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The Video Game Critic
Point Blank's wacky soundtrack is appropriate enough, and its crisp digitized sound effects include shattering glass and rattling bones. There are actually five different modes of play, but each uses the same pool of games. High scores are saved automatically. Point Blank DS does a great job of retaining the charm of the original games, and it's a nice change of pace from all the platform and puzzle titles of there. As long as you resist using the infinite continues, Point Blank DS will charm and entertain.
Point Blank was a mid-90's arcade game where one or two players shot at digital targets onscreen with a light gun. While most other light gun games focused on war and violence, Point Blank took a more whimsical approach. Players shot at silly skeletons, cartoon octopi, glass ducks, and cardboard cutouts of ninjas. Similar to country fair shooting gallery challenges, you had to shoot a certain amount of targets in a certain time, and sometimes with limited ‘bullets' as well. Some mini games were more cerebral and required you to shoot at targets in order or match up two of the same targets.
While the DS has certainly gotten its share of brain training games and other touch-screen centric games, one genre surprisingly missing has been light gun titles. Namco Bandai Games is about to change that trend with their game Point Blank DS. Mixing touch-screen gameplay with frenetic shooting (and even some light brain exercises), Point Blank DS features some series trademark action and attitude. Unfortunately, it just can't seem to muster up enough depth to keep those features fresh for much longer than an hour or two.
Point Blank is pure fun - and it has a single-cart two-player mode, which gets it smiles from us straight away. Gunning skeletons, fish, cuddly toys and the aforementioned bees works rather well with stylus point-and-stabbery, much better than you'd expect from a game originally designed for use by people standing six feet away, wielding a lightgun and weighed down with 1990s levels of hair gel. It's been given a mind-training theme to cash in on Kawashima fever - ie, rock-hard spot-the-difference tests that'll leave you needing to rest your redhot brain in the fridge for a bit. But, really, it's just a very funny, very enjoyable target shoot.
Prior to last year's release of Guitar Hero for the PlayStation 2, playing a light gun shooter was the most realistic physical gaming experience one could have in the home. Forget about Dance Dance Revolution – real dancing does not look like that. Shooting a gun-shaped controller at a target, human or otherwise, is usually a very satisfying experience. Point Blank began life as an arcade shooter some 12 years ago, though it may be best known for the three versions released for the PlayStation between 1998 and 2001.
It’s easy to have a fun time with this game if you just pick it up and play for a short period of time. Despite this, it certainly doesn’t feature enough content to warrant a purchase. Most gamers will get tired of this title after they’ve experienced all of the minigames a few times over (which doesn’t take too long). If anything, this is an above-average first foray into light-gun games on the DS.
There will be a minority of people reading who adore Point Blank religiously, their palms still bearing the imprint marks of a long-gripped light gun. And really, no matter what I say, nostalgia is going to win out.
On some level, Point Blank DS is an interesting experiment on Namco's behalf, but frankly, Point Blank was more interesting when it was a light-gun game. The control offered by a light gun isn't nearly as flexible as control with a touch screen and stylus, so to see light guns used in such an unconventional way was really refreshing. On the DS, though, there are other games that have already explored the fast-paced minigame space more thoroughly, stealing some of the appeal that Point Blank DS might have had.
Point Blank DS is a little on the shallow side, but the designers do a decent enough job spreading out the fun into a handheld package. The touch-screen replacement for light gun control works surprisingly well - I'm not hanging my light gun back in the storage closet just yet, but at the very least Namco Bandai shows that there's a place for these arcade gun shooters on the DS, and perhaps if this is successful at retail we may see other touch-screen spin-offs like the Time Crisis series.
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
The tap-tap-tap doesn't exactly capture the same novelty of the old games' lightgun, though. It also makes this version initially much easier, though the harder difficulty levels quickly balance this out.
Je vise, je touche. Dix fois, cinquante fois, cent fois. Forcément, on s'ennuie un peu, voire beaucoup. Pas la moindre prise de risque dans cette fausse adaptation et vrai portage. Le genre du jeu de tir forain ne se satisfera pas d'un transfert tel quel, où il suffit de toucher des cibles avec le stylet. Les sensations sont nulles, l'ennui rapidement garanti. Trop chiche, régressif et finalement à peine plus intéressant que le moindre mini-jeu de New Super Mario Bros, ce Point Blank DS ne peut compter que sur un mode deux joueurs en coopération architecturé en game sharing pour se distinguer. C'est trop peu.