Super Mario Conquers Space
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Last Of The E3 Quickies

DK King of Swing As the memories of E3 2006 begin to fade away into one massive slab of fuzzy hazes it's time to take one final look at more of the games at the show that especially impressed me.

DK King of Swing (Nintendo DS): It has the same title as the Game Boy Advance version, but this sequel is actually an all new game with rendered visuals similiar to Donkey Kong Country and the return of Diddy Kong as a playable sidekick.  The basic gameplay appears the same, but the levels are larger and more detailed.  Again, more of the same but still fun.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (Nintendo DS): Another 2D Castlevania adventure for the DS is alright by me, mainly because this new adventure just looks so gorgeous.  Colors are vivid and bright, the animation is even better than the previous game, and some of the monsters are rendered up as 3D objects against the 2D world.  One enemy that made a particular impression on me was a floating eyeball that would occasionally turn and look out towards me while I whipped it to bits.

Kirby (Nintendo DS): Yet another Kirby adventure that didn't seem to be any different from previous entries in the handheld series.  Even the visuals look the same.  The gimmick this time involves being able to combine abilities on the touchscreen.  Collect, say, the electricity power and the sword power and then mix them together with the stylus to acquire a cape that allows Kirby to dive bomb his foes.  Fun demo, but nothing amazing to see at this point.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception (Sony PlayStation Portable): This multiplayer demo allowed players to shoot each other out of the sky in one of three available (for now) fighter jets.  Getting the demo started took some work, as I had to coordinate setting up a host/client connection with other E3ers trying to play the game.  Once the action started I was shot out of the sky every time, but it was fun to just fly around and shoot aimlessly.

Capcom Classics Mini Mix (Game Boy Advance): The only GBA game I found on the show floor this year is this three-in-one game pak of NES classics: Strider, Mighty Final Fight, and Bionic Commando.  The games appear in their original format with the exception that they appear to be emulated using the same emulator in use for the Classic NES series, meaning that the screens are vertically squished somewhat.  Bionic Commando is still fun after all these years.  A $20 price tag could make this one a must-own.

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