Reminicing About the DS.

So here we are, ladies and gents.  Come Sunday, the 3DS will be officially launched in North America, and the DS will begin it's slow march out to pasture ( though not without a few new games along the way).  It's kind of hard to believe that way back before it launched, the handheld was met with derision amid proclamations that the PSP would dethrone Nintendo's vice-like grip on the market.  And then about a year after launch, those same critics were served heaping plates of crow and asked to eat up.  Also, the crows were alive.
 

 Just try to eat us, you doubting motherfuckers.
 
But as it is with all game platforms, the DS's best years are in the past.  For all of the Petz titles that graced it over the years, there were also plenty of kick-ass games that don't have the letter "z" anywhere in the title.  I thought I'd go ahead and look back at some of the games that came to define the DS for me over the years.
 

Feel the Magic: XY/XX

 A typical date.
Some of you might not remember this, but there was an age when Sega's Sonic Team was not a monument to failure.  And in that age, at the beginning of the DS's life, they brought forth an insane little game called Feel the Magic: XY/XX, a quirky little game in which the player attempts to win the heart of his dream girl with the help of the Rub Rabbits; a group that could best be described as the the crew of Jackass, except they wear rabbit ears for some reason.  And when you finally do get to date the girl, activities include lovely walks punctuated by surprise scorpion attacks.  As a game, it's little more than a mini-game collection that experiments with the various DS functions, but its unique art style and zany atmosphere really set it apart from the reset of the DS launch line-up.
 

 

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

There aren't any scorpion attacks, but they certainly wouldn't be out of place in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.  Though the game was never released outside of Japan, it became such a hit on the import market that Nintendo and iNiS worked together on Elite Beat Agents; an Ouendan for the western market with its own brand of crazy.  But the charm of the original Ouendan is that it doesn't need an English translation; at least, not unless you really want to know every last word.  The colorful cutscenes are expressive enough that it's not hard to understand what's going on, even when what's going on is a team of medicinal supermen punching the shit out of an illness plaguing a concert violinist.  And this sense of ludicrous style serves to back up the rhythm-based gameplay, which is based on a simple yet ingenious use of the DS's touch screen.  What results is an intensely challenging, rewarding and stylish rhythm game that's easy for almost anyone to pick up.
 
Also, the final stage will leave mere mortals winded and broken.  Witness a master of the stylus at work:
 
  
  
I'll never get tired of linking that video.
 

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Kyle and this young lady are in for one long night.
The DS has seen a vast array of adventure games over its lifespan.  The Ace Attorney series, 999, even a port of Myst (though I'm pretty sure that there are toasters capable of running Myst at this point).  But my favorite example in the genre on the handheld is Hotel Dusk, which features some of the best writing in the genre in years, a rotoscope-based art style seemingly inspired by the " Take On Me" music video, and puzzles that make intelligent use of the hardware.  In short, everything is several steps up from Trace Memory, the developer Cing's previous effort that, while not bad, felt like more of a warm-up to what they accomplished in Hotel Dusk.   The first time I played through Hotel Dusk, the story left me genuinely surprised at how mature and, in video game terms, how real the characters all felt, even with the plot's at times soap opera-like twists. 

 

The World Ends With You

 Sho's about as eccentric as they get.
To anyone that believes Square Enix doesn't work on anything new original anymore, take note:  The World Ends With You is among the most original games on the DS for several reasons.  There's the combat mechanics that have the player controlling characters on both screens using both the stylus and buttons simultaneously.  There's its protagonist, Neku, a boy seemingly carved from the standard emo teen cloth only to rise up to become a more-than-likeable protagonist.  There's the bizarre alternate universe storyline that unlocks after the game is completed that serves as a means for the game to parody itself.  And under the slick sheen of Tetsuya Nomura character designs, the catch soundtrack, and the eccentric villains, there's a touching story with interesting themes and rewarding character arcs.  It is a game unlike anything Square Enix has released before and a performance that would be hard to top.
 
