Arkanoid DS does offer a significant multiplayer mode, which can be played against the computer, or in four player mode multi card, single card or Wifi play. If you can stand the friend codes, it’s a good experience with plenty of options over control and play mode. Playing vs. the computer also gives you medals, so it’s another way to get the goodies a little faster.
Taito’s update to their cloned, but innovative Breakout imitation fiddles around with the classic formula a little too much to make an old school arcade enthusiast comfortable with it. It’s a difficult fit for the DS’s vertical style, and I would’ve preferred putting the action on the bottom screen and the score details on the top one. The one change that does improve the gameplay is the stylus control; it’s surprisingly comfortable and works better than the D-pad. Publisher Square Enix released an arcade style paddle peripheral for Arkanoid DS in Japan, but didn’t include it in the American release—too bad, because it’s supposedly very authentic. I guess it’s a good thing the stylus control works so well.
Arkanoid DS isn’t as impressive or addictive of an update as Space Invaders Extreme, but it’s a whole lot of gameplay for your $20. The lengthy arcade mode and quest challenges will keep you busy for a while, and if you have friends who really like Arkanoid, there’s plenty of multiplayer to go around. As far as I know, Arkanoid DS is the first official portable version of the game, although you’ll probably find a suitable clone on any list of cell phone games. Arkanoid DS isn’t a very exciting package, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth in raw content.
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If you’re looking for levels upon levels of brick breaking, Arkanoid DS has you covered. It’s not all that innovative and some of the format choices are questionable, but the stylus control works great and you’re getting a lot of the same stuff for a low price.
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