Nintendo DS |OT| Everyone Buys a DSi XL


Yup. I had no idea either - until I tried a friend’s a couple of years after launch. They had the yellow and black one. Was blown away by how good the system looked, and how vibrant and un-changing the screens were at any angle. So I went and grabbed a blue and black model, and, erm, two more. Nintendo’s marketing has never focused on tech jargon (even though they beat Apple to using IPS displays by a year), which is why I passed on the device. They did say it had wide angle displays though.

I still use my DS Lite for the controller add-ons (Taito Paddle Controller). It’s a real shame the DSi XL didn’t have a GBA slot, the games would look magnificent on its screens…

There’s a lot to like about OoE, but I really struggled with the boss fights. I think they crossed the line from offering a firm-but-fair challenge to what I’d call a memorisation game. Because a lot of the bosses leave you with little room to maneuverer you end up brute-forcing them until you have the exact pattern to beat them nailed down. Which just wasn’t for me.


Been meaning to buy a DS for quite some time just to play Phantasy Star Zero of which I have had a sealed copy sitting around with no way of being able to play it for several years now.

Not really sure what DS to get, how to best avoid any IPS screen lottery or what sort of price I should be looking at.


The DSi XL is probably the all-round best system for playing DS games, though Phantasy Star: Zero’s 3D visuals might look better on smaller screens given the relatively low screen resolution.

All DSi XL/LL models have twin IPS panels, so there’s no panel lottery.


Did you know you can insert both GBA Polarium and DS Action Loop at the same time in a DS/DSlite and they unlock extras in each other?

Indeed! The feels that the game gives me are unparalleled. There’s just something about it.


I had no idea! I never picked up Action Loop on DS, it’s on my list…

Your posts did inspire me to play a round of Yoshi: Touch and Go earlier, alongside a run of arcade mode on MM Pang!. I think part of the appeal with the former is it was developed in house, and it certainly shows, right down to the quality of the pixel art used in the menu screens. It also helps that, presentation-wise, it feels like a 32-bit version of Yoshi’s Island in many ways. The music is more upbeat than lazy. It’s a shame Nintendo has stopped making Yoshi games themselves, everything since has been a disappointment. Good-feel are wasted on this series.

How is Nintendo Touch Golf by the way? I bought a cheap copy of it earlier in the year and it arrived new, and sealed in the old red Nintendo wrapping…must have been lying around in a warehouse for over a decade. But I never got round to playing more than a few minutes of it.


I generally buy from Amazon Marketplace or eBay and the cheapest sellers are usually MusicMagpie or Overstockers. About £3 per DS game.

I bought Touch Golf from MM and they sent me the USA version. I know they’re essentially the same game, but I complained and they me my money back and let me keep the game! Result.

I’ve not replayed it yet, but I remember it being a good game. I’m currently playing through all T&E SOFT golf games. They also did the Virtual Boy golf game and many more greats.

I’m intrigued to know, which of the 32 awards (achievements) have you unlocked? And have you unlocked all game modes?


I have a DSL. Been wondering for a while if I should get a DSi or DSi XL. Sounds like an XL might be a good bet. I hadn’t considered keeping the DSL for add-ons that use th GBA slot. I have been interested in this Taito paddle games in the past.


I have said in the past that one thing I prefer with the DS Lite over the DSi XL is the dpad for games that use diagonals fairly heavily as I find my blue DSi XL’s clicky d-pad to have very stiff diagonals. Especially with non clicky d-pad I found the DS Lite better for 3D games like DQ9, FF4, and Okamiden.

I assumed this was true for all XLs and was fixed by the time the 3DS came out. I even opened to compare and found plastic differences between the XL and original 3DS d-pads.

However, after playing around with my yellow LL I can confrim it certainly isn’t true for all LL/XL units – with the yellow d-pad diagonals feel very natural and not stiff, even matching the 3DS which for a clicky d-pad feels pretty good. I don’t really have time or energy to open both XLs right now but I have to assume there was either a manufacturing flaw with my blue XL or a minor revision to change the d-pad feel.

It’s interesting at least and Dragon Quest 9 feels a lot more natural in movement on my yellow LL than the blue XL.


I wish that happened with me! I ordered Electroplankton, and received the wrong version, which was also covered in brown gunk (hopefully chocolate). Had to send it back when I complained that it wasn’t as described and shown.

I find it really cool that Nintendo reached out to a lot of the established developers (Mitchell, T&E Soft, Treasure, Giles Goddard’s studio Vitei) to make games for the DS. Shame today’s Nintendo stopped doing that…

I’ll report back re: PANG next time I pick up my DS for a session!


This is interesting that you mention inconsistency between D-Pads. I’ve never had any issue with the DSi XL D-Pads though it may be that I use them with the base of my thumb (the joint) rather than the tip.

The original DSi D-Pad gave me a lot of issues, it felt too low down to comfortably and consistently press diagonals…

…And pretty much all the DS Lite models I’ve used have horrible diagonals on the D-Pad, especially compared with the Game Boy Micro. You have to use a lot of effort to make diagonals register on the Lite I find. Was playing Boktai earlier today, which relies heavily on diagonals and my thumb was aching after half an hour. Wonder whether it’s just the DS Lites I was using…


Yep, had no idea myself until recently and had to get one. The XL’s IPS screens are an obvious improvement over the past DSes and not just with colors and viewing angles. The Lite’s screens have a lot of ghosting and it seems impossible to find one where at least one of the screen’s doesn’t have a nasty, splotchy yellow tint: not my pic but a good example. I got a black Lite last year, in great condition, but the bottom screen still has that uneven yellowness. Same with my original white DSL purchased at launch which I’m certain wasn’t like that initially. Something with the touch screen or a glue yellowing over time? No idea, but at least my DSI XL doesn’t exhibit this problem and both screens look bright and neutral. I also don’t mind that the XL’s pixel structure is noticeable and actually think it looks neat.