 
 
 

Trauma Center: Under the Knife

The game that provided players with all of the intensity of an operating room with none of the blood splatter, Trauma Center: Under the Knife puts players in the role of a surgeon.  But not just any surgeon.  A surgeon with super concentration powers, which in game terms pretty much means bullet time.  And holy hell, is that power necessary.  The game's difficulty is an intense climb, and the disease GUILT only makes things even more difficult.  And on top of the tense puzzle surgery elements, there's a medical drama narrative filled with intrigue.  It's pretty awesome.  I've never managed to beat the game myself, but once again, witness another master of the stylus, this time with the hands of a surgeon:
 
  
  
Oh my.
 

Final Fantasy III

 Also, chocobos!
Of course, in addition to all of this original fair, the DS has also become the home of a number of remakes, from fairly simple ports to full-blown reimaginings.  And while other, more recognized games have gotten such treatments, the one that I was most enthused for was Final Fantasy III; the lone title in the series that, at that point, had never seen an official U.S. release.  While its plot may be simple (a group of young adventurers journey to defeat the living embodiment of darkness), it has plenty of that old school Final Fantasy charm to go along with its more modern features.  It accomplished what a remake should; receive updates where it matters while leaving enough of what once was still in tact.  Not everything about the game feels modernized; getting destroyed by the final boss only to be forced to traverse the entire endgame dungeon again because of the lack of save points can be a downer.  But there's still no obstacle that a well equipped team can't face.
 
 
Despite all of the shovelware and the absurd number of notebook titles on the DSiWare shop, the DS had an incredible run.  These were just some of the titles that will always define the handheld's era for me.  What games do you think about when you look back on the DS's life?
46 Comments
47 Comments
Posted by Hailinel

So here we are, ladies and gents.  Come Sunday, the 3DS will be officially launched in North America, and the DS will begin it's slow march out to pasture ( though not without a few new games along the way).  It's kind of hard to believe that way back before it launched, the handheld was met with derision amid proclamations that the PSP would dethrone Nintendo's vice-like grip on the market.  And then about a year after launch, those same critics were served heaping plates of crow and asked to eat up.  Also, the crows were alive.
 

 Just try to eat us, you doubting motherfuckers.
 
But as it is with all game platforms, the DS's best years are in the past.  For all of the Petz titles that graced it over the years, there were also plenty of kick-ass games that don't have the letter "z" anywhere in the title.  I thought I'd go ahead and look back at some of the games that came to define the DS for me over the years.
 

Feel the Magic: XY/XX

 A typical date.
Some of you might not remember this, but there was an age when Sega's Sonic Team was not a monument to failure.  And in that age, at the beginning of the DS's life, they brought forth an insane little game called Feel the Magic: XY/XX, a quirky little game in which the player attempts to win the heart of his dream girl with the help of the Rub Rabbits; a group that could best be described as the the crew of Jackass, except they wear rabbit ears for some reason.  And when you finally do get to date the girl, activities include lovely walks punctuated by surprise scorpion attacks.  As a game, it's little more than a mini-game collection that experiments with the various DS functions, but its unique art style and zany atmosphere really set it apart from the reset of the DS launch line-up.
 

 

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

There aren't any scorpion attacks, but they certainly wouldn't be out of place in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.  Though the game was never released outside of Japan, it became such a hit on the import market that Nintendo and iNiS worked together on Elite Beat Agents; an Ouendan for the western market with its own brand of crazy.  But the charm of the original Ouendan is that it doesn't need an English translation; at least, not unless you really want to know every last word.  The colorful cutscenes are expressive enough that it's not hard to understand what's going on, even when what's going on is a team of medicinal supermen punching the shit out of an illness plaguing a concert violinist.  And this sense of ludicrous style serves to back up the rhythm-based gameplay, which is based on a simple yet ingenious use of the DS's touch screen.  What results is an intensely challenging, rewarding and stylish rhythm game that's easy for almost anyone to pick up.
 
Also, the final stage will leave mere mortals winded and broken.  Witness a master of the stylus at work:
 
  
  
I'll never get tired of linking that video.
 

