Dual Pen Sports Review

Dual Pen Sports ReviewYou can never go wrong with a collection of mini-games on the Nintendo 3DS (or DS)… or so say the developers making bucket loads of games based on that concept. Add one more to that list, with Dual Pen Sports, but this game comes with a gimmick — and an odd one at that. Pretty much everything you need to know about Dual Pen Sports is right there in the title. You have two stylus pens (included), and you play a bunch of sports-based mini-games including: archery, baseball, basketball, boxing, paragliding and skiing. Or at least you play games that somehow incorporate those sports to a small degree.

The trick is that you need to use the two styluses in order to play each game — at least in theory. For some of the games, like baseball, it simply means you use one to pull the bat back on the left side of the ouch pad, and the other to swing forward on the right side.  However, except for using the two sides of the touch pad, both movements could easily be accomplished with a single stylus. Just look at any console baseball game with an analog stick swing mechanism, it is pretty much the same thing.

Each sport has a different, yet equally simplistic means to play. Basketball uses one stick to jump and the other to shoot, soccer uses one stick to act as a power gauge while the other directs the penalty shot, and so on. While there is some variety, each game’s movements are very basic. But regardless of the exact nature of each game, they all have one thing in common: They are incredibly simple and won’t hold your attention for long. There is only so much you can get out of a game where the majority of the movement is a basic back, then forward movement.

There is a versus mode to keep things lively, but it only offers four of the seven games (archery, baseball, basketball and soccer). While it is fun for a moment to play against a friend, despite the fact that this is a sports title, there is very little sport to be had. Playing digital soccer against your friends can be fun, but only having the penalty shootout and not even being able to defend the other players kick — instead simply trying to score more goals against the AI-goalie — is underwhelming.

There is also a section called “Tap Exercises,” which are exercises designed to increase hand-eye coordination. Or at least that is what the game says. In reality it is just one more simple mini-game, and this one lacks the fun of being a sport.

Dual Pen Sports feels like one small piece of another bigger and better game. The graphics are dated even by DS standards, the games are simple to the point of boredom, and there is no depth at all. Even the create-a-player is underwhelming. The games can be fun, but only for the first few times, then it is just a simple mini game that uses the gimmick of two styluses.

Even the main selling point of this game, the dual pens, is underwhelming. With very little effort, this game could have eliminated the dual pen control scheme and remade all the movements compatible with a single stylus. But then again, Solo Pen Sports doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Score: 4 out of 10

 (This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS on a copy provided by Namco Bandai)

Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Movies & TV

Never miss a moment of the NBA season with our streaming guide

The NBA season is in full swing, and if you want to watch games online, you've got plenty of options. Here's our guide to the best ways to watch NBA games online, as well as some additional resources.

Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.

You can preload ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ soon, and you definitely should

Red Dead Redemption 2's launch is quickly approaching. If you're planning on buying a digital version, you should keep in mind that the file size is roughly 90GB. Thankfully, you can preload the game starting October 19

These guns will literally blow away the competition in Black Ops 4's Blackout

Finding a good weapon in Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is hard, especially when there are so many options. Whether you like to get up close or keep some distance between you and your enemies, here are the best guns in Blackout.

Wings on the bus: ‘Fortnite’ Battle Bus now sends you to your death even faster

A new update for Fortnite: Battle Royale has made the starting Battle Bus significantly faster, meaning you can get killed by a better player even faster than you could up until now.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Dinner is cancelled! How to keep Call of Duty's zombies from eating your brain

New to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Zombies mode and don't know how to succeed? We've got the tips you need to blast away at the undead and keep yourself alive for longer, even without other players helping.

Who needs a sharpshooter when you have our 'Fortnite' shooting gallery guide

Fortnite season 6, week 4 challenges are here and with it comes the shooting gallery challenge. We show you where to find the shooting gallery locations and what kind of guns to use.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

'World's best gaming processor'? We put Intel's new i9 through the ringer

Intel has launched the first Core i9 for the average gamer. Despite some controversies around its release, it’s the fastest gaming processor we’ve yet tested.