Overall, the DS is my most played handheld of all time. It was a lifesaver in getting me through my boring train commutes to and from college. Some of my favorites at the time: Yoshi Touch & Go, Mario Kart, Sonic Rush, both Advance Wars, Kirby Canvas Curse, Meteos, Metroid Prime Pinball, Dawn of Sorrow, Phoenix Wright, Tetris DS and the Ouendan series. I played Ouendan on the train and didn’t care if anyone thought I looked nuts. I was hooked. EBA’s songs were a downgrade but the game grew on me and I still like it. Daigasso Band Brothers was my first foreign language game purchase, which I got hyped for after a thread on the old forum. I had no idea the sequel had an English language release in the UK… may pick that up since the Japanese was a bit of a hindrance with navigating menus in the original.

Always had a decent selection of DS games but at a point, being a broke college kid with bills and some debt, I caved in and got a flash cart. Not surprisingly I played less games after I got the cart. Having a handful of games in my little DS sleeve kept me more focused and avoided choice paralysis. I kind of fell out of gaming with the Wii’s decline and more or less stopped using the DS with it. Only in this past year have I gotten around to rounding out my DS library with most of the stuff I’ve always wanted to own. Crosspost from the pickup thread: games, more games.

In terms of packaging aesthetics, this is my favorite system due to the very sturdy, compact cases with thick color manuals. I’m not a fan of cardboard boxes, so if I could source enough official DS cases (not third party junk), I’d love to print covers for all my loose GBA games and stick them in the GBA cart holder. Like so:


Yes, it’s a shame that hasn’t happened recently. Of course Mitchell and T&E no longer exist, but I’m sure there must be other developers they could call on.


The Chrono Trigger port is decent. I still prefer the SNES version though.


This is crazy, a flash cart for $20? Let us know how this is. Never got into the DS or GBA but I have been itching to lately. Emulation comes up short and I definitely don’t need another 3000 game library to buy into, but if flash carts are a good option and this cheap I am ready to jump in.


It has pretty much perfect compatibility, RTS, cheats, built in slot-2 loading w/ GBA flash cart or ezflash 3-in-1, works on all DS and 3DS with the creators updating regularly still for the latest 3DS firmwares, and it has a built in mode for ntrboot hacking 3DSes.

Also if you buy the proper one its the only card with official Wood firmware support so even the UI works flawlessly.


Good call on the DS cases … not gonna lie - that’s one reason I’d like to collect for it. And I’d also love to convert my GB and GBA games to custom DS cases, too.


Oh yea, about this… it’s actually surprising how good the screens are compared to some 3DS screens I’ve seen. It was probably their most consistent handheld screen quality of all devices they’ve ever released up to (and possibly including) the Switch.


Hear, hear. They are also more vibrant with a higher coverage of the sRGB colour gamut - DS games played on 3DS just look undersaturated.

The two factors most 3DS displays have over the DSi XL displays are higher resolution, peak brightness (maybe, the brightness has to double when the 3D is turned on) and this nice anti-reflective coating in the “New 3DS” models (top screen only).

But in all other accounts they are kind of disappointing. I think had the 3DS been as big a success as the DS was they’d be better. The 3DS’s three screens have non-standard aspect ratios for their time (5:3 for the two 3D top panels and 4:3 for the bottom) and the parallax barrier stuff. And most units sold weren’t for a single model, giving Nintendo less bargaining power with suppliers.

It’s a shame the last model of 3DS - and the handheld legacy started by Nintendo R&D - has two dim, undersaturated TN panels, and no 3D effect. The New 2DS XL has a nice looking chassis but everything else screams budget. I’d prefer something like the DSi XL as a sendoff machine.

Switch has been great so far. Every model has IPS displays with what looks to be 100% of the sRGB space covered. This has continued even after Nintendo expanded suppliers from two to four, though I’ve noticed calibration differences between newer Switches as my launch model. Still, it’s good to see they see the value of viewing angles for stuff like tabletop mode multiplayer, much like how the DSi XL was designed as a device that could be shared, or played from a variety of angles on a table with the stylus.

Yeah, but the pool does seem to be shrinking as the market shifts towards specialising in either mobile game development or big budget console titles. I reckon Treasure, Mitchell, CiNG, iNiS et al would have stuck around a bit longer if Nintendo greenlit more games from them. But I guess they saw the low sales of games like Sin and Punishment 2. On the flipside Level-5 did fund a bunch of cool ideas for 3DS. Crimson Shroud, Attack of the Friday Monsters and Aeroporter are among my favourite games for the system


Me too. Technically speaking, Chrono Trigger on DS is solid. But TOSE messed up the user interface. The text is difficult to read in the battle screens, even on a DSi XL.

I’ve got no problem with tiny text if done in pixel art like CT does, but the font has to be optimised for readability if it’s going to be as small as possible on the pixel grid.


All original 3DS XL screens also have an anti-glare coating. Aside from size I consider it the most significant improvement made vs the original 3DS as that system is impossible to play in a bright environment.