Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nintendo DS: The best games of it's first three years

Look at this, two Nintendo birthdays in one week! Also, Shigeru Miyamoto just turned 55 on the 18th. Must be a lot of cake at Nintendo HQ nowadays...

The Nintendo DS was a big risk when it launched back in 2004. Two screens? Touch technology? A microphone? It was one weird package, that's for sure. But it all paid off in a big way. Current sales numbers indicate that the Nintendo DS (And it's follow-up, the DS Lite) have sold over 55 million units worldwide.

And what is the main deciding factor in console sales? The answer is, quite simply, the games. When it comes to quality titles, the DS has a seemingly never-ending supply. Here are some games which I truly believe are some of the best the Nintendo DS has to offer.

New Super Mario Bros.

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 15th, 2006
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
One Duck's Opinion Score: 9.2/10

New Super Mario Bros. had teased gamers for a good long while. We first saw it before the Nintendo DS was even released, and we don't even get our hands on it until two years later! Without a doubt, it was worth the wait. New Super Mario Bros. took everything that was good about old-school, side-scrolling Mario games and brought it into the new millennium. With amazingly detailed 3D character sprites and beautiful backdrops, it was just as much a pleasure to watch as it was to play. The only problem is it was done far too soon, but that's what playing a game for a second time is for! Plus, you could play as the far superior brother the second time around. Luigi forever!

Review excerpt: "New Super Mario Bros. is an amazing Mario game, and possibly the best platform available for the DS. This game excels in nearly every field, and it deserves a spot in any gamer's collection. If you don't have it, get it. If you do have it, congratulations, my friend, you've made a very wise purchase." Full Review

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: October 1st, 2007
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
One Duck's Opinion Score: 9.5/10

No matter what anybody else says, I absolutely loved Wind Waker. Unsurprisingly, I was very happy when I heard it would be receiving a sequel on the Nintendo DS. Knowing the prestigious Zelda franchise, my expectations were high.

Fortunately, my expectations were filled, and even surpassed. The adventures were great, the story was well-written, and the humour is perfectly suited to the situation. The dungeons were a tiny bit short, but that mattered little to me on the grand scale of things. Phantom Hourglass was an amazing game.

Review Excerpt: "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is one heck of an adventure. It's more than a worthy successor to Wind Waker, and it's probably even better than the critically acclaimed Twilight Princess. The multiplayer is a total blast, and the storyline really ties into the prequel beautifully. Everything about this game is great, and this is a real candidate for Game of the Year in my books." Full Review

Pokemon Diamond Version

Developers: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: April 27th, 2007
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
One Duck's Opinion Score: 9.5/10

The Pokemon franchise has been around since 1995, but until Pokemon Diamond, I had never realized how great it could be. Diamond Version took all that was already great about the other Pokemon games, and added so much more to it. The 108 new Pokemon were all well designed, as was the brand-new world they lived in. The land of Sinnoh was the largest world yet in the Pokemon series, and it allowed for so many more environments, towns and events. The ability to trade online added so much to the series, and the Sinnoh Underground was a great way to kill time, with friends or on your own. Pokemon Diamond, in my opinion, is the definitive Pokemon game.

Review Excerpt: "Pokemon Diamond is possibly the greatest DS game ever made, and perhaps even the best Pokemon game ever, too. Every little thing in this game adds up to something really big, something that can't be missed by anyone, fans and newcomers alike. This is a true masterpiece of a game, and it will go down as one of my favorite games ever to grace my collection." Full Review

Final Fantasy III

Developers: Square-Enix, Matrix Software
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: November 24th, 2006 (North America)
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+
One Duck's Opinion Score: 9.5/10

Final Fantasy III had long been available nowhere but Japan. Originally released on the Famicom in 1990, it never saw the light of day in North America. That is, not until it was released on the Nintendo DS in 2006! The Nintendo DS remake kept the original product almost entirely intact, as well as adding new graphics, new missions and multiplayer modes. The results was a visually breath-taking RPG adventure with plenty of plot twists, battles and a musical score by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy III is not to be missed by any hardcore RPG lover.

Review Excerpt: "Final Fantasy III is a triumph in nearly every field. From a solid storyline to gripping gameplay to breathtaking graphics, there's very little wrong with this game. I'd even go so far as to say it's one of my five favorite DS games ever! We waited 16 years to get our hands on this long-lost gem, but the time has finally come. Every RPG fan needs to play this game and experience the true Final Fantasy III." Full Review

Sonic Rush

Developer: Dimps
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: November 15th, 2005 (North America)
ESRB Rating: E for "Everyone"
One Duck's Opinion Score: 9.2

It's no secret that the Sonic franchise has been on a pretty steep decline ever since the SEGA Genesis. The games just kept getting worse and worse, but one title appeared to help turn things around. Sonic Rush was the first Sonic game released for the Nintendo DS, and it did so much right that many people ignored the hedgehog's tarnished past. Bringing things back to basics, Rush was a fast-paced, side-scrolling Sonic adventure that took advantage of the DS' two screens to offer double-tall environments. The story was surprisingly in-depth for a Sonic title, introducing new characters and elements without making things seem out of place. The only downside to this game is the annoying sidekicks who never seem to shut up. Well, that's why there's a volume slider on the DS! Besides that, this is a great, fast-paced platformer, and every DS player should own a copy.

Review Excerpt: "Sonic Rush is an extremely exciting, adrenaline-injected adventure, with plenty of levels and unlockables to keep your attention. As a plus, the game's really easy on the eyes, too. Just not so soft on the ears, so you may want to plug in your MP3 player. Anyways, it's an amazing game, and quite possibly the best Sonic in years, if not ever. I look forward to Sonic Rush Adventure with the greatest anticipation." Full Review

When it comes to the DS' game library, these games are some of the best. So go out and play these games, folks! You won't be disappointed!

The Duck Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Jon-Marc said...

Great post, duck. I have most of those games, they're all awesome.