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Kyle and this young lady are in for one long night.
The DS has seen a vast array of adventure games over its lifespan.  The Ace Attorney series, 999, even a port of Myst (though I'm pretty sure that there are toasters capable of running Myst at this point).  But my favorite example in the genre on the handheld is Hotel Dusk, which features some of the best writing in the genre in years, a rotoscope-based art style seemingly inspired by the " Take On Me" music video, and puzzles that make intelligent use of the hardware.  In short, everything is several steps up from Trace Memory, the developer Cing's previous effort that, while not bad, felt like more of a warm-up to what they accomplished in Hotel Dusk.   The first time I played through Hotel Dusk, the story left me genuinely surprised at how mature and, in video game terms, how real the characters all felt, even with the plot's at times soap opera-like twists. 

 

The World Ends With You

 Sho's about as eccentric as they get.
To anyone that believes Square Enix doesn't work on anything new original anymore, take note:  The World Ends With You is among the most original games on the DS for several reasons.  There's the combat mechanics that have the player controlling characters on both screens using both the stylus and buttons simultaneously.  There's its protagonist, Neku, a boy seemingly carved from the standard emo teen cloth only to rise up to become a more-than-likeable protagonist.  There's the bizarre alternate universe storyline that unlocks after the game is completed that serves as a means for the game to parody itself.  And under the slick sheen of Tetsuya Nomura character designs, the catch soundtrack, and the eccentric villains, there's a touching story with interesting themes and rewarding character arcs.  It is a game unlike anything Square Enix has released before and a performance that would be hard to top.
 
 
 
 

Trauma Center: Under the Knife

The game that provided players with all of the intensity of an operating room with none of the blood splatter, Trauma Center: Under the Knife puts players in the role of a surgeon.  But not just any surgeon.  A surgeon with super concentration powers, which in game terms pretty much means bullet time.  And holy hell, is that power necessary.  The game's difficulty is an intense climb, and the disease GUILT only makes things even more difficult.  And on top of the tense puzzle surgery elements, there's a medical drama narrative filled with intrigue.  It's pretty awesome.  I've never managed to beat the game myself, but once again, witness another master of the stylus, this time with the hands of a surgeon:
 
  
  
Oh my.
 

Final Fantasy III

 Also, chocobos!
Of course, in addition to all of this original fair, the DS has also become the home of a number of remakes, from fairly simple ports to full-blown reimaginings.  And while other, more recognized games have gotten such treatments, the one that I was most enthused for was Final Fantasy III; the lone title in the series that, at that point, had never seen an official U.S. release.  While its plot may be simple (a group of young adventurers journey to defeat the living embodiment of darkness), it has plenty of that old school Final Fantasy charm to go along with its more modern features.  It accomplished what a remake should; receive updates where it matters while leaving enough of what once was still in tact.  Not everything about the game feels modernized; getting destroyed by the final boss only to be forced to traverse the entire endgame dungeon again because of the lack of save points can be a downer.  But there's still no obstacle that a well equipped team can't face.
 
 
Despite all of the shovelware and the absurd number of notebook titles on the DSiWare shop, the DS had an incredible run.  These were just some of the titles that will always define the handheld's era for me.  What games do you think about when you look back on the DS's life?
Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, the DS is officially nostalgic? That's gonna make my next blog kinda weird. Plus I still have two more DS games to play on my original DS (the one with the broken hinge and the Pictochat that was used, at one point).

Posted by LordAndrew
@Video_Game_King: Sites are already compiling their best of DS lists. Seems it's over for them. There are some potentially great DS games still coming out though, right? I just can't remember their names right now. :/
 
Devil Survivor 2?
Posted by Animasta
@LordAndrew said:
" @Video_Game_King: Sites are already compiling their best of DS lists. Seems it's over for them. There are some potentially great DS games still coming out though, right? I just can't remember their names right now. :/ Devil Survivor 2? "
professor layton.
Posted by NickL

I only reminisce about Yakuza... 
 
