With the upcoming launch of the 3DS in the US, I wanted to take a look back at my favorite games on the DS now that the handheld is in its twilight years. Last time on this blog series, we took at look at my favorite sports and import games. This time we’ll look at the best platformers and DSiWare downloadable games.
BEST DS PLATFORMERS
Kirby’s had a few great games on the DS. I think my favorite one is the remake of the SNES classic: Kirby Super Star. Kirby Super Star Ultra on the DS added a lot of neat extras and things. Me and my little brother Jeff used to love to play Super Star on the SNES. Kirby Squeak Squad was also a pretty good traditional Kirby platformer. Believe it or not, I didn’t like Kirby Canvas Curse as much as everyone else did. Oh I did like it all right, but I didn’t go ga-ga over it like you’d think I would.
Super Princess Peach
Believe it or not, I actually liked Super Princess Peach better than New Super Mario Bros. A lot of people said the game was sexist since Peach used her emotions like powers in the game. But if you look at the game’s storyline, Peach is on an island where everyone’s emotions are extended into powers, so even enemies from minor Goombas to big bosses use emotions, too. So it’s not just Peach. The game may have been a little easy, but it was very fun. It was also made by the same folks who did the Starfy games (which may explain the difficulty), and Starfy even makes a little cameo here.
Yoshi’s Island DS
I also thought this game was better than New Super Mario Bros. A lot of people bashed it because it wasn’t as good as Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. But I think it’s a little harsh to expect it to be as good as one of the best 2-D platformers ever made. Yoshi’s Island DS is still good in its own right. I’ll admit it had some problems, such as the gap in between screens made it hard to see things. But the new babies were a great idea (and adorable), and it was definitely a lot better than Yoshi’s Story on the N64!
New Super Mario Bros.
Oh sure I may have just bashed it twice, but I still enjoyed it. It’s just that I felt it didn’t do anything better than what was already done in Mario World and Mario 3. Plus the game needed more save points. Yeah I know the old Mario games didn’t have them, but this game was on a handheld in the 21st century. Some things just need to change.
I already talked about this game a bit when going over the best DS imports. But I’ll mention it again here. It’s the first Starfy game we got in the US, Japan already had 4 prior. It was definitely designed for little kids and you can tell because of the light difficulty. But it still has that Nintendo polish so it’s still very good. If you don’t mind breezy platformers, anyway. Along with Kirby, when I recommend good DS games for kids, Starfy always pops up.
Super Mario 64 DS
Sure it didn’t control as well on the DS, but I was still impressed they were able to get a N64 game onto a handheld. The added features and playable characters were cool, too. I wonder if the game will play any better with the 3DS’ analog pad? I might have to drag that game out again and find out!
Wario: Master of Disguise
Another game that a lot of people bashed, but I liked it. It may not have been as good as the Wario Land games (but you shouldn’t expect as much since it wasn’t in the title anywhere). I liked how the levels played like Zelda dungeons. It’s not bad if you give it a chance.
BEST DSIWARE GAMES
I’d like to say that I got a DSi only for the DSiWare downloadable games, but my DS Phat really needed an upgrade, looking back on it. Best of all, my list isn’t complete. There are TONS of good and cheap DSiWare puzzlers and other goodies that I just don’t have the time or money to play. But here’s what I have on my DSi right now.
Well the best thing about this cute little animation program is that it’s free. So if you have a DSi, download it! I only wish I had more time and patience to really get the most out of this neat little app.
This game was free at one point, but I would still pay the 200 points now. It’s a simple little fighter game, but the fun draw is that you take pictures of yourself or friends and record their voices and they are the fighters you can play as! You can even take pictures to use as backgrounds and projectiles! I can see kids having endless fun with this!
This is a pretty original Tetris style touch screen puzzler. The neat thing about this game is the blocks you match up make a picture of a classic Nintendo sprite, and when it’s done you complete the stage. Some great 8-bit music remixes, too, and they add layers to the music as you build the sprite. Only problem is it gets pretty hard when you start doing Zelda! There are a lot of DSiWare puzzlers, but if you can only get one, get this!
Mr. Driller: Drill till you Drop
OK, I know you can get Mr. Driller just about anywhere now, and there is already a DS cartridge that came out early in the DS life cycle. But as a Driller fan, I think it’s worth five bucks to always have Mr. Driller on the go, plus this version keeps the Dristone mode and music from Drill Land, which was done by Go Shiina, my favorite video game music composer.
Mighty Flip Champs
This was done by WayForward, who also did the Shantae games. This one reminds me of a puzzley version of Donkey Kong, and you flip the screen like pages to figure out where to go. It gets pretty hard, but it’s fun if you like these kinds of games. And I do!
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge
Last year we finally got a sequel to the Game Boy Color cult favorite Shantae. The sequel featured rich SNES style graphics and Metroid style 2-D gameplay. It’s great, but you know what? I still like the original better. I don’t know why that is, though.
Anyway, those are my favorites. In the comments section, let me know YOUR favorite DS platformers and DSiWare games! Since I’m really into Okamiden right now, I think next time I’ll go over my favorite DS RPGs and quest adventures! Later! –Cary