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Ping Pals

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Ping Pals
YOPYOP: I hate cars
Ben: I don't understand
This one conversation sums up this Pictochat knock off.
Protagonist(s): "Ping Pal" avatar
Genre(s): Simulation
Platform(s): Nintendo DS
Release: NA: December 8, 2004
AU: February 24, 2005
EU: March 11, 2005
Developer(s): WayForward Technologies
Publisher(s): THQ
Country: United States

Ping Pals is a chat/accessory program similar to Pictochat, one of the applications of the Nintendo DS. It was developed by WayForward Technologies and published by THQ in 2004, and is one of the launch titles for the Nintendo DS in Europe and Australia. The program allows the user to customize their avatar, and game interface with over 1,000 different items, including sound effects, music and clothing. The program also allows up to 16 players to connect wirelessly using one game cartridge to exchange text and picture messages.

Why It Sucks

  1. To get the elephant out of the room, it can barely even be considered a game, as it only serves as a program to chat with either other Nintendo DS users or AIs that would constantly ask you questions that would bore you within just 5 minutes of playing the single player mode.
  2. It is also basically a pointless alternative of Pictochat to get in the first place, since Pictochat was already included for free on the DS, and it had features that Ping Pals lacked. What does not help is that the creators of the game actually charged money for it, but it's just a worse Pictochat rip-off, so nobody would even spend money on this program that is already on a bad start as a poorly done rip-off.
  3. Unbelievably repetitive and dull gameplay; each character will constantly ask you questions during their conversations with you, which makes you have to answer them over and over again, and on the mini-games, you simply type words to play them in hopes of getting the correct answers and secret words. It is a severely outdated style of gameplay because it already existed over 20 years ago on most early PC games that use text recognition for their gameplays, which eventually died with more modern hardware that are capable of running games that nowadays utilize graphics. It's absolutely unacceptable to license a "game" with such gameplay in 2004.
  4. No replay value whatsoever. The gameplay is garbage, the minigames are just not fun to play, and all the unlockable content there is in the game is nothing but avatar items that can be bought with coins that can be obtained by winning the minigames.
  5. Generic sound effects and music.
  6. Sometimes, the AI becomes moronic and might simply not care about what message you reply them with. When asking you certain questions such as "How as your summer?", you respond with anything such as "yes", so you can skip it altogether.
  7. In the minigames where you have to guess and type in words from a category given by the AI, the categories may lack a huge number of words. For example, "monitor" and "internet" aren't even related to the computer category according to the game, so trying to type in both of those words will only result in wrong answers.
  8. There is even a luck-based game which is consisted of just number guessing, which is even worse than guessing words because in the latter, at least, you are given a category of words by the AI. The more the number you chose is close to the correct number, the more coins you get. It's a bland idea which translates into the most repetitive minigame in the program, since you just keep spamming numbers over and over again in hopes to get the closest to the correct one.
  9. Weak graphics that are close enough to resemble those from a Game Boy Advance game, with barely any animation in the whole game, which especially can't be seen on any avatar whatsoever. The default backdrop of the game is especially just a simple gray solid color, and it's like the game had originally slated release for the GBA, but then the developers saw the release of the Nintendo DS and converted their game into a DS game to release it as a launch game in the last second, which might explain the awful graphics.


The game received putrid reception from critics, who mainly criticized it for its lack of interactivity as a "game", and its resemblance to Pictochat, which was already included with every Nintendo DS model anyway, hurting the sales of the game with only 100,000 copies of the game sold according to TodoNintendoS on their top 10 list of the worst Nintendo DS games video on YouTube. The game has an agreggated 28/100 score on Metacritic[1]. It was ranked #9 on, again, TodoNintendoS's top 10 list of the worst Nintendo DS games.



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