News Article

Ikachan Confirmed For Both DSiWare And 3DS eShop

Posted by Shaan Joshi

Two platforms, same game

Yesterday, we teased a picture that showed Ikachan running on a 3DS. For those who don't know, Ikachan is a 2D retro style platformer from Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, the man behind Cave Story.

While developer Nicalis was originally intending to release Ikachan as a DSiWare title, they decided to produce two versions of the game; one for DSiWare and one for the 3DS eShop.

Why, you may ask? Well, it's all about the user experience, Nicalis explains:

Wait, is it a different game? Why two versions? No, it’s no a different game and not really two versions.

I need to rewind a bit and given some background. When the eShop was launched, players could (and still can) purchase DSiWare games on their 3DS. This is pretty cool, but there’s a big issue for me, personally. The DSi has a resolution of 256×192 (top screen) while the 3DS has a resolution of 400×240(let’s say 320×240 for this discussion). If you divide 320 by 256, you get 1.25–basically, the length is about 25-percent more on the 3DS (talking QVGA resolution here). What that means is that if we want DSi games to run full-screen on a 3DS, they need to be stretched by an additional 25-percent over the maximum.

For me, however, it seems like a damn shame to play a 2D pixel-art game with a blurry screen. Sure, you can hold the Start button or whatever the method is to boot in native resolution, but then you end up with a tiny screen on the 3DS and particularly on the 3DS XL.

This is literally the only reason I decided to port Cave Story to the 3DS. Mainly, I wanted to play it in the proper resolution; remember Cave Story’s original resolution is 320×240 and we had to crop the field of view for the DSi. So after seeing how Cave Story turned out with pixel-perfect art AND the 3D stereo effect, I thought we should do the same for Ikachan. That way, both DSi player and 3DS players can both enjoy a native experience.

At least for now, I think we’re the only developers doing this and it’s probably because it’s a lot more work, but definitely worth it.

In order to provide a better graphical experience, Nicalis plans to release two separate versions of the game, that will both feature the same content, just running at different resolutions. What do you think of this plan?


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User Comments (40)



RupeeClock said:

So long as the price reflects the length of the game I'm all in.

It's only about an hour or two long with little replay value but it's one playing at least once.



Tsuchinoko said:

If they actually release it in Japan, that'd be cool. They have a weird track record with that.



KneehighPark said:

@Tsuchinoko I think part of the problem lies with Nicalis. They might not have experience when it comes to publishing in Japan. The same thing happens with Atlus games in Europe; other publishers usually have to step in



edhe said:

Any excuse, eh, Nicalis.

I hope they don't go down the same road as they did with Cave Story. There are 4 versions of that across Nintendo consoles.



Tsuchinoko said:

@KneehighPark I understand that, since Japan is a difficult market for anything, and I've seen a lot of products and companies (Burger King is one example) that try to come here and fail. Its just odd since quite a bit of Nicalis' games stem from Japanese products. The remade Cave Story didn't make it here until the DSiWare version.

I'd love it if more western produced games came to the Japanese E-shop. I'm still waiting for VVVVVV.



GameLord08 said:

@edhe: Agreed. To me, Cave Story has kind of lost its original value as a result of that, but eh, it's still a superb game.

Never played Ikachan after playing Cave Story, but looking forward to seeing how it pans out on handhelds. Just as long as they price it well though, I hear it isn't really that long or replayable.



KneehighPark said:

@Tsuchinoko Yeah, it is a bit ironic that Nicalis games don't come to Japan.

Sad to see you guys didn't get VVVVVV. That game is a 10/10 for me. So good. You can always play the PC version though



Tsuchinoko said:

@KneehighPark I keep seeing rumours that VVVVVV is coming to Japan. I even e-mailed the original creator and he has no clue. Its up to Nicalis in the end. Who knows? Australia just got it this month, maybe its all about the wait. I don't mind waiting, as long as it comes eventually. I tend to be really patient with these things.



Windy said:

@GameLord08 Personally I find the prices in the Eshop to be Despicable with the exception a few games. Nintendo is not competing with the other shops they are naming their own prices even on games thats sell for much less in the other shops. I'm real close to just moving on to Android if its going to go this way and they are real close to all digital download anyway. Well if im going to be downloading games Might as well do it from the apple or android markets. It will be alot cheaper and the digital downloads are just as good if not better. I love buying a Cart with box and artwork but that is going bye bye soon. I really want to stick with Nintendo Ive been gaming 25 years with them and I love my 3DS and was hoping it would be my last gaming system. This game looks good lets see if they stamp another 9.99 price tag on a low grade game. I do like the most recent version of Cave story just neat. I didnt download any previous versions but I did get stung with Planet Crashers which is real close to being the worst game I ever played. I cant beleive its still sitting at 9.99



Philip_J_Reed said:

I hope they don't go down the same road as they did with Cave Story. There are 4 versions of that across Nintendo consoles.

