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Topic: Asphalt 4: iPhone or DSi?

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thewiirocks

1. Posted:

With the iPhone version of Asphalt 4 being only 99 cents, I had a hard time justifying the $8 price tag for the DSi version. With the iPhone version having motion controls in addition to a virtual dpad (tap left and right on the screen) and touch screen controls, it seemed like a no-brainer at that price.

However, I'm curious if anyone here thinks the DSi version is better? Is so, why do you prefer the DSi version? Is it worth the extra $7?

thewiirocks

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minial100

2. Posted:

Depends on what system you prefer, and if you want to spare the 800 pts.

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Hardy83

3. Posted:

The iphone version is obviously a better price, and a better looking game.
It's really a no brainer. Iphone ports to the DSi will always be more expensive and not look as good most of the time.

That is if you have an Ipod touch or Iphone. If all you have is the DSi then really you don't need to decide this.

This is one of the many bad things about Nintendo's online system. Prices don't go down, which is sometimes a good thing when sales start to stale. I'm sure games like Lost Winds for the WiiWare could use a 50% point cut, among many other games.

Hardy83

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thewiirocks

4. Posted:

Hardy83 wrote:

The iphone version is obviously a better price, and a better looking game.
It's really a no brainer. Iphone ports to the DSi will always be more expensive and not look as good most of the time.

That's what I thought. I really wanted to feed my poor DSi this game, but it's hard to pass up the iPhone version for a buck. It's an interesting way to slit one's own throat I think. I would have purchased the DSi version if the iPhone version was $5. Or if the DSi version was $5 or under. But with a disparity of $7 + better controls + better online, it's kind of hard to argue.

This is one of the many bad things about Nintendo's online system. Prices don't go down, which is sometimes a good thing when sales start to stale. I'm sure games like Lost Winds for the WiiWare could use a 50% point cut, among many other games.

Indeed. I think Nintendo really needs to examine their service next time around. Not just the pricing, either. There are a number of good iPhone games that were created by effectively garage developers. But with Nintendo, if you don't have secured office space you don't get a devkit. In result, they're driving away the very developers Iwata-san wanted to attract!

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warioswoods

5. Posted:

I couldn't disagree more; I find gaming on the iPhone to be severely handicapped. Now, I should say up front that I don't own one, but I've tried several games on friends' iPhones / iPods and I have one huge problem with it: the controls.

The tilt control is a joke, as far as I'm concerned. It seems as if they only included it in the first place for basic functionality like switching between wide and vertical layout on the browser etc, and I can't think of a worse way to control handheld games than tilt and motion. Sure, it sounds nice for something like racing, and I'm a big fan of wiimote-tilt for games like Mario Kart, but on a handheld in general (where I'd like to sit back comfortably on a train or whatnot), and in particular on a device where your tilting will mean actually tipping the screen itself in different directions, it's a horrible idea. I have a friend who is a fellow Monkey Ball fan and an iPhone owner, who downloaded that game, and we both agreed--it's the worst Monkey Ball game you could possibly create, even though it looks great, and it's all to blame on the fact that it uses tilt controls on a portable device.

So that leaves only the touchscreen--do you really think you can play a driving game like this one well with only a touchscreen? That means not only your steering, but even your acceleration, braking, nitro release... everything, with only touch. I read a couple reviews of the iPhone version when I heard it was coming to DSiWare, just in order to see if it was something to be excited about, and the reviewers agreed that the controls are a pain.

The DSiWare game, on the contrary, has perfect classic arcade racing controls (and still has the touchscreen if you really want to steer the wheel that way, but it's pretty terrible). I don't know how you could handle this game with only touch--when I'm driving, I'm constantly tapping the brake just before a turn, in order to start drifting, and then carefully steering left and right to make adjustments before hitting nitro (R button) just as I finish coming around the bend. That must be nearly impossible to pull off successfully on the iPhone.

So, yeah the game is cheaper and probably has smoother graphics, but I'll be surprised if anyone tries both and prefers that version to the DSi. However, I haven't tried both, so if you do end up picking up both copies for some reason, I'll be very interested to see what you think.

On the broader topic, though, of iPhone vs. DSiWare, I do understand your concerns about the steep requirements to develop for the latter service, and the pricing, but I don't see the iPhone as more than a novelty gaming device, which only a few genres will be well suited to. Even for touchscreen-only games, I'd always go for a stylus, as I can't stand using my fingers on top of the game screen while I'm playing. (Someone said that you can get a third-party stylus for the iPhone that works, so that sounds a bit more promising, but I'm still highly skeptical).

