Nice to see a thread celebrating the mighty DS. And it comes with good timing - I’ve recently been revisiting and uncovering more of the DS’s library this year, given the Switch is more of a portable home console than a traditional handheld. Handhelds were always defined and survived by their unique libraries of bespoke games, after all, and DS was a product of its time in all those respects.
Here are all the games I discovered this year, which I previously passed on back in the day:
- Last Window: Secret of Cape West
- Etrian Odyssey III
- Legend of Kage 2
- Uttachi (Bemani Konami rhythm game)
- Puyo Puyo 7
- Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land
- Knights in the Nightmare
- Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
- Valkyrie Profile: CotP
- Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
- DK: Jungle Climber
- Mawashite Koron
- Bomberman 2
- Taito Paddle Controller with Space Invaders Extreme, Extreme 2, Arkanoid DS and Puzzle Bobble Galaxy
Such a wide range of great games, all with different ideas (mostly well executed, Mawashite Koron really should have been made after the Taito Paddle Controller released). Nintendo’s partnerships of the era with developers like Sandlot, CiNG, iNiS, Paon and Eighting gave us some great games too.
I hope to write more about those games individually. But really, there’s a lot to be said about the DS - that the early wave of software from Japan and Nintendo managed to eventually capture the imagination of developers worldwide is probably the best thing about it. I was surprised that even a tech-demo like game such as Pac-Pix felt fresh and fully formed thirteen years after release, and because a lot of games relied on 2D graphics they look glorious.
The DSi XL is an underrated piece of kit, and probably ahead of its time given the shift to larger displays today. At the time of its release Sony was making the PSP smaller, after all. The DSi XL has two, beautiful IPS panels with superb viewing angles, and a wider colour gamut than any 3DS model released to date.