Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land

If you want to play Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land you're going to have to pony up the bucks to import it. You're never going to see a North American release for this title. Nintendo felt that the foppish Tingle was too "dandy" for North American fans. Their loss. There's the Japanese version and, thankfully, a Euro release that includes English menus and dialogue.

The best thing about this game is it teaches kids that money equals life. You don't have any cash, you die. Seriously, you life bar is the same as your rupee balance. You can imagine how crazy this makes game play. When you need something, like a map, or a bodyguard (Tingle can't punch his way out of a paper bag) you need to spend your VERY SOUL to get it. Worse, the prices are all negotiated! You may offer some cash and if it's not enough, not only do you not get what you need but you lose the cash you offered too! So if I want to buy an apple the storekeeper will ask "What do you think an apple is worth?" If you offer 20 rupees dude might say "That's not nearly enough." and you're out of luck and, ultimately, life points. It's pretty stressful. Some townspeople won't even talk to you without greasing their palms.

Funnier is when you do right by someone and they offer you a reward. They ask you what you think they should give. (You get that feeling in your gut like when your Grandma asks how much scratch you need for school supplies. You can tell her you need a Benjamin and you're happy to get it but you feel sick because dude, you just ripped off Grandma. ) Bid low and you'll get your cash but you'll be left wondering if you could have gotten more. Bid high and you get a big horse laugh and no money at all. The balance in the gameplay is near perfect as a result.

Controls are slick and make perfect use of the touch screen. Animations, backgrounds, and character design are delightful and really make for a fun experience. Sprites. Nothing wrong with that.

Play-Asia doesn't stock the Euro release so you'll have to try someone like NCX. That's who sold me mine. At around $50 it's a little more but it's definitely worth it to have Tingle in your collection.

Buy like you're underwater and there's a hot dog cart giving out free cans of air with every Looney Dog.

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