Edited on by warioswoods

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LinktotheFuture

6. Posted:

Sure, the game is cheaper on the iPhone, but the iPhone and service contract is a lot more money than buying a DSi and paying 8 bucks for Asphalt 4.

The chickens are restless.
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minial100

7. Posted:

LinktotheFuture wrote:

Sure, the game is cheaper on the iPhone, but the iPhone and service contract is a lot more money than buying a DSi and paying 8 bucks for Asphalt 4.

He's got a point there.

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thewiirocks

8. Posted:

LinktotheFuture wrote:

Sure, the game is cheaper on the iPhone, but the iPhone and service contract is a lot more money than buying a DSi and paying 8 bucks for Asphalt 4.

Except that this issue is neither here nor there. If you already have an iPhone or iPod Touch, the issues goes back to the one I asked: Is there any reason to get the DSI version?

For the record, I have an iPhone now because contract costs went up for all phones to support online features. So I decided I might as well get the phone that works rather than a piece of junk that won't do what I want and breaks 3 months later. :)

thewiirocks

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thewiirocks

9. Posted:

warioswoods wrote:

The tilt control is a joke, as far as I'm concerned. It seems as if they only included it in the first place for basic functionality like switching between wide and vertical layout on the browser etc, and I can't think of a worse way to control handheld games than tilt and motion.

That's what I thought as well. But it seems Apple had the foresight to add a full accelerometer package. With a tiny bit of practice (not much more than it took to learn Excite Truck) I was able to learn the motion controls. That is now my preferred method of control. Left/Right to steer, quick jerk to drift, and quick tilt forward for turbo. There are probably brakes on the thing, but who wants to slow down? ;)

Sure, it sounds nice for something like racing, and I'm a big fan of wiimote-tilt for games like Mario Kart, but on a handheld in general (where I'd like to sit back comfortably on a train or whatnot), and in particular on a device where your tilting will mean actually tipping the screen itself in different directions, it's a horrible idea.

Again, it works better in practice than you might think. The game is extremely sensitive to tilt, meaning that the screen tilt is so small you don't notice. If you try excessive amounts of tilt, you'll only succeed in changing the screen orientation. i.e. A little bit goes a long way. :)

I have a friend who is a fellow Monkey Ball fan and an iPhone owner, who downloaded that game, and we both agreed--it's the worst Monkey Ball game you could possibly create, even though it looks great, and it's all to blame on the fact that it uses tilt controls on a portable device.

I have a feeling that has as much to do with Monkey Ball as the controls. I always hated that series, and it appears to be getting worse with every iteration.

So that leaves only the touchscreen--do you really think you can play a driving game like this one well with only a touchscreen? That means not only your steering, but even your acceleration, braking, nitro release... everything, with only touch.

The multitouch on the iPhone is surprisingly sensitive. On screen DPads and buttons are actually quite responsive and usable. For example, I play Wild West Pinball by just tapping the left or right sides of the screen. Never missed a ball because of the controls.

Same with Asphalt 4. The screen sides are the DPad left/right and there are on-screen buttons for boost, brake, and other features. It works well enough, but I prefer the tilt controls.

I read a couple reviews of the iPhone version when I heard it was coming to DSiWare, just in order to see if it was something to be excited about, and the reviewers agreed that the controls are a pain.

"This game is awesome I usually don't like racing games but this is a lot easier to control than standard games." --Genoso
"This game is the best game on my iPod right now" --Ericthedon
"Lots of cars, but I wish it was a little harder =P and good gameplay and controls!" --Chevy24
"Awesome controls and tons of mods" --whostolemyname (bastards)
"Those who complain about the controls must have the I.Q. of a doorknob...gotta be smarter than the game you're using people" --Snells00021
"i also luv how u can play the game in portrait or landscape and how responsive the accelerometer is." --Darkgooner

Most of the complaints about the controls are from people who think the game doesn't have accelerometer controls. This is clearly Gameloft's fault because the controls can only be changed in-game (not through the options menu) and it's not obvious how to make this change. The next most common complaint is that people want to be able to lock the orientation so that they can oversteer. A fair argument, but not really a show stopper.

I don't know how you could handle this game with only touch--when I'm driving, I'm constantly tapping the brake just before a turn, in order to start drifting, and then carefully steering left and right to make adjustments before hitting nitro (R button) just as I finish coming around the bend. That must be nearly impossible to pull off successfully on the iPhone.

Actually, it's quite easy. With motion controls it's nearly second nature. Tap controls are harder, but that's because you're using a digital input for an analog control. (i.e. steering) The DSi has the same issue there.

So, yeah the game is cheaper and probably has smoother graphics, but I'll be surprised if anyone tries both and prefers that version to the DSi. However, I haven't tried both, so if you do end up picking up both copies for some reason, I'll be very interested to see what you think.

