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  DS Motion Card Official Review - Read th...icial review inside
Posted by retrohead on Mon, July 16th, 2007 at 15:39 - 3 Comments
 
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retrohead United Kingdom

 


Introduction & Packaging




The DS Motion Card is one of those devices that alot of people wonder whether it is really worth the extra cash buying one or not. We had one of them sent to us from Met@Shop so we could test it out with the growing library of homebrew that is currently available and to see whether it is worth parting with your hard earned cash for.

So what exactly is it? Well, the DS Motion Card is a tri-axis accelerometer that can be used with homebrew that has been created for the DS. It contains a 3-axis accelerometer and a
single-axis gyroscope to enable full motion sensing on the DS and the DS lite something similar to that which owners of Nintendo's Wii experience with the Wii Remote.

The DS Motion Card comes in a small vacuum formed package and that is about it. On the sticker of the card is the url of the homepage and after a quick visit there you can learn what exactly you can do with the DS Motion Card.

Here are the features from the homepage:
  • Tilt Sensing
  • Motion Sensing
  • Twist Sensing
  • Gesture Recognition
  • Possibilities are endless


Sounds pretty good, lets crack it open and take a closer look.



Hardware



The card isn't bad quality but it's not great either. The plastic is brittle and there is a hole in the top of the card as if it is a case for a DSerial or something. I have seen worse and it doesn't feel like it is going to break suddenly or anything. Its exactly the same size and shape as an official card it's just a slight shame about that quality difference in the plastic.



Pulling the card in an out of the DS is no problem at all, unlike some of todays flashcards the DS motion does not stick at all. It also sits nice and flush in the DS as expected.



Peeling up the 4 corners of the label revels 4 screws, remove those and you are in. Well there's you internals guys. Not much to look at, 6 components in all doing the work sensing your every move and it's all put together nicely to boot. There's nothing else I can think of to say at this point really.



Software



The DS Motion is not a flash card therefore there is no menu for it. When you plug it in the DS you do not see and icon for it. It would have been nice if the DSMotion had a built in PassMe function as you currently either need a flashed DS or a PassMe device to use it with a Slot 2 card. Most homebrew has the option to switch Slot 1 cards before you start the game so a good majority of the software available is compatible with Slot 1 cards aswell. PassMe functionality would also add to the cost of producing the DS Motion Card so perhaps it is better that this is not included to keep the price to a minimum.

There is no software for the DS Motion and you do not need to install anything. It is fairly simple for the average homebrew developer to add the DSMotion code into their game/application and a nice quick start guide is readily available from the homepage.



Homebrew Compatibility

Before I go any further I am sure a few of you are going to ask if this works with GBA games like WarioWare Twisted that have a motion sensor built in to the cartridge. The answer is simply no and possibly always will be. The reasons for this are that the GBA roms would have to be patched to use the DS Motion Card functions and secondly there is currently no way for the DS to access Slot 1 whilst booted in GBA mode. This would require a GBA emulator running on the DS hardware from Slot 1 and again none exist at time of writing and probably never will.

So enough of that, let's have a look at what we have got and see how it all runs and how enjoyable it is. There is not an awful lot of software available to try out on the DS Motion, but the catalogue is growing due to some of the dedicated homebrew developers out there, I tried some of the more interesting titles available:

  Balance DS Motion Controlled  
  Carre Rouge Motion  
  Circular Defense Motion  


Awsome game, make sure your network isn't too clogged up though as you could experience some lag when playing with the DS Motion. Other than that, this is probably the best example of how to use this device to it's full potential.

[read more]
     

Good use of the DS Motion here but the block wobbles about a bit too much. A sensitivity setting could help.

[read more]

     

Absolute madness. The control system is damn confusing and again a little too sensitive. Perhaps a sensitivity setting would help here aswell.