I never really used my DS... =(

Posted by LordAndrew
@Laketown: Oh crap. Forgot there was another Layton game on the DS. Has a North American release even been announced yet?
Posted by ReyGitano

The World Ends With You is an excellent example of what the DS could do. Great music, story, and fun gameplay that made use of the touchscreen's possibilities. 
I still have flashbacks of playing that game when I sit next to my open window in the summer.

Posted by Hailinel
@Video_Game_King:  Duder, it's over.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Hailinel: 
 
But what about Shin Monshou no Nazo? They have to release it outside Japan, damn it! I don't want to wait three years for a fan translation.
Posted by kingzetta
@NickL said:
" I only reminisce about Yakuza...  I never really used my DS... =( "
Posted by LordAndrew
@Video_Game_King: Fire Emblem? Yeah, fuck that shit.
Posted by Hailinel
@Video_Game_King:  They can, but they don't have to.  At this point, I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@LordAndrew: 
 
Posted by BeachThunder

PC gaming is d...oh, sorry wrong thread D:

Posted by Apathylad

I always liked the Ace Attorney series. I finished Ghost Trick recently, and that was great, too. The DS had a lot of unique games, and some are arguably better written than many console titles. 

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Remember when people actually thought the PSP was going to beat the DS? Man, those were the days! Of course, I was a true Nintendrone at that point of my life, getting it Christmas '04 and still having that launch-era DS fat with me today. Looking back, kind of a blech launch lineup and first 6 months. Mario 64 was fine and all, but the N64 version is probably better by sheer value of control and being on a big screen. However, now it's clear that the DS will be able to challenge the GBA in the annals of history as the best handheld probably ever. 
 
But Final Fantasy III as one of your examples of why the system is great? Really? I can think of like... 10 RPGs that would be better suited than that "Still totally a NES game" underneath all those slick production values. Grinding = not good. Grinding + Archaic Class system that was handled much better in FFV + no real plot to speak of = game I sold kind of quickly. Even the entirely unnecessary Final Fantasy IV remake would've been a better example.

Posted by Hailinel
@ArbitraryWater:  As much as Final Fantasy IV might have been a better example, I picked Final Fantasy III mainly because it had never seen release outside of Japan before then.  And for all of its archaic aspects, I still found it enjoyable (and a much more fun game than the painful disappointment in FFV, which I consider the worst game in the series).
Posted by TooWalrus

The DS had it's fair share of great games... but I'm going to keep this nostalgic deathgrip belief alive that the GBA was still a better handheld.

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Hailinel:  I guess then that's a point that emphasizes how different our tastes are, because I really like FFV. Sure, the plot is generic as all hell, but in some ways I feel that because it's more generic, it's somehow more honest to what the plot of most video games actually are. That, and the Job System is kind of radical. Then again, Final Fantasy VI is clearly the superiorest game either way you look at it, so that's that. 
 
Personally, even though I haven't bothered to play a greater deal of the more quirky story based titles you've listed (at some point, I'm going to have to play Hotel Dusk), I would probably put Phoenix Wright up as one of the better. Yes, technically they were GBA games, but as far as the West is concerned, they're some of the better examples of that. Then again, Phoenix Wright led to Apollo Justice, and that game was kind of a joke on multiple levels, even so far as to the part where Capcom is clearly making the Phoenix Wright team make Ghost Trick (also an excellent candidate, although the ending was a bit... saccharine) and Edgeworth games so that they don't have to make a direct sequel.
Posted by Hailinel
@ArbitraryWater:  The problem I have with Final Fantasy V is that while it was mechanically superior to Final Fantasy III, its plot was a bomb in between what I consider the two best storylines of the series.  How FFV's narrative got sandwiched in between FFIV and FFVI, I have no idea.  Even Final Fantasy III, with its revised DS storyline, had more of interest than FFV.
 
