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65 reasons to own a DS

posted on July 9th, 2007 by the gang

16. Animal Crossing: Wild World
Creating your own town has never been this much fun. Neither has trapping your best friend with holes, being attacked by bees and paying off racketeering raccoons.

17. Lost Magic
This one caught some flak from reviewers and certainly has its problems. If you can get past the piss poor pathfinding and crap art, though, you’ll find a unique experience that combines a RTS game with, well, rune drawing and crap art.

18. Cooking Mama
Possibly not the best game for you, but an excellent little title to play with your family, or Emeril.

19. Kirby Canvas Curse
This game was one of the first to show off the creativity the DS is capable of. Painting pathways for Kirby is a novel mechanism of character control that, while frustrating at times, mostly made for a colorful and fun experience.

20. Final Fantasy III
Dear lord, put save points in your fucking dungeons. Jesus. Besides this though, I have yet to see a portable game that comes even close to demonstrating such beautiful graphics, and I will never tire of reliving the old-school RPG game mechanics.

21. New York Times Crosswords
If only solving these puzzles killed trees, they would be as engaging as the real thing.

22. Puzzle Quest
Though it may seem an odd mishmash of genres, this RPG/Puzzle hybrid turned out well. It was also released on the PSP, but the DS version takes advantage of the touchscreen functionality to keep this gem-based game easy to pick up.

23. Castlevania Portrait of Ruin
We are seeing diminishing returns on the adventure based Castlevanias. In five or six more games, the formula may be boring. For now, it’s still a ton of fun and this entry spices up the staple gameplay by adding exotic locales. Travel to Egypt, see the pyramids, flay zombies.

24. Puyo Pop Fever
Ignore the Easter coloring Sega used to “improve” the presentation. Puyo Puyo has been around for so long because it truly is the premiere “better than Tetris” falling blocks game.

25. Lunar Knights
A solid action-RPG title that let me hack and slash ’til my hearts content. While it doesn’t punish the gamer for playing in the dark like its predecessors, the day-night cycle still figures into the gameplay. Two characters that can be switched on the fly and a multitude of ways to upgrade can make a lot of hours disappear.

26. Trace Memory
Adventure is a genre the DS does well. This game is a bit on the linear side, but it has an entertaining story and some imaginative puzzle mechanics using several DS features.

27. Elite Beat Agents
We should all be thankful that this game made it across the Pacific Ocean. The playlist is not what I would have chosen, but intentionally weird storylines and a bizarre translation, coupled with fast and fun gameplay make this a can’t-miss title for rhythm game fans as well as those just looking for something quirky and “Japanese.”

28. Meteos
My first DS love. Honestly, the game that convinced me to pick up the little handheld. Othello be damned, this is the quintessential “minute to learn, lifetime to master” experience. My sisters and girlfriends pick it up and love it, and my gaming friends can’t get enough. Just be careful not to damage your screen.

29. Age of Empires: Age of Kings
While it does have the occasional game breaking bug (having a three letter name and using the Save and Quit option turns the cart into a brick) AOE:AOK turns the successful RTS into a deep and involving SRPG.

30. Bomberman
Yes, the single player sucks, like in most games in this series. But multiplayer Bomberman has and will always be a pinnacle of gaming.

31. Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits
What seems to be a fairly simple mechanic quickly becomes terribly fast paced chaos. Play with a friend, but not with a girlfriend as the ladies are born with a +1 ass-kickery-amulet-of-awesome that applies directly to this game.

32. Theme Park
This should have been better in that they could have updated and added so much. As it is, you’ll have to settle for a gaming classic that’s slightly less addictive than crack. It’s more a meth game.

33. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
Another classic gone two screens. Unless you already played the PS version, the Saturn version, the Director’s Cut, and the REmake, you can probably stand to enjoy the horror again.

34. PacPix
The sleeper hit of sleeper hits. One of the first games from a 3rd party to redefine what a game could do. This overlooked gem lets you draw Pac-Man and see your creation come to life. It didn’t have the most varied level design, but the gesture system and the cute music made Pac Pix a great experience.