[read more]

  Digger DS  
  Double Skill Motion  
  Eclipse Driving  
  Holiday Toss  

     

Seriously hard. Works well but I found it hard enough to bounce the balls more than twice.

[read more]


     

Makes use of the giroscope, twist the DS like a steering wheel. Good use of the DS Motion but not much fun.

[read more]


     

These kind of games are always fun for 5 minutes or so. Tilt the DS to an angle then press the button to kick the elf.

[read more]

  Mental Pong  
  SensitiveDS  
  Shake teh Bottal  
  Spout EX  

     

Single player pong controlled with the tilt, gets pretty tense after a while.

[read more]


     

Another great game and uses the DS Motion to perfection. Another must-have motion game.

[read more]


     

Shake the DS and pass it on, the person that the bottle explodes on loses.

[read more]


     

My favourite, great use of the Motion twisting and turning. A good way to get good using the device.

[read more]


Well after trying some of the games available, I start to get the idea that this device really isn't anything special unless you play a  decent game it, probably obvious I suppose. A couple of the games were highly playable and kept me entertained for some time, they are probably the obvious ones.

The remaining games left a bit to be desired when it came to controlling them with the DS Motion with the a few of them feeling as though the feature was added as an after-thought more than anything.


Conclusion

If I was scoring this for the fun factor, I would have given it about 72% but that's purely down to the lack of decent homebrew available for it so I can't really be too harsh. There is a good selection available but unfortunately a few of them do not play all that well with the DS Motion Card and as I said before, a few of them fell as though the feature was "bolted-on" afterwards as an after-thought. The 3 games that really should be played if you have one of these are Balance, SensitiveDS and Spout and I can honestly say that if Balance was a complete game, for the price the DS Motion is definately worth picking up for these few titles alone.

If you are a homebrew developer then I would say this is almost a necessity to have in your collection as I am sure there are plenty of ideas rattling around that could produce some top games for this, I am even tempted at creating something myself with it!

The DS Motion can be bought from [SHOP] for the low price of $[PRICE]

PROS
+ Does what it sais on the tin and does it well
+ Low price
+ Revolutionary concept offering features not found before on a handheld.
+ Relatively easy for developers to add code into thier projects
+ A wide range of titles are available and more will come out as the device gets popular
+ It's good fun


CONS
- Casing is brittle and has a strange "hole" in the top of it
- Requires a PassMe,Passcard or a Flashed Nintendo DS for Slot 2 cards
- The homebrew available isn't that enjoyable, there are a few gems though
- Does not work with any GBA titles (Wario Ware Twisted or Yoshi Tilt 'N Tumble)



Overall Score


  89%


Links

DS Motion Card Home Page



DS-Scene would like to thank Met@Shop for sending us a sample of the DS Motion Card for reviewing purposes.



 
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 » Comment On: - DS Motion Card Official Review
#1
 
Acevampire United States

  Mon, July 16th, 2007 at 19:04
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Quote 
So what exactly is it? Wll, the DS Motion Card is a tri-axis accelerometer that can be used with homebrew that has been created for the DS. It contains a 3-axis accelerometer and a
single-axis gyroscope to enable full motion sensing on the DS and the DS lite something similar to that which owners of Nintendo´s Wii experience with the Wii Remote.


I spy a typo  :rolleyes:
 
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 » Comment On: - DS Motion Card Official Review
#2
 
muggsy New Zealand

  Mon, July 16th, 2007 at 23:09
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It´s a shame that the first comment on a very thorough review is a silly remark about a typo.......

On Topic, the card is definitely not something I would be interested in, but I can see the positive points. It adds another way the very talented homebrew community can express their ideas. A shame about the build quality, hopefully that gets sorted.
 
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 » Comment On: - DS Motion Card Official Review
#3
 
0lotr0 Canada

  Tue, July 17th, 2007 at 01:42
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too bad it doesn´t work for GBA roms. I´ve been wanting to play wario ware twisted lately  :D
 
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