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After the stunning collection of solid minigames of Guinness World Records Wii, we have the DS version. It takes that same strong record breaking instinct and converts it to a handheld platform in an impressivley fully fledged form.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
Guinness World Records is unique because of its record breaking brand cache. Its unique selling point is that you can experience that thrill of being best in your household, local region, nation or world.
The game reflects the world renound book in its selection of wild and whacky record breaking challenges. Whether you want to be the best at eating a plane, throwing washing machines, jumping a BMX or the classic ripping phone books there is something for you hear.
When you start you can register you region (I was surprised to find it knew where Devon was) so you vi for the top score in your locale. Provided you have setup you DS with wireless internet access you can then download the latest local, national and international scores to compete against.
As for Guinness World Records Wii, the DS game provides unique controls for eahc record breaking activity. Each event begins by introductioning the controls before you test your hand. The majority of these are well implemented, although there is a sense that some games have been shoe horned into using the DS touch screen, rather than being purpose build for the system.
In some areas the DS version lacks the degree of depth and flexibility of the Wii. The Glider challenge for example only lets you control the verticle trajectory of your plane - whereas on the Wii you had complete freedom to fly where you liked.
Once you have completed the task in hand you are taken to a high score table. Here you can see whether you have beaten your own personal best, those in your household, region or even nation. If you consistently get high international scores, you have a shot at registering your progress towards an actual world record for inclusion in an upcoming Guinness volume.
The only down side is the lack of simultaneous multiplayer. The emphasis here is on individual performance, and each player has to take it in turns. Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii which has a similar feel, provides more multiplayer fun as you can compete against other players at the same time.
Both and DS and Wii version of Guinness World Records play to that most basic of human instincts - to learn and improve.
Starting an activity, grappling with the control combinations and putting in a decent score at first seems like an insurmountable task. Checking the local leaderboard and realising just how far off the pace you are makes a joke out of your recent attempt.
But as you have a few more goes and find a natural improvment each time, there comes a moment when you realise the record is there for the taking. This is when the obsession sets in and you play over and over edging ever closer to the record.
Eventually you achieve your goal and see your name up in the regional (or maybe even national) scoreboard. The buzz is truely rewarding for all that hard work.
Each of the activities can be completed in a few minutes. The Wii activities have been tailored to suite the more casual (on the go) nature of the DS audience. They are a little quicker to complete and you can pause them by shutting the DS lid.
Still, to understand the mechanics and depth of implementation, repeat plays are unavoidable. It is only then that you start to approach a respectable score and have a chance of registering online against other players.
Very Young players may struggle to register a respectable score, but should still enjoy playing with the various minigames. The more direct DS controls avoid the slightly tricky Wii pointing and are easy for small fingures to understand.
Intermediate and slightly older players will really enjoy the sense of competition the game draws from its World Record Breaking licence. Being the top player in the house is quite a thrill, but getting your name up for your region is very exciting.
Expert players may find some of the silly-ness of the activities a little much to bear. The limitations of the DS do mean some activities are simplified. These players should give Guinness World Records Wii a try for a more in depth experience. Each offers a surprisingly nuanced interface that needs a deft touch and keen eye to really excel at.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
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