Sunday, October 07, 2007

Archaic Sealed Heat.. Makes Sense To You?

When screenshots and details of Archaic Sealed Heat (ASH for short) first came out, there were speculations that the game will be released in 2 cartridges. The reason behind these speculations was that Nintendo DS cartridges were small in capacity and won't be able to fit all the FMVs and pre-rendered gameplay graphics.

This game can certainly generate alot of dumb hogwash from citizenz of the Internetz. Essentially glorified flash memory cards. Nintendo DS cartridges can be manufactured with sizes ranging from a paltry 8 megabytes to I don't know..perhaps 2 gigabytes and above if there's a need for such large capacity cartridges in the first palce.

A scan through a list of ROM files in my R4DS reveals that while ASH is the largest with a 256MB image, the largest I've played prior to that was MechAssault: Phantom War. MechAssault has a file size that does its title proud: 128MB. In comparison, popular PSP titles such as GTA have ISO file sizes measuring above 1GB. That's pretty crappy considering a Memory Stick maxes out at 4GB.

In any case, I managed to get through the first chapter of ASH without much trouble, despite not understanding a single word of Japanese. A turn-based RPG of sorts, there's a certain high standard for production values in this game unseen in most DS titles. The developer is generous with the FMVs and there's quite abit of voice work going on during the game.

The game takes place on a 3D-rendered map and there's a grid overlay on the background as well. Characters and enemies are portrayed as 2D sprite characters on the map. Another interesting of note is that like Zelda, ASH is touchscreen exclusive.

My journey with ASH ends here, since it exists in form of a ROM file. I don't like playing with ROMs for an extended amount of time and do I subscribe to the idea that they are substitutes to buying the real game. And besides, I don't really like RPGs.

I suppose the game will appeal to a certain segment of Nintendo DS gamers and if you want to, the game is available at Play-Asia. Click here for further details.