North American Nintendo DS box art
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS
Meteos (メテオス Meteosu?) is a 2005 action puzzle video game developed by Q Entertainment and published by Nintendo and Bandai for the Nintendo DS portable gaming system. The name of the game comes from the English word meteor, transliterated to "meteo". Meteos was released in Japan on March 10, 2005, in North American on June 27, 2005, in Europe on September 23, 2005 and in Australia on November 24, 2005.
Meteos was very well received upon its release. The game is often compared to Lumines, a game for PlayStation Portable by the same developer, which also features falling blocks. In general, Meteos relies heavily on speed and reflexes, while Lumines relies heavily on rhythm and concentration.
Most of the action takes place at the bottom screen of the DS unit (the section referred to as the atmosphere). Blocks ("Meteos") fall down from the top of the screen and start to form stacks. The player can move blocks up and down in a stack using the stylus, or alternatively by using the control pad and A button. The player aims to line up three or more matching blocks. When a horizontal or vertical row of at least three blocks is formed, the row of blocks will ignite and turn into a kind of tiny rocket engine. The rocket then pushes the blocks above it towards the top of the screen. To lift a large amount of blocks, additional rows of blocks must be formed in a quick succession (secondary ignition). Also, if an ignited pile of blocks falls back down and, in doing so, causes another set of blocks to ignite, the pile will boost back up again, wider than before. This is called a step jump.
The goal of the game is to lift blocks past the top of the bottom screen, turning them into sparks at the top screen (orbit). If any column of unignited blocks grows beyond the top of the bottom screen and is not dealt with, it's game over (annihilation). When a stack of blocks gets dangerously high, the stack will flash and the game will sound a warning signal, until either the game ends or a quick action by the player averts the disaster. Holding down the L or R button, or tapping the appropriate on-screen icon, activates the speeder, making blocks fall faster. Certain game modes allow the player to collect items, which produce various helpful effects when the player activates them, or, in the case of smoke screens and weights, by launching them to the opposing planet. Meteos has 32 different planets that serve as the different levels to play on in the game. Each level differs in many aspects, including the size of the playing field, the blocks (both in terms of their graphics and which types are on the level), gravity, and the acceleration that horizontal and vertical ignitions give the blocks. One world, Oleana, has blocks that fall if as if underwater; in another world, Gravitas, gravity is so heavy it's almost required to achieve secondary ignition in order to move blocks off the screen. One world, Hevendor, has no gravity whatsoever, so blocks launch completely off the screen almost immediately after being ignited. All the unignited Meteos that are launched are accumulated in the player's profile and can be spent, in a process called "Fusion", to unlock planets, sound tracks, power-ups, and "Time" and "Soul" rare metals, which themselves are used as ingredients in further Fusions.
The story begins with the evil, sentient planet Meteo attempting to destroy the many worlds of the galaxy by sending meteos (described as "phantasmagorical matter") through space to stack up on the surface of the planet until so much mass has accumulated that the planet collapses under its own weight. However, the peoples of the various world discover that if three meteos of the same color line up, they ignite and send the blocks stacked on top of them back up, into space. Using this knowledge, the many worlds begin to fight back and build a spaceship, the Metamo Ark, out of the very Meteos that once threatened them. United, the many species fly from planet to planet, helping the people there send the meteos back into space, before finally attacking the evil planet itself.
The game has numerous endings, which are unlocked by defeating star trip mode in different ways. After an ending is unlocked, credits roll, and the player can play a game of Meteos with tiny blocks and a very tall game board. If one uses the speeder to fill up the board, the credits end prematurely. The player can also hold the START button down to speed up the credits.
Development and release
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Reception and legacy
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Famitsu magazine awarded the game a high 38 out of 40. X-Play gave it their first DS "5 out of 5" rating, which has only been awarded to four other games: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Mario Kart DS, The World Ends with You, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
Meteos: Disney Magic
|Meteos: Disney Magic|
|Publisher(s)||Buena Vista Games|
Meteos: Disney Magic is a puzzle video game co-developed by Q Entertainment and Aspect, published by Buena Vista Games for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. It is the sequel to Meteos, also for the Nintendo DS. Meteos: Disney Magic follows the same basic concept as Meteos, but makes many distinct changes, the most notable being that it features Disney characters as opposed to the various alien species from Meteos.
The player must hold the Nintendo DS sideways à la Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, creating a taller playing field on the touch screen. The top screen shows a particular scene, which changes when launching a certain number of Meteos off of the screen. Such scenes include Lilo and Stich, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the biggest changes in gameplay is the ability to drag tiles left and right, unlike the original Meteos whose tiles could only be moved up and down. This only applies to Easy, Medium and Hard modes; in Expert mode, only up and down movements are allowed.
Meteos: Disney Magic has received in general lower scores than its predecessor. Nintendo Official Magazine's review said it that, "if you're after a puzzler that's easy to get to grips with then this is a good choice," but added that, "the original is still the definitive version," and said that the new Disney animations were pointless. IGN's review maintained that the gameplay was less restrictive due to the new horizontal sliding, and also praised how the slider locks, discouraging scribbling on the touch screen, a technique used to make the previous game easier. However, the review criticized it for a lack of online play, and for replacing the alien theme with the Disney theme. GameSpot found the gameplay to be as satisfying as in the previous title, complimenting the ability to move tiles horizontally, though also criticizing it for lackluster unlockable content and that the Disney theme wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.
- "Meteos Wars to shower XBLA [update]". Joystiq. Weblogs.
- "Updated Australian Release List - 21/11/05". PALGN. 2005-11-21. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- Meteos at Metacritic
- "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power 200. February 2006. pp. 58–66..
- Freund, Josh (March 2, 2005). "News - Latest Famitsu scores - Meteos gets a 38/40!". GamesAreFun.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Buena Vista Games Enters Agreement to Publish Four New Games from Q Entertainment". GameSpot. URL Accessed June 2, 2006.
- Official website (Japanese)
- Meteos at MobyGames
- Meteos at GameSpot
- Tetsuya Mizuguchi interview at 1UP.com