E3 06: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie & the Amp Hands-On

We rock out with the girls of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi on the Nintendo DS.

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Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie & the Amp
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LOS ANGELES--Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The Genie & the Amp is a side-scrolling action adventure game based on the popular cartoon of the same name. We strolled over to the D3Publisher of America booth in South Hall to play the game.

The Genie & the Amp is the story of rock stars Ami and Yumi, who are having trouble getting the creative juices flowing to lay down some tracks for their new album. One day, they find a magic genie who sends them to various time periods to collect magic notes, which are required for the girls to play the "ultimate world tour."

We played through one of the levels from the game, and it looks like it does a good job of retaining the style and attitude of the show. The level we played involved moving to the right of the screen and occasionally attacking enemies. You use the D pad to move around and each of the four face buttons to attack in different directions. You can also use the touch screen to attack by hitting four guitar strings. You can strum the strings to quickly perform combo attacks.

As you play, you can switch between Ami and Yumi by pressing the R button. The two girls behave very similarly but have slightly different attacks. Also, they have independent life bars, and when one dies, the other will automatically be swapped in so you can continue playing.

Most of the attacks require you to get very close to your enemies, which can be difficult without taking damage. There are special beam attacks that you can pull off by filling up a special gauge. We reached a section of the level where we had to surf around and attack enemies lurking below the water. After that, we reached a boss battle in the form of a massive wave that crashed toward the screen. There was a face on the wave that we had to move toward to hit. In all of the areas we played, we were able to move between background and foreground, in addition to left and right.

The Genie & the Amp is due in stores next month, so be sure to check back soon for more updates.

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