And while I enjoyed the original Phoenix Wright, I felt that it was done in by the fifth, DS-exclusive chapter.  It's like writing an excellent novel and then adding a second ending that feels painfully tacked on and characters that are completely unfamiliar to anyone that's only played the first game.  It's a transition that simply didn't sit well with me.
Posted by Afroman269

aww too soon

Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Hailinel:  Oh yeah, I can see where you could say that. The 5th chapter was clearly tacked on in a couple of ways, but I really just meant all 3 Phoenix Wright games as a whole, considering that all of them have their good cases and their... less good cases.
Posted by el_tajij
@Hailinel:  Wow, would you say that Hotel Dusk is better than 999? I've never played Hotel Dusk before (but looking to get it), but completed 999 the other night and I thought it was probably one of the best stories, not only in video games but one of the best stories, I've ever read/seen/heard period.
Posted by Mcfart

Devil Survivor 2 was just announced for the DS, and a new Pokemon game just came out on it.
 
No time to start reminicing yet. I think many smaller publishers will stick to the DS for a bit since they'll reach a much larger audience (and 3DS users can still play it).

Posted by Rudeboy217

I totally have the second Ouendan game. I never could get to the hardest difficulty though.

Posted by LordAndrew
@rudeboy217: I could never beat EBA on anything other than the easiest difficulty, although I certainly tried.
Posted by ssj4raditz

I just got Okamiden this week!

Posted by Hailinel
@el_tajij said:
" @Hailinel:  Wow, would you say that Hotel Dusk is better than 999? I've never played Hotel Dusk before (but looking to get it), but completed 999 the other night and I thought it was probably one of the best stories, not only in video games but one of the best stories, I've ever read/seen/heard period. "
I haven't actually had the chance to play 999 yet, though I've heard nothing but great things about it.  I'll have to pick up a copy one of these days and play it myself.
 
@Mcfart: Though more games are still coming, the DS's biggest years are in the past.  If anything, this is equivalent to the PS2's years post PS3-launch.  Sure, we go some great games on the PS2 like Persona 4, but there was also plenty of throwaway fair.
 
@LordAndrew said:
" @rudeboy217: I could never beat EBA on anything other than the easiest difficulty, although I certainly tried. "

I managed to get all the way up to the final song on the highest difficulty of the original Ouendan, the final song on the second highest difficulty of EBA, and through most of the highest difficulty of Ouendan 2.
 
@ssj4raditz said:
" I just got Okamiden this week! "

Cool! How is it so far?
Posted by ssj4raditz
@Hailinel said:

@ssj4raditz said:
" I just got Okamiden this week! "
Cool! How is it so far? "
Still distracted by Pokemon! Heh... I'll probably get into this afternoon. Keep an eye out for my blog about it.
Posted by el_tajij
@Hailinel: Oh right! Then, oh my god dude, you need to play 999. It's totally, utterly mind-blowing and if you like adventure games, it's not only the best adventure game I've ever played but it's probably one of the best games ever written, both in terms of characterization, emotions and straight up just technical writing ability on display. I finished it four days ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my head enough to be able to play anything else yet so, I'm ashamed to admit, I'm gonna replay the last section again tonight, haha! 
 
So yeah I recommend it just a little tiny bit! ;)
Posted by Contro

T'was another great Nintendo handheld.
 
All hail the age of the 3DS! 
 

Posted by _k1_

Feel the Magic was a great game, easily the best game at launch.  Everything else was pictochat clones, cellphone/N64/GBA ports, or garbage like Sprung

Posted by ZombiePie

When the DS was released that's when I had to start buying my own platforms and video games. So I made the decision to give up on handheld gaming. I just can't afford to invest in handheld gaming, my PC, and my console gaming.

Moderator
Posted by Trebz

I'd like to do a post like this soon, although I really should try and play the rest of its supposed "must-have" games, like Bowser's Inside Story and 999. 
 
Anyway, yeah, TWEWY was brilliant. It practically oozes style and it had a pretty fun combat system to boot (although now I can't remember how the hell it worked).

Posted by Animasta
@el_tajij: I definitely wouldn't go THAT far. Still really good, but there are some... questionable translation choices. Excuse me princess, why so serious... UGH.
Posted by el_tajij
@Laketown: You're right for sure, there's a few lines in there that are pretty dodgy. I can't remember the context but there's one scene where someone was replying to something that had just been said and it says 'she thought for a few minutes' which I'm certain should have been 'she thought for a few moments' because if it had been minutes it would have been the most awkward few minutes ever, haha!
 
