Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Connoisseur's Top 10 Nintendo DS Games of All Time
After close to two dozen posts in which I bash games, I think it's about time for me to give some love. Because despite how much I hate the direction gaming has gone in recent years, with developers aiming to please the teeming masses with easier, watered-down games instead of actually trying to create genuine masterpieces, I still fully realize that there are many superb developers who have released games that cater to the hardcore such as myself. Therefore, I will soon begin listing my top 10 Nintendo DS games of all time. Nintendo was the first company to bring us into the handheld "next generation" with the Nintendo 3DS, so now is a great time for me to look back and decide which games any handheld gamer shouldn't miss out on. I will, soon after, follow with a top ten PSP list.
For now, I'm simply going to list the finalists and begin the actual list with my next post. A few quick notes about my list (and all subsequent lists) first though. I'm not going to add games that I haven't played. It's impossible to judge such a game. This goes for games that I hate on as well. If it's on my blog, then I have had considerable time with it. So my top ten lists only consist of games that I have actually played, and played enough so that I can accurately assess them. If you don't see a game on my list that you think deserves to be there, then I've either: a. Not played it. -or- b. think it's overrated or not quite worthy of a spot on the list. If you have suggestions for games that you think should be on here, then post them. Ports will always be excluded. I'll copy and paste this before every top 10 list.
All right, so here are the finalists. There are still quite a few DS games that I want to play (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Radiant Historia, Picross, Elite Beat Agents, etc), but for now, these will have to do.
Advance Wars: Dual Strike - Advance Wars is as good as TBS gets. Dual Strike is loaded with content and a blast from beginning to end.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Quite possibly the best Castlevania since Symphony of the Night. Excellent design and boss battles result in a wonderful follow-up to the GBA's Aria of Sorrow.
Final Fantasy III - A new Final Fantasy for American gamers (and a from-the-ground-up remake), and a pretty good one at that. A great class system combines with a fun soundtrack and excellent boss battles to make yet another stellar old-school Final Fantasy. On top of that, it goes back to the olden days of hardcore gaming, with chains of boss battles and huge dungeons that you have to start over if you lose. Be ready to have your patience tested.
Final Fantasy IV - Another remade Final Fantasy, though this one is more familiar to SNES owners. Despite having been criticized on my blog in the past (with good reason), it's still a great game. A tougher (but more balanced) difficulty helps solve one of my longtime problems.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks - While it's terrible for a Zelda game, it does a lot of good with the DS controls and is still one of the better DS games to be released, and definitely an improvement over Phantom Hourglass (though that might not save it from a spot on this blog later). Its bosses are also significantly tougher than those in Phantom Hourglass (though not hard), another clear point in its favor.
Mario Kart DS - Mario Kart fans will have a hard time putting this one down, with great single-player, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer racing. Lots of customization and thrilling online races meant this was the best Mario Kart to date at the time of its release.
Metroid Prime: Hunters - While the single-player is drawn-out and boring, the multiplayer, both local and online, is fantastic for a handheld game. Nintendo misses more often than not when it comes to online, but this time they hit a bulls-eye.
New Super Mario Bros DS - No surprise here. Another great, though relatively easier, Mario experience.
Okamiden - It takes a long time to pick up steam, but the ending quarter of the game is a poignant reminder of its lauded predecessor.
Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum - The Pokemon series needs freshening, but the first series of games to hit the DS are sitll very fun.
Pokemon HeartGold/HeartSilver - These remakes of arguably the greatest Pokemon games in the series took me back to the past on a nostalgic adventure.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village - This puzzle game is one of the generations best. A wonderful interface and addicting puzzles will make it very difficult for you to put it down once you've began.
The World Ends With You - Unarguably one of the best JRPGs of this generation. The combat is unique, fun, and takes quick reflexes. The story is an interesting twist on Battle Royale and will have you on the edge of your seat from the beginning. Even if you're not a handheld fan, this is a game that shouldn't be missed.
at 11:53 PM