With the Pokemon bundle releasing soon (or, like, now, as some lucky folks already caught it in the wild), we figured it'd be pertinent to ask what your favorite Pokemon is. So is it the fan favorite Pikachu? We heard you like Mudkips (lol). How about the awesomely bizarre Hitmonlee? Which is it?
Every month, we post the new NPD numbers detailing the sales of game hardware in the US. We spend a lot of time talking about Japanese sales as well. Typically, the DS is at the top of the sales list, though it is occasionally overtaken by the Wii, or, in Japan, the Monster Hunter machine.
When the DS does top a sales list, does it inspire pride? Does it make you happy to be on the winning team? Is it like watching the stock market, except instead of making money, you're earning shares in the DS's popularity? Or does it excite you for more practical reasons, like the fact that continued DS sales probably means that new games will be coming out for the current DS for a while?
Many DS owners are blessed with a sizable library of games, thanks to the fact that the tiny cartridges tend to be cheaper than games for other systems. In fact, some of the handheld's best titles are budget games, available for prices so low that it's ridiculous (but in a good way).
But not everyone is so lucky. Recent adopters, or those who had a DS, but only discovered the handheld's depth of late, are faced with shelves and shelves of games from which to choose. Some things are easy picks: Link and Mario rarely make bad choices for the Nintendo fan. But there's so much else out there. One reader e-mailed us asking for help in choosing from that vast selection, and we're turning that request over to you. Beyond the obvious -- like Mario Kart, Pokémon, and Phantom Hourglass, if you had to name three excellent DS games, what would you choose? We'll throw out three as well: The World Ends With You, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and Contra 4.
Pokémon Platinum will hopefully be arriving in the States at ... some point later this year, but until then Nintendo needs to get us in the right frame of mind for parting with our monies. To this end, the company is releasing the above limited edition Onyx DS Lite with Dialga and Palkia art, along with a pile of appropriately themed freebies.
Our Pokémon-branded calendar confirms that this is launching tomorrow in the States, so who's picking it up? And has anybody else managed to pick it up early, like jammy DS Fanboy reader Tom?
While there are lots of DS games that support online multiplayer over the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, there are also many titles that use the service for some other online content. Level sharing is becoming a more common feature, and even downloadablecontent is available in a few games (though sometimes, it seems to really just be unlockable content). While we know many gamers crave online mutliplayer to extend the fun and replay values of their games, we're finding that these other uses for Nintendo's Wi-Fi can be just as interesting. Sometimes, of course, they're mediocre, but that's par for the proverbial course with any feature. The question is -- do you enjoy these options? Do you remember to use them? Have you unlocked puzzles in Professor Layton and the Curious Village or check out Civilization Revolution's games of the week?
The low cost of DS game development and the extraordinarily high popularity of the system make the DS an excellent way for new developers to find an audience. 5th Cell is a notable company who has done great with the DS -- which is why they've made this Gamasutra list of breakthrough developers. Level-5 has been huge for a while, thanks to Dragon Quest VIII, but Professor Layton upped their profile significantly.
Have any developers come to your attention since you started playing the DS? Old or new, have you become a fan of a company for their DS output? We're sure there are some out there without the number 5 in their name.
We know Metal Slug 7 hasn't released yet (we're counting the days!), but the latest trailer for the title proved one thing to us: this game is going to be one manly time. But, what to do, as Contra 4 already takes up space on our shelf of manly stuff?
Are we to take it down for Metal Slug 7? Can the two co-exists as incredibly awesome and manly games? Which one do you think is more manly and buff?
Some games just have to be imported. For us, it was Ouendan and its sequel. We were even considering Taiko Drum Master, but ended up holding out for a localization. What about you all, though? Was there a Japanese game you just had to have? What was it?
If you were put in charge of creating a Mass Effect game on the DS, how would you do it? There are many ways to take an existing franchise and make a handheld game out of it, and basically the decision comes down to whether to make a shrunken-down version of the original game style or to make a completely new game.
Would you make a 2D version of the original game, like Xenosaga I&II? A smaller side story with vaguely similar gameplay, like Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles? Would you dare to make a lower-polygon port? Or would you make a totally different game in the same universe, as Konami is doing with Elebits? How about the exact same game, but redone as an English trainer?
By the way, if you actually have been put in charge of a Mass Effect DS game, hi! We'd love to talk to you.
Most DS owners have, at some time or another, picked up a case (to protect the system) or perhaps a specialized stylus. But have you bought anything else? Hard shells, skins -- decorative, silicon, or both -- or something wacky like a stand? We'd love to hear how you accessorize your baby, even if it's only a matter of buying something to keep those tiny carts in.
When was the last time you returned to a DS game that long sat neglected in your collection? (Okay, so the answer to this probably isn't Ping Pals; and if it is, consider yourself a buffoon.)
Had you already completed the game in question, or did you purchase it and get immediately sidetracked by something else? Are there any older games you plan to return to in the near future? This blogger is currently on his third trip through the Yggdrasil Labyrinth in Etrian Odyssey (hence this topic) -- I never completed the title in two previous attempts, but I'm determined to not get distracted this time!
The DS is really starting to load up on certain kinds of games, like strategy and puzzle titles. We're even starting to see a glut of all kinds of RPGs, a genre that was once thin on the handheld. But what's missing? Is there a particular genre you feel is underrepresented on the system? Or perhaps there's just something you enjoy and would like to see more of, like text adventures. What do you want to see more of?
For any gamer, seeing a bargain bin often ends in a multi-minute thumbing through its collection of treasures. Odd games that held a past interest yet were priced too high initially are usually what we encounter, now lowered to a cost that we are more than fine with paying. It's pretty much how we catch up on games we missed.
So what was the last great find you had from a bargain bin? Something that was a featured sale, perhaps seen here? Was it something you found at your local shop? What was it?