IGN Review of Turn It Around
I'm a fan of old-school arcade-style games on the Nintendo DS, always have been. But if you're going to make one, make it
you know, fun. Turn it Around is Taito's attempt at a variety of Wario Ware-esque simplistic quirky challenges grouped together in a compilation. But the wonky controls and lack of variety kill the fun that could've happened in the design.
The concept is simple. We've got 24 different, extraordinarily Japanese-quirky challenges that require players to spin the stylus on the lower screen. The variety of challenges is all over the spectrum: whack a baseball over the fence with a hearty spin, rotate a sushi conveyor with a hearty spin, raise and lower an elevator with a hearty spin, even have a large man throw another large man with a hearty spin. Each game is designed in a quick-play fashion, and you're ranked by your high score on how well you performed. You can choose to play these 24 games in a "challenge" grouping, or play them one at a time for high scores. There's a bit of fan service here for people who've enjoyed Taito arcade games in the past: little nods to Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble and Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, Space Invaders, and, yes, even Cameltry which has already shipped on the Nintendo DS as Labyrinth.
Look, I'm not against making a game that requires players to spin circles in clockwise and counterclockwise fashion the lower screen. I am, however, against how this game does it: just like in Taito's Labyrinth (Cameltry) release published by UFO, Taito's Turn it Around requires players to spin a virtual device on the lower screen. This doesn't work simply because your eyes are focused on the action on the upper-screen, and your stylus aim drifts when you're not watching what you're doing on the lower screen. Since the game only recognizes circle spinning if it's on the image of the wheel object, if you drift off the center point it'll fail to recognize your stylus spinning. And that's extraordinarily bad for a game that encourages rapid spinning.
Then, of course, you've got the one big problem: just spinning? It's boring. Oh so boring. It's nice to have a variety of events, but there's barely the same amount of spinning events in this full product than the spinning portion of Wario Ware Touched. There's a group of 24 events of spinning, and the only variety involves the situation and whether rapid spinning or careful spinning is needed. Some require only one spin and then it's over. Players can unlock additional difficulty levels if they plow through the "challenge mode" in the few minutes, but most of the increase in difficulty requires an insane amount of spinning, and by that time you'll be more worried for the health of your touch screen.
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