But I would go that far in saying how good it is and how well it's written overall. I just feel it always made sure you knew exactly what was going on in terms of describing a scene which was such a testament to the quality of writing (especially considering it was translated), the way they described tiny subtle movements exerted by characters; then along with the writing the effective use of music that captured every atmosphere perfectly, sound effects accenting things that needed to be accented, all of the interesting themes running throughout it.
 
I could go on, I just think the whole game is a masterpiece and worth every good thing said about it. It's definitely the most enjoyable experience I've had on the DS, no question about that.
Posted by Aus_azn
@Hailinel said:

"

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

There aren't any scorpion attacks, but they certainly wouldn't be out of place in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.  Though the game was never released outside of Japan, it became such a hit on the import market that Nintendo and iNiS worked together on Elite Beat Agents; an Ouendan for the western market with its own brand of crazy.  But the charm of the original Ouendan is that it doesn't need an English translation; at least, not unless you really want to know every last word.  The colorful cutscenes are expressive enough that it's not hard to understand what's going on, even when what's going on is a team of medicinal supermen punching the shit out of an illness plaguing a concert violinist.  And this sense of ludicrous style serves to back up the rhythm-based gameplay, which is based on a simple yet ingenious use of the DS's touch screen.  What results is an intensely challenging, rewarding and stylish rhythm game that's easy for almost anyone to pick up.
 
Also, the final stage will leave mere mortals winded and broken.  Witness a master of the stylus at work:
 
    
I'll never get tired of linking that video.
 


Sekai wa Sore wo Ai to Yobun Da Ze!! was a lot harder as a final stage (and Jumpin' Jack Flash's 3rd section was brutal); I actually found RSG to be the easiest of the three. Of course, the user that you posted, Alkaliph, is pretty much the queen of these games.
 
    
    @Hailinel said:

"

The World Ends With You

 Sho's about as eccentric as they get.
To anyone that believes Square Enix doesn't work on anything new original anymore, take note:  The World Ends With You is among the most original games on the DS for several reasons.  There's the combat mechanics that have the player controlling characters on both screens using both the stylus and buttons simultaneously.  There's its protagonist, Neku, a boy seemingly carved from the standard emo teen cloth only to rise up to become a more-than-likeable protagonist.  There's the bizarre alternate universe storyline that unlocks after the game is completed that serves as a means for the game to parody itself.  And under the slick sheen of Tetsuya Nomura character designs, the catch soundtrack, and the eccentric villains, there's a touching story with interesting themes and rewarding character arcs.  It is a game unlike anything Square Enix has released before and a performance that would be hard to top.
 
 
 
 
"

So zetta great.
Posted by Hailinel
@_k1_ said:
" Feel the Magic was a great game, easily the best game at launch.  Everything else was pictochat clones, cellphone/N64/GBA ports, or garbage like Sprung.  "
Agreed.  I mean, Ping Pals?  Why would I want to buy a Pictochat clone?
 
@ZombiePie said:
" When the DS was released that's when I had to start buying my own platforms and video games. So I made the decision to give up on handheld gaming. I just can't afford to invest in handheld gaming, my PC, and my console gaming. "

I'm the same in a way, though I gave up on my PC gaming years ago.
 
@Aus_azn: Yeah, both Jumpin' Jack Flash and Sekai wa Sore wo Ai to Yobun Da Ze!! are overall more difficult than Ready Steady Go, but RSG stands out in my mind simply because of the three songs, it was easily the one that punished me the most on the normal difficulty setting.  I easily spent weeks watching that asteroid collide with Earth, only to finally best it on such an adrenaline rush that it took me several minutes to not feel like I was about to jump through the ceiling.
Posted by Animasta
@el_tajij: I just think it goes off a little too much and too weirdly. I enjoyed the game don't get me wrong, but the words and story are basically all there is. the puzzle gameplay is not particularly compelling.
Posted by Aus_azn
@Hailinel said:
@Aus_azn: Yeah, both Jumpin' Jack Flash and Sekai wa Sore wo Ai to Yobun Da Ze!! are overall more difficult than Ready Steady Go, but RSG stands out in my mind simply because of the three songs, it was easily the one that punished me the most on the normal difficulty setting.  I easily spent weeks watching that asteroid collide with Earth, only to finally best it on such an adrenaline rush that it took me several minutes to not feel like I was about to jump through the ceiling. "
Agree with you there, mate. RSG was basically the same map for Kakan ni Ouen (normal) and Gekiretsu ni Ouen (hard), and the triple spinners pissed me off to no end. I would definitely have had trouble had I not purchased Ouendan prior to beating EBA on Hard Rock.
 
