Saturday, February 23, 2013

10 DS Gems You Might Have Missed

Now that the Nintendo 3DS has taken the reigns and the DS is dead from a production standpoint, it'll become increasingly more difficult to find games for it, let alone ones worth playing. As a self-proclaimed DS aficionado, I feel a moral obligation to inform you, the reader, of what's worth tracking down before it's too late. Alas, I am only human, and while I tried to compile a diverse list, everything here is from my own collection, so my tastes may differ from your own. Without further adieu, put your thumbs together for...

#10 - Tokyo Beat Down

Released:2009-09-31 Publisher:Atlus Developer:Tamsoft
Streets of Rage and Final Fight were two of the big arcade beat 'em ups of the '90s and hold a nostalgic place in many people's hearts. For players who can't get enough classic arcade action, Tokyo Beat Down does not disappoint. The gameplay is solid, the protagonist ridiculous, and the story, humorous.

#9 - Rhythm Heaven

Released:2009-04-05 Publisher:Nintendo Developer:Nintendo, TNX
Mini-game compilations are notorious for being shallow, repetitive cash-ins, usually being released shortly after a console launches to take advantage of the lack of competition. While it is a compilation of  mini-games, Rhythm Heaven is one of the most unique rhythm games out there, with a deceptively simple control scheme masking hours of fun, challenging gameplay. Full Review

#8 - Bangai-O Spirits

 Released:2008-08-12 Publisher:D3 Developer:Treasure
Take a schmup, hack-n-slash, and puzzler, throw it into a blender, then drink that Bangai-O smoothie. Spirits features 200+ levels of smooth, fast-paced action, and a comical amount of destruction. There's also a custom level creator, which is always a nice touch with a game like this.  If there's one thing Treasure excels at, it's making a game fun. Full Review

#7 - Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

Released:2011-09-27 Publisher:XSEED Developer:CyberConnect2
The main appeal of Solatorobo is its environments. The gameplay is a little shallow and not very challenging, but for anyone that enjoys story, atmosphere, a finely detailed world, and good music, this is one to look for. It was bundled with a soundtrack. Sorry collectors. Full Review

#6 - 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors 

Released:2010-11-16 Publisher:Aksys Developer:Chunsoft
This is a visual novel with puzzle solving elements. Anyone with a disdain for heavy reading should probably give this one a pass. With that said, 999 is very well written, masterfully builds tension, and is no walk in the park. Five of the game's six endings are false, so there's plenty of replay value here. Full Review

#5 - Custom Robo Arena


Released:2007-03-19 Publisher:Nintendo Developer:Noise
Choose from dozens of pods, guns, and boots to customize your robo in this action-packed game. Custom Robo Arena, like Pokemon, is simple on the surface, but leaves a lot of room for mastery. Also like Pokemon, there is an overworld and a plot in which all conflicts are resolved by battling. The real fun begins with online battles (no friend code needed). Just remember to feed your pets. Full Review

#4 - Elite Beat Agents

 Released:2006-11-06 Publisher:Nintendo Developer:iNiS
Elite Beat Agents will make a rhythm master out of anyone robust enough to make it through to the end. Tears will be shed, objects may be broken, despair will be felt, but it all serves to make the satisfaction of completely owning a stage that much sweeter. This may very well be the most fun DS game in existence, and for about as much as a Subway sandwich, there's no reason not to pick it up. Full Review

#3 - Retro Game Challenge

Released:2009-02-10 Publisher:XSEED Developer:indieszero
Retro Game Challenge is a love letter to the '80s, and is sure to fill anyone who grew up in that era with warm nostalgia. I was a 90s kid, and this game still made me feel nostalgic for the '80s. Its numerous original games are clear tributes to '80s classics, but they're great in their own right. It's a shame it didn't sell well. Full Review

#2 - Knights in the Nightmare

Released:2009-06-02 Publisher:Atlus Developer:Sting
The above screenshot may look complex, and Knights in the Nightmare's battle system is a lot to grasp in the beginning, but once everything starts to click, there's nothing quite like it. It's a mixture of real-time tactics and bullet hell, and is deeply satisfying. It brilliantly tells a story and has incredible music to boot

#1 - The World Ends With You

Released:2008-04-22 Publisher:Square Enix Developer:Square Enix, Jupiter
Square may get flack for Final Fantasy, but nobody can complain that The World Ends With You is just another rehash. Unique doesn't begin to do it justice. A rich, philosophical story; fast-paced, innovative, engaging gameplay; a soundtrack that will stick in the brain for weeks and a lovable cast of characters  make for one hell of a memorable experience. Full Review

What did I miss? Leave a comment with your own gems. 


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