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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Radio Active #37: GenCon (Almost) Live, Geek Acres, Nintendo DS

by Ken Newquist / August 26, 2006

Home improvement once again takes center stage as my wife and I prepare to re-paint our living room. But it's not all painting and scraping: I've also got two new sites to talk about -- GenCon (Almost) Live and Geek Acres -- and a run down of my favorite games for the Nintendo DS. And that review of George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows? Yeah, that gets delayed again -- look for it in Radio Active #38.

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Show Notes

  • Intro
    • "Home Improvement" theme song
  • Nuketown News
    • More Home Improvement: I've spent the last few days spackling and scrapping the walls and ceiling of my living room, preparing to repaint it. We're still debating the color schemes -- the lead choice is a cappachino/coffee color for two walls. We're also considering stripping and refinishing the wooden floors downstairs.
    • Lucas: Smiling, almost laughing and kicking like crazy. Happy kid -- calms down quickly when upset.
  • Promo: GenCon (Almost) Live
  • Sites of Note
    • GenCon (Almost Live)
      • Podcasters posting interviews, segments, shows from GenCon 2006 to a central web site. A little light in content during the con, but seeing a deluge now that everyone is back.
      • Great site -- makes me really regret not going this year, and revs me up for next year (yep, I'm going to GenCon Indy 2007).
    • Geek Acres
  • Goblin: Gaming Broadcast Network
  • Gaming: Nintendo DS Recommended Games
    • Metroid Pinball: Best computer pinball game I've ever played. Realistic physics, great graphics, loyal to classic tables like Adams Family, Star Trek, etc. Only problem is that it needs more tables.
    • Animal Crossing: Open ended exploration. So open that I initially had trouble figuring out what to do, but eventually settled into the fun of odd jobs, digging up fossils, decorating, importing trees, constellations, and bug hunts. Great shared experience via wireless and excellent game for kids.
    • Meteos: Fun block based puzzle game that's reminiscent of of Tetris, if Tetris had you launching blocks into space when you completed a line.
    • Nintendogs: Fake dogs, which can be kind of boring, but my daughter Jordan loves it.
    • Warioware Touched: Every game involves the stylus or microphone in some way -- great gimmick, but ultimately repetitive.
    • Overall: The DS rocks. It's the best portable out there, and perfect for geek dads.
    • My next must buys:
  • Outro
Audio icon NuRA-2006-08-23.mp320.14 MB


Ken -

I bought a DS Lite soon after it was released. I'd not been happy with the screen and size of the oroginal DS, and had waited for the inevitable "smaller" version. I'm glad I did - this is just a great little gaming platform. Very bright screen, suprisingly nice speakers, and so portable.

Two more DS games that I'd recommend checking out are Mario Kart DS and the New Super Mario Bros. I'm also playing Zelda - Minish Cap, but it's technically a Game Boy Advance title.

Monday night, I spent almost 3 hrs trying to get my DS to connect to my home wifi network to no avail. It just isn't jiving with my Belkin Pre-N router. I'm very frustrated. There are several good internet-enabled games, including Mario Kart, Tetris, Metroid, and Animal Crossing, and I'd really like to try out the internet play. (I only have Mario Kart currently). Have you been able to connect to your home wifi?

On a related note, Zack's DS was recently stolen - we think at his summer day camp. He didn't know it was in his backpack (they aren't even allowed to take Game Boys to camp), and he accidentally left his bag there one day. Portable also equals pocketable, so keep your eye on your DS. :)

A busy gamer dad shares his thoughts on gaming, geek life, and other eclectic topics of the day.

You're wireless network is more advanced than mine -- I'm using Airports running WEP, and haven't had any problems with the DS, but then again, it's not as secure as your's. One of my future projects is to upgrade the wireless encryption to something with more bite to it, particularly now that I've got the Xbox 360 (the original Xbox was what was keeping me with WEP).

Mario Kart DS looks great -- Cory and I were playing that the other day, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. With regards to the DS Lite ... I'm thinking of getting one and letting Jordan have my old DS. The new Lites look great, but I think the older DS will take the abuse from a 3 year old better.

No, I actually downgraded to WEP security a little while back to support more "legacy" devices, including my Xbox (original) wireless adapter. So, security wise, we're on the same page. The DS actually doesn't support WPA encryption, so you wouldn't be able to upgrade either if you wanted to use your DS via wifi.

Unfortunately, after trolling the Nintendo wifi forums for quite a while, the consensus seems to be that my router does not play well with the DS. Frustrating...

A busy gamer dad shares his thoughts on gaming, geek life, and other eclectic topics of the day.

Ugh -- that's not cool. I guess I'll be staying with WEP for the foreseeable future. Have you heard if there are any plans to add WPA support to the DS?

As far as actually gaming with it goes ... I haven't taken the DS online much. My mom and I tried it with Animal Crossing, but aside from that I haven't had much reason to connect via the net. Amost all of multiplayer gaming has been through the DS local wireless capabilities. And we need to do more of that on game nights. Maybe a little Mario Kart to warm up for D&D? :)

Unfortunately no -- Metroid is it, but then again, I haven't been looking. There may be something out there (and I think you've just inspired me to go searching...)