Contact (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 01.05.2006 5

When Capcom revealed that it was working on killer7, the extremely twisted and gruesome GameCube action title, many were shocked at its content. The team behind that game, though, Grasshopper Manufacture, is back with a Nintendo DS RPG, overseen by Harvest Moon's Marvelous Interactive. But where is the gore? No need, when there is so much charm instead...

Grasshopper and its main man 'Suda 51' already have a great reputation throughout the Industry and gaming fanbase as a whole due to its innovative stance when creating games. Okay, so far only two have been released

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

Hasake tends to remain on the top screen in a graphical state that is very reminiscent of the Mother / Earthbound series (which led many to incorrectly believe this was a DS version of the Nintendo RPG series), whilst Terry is controlled on the lower screen in extremely lush environments that make great use of the DS technology and power. Terry will wander around looking for the cells, whilst also attempting to hunt for monsters and take part in devastating battles. To aid Terry on his mission, he has the help of a 'Seal System', which can be set up to allow the use of special skills and attacks. Also, there is a 'Costume System', where various different uniforms can be donned, with each one offering up a different skill

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

The game is reportedly full of quirky little special touches that make the end product feel like Earthbound, with the attention-to-detail you would expect from a Nintendo-made title. For example, the Professor asks you lots of questions at the very start of the game, such as what your hobbies are and what food you like and then comments on certain responses! Maybe some will see this as something too random to be interesting, but others, such as myself will definitely be charmed by the inclusion.

The gameplay side has been described as something of a combination of genres, melding the world of the Japanese MMORPG with the role-playing games that us Westerners are more used to. This really does sound quite unusual, but with a quality development team at the reigns it is hard to be too sceptical. After all, despite how people may have construed the imagery and theme in killer7 it was indeed one of the most inventive games of the decade. In Contact, games can either use the touch-screen for complete movement through the various locations or stick with the traditional D-pad, all depending on what feels more comfortable.

The way that your character's statistics are improved is quite an intriguing one. For instance, if you run around quite a lot your speed side will be heightened, whilst the more you are hit by enemies the quicker your defence numbers will rise. It may seem a very different approach, but that is what Grasshopper is all about, providing gamers with fresh angles to normal genres (it would seem). It is a shame, though, that the battling sounds so formulaic and without playing it jumping to support it is tricky. Anyway, listen and see what you think. You wander around and see the enemies along the way. Once deciding to take some on you are warped into battle mode where Terry suddenly becomes his own man (...boy...), with him charging into fight when told and only stopping when told to do so. In fact, apparently you can even attack friends, not just foes, which could provide much first. Once told to fight, he will blindly keep attacking until you tell him otherwise. There are other aspects, such as accessing special attacks or using items at various points, but battling is a strange beast as it all sounds so 'detached' from the experience.

And whilst I really feel like giving Contact grace on this front, it is awkward as killer7 sometimes grew a little straightforward because of its simple, repetitive attacking nature. The one thing that could save Contact in this area, however, is the wealth of weaponry promised, plus special moves and the strong narrative and design style used throughout.

Final Thoughts

Can Contact be the RPG that DS owners have been waiting for since the system's launch? Possibly. Early reviews from Japan have been extremely positive and between Grasshopper (killer7) and Marvelous Interactive (Harvest Moon) it can hardly go TOO wrong. But there are some doubts until more details are revealed on the Western version...




Rising Star


Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Amazing how people at first thought this was Mother 3 because the Professor looked like Dr Andonuts (sp?) from the Mother series. But the style of the game seems slightly similar...

I'm very intrigued...not sure whether to really be excited about it or not...hmm...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Great stuff Adam.

I'm not sure about this one, it looks fun but I'm not sure if I'll get round to getting it simply because I have too much to play already...

That's why I'm in two minds as well. I loved killer7, but this is a different kettle of fish entirely and as there are so many other quality games on the horizon, my interest is focused there. However, this comes out in the Autumn, so maybe I'll be more tempted then...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

This announcement doesn't really do anything for me at the moment but come August, who knows?

Contact got something like 34/40 in Famitsu, which is DAMN good, so there's that going for it...I just think people aren't giving it enough of a chance. Like I say, when we get firmer English details is probably when I can be swayed one way or the other.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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