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. Each of my blogs in this series has covered one or two game genres, (go back and read them if you missed any). But there are some games on the DS that just don’t fit any group, so we’ll go over my favorites in that category in this final blog. And lastly, we’ll look at my favorite overall game series on the DS!
WarioWare D.I.Y. and Touched
I really love the WarioWare series, even the more mediocre ones. The very first one on GBA was my Game of the Year for 2003, and last year’s D.I.Y. on DS was my Game of the Year for 2010. The second-long micro games are perfect for simple, easy to make user created content. Heck, even a simpleton like me can do it! In fact, one of my games was even featured by Nintendo! A few years earlier, WarioWare hit the DS with Touched, but it wasn’t near as good. But I still liked it anyway. But if you haven’t gotten D.I.Y. yet, I highly recommend it. There so much you can do, and I am totally impressed with what others have come up with! Some pretty amazing stuff!
Animal Crossing: Wild World
It’s true, I’m an AC addict. Ever since the GC version (which is still my favorite), I’ve always been hooked on this series and have played each edition for nearly a whole year before getting tired of it. The DS version was one of the few online games I ever really got into, and I have some great memories playing with online friends (some who even visit this site). I hope we can all meet up again when AC comes to the 3DS. It’s one of the only reasons why I’m buying a 3DS right away!
The first was a good idea, but the second perfected it with better controls and more words and adjectives. Even playing around on the title screen was fun! And I think the game is somewhat educational for kids, too, as it encourages them to increase their vocabulary and use adjectives.
This was actually the very first game I played on the DS. Back when Nintendo was first previewing the DS at E3…2003 I think? We all had to crowd into this room with DS stations, and the only one with an open game for me to play was a preview version of Pac-Pix! Many people say that Kirby Canvas Curse was the first killer app for the DS, but I personally think it was this game. Drawing Pac-Man with the stylus and guiding him around was BRILLIANT! I believe even Shigeru Miyamoto said that he wished he had thought of that!
Cooking Mama series
They’re not perfect, and at the core they’re just a bunch of mini-game challenges, but I think the idea is still clever. And I love the crazy oddball humor the games have. Mama’s voice makes me laugh every time. I feel sorry for Papa! Cooking Mama games have seeped onto the Wii and even other activities, like gardening and crafting. There’s even a weird Babysitting Mama that uses a plush toy baby with the Wii remote! You got to hand it to Mama, she’s never ashamed of being a little off-kilter!
For a while, you could only order this ‘game’ direct from Nintendo’s Web site. But now you can download each game on DSiWare. I think I only got it because it was ‘rare’ but it’s a pretty interesting little ‘game.’ It’s fun to tinker around and make music and weird sound effects anyway.
Elite Beat Agents
I know many say the Japanese version is better, but at least this has songs I know, and it still had plenty of style and reminded me a bit of Space Channel 5. Still one of the more clever music games out there. It’s challenging, but I did manage to beat it.
Feel the Magic XX/XY & The Rub Rabbits
Speaking of Space Channel 5, Sega’s Feel the Magic and its sequel have that wacky vibe, too. Feel the Magic was actually one of the first DS games I had. In the story, you play as a guy who is trying to win the heart of a beautiful woman by playing DS mini-games. Like picking scorpions off your date’s back, for instance. The gameplay isn’t perfect, but it sure does have a lot of style since the characters are shown only with silhouettes. In the sequel, you did the same thing but also had to play mini-games to avoid a nerdy lady who has fallen for YOU, and she tries to forcefully win your heart with technology and machines. Am I wrong for actually liking the ‘evil’ nerdy lady just as much as the main lady character? I think another reason why I liked these games is because you could unlock costumes for you lady to wear, and one of them let you dress her up like Ulala from Space Channel 5. Oookaaayyy, moving on…
Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck
It’s another mini-game collection, but this one is tied around the classic Chuck Jones cartoon where Bugs Bunny is the animator and he’s trying to bug the crap out of Daffy Duck. Except now, YOU get to torment Daffy! This is one of those games that you drag out to show your non-gamer friends, and folks who are fans of classic cartoons, like myself. The animation and voice work is pretty amazing for such a small cartridge.