35. Metroid Prime Hunters
Many scoffed at the idea of an FPS Metroid, and many scoffed at the idea of a Metroid FPS on a handheld, but NST created one hell of a winner with Hunters, exactly like Retro and the original Prime. And just like Animal Crossing, you get to take your bounty hunter skills online through the Nintendo WiFi Connection.

36. SCURGE: Hive
Another sleeper hit creeps onto the DS. Although disturbingly similar to Metroid and it’s style of gameplay, SCURGE: Hive switches it up by putting you in an isometric adventure. With aliens!

37. Brain Training
Not fun really, but definitely still compelling. At least if it tells you you’re mentally 90 years old and you already had low self esteem.

38. Trauma Center: Under the Knife
Considered by some to be one of the hardest games of all time, Trauma Center asks you to save lives with just your stylus. The first half of the game deals with normal day-to-day operations like heart valve replacement, but soon the anime sets in and you are soon tasked with saving lives from man-made parasites that even House would fail to stop.

39. Hotel Dusk
Simply put, there is not a single thing wrong with this stellar detective adventure game. The art style is amazing, the dialog is superb, and the story is great. If you want an adventure game on the go, Hotel Dusk is your game. Period.

40. Electroplankton
Not exactly a game, not exactly a musical instrument; Electroplankton manages to capture the most interesting parts of both.

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  1. lyskan said on July 9, 2007:

    I hope these aren’t in order. and I saw JSS on the list but not JUS… they’re both good. and you forgot about ds download play, great wifi multiplayer and no region protection. you did all games, the psp list had other stuff… wait… the psp doesn’t have any great games…

  2. TrueTallus said on July 9, 2007:

    Nervous Brickdown makes 66… if you like arkanoid at all, anyway.

  3. jarrad said on July 9, 2007:

    I feel like an ass because I don’t have a DS.

  4. Ace25 said on July 9, 2007:

    Well, I can’t agree on the whole list, and there are a few sequels that really shouldn’t be in the list, one or the other is good enough. Castlevania, as well as Elite Beat Agents/Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, and games that are similar like Puyo Pop & Bust a Move.. but I still say there is a solid 40 games to choose from. I strongly belive the DS is a better system (I had a DS & PSP and traded in my PSP for a second DS to play friends who didn’t have one).

    Scurge Hive? That game was aweful, you can’t control the isometric movement very well with a D-Pad.

    Zelda is nice though, at least the Japanese version I have been playing.

  5. Dat Phan Boi said on July 9, 2007:

    Hey, here is 66 Awesome PSP Games:

    1. Lumines
    2. Wipeout Pure
    3. GTA: Liberty City Stories
    4. GTA: Vice City…
    5. Tekken Dark Resurrection
    6. Ridge Racer
    7. MGS: Portable Ops
    8. Metal Gear Ac!d
    9. Daxter
    10. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
    11. Burnout Legends
    12. 300: March to Glory
    13. Ace Combat X
    14. Puzzle Quest
    15. LocoRoco
    16. Lego Star Wars: The Original
    17. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 10th…
    18. Crush
    19. Virtua Tennis 3
    20. PQ2: Practical IQ
    21. Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
    22. PaRappa the Rapper
    23. Dungeon Maker
    24. Innocent Life
    25. Ape Escape
    26. Hot Shots Golf
    27. MLB 06: The Show
    28. The Bigs
    29. THUG 2 Remix
    30. Mega Man Powered Up
    31. Winning Eleven
    32. Socom
    33. Sid Meirs Pirates!
    34. Tales of Eternia
    35. Lumines 2
    36. The Warriors
    37. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
    38. Gitaroo Man Lives
    39. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
    40. FIFA 07
    41. Street Fighter Alpha 3
    42. NBA live 06
    43. Valkyre Profile: Lenneth
    44. SSX on tour
    45. Twisted Metal
    46. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
    47. Madden NFL 07
    48. Metal Slug Anthology
    49. Guilty Gear Judgment
    50. Mercury Meltdown
    51. ATV Offroad
    52. Field Commander
    53. Killzone Liberation
    54. Exit
    55. Gradius Collection
    56. Lemmings
    57. Capcom Classics
    58. Activision Hits
    59. Me and My Katamari
    60. Infected
    61. Bomberman
    62. Bust-A-Move Deluxe
    63. Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition
    64. Mortal Combat Unchained
    65. Death Jr.
    66. PoPoLoCrois

    Lots of great games and awesome features. No scratchy touch screens

  6. yan said on July 9, 2007:

    One reason why I don’t use it: no linux… there is even linux for the iPhone, see http://zonow.com/78

  7. thief said on July 9, 2007:

    actually, there is linux for the DS. You just need a flashcart, like an R4.

    google stuff before you post, fools.