I think the difference here though is the simultaneous release. They're not expecting anyone to purchase both...they're providing a choice. With Cave Story, the staggered releases did cause folks to have to buy version after version if they wanted to see everything. In this case, everybody gets to see everything...and they get a choice of how they see it.



Tsuchinoko said:

@Windy Actually, I don't know what the prices are in other regions, but for a lot of games on the Japanese e-shop, it seems pretty reasonable to me. Especially for the VC, a lot of games are really cheap. All of the Game Gear games and Game Boy games are 300-400 yen, which is less than the price of a cheap lunch. I have heard people accuse NoA and NoE of price gouging some of the games pretty hard, and the pricing is all over the map. On the Japanese e-shop, the pricing is always the same:
Game Gear - 300 yen
Game Boy - 300 or 400 depending on the game
Famicom - 500 yen
Game Boy Color - 600 yen

Given the much higher prices for many things in Japan, download titles being as cheap as they are makes me happy. And the pricing always being a rounded off number is something to smile about too.



Hokori said:

@Tsuchinoko I think he's referring to the fact they are overpriced compared to the .99 apps on the iPhones... But I see no problem paying 4.99 for a game like Mario on my 3DS. Also I hope you get more of these games in Japan it took a year for CS DSiWare to come to Japan, here's hoping Night Sky, VVVVVV, Ikachan come out sooner, at least you got La-Mulana 1st



GameLord08 said:

@jarrebourn: You can't compare a $40 Mario retail title to even the best games on the iOS/Android platforms; the only justifiable comparison is digital platforms alone.

@Windy: While I agree that there are quite a few more well-priced games on those platforms that offer quite a lot more content than many games currently do on the 3DS eShop, I highly doubt going that route will satisfy you if you're also enthusiastic on retail-quality games being found there in abundance - remember, it's a digital platform and that alone. Apart from that, also take note that if you're unsure of what exactly you're looking for on the iOS/Android platform, you're most certainly not going to find it. Mobile platforms have become very cluttered and hard to sift through, given their lack of sufficient quality control and ease of search; for every high-quality indie game you'll find out there that overtly rivals (or surpasses) the quality of the eShop, there are a hundred more "$1 timewasters" overshadowing some truly great mobile games out there - rendering our set of consumers rather niche on these platforms.

My advice would be that, if you're not happy with the standard or pricing you're finding on the 3DS eShop as of now, take time to scour other mobile platforms for cheaper, better equivalents to sustain your digital needs for now. Abandoning retail completely is only going to prove shallow right now, especially with everything we've got headed our way to the 3DS right now.



Hokori said:

@jarreboum I was talking about VC
Anyway I'd pick up Ikachan for 3DSWare for sure hope it gets sreleased soon in ALL regions



Windy said:

@GameLord08 Excellent points all of them. I will be the first to admit im pretty frustrated with Nintendo. Games like Exidia, Zenonia, Let's golf 3d and Planet Crashers in particular are games that should probably be priced lower around 4.99 in my oppinion. I don't think I would feel so frustrated. I lovge the Let's golf 3d and pricing on that wasn't to bAd but you can get it for android for .99 cents. Planet Crashers really got me just a horrible game but The Denpa Men was excellent and the price was well worth it. if software is good I don't mind paying



Gridatttack said:

Wow its a nice surprise to see ikachan on the 3ds.
I remember playing it on the PC a long time ago.



Azikira said:

I've been waiting AGES to hear when this game will finally be released, and I am treated to it being released on 3DS as well. :3 Worth the wait.



Radbot42 said:

This game is really short, def not worth buying at any price, would be best if it were free.



ecco6t9 said:

I'm all for this since I am out of room with DSi Memory, I know I can move games back and forth onto the SD Card but it just wastes too much time.



Birdman said:

Hopefully the eShop version will cost the same as the DSiWare one; if more, 100% not cool Nicalis.



AlmightyDerek said:

It's sad that they even had to explain the reason for releasing both versions. You would think people would know that the 3DS is a higher resolution than the DS and playing a DS resolution game on a 3DS isn't something you'll want to do if you don't have to. It's not only the 3D effect that's different between the consoles. I know Crazy Chicken did that recently too, with offering both versions but only on their native platforms. You couldn't get the DSi version on the 3DS and they were the same price. Hopefully it's the same of this game.



SirSmugleaf said:

When they say that it means a "lot more work", they are really saying that it will now be "delayed another year"! Sure, I love cave story and Nicalis, but, jeez, don't they love to take their time with their releases?



SaKo said:

@Radbot42: Oh, so you've already played the upgraded version with improved graphics and extra sections to make the game longer?



allav866 said:

@Klyo I'd only buy it if it were an HD version of Cave Story 3D, since it's the only version I don't have, aside from the WiiWare version.

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