Welcome to another post guys. This week I am going to introduce you about my top 10 must play games for the Nintendo DS.
Number 10 >> Golden Sun Dark Dawn (2010)
Whilst not quite as the first two Golden Sun titles for the Gameboy Advance. Dark Dawn is still a a respectable entry in the franchise that manages the state faithful to the previous iterations. The story picks up several decades after the events of the previous game. It presented mystery to the player that slowly reveals itself in a truly satisfying way. One of the best aspects of Golden Sun is the way it blends its magic system into the gameplay outside of battles. It gives magic a practical use and instead presents it more like a tool. Because of this there are several abilities you need to learn in order to progress through the environment. Which gives magic a unique twist within the game. The battle system is more than robust enough to serve the action and offers a good amount of challenge was making it through the adventure. If you’ve played through the first games in the series then this one is a no brainer and if you’re looking for a quality JRPG experience, I’d say there’s enough on offer here to warrant an experience.
Number 9 >> Kirby Mass Attack (2011)
Released in 2011 and developed by HAL, Kirby Mass Attack is one of the main reasons to own a DS. What makes this game different from the other entries in the series has to be its control setup which in my opinion is one of the best aspects of the game. Instead of using the traditional face buttons and d-pad, you take control of to 10 Kirbys with the stylus as you are tasked with guiding them through each level and helping them overcome the various enemies scattered throughout the environments. Simply drawing them on the screen dictates the direction of the Kirbys but it does not stop there. The stylus offers up several mechanics such as being able to flick individual Kirbys as projectiles as holding them down to create a style that allows them to access different areas of each level. As many of you reading would know I am a huge fan of the franchise and for me this has to be one of the greatest entries. If you haven’t managed to get around to picking this one up, now is the prefect time.
Number 8 >> Radiant Historia (2010)
Radiant Historia doesn’t fall into the trap that other RPGs do where they make either the story pretentiously over the top or meet the battle mechanics ridiculously complex that half of the elements and characters are rendered completely pointless. Radiant Historia, however has a well rounded narrative that involves some familiar elements but it does a lot to stand on its own. You not only have to travel time to prevent the end of the world, you have to balance two alternate timelines as well, which sounds like a bit of a headache at first but soon becomes one of the game’s standout features. Combat wise everything takes place on a grid which allows you to move enemies around and combine them into slots to build combos and damage multiple enemies at once. If you’re like me, fond of PS1 and SNES RPGs the Radiant Historia deserves a place in your library.
Number 7 >> Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (2005)
If you love Castlevania you’ll absolutely love Dawn of Sorrow. Draculas’s castle is as haunting as ever with the DS output in some truly impressive visuals is possible to level up and equip a huge array of different weaponry and armor as well as a perfect amount of customization to the players to experiment with. A new feature known as the magic seal system was introduced Dawn of Sorrow which requires the player to draw a specific patterns on the touchscreen in order to defeat the bosses found throughout the campaign. In my opinion this was a legit little feature the put the input method of the stylus the big news. Story wise Dawn of Sorrow takes place one year after the events of the Gameboy Advance games. You’ve once again taken up the role of Soma and it has taken on a cult hell dance on resurrecting the Dark Lord. It’s nothing mind blowing but it was enough to keep me engaged for up the experience and honestly one of the best narratives to come out the franchise. The classic Castlevania formula works flawlessly on DS.
Number 6 >> Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass (2007)
Set directly after the events of Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass inherits its visual style. You take control of Link and a set on a journey to save Tetra after an encounter with a ghost ship went south. The game takes on a 3D top-down perspective very reminiscent of early Zelda titles and manages to convey the world in an immersive way as you would expect from a Zelda game. You discover and utilize various items including the classic boomerang bombs and bow. But the game is mainly divided up into two distinct gameplay styles. The salient aspect of Wind Waker returns and sees if you’ve taken to the Seas once again to explore the islands and the various dungeons that reside within each of them. The game puts the stylist bid use in several different ways as well. You can draw shapes to open doors, swipe your sword to perform attacks and plot all paths on your map to name a few… All in all this is a great Zelda game and definitely one that should be in your library.