  8. guest said on July 9, 2007:

    Not to be rude, but this is a retarded article, and a poor attempt to compete with the PSP article. Not everyone has the same taste in games….

  9. Sharp said on July 9, 2007:

    To the guy with the psp game list, get real. Just because there ARE 66 psp games doesn’t mean there are that many good ones. Having owned a psp, I know for a fact that many of those sucked. My first game for the psp was THUG2. I loved it on consoles. It sucked and I traded it in the next day for “Untold Legends”. That was better, but still pretty bad. Your list starts off strong, but eventually you’re just grasping for straws. Death Jr? Seriously? Come on, man.

    Oh by the way. Note how I said “Had” a psp. Personally, I loved the device, but I never played any commercial games, I just used it as a portable emulator. You know why I don’t have it any more? THE SCREEN BROKE.

  10. pat said on July 9, 2007:

    haha i actually had to read digg comments to know that the picture of “the gang” is the backstreet boys.

    @guest – we agree that not everyone has the same taste. thus several of us collaborated on this article.

  11. Matt said on July 9, 2007:

    And my response to Dat Phan Boi’s comment is thus: actually, the touch screen on my DS is surprisingly scratch-free, and I got the DS Lite on launch day, well over a year ago. And also, as the article stated, we at vl like the PSP. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the other side of the coin and give our impressions on what makes the DS so special. Oh, and I love guest’s response “Not to be rude, but this is retarded…” I’m pretty sure that’s being rude there buddy, but thanks for the heads up:)

  12. cptnspoon said on July 9, 2007:

    @ yan:

    What do you call DSLinux then?!

  13. Ryan said on July 10, 2007:

    Who cares even if it couldn’t run linux it does the one thing it’s meant to do better than any other hand held ever made and that’s play games.IMO DS is the first hand held that isn’t just a shitty version of a console.

  14. Jordan Lund said on July 10, 2007:

    You guys have to be kidding, right?

    I’ve got a DS and the majority of the games on that system suck. There are a bare handful worth playing once and that’s about it.

    3. Advance Wars: Dual Strike – I loved the GBA versions of this game, but this one is lacking. Why are the graphics worse than the GBA versions? They’re smaller, not as detailed. Anyone considering getting a DS for this title should just stick to the superior GBA versions.

    13. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney – An interesting premise that gets lost in “Tap the screen to continue! OK Tap the screen to continue! Wait… wait… TAP THE SCREEN TO CONTINUE!” gameplay. There’s really no game here. It’s just an electronic comic book that gets boring very quickly.

    14. Super Mario 64 DS – I was never a fan of Super Mario 64. It was boring and un-compelling. The last thing I want to do is play it again 10 years later.

    16. Animal Crossing: Wild World – Hey, here’s an idea… let’s take an RPG and strip out everything that makes playing an RPG interesting!

    20. Final Fantasy III – The reason I bought a DS. One week later the battery lost it’s charge. I haven’t put it on the charger since.

    26. Trace Memory – Survival horror without the survival or the horror. Again, like Animal Crossing, take an established genre and remove everything that makes that genre interesting.

    30. Bomberman – I love Bomberman, really, but there have been better implementations of it. Plus do I really need a 14th copy of Bomberman?

    37. Brain Training – You would have to pay me to play a game involving 1st grade math workbooks. I’m serious. Pay me to torture my brain and I’ll consider it.

    38. Trauma Center: Under the Knife – Very cool game and no grist for my mill. That being said, the Wii version is the same damn game. Same injuries in the same order, same objective. Having the DS version negates the need for the Wii version and vice versa.

    39. Hotel Dusk – Same problem as the Phoenix Wright games. Gameplay consists of tapping the screen every 20 to 40 seconds or so. No challenge.

