Remember how The Legend of Zelda character Tingle starred in his own Nintendo DS game not so long ago? And how the game has not (and most likely will not) come to North America? MTV's Stephen Totilo imported the European version of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and discovered the game's awful secret: it demands money. A lot of money. A whole lot of money, even. All the time.
In most adventure games the cost of items is clearly established. Need to buy a shield? Some armor? A golden chicken? A village merchant or town elder tells you what you must give to get what they’ve got. In Tingle the non-player characters will rip you off. Want a 10-ingredient pot in Tingle? Don’t know how much it costs, because the lady cook won’t tell you? Well, make an offer. In a miserable twist to classic bartering, most of the game’s character to whom you make a lowball offer will pocket the money you offer them. And then they will start negotiations over from scratch. So when I found a character who promised a great secret if only I could pay him “four figures,” I made a mental note (only possessing three figures of rupees at the time). I came back to him later in the game when I had about 3000, offered him 1000 , got laughed at and left with just 2000. Did anyone else know that Nintendo published games this mean?
I really haven't had any interest in this game, but now that I've read about how it manages to turn so many gaming cliches upside-down, I find that I want to try it. I also understand now why this game hasn't come to North America. It sounds as if Tingle won't hold the player's hand all the way through the game. Players are left in the dark often, and if there's one thing we don't tolerate in our games here in North America it's a requirement of patience and ongoing clueless exploration. We need a map where X marks the spot every time and a big gun to blow up that X when we get to it. Tingle doesn't seem to provide that.