Thursday, January 19, 2006


Nintendo DS Owns

I remember when the Nintendo DS was first announced, and I thought how stupid a portable with two screens would be. Boy, I can't tell you how wrong I was. I've only had my DS since Christmas, but I'm already spending an average of 2-3 hours per day playing it. I've already got a little library of titles for it, about 6 games or so. Not to mention that it plays GBA games too, which I have maybe 8 or 9. Here's some micro-reviews of the games I've played so far:

1. Mario Kart DS - just got my wi-fi usb thingy and have not yet played online, but this game even in single player is a blast, one of the most fun racing titles I've played on any platform. what's also great besides straight racing is that it's got missions where you have to do certain goals, and also a battle mode where the object is to take out the other racers. A+

2. Meteos - great tetris-similar puzzle game, what's so great about it is using the stylus to manipulate the blocks, it's so intuitive and fast! really the only thing lacking in this one is wi-fi internet play (you can multi-play with nearby DS's but not over the internet). A

3. Pac-Pix - another cool use of the touch-screen, in this game you draw little pac-man's and watch them gobble up ghosts, it's kind of hard to describe but it's seriously fun. this game is pretty difficult, though, and if you die, you have to restart a whole chapter (each chapter is about 5 or 6 levels). B+

4. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney - Very cool courtroom drama adventure. You play the role of Phoenix Wright, a fledgling lawyer, and your very first case is to defend one of your friends for murder charges. Of course, you manage to not only defend your client but catch the killer too, just like old Matlock. Touch screen support is there but isn't really mandatory. Mostly what's great about this game is the story. A+

5. Mario 64 DS - I haven't spent much time on this one yet. Controls are not very intuitive, really, and seem sluggish compared to what I remember of the Nintendo 64 version. I am too early in the game to grade this one yet.

6. Nintendogs - I haven't spent much time on this one either. Graphics are very nice, and the gimmick of petting the dogs with the touch screen is neat, but I don't know enough about the gameplay to know if this game is actually fun or not. No grade yet.

I also picked up the new Castlevania GBA dual-game cart, that has both Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow on it. So far I'm not that far into either of these yet but the gameplay is tight, I just need to figure out how to do some of the moves and how to make better use of the power-ups and items. Endless respawning of some of the monsters is slightly irritating but I can see why they do it for this game. No score yet.

Oh yah, I got a "game" for the DS called Electroplankton, which is pretty goofy-weird. It's not really a game, it's more of a toy/instrument. You manipulate various kinds of "plankton" on screen to produce electronic music. I've only spent an hour or two messing around with it, it's neat but I don't know as I'd recommend it to anyone unless you just really like unusual things.

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