DS Fanboy Favorites: Dave's top five
All this week, the DS Fanboy staff is letting you in on a few of their favorite titles. Each day, a different member of the staff will present their personal top five DS games along with a snapshot of their gaming paraphernalia and habits, in an effort to provide our readers with a little more information on the tastes and personalities of our writers.
I own a total of 19 DS games. Yes, just 19 games. I've never been too crazy about handheld systems, mostly because I'm the type of gamer that enjoys the escape of playing something more immersive, like console games. That's not to say the DS isn't capable of presenting games that allow me to escape, even some of which are in my collection, but gaming lends itself a bit more to pick-up-and-play, quicker gaming sessions on a handheld when compared with a console.
With that in mind, let me show you my top five DS games.
Dave's Top Five DS Games
1. Age of Empires: Age of Kings
I love RTS games, I really do. With the DS, before this game came along, I thought the interface of the touch-screen would lend itself wonderfully to RTS games on the platform. I immediately thought of Warcraft ports on the DS and the wonder of playing fresh titles from the genre on the system. Then Age of Empires: Age of Kings came out for the system and I found the wonders of a turn-based strategic title on the system. I'm hopeful that we'll see developers learning from that game, putting out bigger and better RTS and turn-based games on the platform.
I'm a big puzzle junkie. Can't enough of games like Tetris, Mr. Driller and Super Puzzle Fighter II, to be honest. That's why Q? Entertainment's puzzler ranks so high on the list. The first time I ever played this game was during E3 2005, in the hotel room of a colleague. He had downloaded it via the stations set up by Nintendo and as I checked it out for the first time (I had been stuck in Sony developer meetings all day; this was before I worked here), I didn't think much of it. I didn't find that it maximized the use of the DS' features, nor did I think that the puzzler's gameplay would stay fresh long enough to want gamers to finish the title. Oh, how wrong I would be upon the release of the game to retail.
3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
What kind of employee would I be if I didn't mention the game that changed my life forever? Well ... it didn't really change my life, I just tell people that so they'll check it out. Yes, it is that good, melding together humor and investigative gameplay together in such an overall dazzling package that to look upon the cartridge is to go blind. Seriously, I can't tell you why this game is so good, you have to have played it to understand.
4. Tetris DS
Yawn, another puzzle game? Well, don't knock it until you've tried it, buddy! See, Tetris is the O.G. (that's "original gangsta," kids) of the puzzle game genre and the DS version, with all the Nintendo fanservice, new game modes and competent Wi-Fi functionality, easily makes my top five. I've played this game a lot and for those of you who come to Game Night, you can attest to how frequently I'm trying to get a match in.
It's funny, because I wasn't rushing out to pick this game up when it first released to retail. I figured it would come down in price eventually and I would snag it then. Well, I eventually picked it up during a buy 2, get 1 free sale from Toys 'R Us, and am I glad I did. This game is incredibly endearing and for those quite fond of music (that would be me), it's a perfect way to invest your time. My returns always show profit (ynuck, ynuck).
Honorable mentions: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Sonic Rush, Animal Crossing
I spent a lot of time frowning over these last three games. I knew I wanted to fit them into the top five, but it was a hard sell. First of all, Dawn of Sorrow is a great game, but the stylus-driven death sequences for bosses just really feel out of place, causing me to drop it to the honorable mentions section. Don't get me wrong, I loved the game, but we're talking the "best of the best" here, folks!
As for Sonic Rush, this was an easier call to make. The game is great, drawing heavy inspiration from the series entries of old and bringing the tension through speed back to the gameplay only helped it that much more, but the game is incredibly short. And incredibly easy. So, sadly I have to drop Sonic Rush down to the honorable mentions section, as well.
Finally, we have Animal Crossing. This was the hardest decision to make. I so desperately wanted to get it into my top 5, what with the game having incredible replay value and all, but then I considered what makes a top 5 game. A game that I would consider to be one of the top 5 best on the console would have to be a game I still steadily play, or at least desire to play on some sort of consistent basis, correct? That is where Animal Crossing loses some points, as it's been months since I checked in on my town, Hinkton.
Game I wanted to love, but just couldn't: Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
In a lot of ways, the Resident Evil franchise is what got me into the gaming industry. If it hadn't fascinated me when first released on the Playstation, I might've ended up becoming a doctor or the dictator of a small third-world country. Who knows what I could've done with myself? But no, the allure of gaming was too strong and I found my place amongst the sleep-and-food-deprived mass that is gaming journalism. Anyway, for this port of the first game, which suffered from horrible graphics and controls, I wanted to love it because I love the franchise. However, the sub-par port of this game brought me back to my senses.