It’s the game that started the whole DS virtual pet craze. Not the best game in the world, but it got my mom into playing the DS, so I guess it can’t be all bad. I am actually looking forward to the 3DS sequel so I can play with cats, too. I wonder what kinds of dogs and cats I should get, and what should I name them? What do you think? I also was intrigued by Nintendogs because I have a strange fascination with virtual pet toys and games.
Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop
Speaking of virtual pets, the Tamagotchi Corner Shop series (3 in all) are mini-game collections where you run different shops and businesses with the Tamagotchis. It’s meant for little kids, but the games are strangely addicting. Maybe it’s because they’re made by the same folks who did PaRappa the Rapper.
In this game, you are a ghost who must solve the mystery of how and why you died. You do this by solving puzzles and possessing and manipulating objects. It’s a little bit like The Incredible Machine meets Phoenix Wright. In fact, the game was made and written by the same guy who did the Phoenix Wright games, which explains the intriguing storyline and likable characters. Ghost Trick just came out a few months ago, and I strongly recommend you give it a try. I also like it because I think ghosts are cool, too. And speaking of Phoenix Wright…
CARY’S BEST DS GAME SERIES OF ALL
Now it’s time to reveal my favorite all time DS game series. Every time another one in this collection is announced, I get super excited and anticipate the game’s release. And my all time favorite is…
Ace Attorney Series
Who all saw this one coming? Did my pick surprise anybody? You know, at first, I wasn’t interested in playing the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game. “Who wants to play a game about a lawyer? How BORING!” I thought. But then I heard how rare the game was getting, and I did like Capcom’s games. So I decided to give this one a chance. And boy I’m glad I did!
Right from the start I knew I’d like this game series because it’s basically a point and click adventure, one of my favorite genres. Actually it’s more like an interactive comic book, as you do a lot of reading. But it’s still pretty fun. Basic gameplay is that you collect items in investigations, and then use those items to prove people are lying in court. The first three games were actually on the GBA in Japan first, but then ported to the DS, where they really belong.
What amazed me first was the story and writing. Right from the get-go in the first game’s couple of chapters, they did things that really surprised me. I was also impressed how well Capcom tied things up in the third Phoenix Wright game. Most of the time, Capcom can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Just look at the flimsy storylines of Street Fighter and Mega Man X.
And the Ace Attorney characters are some of the best Capcom has come up with since Tron Bonne and the Servebots! Phoenix is a likeable hero, he and the other attorneys have great sidekicks, and Phoenix’s rivals are fearsome! Especially Von Karma and Franziska! Yikes! But my favorite characters are the Blue Badger and Detective Gumshoe. Heck, the only reason why I liked She-Hulk in MvsC3 is because her ending had Ace Attorney characters in it!
While the writing is good, it’s not as well done as say, a classic court case drama book or movie. But for a game, it’s great. Just think of it like an anime version of Perry Mason with a serious case of the sillies. And things do get pretty silly. But I think that’s why I liked these games so much! Only main problem is that since you have to follow the game’s logic, not your own, it can be hard sometimes to figure out the right solution.
The music is also great. All you Ace Attorney fans out there, don’t you get pumped when you hear “Objection!” followed by the “Cornered” theme song? And I want the Steel Samurai theme song as my ringtone, just like Phoenix!
Only thing I’m worried about is Capcom just released a sequel to the Miles Edgeworth game in Japan (it stars Phoenix’s main rival). But with the looming launch of the 3DS in the US, will Capcom release the DS Miles Edgeworth sequel here, too? I can only hope! Plus, I hear there’s also a Phoenix Wright/Prof. Layton crossover game in the works. I don’t like the math in the Layton games, but I may have to put up with it if the game comes to the US, because I will get it since I like the Phoenix Wright characters so much!
Court is adjourned.
And that’s my favorite DS game series. In the comments section, let me know what you think of my choices (any “objections”) and tell me your favorite all time DS game! Hope you enjoyed my blog series! Next time on my blog, I’ll talk about the 3DS, which I’ll be getting next weekend!