tapping.
Offer difficulty levels, indicating how high the pile of gems is at the start of the game and how quickly the gems fall.
Separate the players' play fields to one player per screen (with either DS orientation - standard or book).
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 50 / 100 (a.k.a. 25/50)
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