It evokes a different feeling when you start the stage and have to watch the whole introduction, but it would have been so aggravating to do JJF and SWSWATYDZ and rewatch the (longer) intros whenever you failed (which was far easier to do, earlier in the song). RSG was definitely my favourite finale; SWSWATYDZ I knew from Densha Otoko and just seemed kinda weird to hear it again. Ouendan 2 basically combined the best parts of Ouendan 1 and EBA to make the game that I would consider closest to flawless on the DS.
 
Put it this way. I love these two games so much that I've done all 300 runs on all of the easy and normal maps, and a few of the hard/insane ones. I've gone through 6 styluses (only 2 from the DS) and 2 DSes. This game destroys touch screens, but it's SO WORTH IT.
Posted by el_tajij
@Laketown said:
" @el_tajij: I just think it goes off a little too much and too weirdly. I enjoyed the game don't get me wrong, but the words and story are basically all there is. the puzzle gameplay is not particularly compelling. "
It IS a graphic novel, y'know? >_>
Posted by Brendan
@Laketown said:
" @LordAndrew said:
" @Video_Game_King: Sites are already compiling their best of DS lists. Seems it's over for them. There are some potentially great DS games still coming out though, right? I just can't remember their names right now. :/ Devil Survivor 2? "
professor layton. "
Do you think they will come out as DS games though, or do you think they might be upgraded to 3DS games for the North American market ala Devil Survivor: Overclocked style?  I know there are still plenty of DS owners out there, but I can't help but think that in some instances these DS game just coming out in Japan soon might arrive for the 3DS in the winter or early next year on our shores.
Posted by Animasta
@el_tajij said:
" @Laketown said:
" @el_tajij: I just think it goes off a little too much and too weirdly. I enjoyed the game don't get me wrong, but the words and story are basically all there is. the puzzle gameplay is not particularly compelling. "
It IS a graphic novel, y'know? >_> "
fair, but tell that to past me that got stuck for an hour because I didn't have internet access to go look up the solution to one of the puzzles.
Posted by LordAndrew
@Brendan said:
" @Laketown said:
" @LordAndrew said:
" @Video_Game_King: Sites are already compiling their best of DS lists. Seems it's over for them. There are some potentially great DS games still coming out though, right? I just can't remember their names right now. :/ Devil Survivor 2? "
professor layton. "
Do you think they will come out as DS games though, or do you think they might be upgraded to 3DS games for the North American market ala Devil Survivor: Overclocked style?  I know there are still plenty of DS owners out there, but I can't help but think that in some instances these DS game just coming out in Japan soon might arrive for the 3DS in the winter or early next year on our shores. "
Professor Layton only needs localization. The second prequel is on the 3DS, so they could theoretically port it so that they'd both be on the same system. But then we'd be waiting even longer, and it would drive me mad!
Edited by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:

" @Hailinel:   But what about Shin Monshou no Nazo? They have to release it outside Japan, damn it! I don't want to wait three years for a fan translation. "

Srsly on this point. Weren't you worried the day they announced the 3DS, that this wouldn't come out in time? I sure as hell was. 

I think I'll have to do a final edition of my DS essentials list sometime soon, even though it isn't quite done spitting out hits. 
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ:

I didn't even think about that. I was just pissed that Devil Survivor was reborn, and then even more pissed that it's getting a sequel.
Posted by sungahymn

Great list.