Number 5 >> Chrono Triggers (2008)
The remake of the classic SNES title Chrono Trigger has to be one of the most essential games for the Nintendo DS. It is worth mentioning from the start that if you played the Super Nintendo version or even the PS1 version you will find very little new here aside from a few touchscreen features and extra objects. Despite this, Chrono triggers has still managed to stand the test of time wisely due to the incredibly crafted story by default. If any of you have played the Final Fantasy games you will know what to expect in terms of gameplay battles taken on a turn-based nature as you grow your character’s strengths and abilities as wells as taking advantage of the various items and equipments that alter your stats. Although the DS version’s great release for classic that captured so many minds back in the day, there are a couple of issues mainly with the difficulty of the adventure and the bland repetitive extras introduced with the port but having the option to experience this RPG on the go is a proposition too good to pass up.
Number 4 >> New Super Mario Bros (2005)
No Nintendo top 10 is complete without a Mario game and although Mario 64 is clearly the better title I much preferred experiencing than on it’s original hardware and feel like the pick-up-and-play nature of New Super Mario Bros is best suited to the handheld major of console. As you would expect the game offers you and array of worlds and levels to jump and stomp through as well as an impressive multiplayer option that is home to some of my fondest memories with the DS. A few new power-ups were introduced with the items such as the mega mushroom that sees Mario fill the screen and plow through any obstacles that litter the path, a mini mushroom that does exactly what it suggests and turns Mario into a miniature version of himself and finally a Koopa shell. If you’re looking for a fun, addictive and challenging platformer for the system, New Super Mario Bros offers off the perfect solution and is truly a must have.
Number 3 >> Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon (2009)
Released in 2008 and developed by Intelligent Systems, Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon is a remake of the original NES game from way back in 1990. You take control of Marth as you are cast out of your Kingdom and set forth on a journey I will see you forming alliance with the many forces that occupy the world. Gameplay wise, you command a wide range of unit types around each environment that is built upon a grip. The input method of the stylus truly comes into its own as you draw out each units path and execute commands with ease. Thankfully, the option for using the d-pad is also included for any of those who are at first to the stylus controls which is all I’m not going to see. On the battlefield each unit has their own unique attributes and abilities that will contribute to your effectiveness in each fight. Shadow Dragon manages to span an impressive 25 chapters and offers off a huge amount of content for fans of the genre. All in all looking back on this it is a great release for the series and an awesome way to experience the origins of the franchise today.
Number 2 >> Advance Wars Dual Strike (2005)
The main goal in Advance Wars Dual Strike is to outsmart your enemy with strategy intact. Dual Strike is absolutely loaded with depth and strategy. Although not to a point to make your head spin but just enough to really hook the player while maintaining a consistent balance of difficulty. Now I’ve always had a soft spot for the series and have enjoyed the game since the days of a Gameboy Advance and in my opinion Dual Strike offers up everything that is learnt along the way. It presents the definitive Advance Wars experience. If you’re a fan of Fire Emblem you’ll feel right at fun due to the similar style of play but instead taking place in a fictional modern world which allows you to utilize various units based on real life warfare such as bombers, tanks, launch impacts. The amount that the game offers is staggering and is sure to keep you busy for quite some time. As you make it through the campaign and the various multiplayer modes that comprise the experience, Intelligent Systems really need to consider a new release for this series.
Number 1 >> Pokemon Soul Silver & Heart Gold (2009)
I loved the original Gold and Silver games, in fact Pokemon Gold is one of my favourite games of all time. So as you can imagine, upon hearing that they would be remade for the DS I could not wait to get my hands on them. Taking place in the Johto Region, all of the pokemon that were introduced in original are present as well as few new ones thrown in. The presentation is highly improved giving a nice new fresh look to the environments as well as the characters and pokemon that populate them. Combat wise everything is identical to what we’ve come to know and love from the series. It takes on the turn based nature as you battle it out with the various trainers and pokemon in order to build an all star team. Admittedly, there are a ton of Pokemon games available for the DS such as Black and White which offer up even more new features and content than this release. But personally with its piece of nostalgia its incredibly rich world and story HG & SS represent the best of the franchise.
And here concludes my top 10 list of must have DS games. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best games. Each of you may have different perspectives to which games to play. Anyways, until next time !
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