* Prices may differ from that shown
Unfortunately this product really is useless, luckily I didn't have very high hopes when I got this as a birthday present. The creators appear to have attempted to create a game similar to pictochat but better, however they failed miserably as you can get friend to do download-play but the result is far worse than the original. The packaging is actually quite appealing, everything is bright and funky. However although it looks nice the packaging really doesn't give any information on the actual game. Despite the packaging, the game is very dissapointing. The basic concept is to talk and play with computer generated characters in order to collect coins spent on accessorizing your character. Unfortunately the majority of these games depend largely on luck meaning you can play for hours without getting anywhere. In my opinion this game really isn't worth the money, in fact I don't think it's worth any money at all! I sill haven't worked out the point of this game, to give it a chance I played it for a couple of hours. Now I feel I have wasted two hours of my life. I talked with a person who wasn't really there, I played games that didn't require skill just a load of luck (and I mean loads) and eventually all I had was a character wealthy enough to buy a hippo costume. *note* I originally posted this review on Ciao under the usernme ShoppinXluva.
This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Ping Pals, developed by Success Corporation and published by 505 Games. The game is a social networking type game, where you can create your own avatars and chat to others. When you buy your Nintendo DS, you will get a program built into the system called Pictochat, which is a communication program, allowing you to talk to others, create small animations and generally interact with other Nintendo DS owners. Ping Pals aims to better this piece of software and enhance the general interaction experience with others. With Pings Pals, you are able to select from over one thousand items to create your own avatar, or personality. These include different hairstyles, clothing and general looks. You need to interact with others to increase the number of these items, as you can only access some of these additional items by that interaction. This is because each version of the game contains no more than a few hundred of the items that you need, so the aim is to get players trading with each other. To be able to trade with others, you generally need to build up your in-game currency. This is done by playing numerous mini games, either on your own, or with others. These are pretty awful, one is a form of pictionary, which actually doesn't even work, and really isn't the sort of game that anyone would think would translate properly to a mini-game, given the potential complexity of its operation. In principle, the theory that you have to trade with others is a good one, it encourages more cartridges to be sold, so that you can utilise the game to its full potential. However, it's not really enough to just get a few more backgrounds, the principle would only work if you got extra mini games or the like. With this limitation, there is little incentive to really want to play with others, especially as the mini games that are present are so awful. Going back to Pictochat, the free version of the communication software on the Nintendo DS. Pictochat is simply better than Ping Pals, it is better programmed, perfectly useful, works well, and most of all, it's free of charge. There really is simply no reason why you should pay extra for this product. The graphics in this product are OK, they do the job, but they're nothing special or innovative. The background music is limited to a few repetitive tracks, which are more frustrating and irritating than anything, and they certainly don't add to the atmosphere of the product. The multi player function is well programmed on this game, although it should be, as it forms the basis of the software. With just one game cartridge, you can get 16 players playing, although they have to be in close proximity to each other. The game's retail price is 29.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for 19.56 pounds. If you're happy with a second-hand copy, these are at the time of writing available on sites such as eBay and Amazon for around four pounds. The game is rated 3+, so is suitable for children of nearly all ages. Overall, this is pretty poor. If the aim is to be better than Pictochat, which is free as it comes with the Nintendo DS, then the developers have struggled to even do that. Which really does question why anyone would want to buy this product. It is better in some ways, such as the mini games and some additional interactive functions, but it's not enough to warrant paying much for.
The DS is great and all but there are some really rubbish games for it, a lot of games coming out nowadays are just average games or worse that you'd be better off not buying. Ping Pals is one of them. It's sort of an improved version of Pictochat which is on all DS consoles. What's worse it's not compatible with Pictochat. Luckily people can use Download Play to chat to you with it but it's inconvenient. Ping Pals allows customization instead of the plain Pictochat. This includes avatars, backgrounds and so on. What's bad, you don't these add-ons as standard. You have to purchase them using in game credit for doing things and it takes a lot of credit even to get one item. Also, once you've bought it, if you decide you don't like it you can't sell it back. You need to log on at certain times and often in order to have some items become available to buy. You do get some credits for playing the game, though. Guess what, your friends who download it won't be able to see them... What a load of rubbish.
Designed to fully exploit the platforms capabilities for wireless messaging and wireless game sharing, Ping Pals will set a benchmark for forthcoming communication titles for Nintendo DS.