Tibs Manor

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ScummVM on the DS

It seems like every few weeks I learn something that makes me want the Nintendo DS even more. Today's new tidbit is learning that ScummVM is available for the DS. SCUMM, the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, is the scripting language used by LucasArts for many of their classic adventure games like Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island (but sadly not Grim Fandango). ScummVM is a virtual machine that runs on Windows, OSX, Linux, the Dreamcast (!), and now the DS, and it lets you use the code for the SCUMM games that you own to play them on modern platforms. Think of it as an emulator for one specific company's games. I've used the OSX version to replay several classic games, and the LucasArts graphic adventures have really held up well over time. I already have a GBA flash cart so I'm pretty close to having what I need to use ScummVM for the DS. Well, short of owning a DS that is!

If I do buy one of the current portables, I really don't think it'll be the Sony PSP unless big changes happen. I've played the PSP at the Sony store in San Francisco at the Metreon, and it definitely has a beautiful screen, but other than that I was unimpressed. I HATE the controls, and the games felt like the same old thing only smaller. The biggest strike against it is the whopping $250 price tag. Movie playback sounds nice but I'm not shelling out for a "universal" media format that plays on a grand total of one device, and having to buy a pricy memory stick to use my own movies doesn't sound much better. If I really need movie playback there are third party devices that add it to the GBA/DS as well, like the Play-Yan.

The DS has a worse screen and the graphics aren't quite as sweet, but I've played nearly ten games at demo kiosks (other than the Sony store, good luck finding a playable PSP anywhere!) and there are interesting, creative games. The touchscreen is put to good use in a lot of them, like Kirby: Canvas Curse and the demo for Metroid Prime: Hunters. Some of the big franchises are starting to show up, like Nintendogs and Advance Wars: Dual Strike. The price cut to $130 makes it nearly half the price of the PSP. I'm managing to resist, but I don't know how much longer I can!


  • Hmm it appears that there is a PSP port of ScummVM as well. Not all that surprising. But who really wants to play point-and-click adventure games with a directional pad?

    By Blogger Sir Tibs Tibsford, at 4:32 PM  

  • Now I want to get you the DS just so I can play Maniac Mansion on the plane!

    By Anonymous Lauren, at 5:28 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 AM  

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