I have the iPhone version and I can say without a doubt that it's an excellent game. I don't think there's any need to denigrate the iPhone offering when speaking about the DSi offering. I'm just wondering what differences there are (if any) that might make the DSi version valuable to an iPhone user. (Yes, I'm desperate to feed my DSi more, More, MORE!!!! :P)

On the broader topic, though, of iPhone vs. DSiWare, I do understand your concerns about the steep requirements to develop for the latter service, and the pricing, but I don't see the iPhone as more than a novelty gaming device, which only a few genres will be well suited to.

I have actually been quite surprised by the iPhone game offerings. Tap Tap Revenge, for example, is an incredibly good rythm game similar to Guitar Hero. The notes are extremely precise with the beat, which really drags you into the game. Surprisingly, you can't do it on the DSi. Since it uses thumbs for input, you need that multitouch display to pull it off.

I already mentioned pinball as a great game. Tap Defense (tower defense) is quite good, Lemonade Stand sucked away a few days of my life, Galaxy on Fire is a third person space combat game similar to StarFox but with motion controls, Penguin is a weird action/puzzle game that my kids adore, and Katamari is... Katamari. :)

The iPhone has proven to be a surprisingly capable platform for gaming. Not that I'm saying it overruns the DSi's territory. They are very different markets. In fact, the strength of the iPhone is its more business-like focus. Games are gravy.

IMHO, the pricing issue is a minor deal. The way Nintendo has effectively locked out the developers they're supposedly courting is a much bigger issue. It means that Nintendo's platforms don't get those exclusive titles they need to really help establish the platform. iPhone ports are cute, but you're going to get people comparing prices and making the same decision I did. Nintendo absolutely needs to show how their platform differs and why it's worth consumers investing in.

Even for touchscreen-only games, I'd always go for a stylus, as I can't stand using my fingers on top of the game screen while I'm playing. (Someone said that you can get a third-party stylus for the iPhone that works, so that sounds a bit more promising, but I'm still highly skeptical).

It's not that big of a deal. The iPhone has a thick pane of glass which is very comfortable for touching. It's not like the DSi's plastic screen which is designed for stylus use. Slide things around on screen enough, and you'll get used to the contact. :)

thewiirocks

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warioswoods

10. Posted:

@thewiirocks

Thanks for the very detailed response--I'm quite curious about this topic in general. I still don't believe I'd ever warm up to iPhone gaming very much, but there are a few reasons for that which others may not share with me at all:

  • Even if it's a slight tilt, I really don't want to move the screen I'm playing on--I'm picky enough as it is, positioning the screen at just the exact distance I like for the best picture, and often play when relaxing on the couch or something and not at all holding it in a proper orientation with respect to gravity, etc. I also like to game occasionally in public, when in a waiting room or lobby or whatnot, and I love the way a black DSi with a stylus actually looks fairly professional, so I don't feel self-conscious in a more business setting--there's no way I'm going to hold something out and tilt / flick it, ha.
  • As far as the touchscreen, it's not the tactile feel that bothers me, instead it's the general problem of putting your fingers in the way of the gameplay area. I'm a little odd on this issue as well, I'm sure: even for a game like Phantom Hourglass, where I have to use the stylus inside the gameplay area, I'm so annoyed by any intrusion of the stylus into the viewing area that I've often made use of the "rainbow stylus" set shipped by Club Nintendo, alternating styluses so that the one I'm using blends smoothly into the predominant color scheme. If I can glaringly see the stylus or my hand in front of the gameplay area, it just irritates me.
  • I'm also kind of an anti-cell phone guy. I always stick to the most basic cell phone I can possibly acquire, I refuse to sign up for contracts (pay as you go instead), etc. I just hate cell phone companies with a passion, and I also hate the trend towards having an all-multimedia device built-in on every phone. If I want to do some gaming, I can bring the DSi, but I don't need all that with me (plus the web, movies, etc) when I'm just going to hang out or meet someone for dinner--I like to be free of all that, but still be able to receive a call. Nothing annoys me more than the trend of everyone you pass on the street messing with their phone or text messaging. It's a "get off my lawn" kind of thing for me, I suppose.

Also, don't downplay good ol' Monkey Ball! The first game in the series was on of the best GC titles in my estimation, in both single and multiplayer, and the second game wasn't quite as good but still well worth playing. I have the DS game that uses the stylus for tilting the stage, and I actually find that quite comfortable and enjoyable, even though it has a steep learning curve. Moving the device itself, though, isn't for me, and maybe that's just my second "get off my lawn" topic (I have many more...) :p

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