    45. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All – Same problem as the last one, but if you thought tapping the screen periodically to progress in the game, wait until you do it as an amnesiac! Wow!

  15. jay said on July 10, 2007:

    You caught us, this was all a joke. Mario 64 was a shitty game, Final Fantasy III is bad because your battery died, and Trauma Center retroactively became a bad game once the Wii version was released. Man does the DS suck.

  16. guy said on July 10, 2007:

    LOL @ 21, that is the funniest thing i heard all day. Its hard to believe that you wrote all that, and didn’t say anything worthwhile.

    Also, This list blows, sure the DS is amazing, but just listing 65 games is a terrible idea.

  17. Sharp said on July 10, 2007:

    Fair enough, guy.

    Also, “Jordan Lund” is either an asocial supergenius, or a total bullsh***er, because he said Phoenix Wright was like an interactive comic book. Not that I think that’s a bad deal, but that’s only kind of like the court portion of the game. Not to mention even the court portion is filled with difficult puzzles (and some not-so difficult puzzles) that I assumed kept him from ever getting to the investigative part. I severely doubt he’s just autistic and got all the puzzles immediately.

    Also, brain training is not for the younger audience.

  18. Matt said on July 10, 2007:

    Step aside everyone, I’ll handle this:

    :pulls up sleeves:

  19. Dat Phan Boi said on July 11, 2007:

    To Sharp and Matt. If you are very careful with your DS then I am sure its fine. But if you are like Sharp (that PSP screen didn’t crack itself) then you are relaxed with your handhled like most people. I got a cover for my PSP, have had it two years and it is still perfect.

    Also, there are a lot more than 66 games. there are over three hundred. you can’t tell me that the 66 I posted aren’t better than the 65 posted on this page, you just can’t. Each has remakes, and those are fun, but I agree with Jordan Lund, just play them on the original systems, especially the Advance (which I own and think is superior to the DS) I have had my advance for nearly five years and it is still great.

    Also, I left out some upcoming PSP games that will be fun:
    Dead head Fred, Rainbow Six Vegas, Tiger Woods 08, D&D Tactics,Brave Story, Alien Syndrome, Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Manhunt 2, Crazy Taxi, God of War…the list goes on.

    Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney looks like a PSP homebrew…a bad one.

  20. Sharp said on July 11, 2007:

    Graphics aren’t everything. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney is one of the best games on the DS, and if you were to put the two together in a bundle, it would be a better deal than 9/10 of the games on your list. I’m making exceptions, since no matter how you slice it, Tekken DR is a great game. Burnout legends? Not so much.

    And my psp screen got cracked because I carried it around in my bag. Odd how that never happenned to my ds.

  21. Steve said on July 12, 2007:

    A few games shouldn’t be on this list, and a few that aren’t should be. Trioncube FTW. But the point is made. The DS is 100% bomb.

  22. Sharp said on July 12, 2007:

    Bomb? Well, it didn’t bomb, so I’m just gonna assume you mean “The Bomb”.

  23. jay said on July 12, 2007:


  24. Shigeru said on July 12, 2007:

    Funny how these kind of list sites always get the crackhead flamer anti-fans who just HAVE to jump in and say “this system sucks, because, um, it just sucks and my favorite system rules”. You poor PSP folks who have to try to prop up your system by trying to trash the DS are sad and pathetic. The DS blows the PSP away in the only real medium that matters to anyone…it outsells it in a landslide. Oh, and that’s not only in the heavily-biased Japan, that’s Stateside too.

    If you want the real reasons to own a DS, I can spell them out for you much easier: cheaper, more durable, doesn’t require as much in the way of add-ons to be functional for its purpose, longer battery life, and far more games (and original games) available if you include the titles for the GBA (which did have quite a few very good games) than the PSP. You can weed out the goofy, childish, and just plain odd games and still find plenty to keep you interested at almost any age level.

  25. jordanlund said on July 13, 2007:

    “The DS blows the PSP away in the only real medium that matters to anyone…it outsells it in a landslide. ”

    Sales is a popularity contest, it has nothing to do with quality. Or do you honestly think that McDonalds makes the best hamburgers on the planet? Honda has better cars than Mercedes?

    The reasons the DS sells more are because it’s cheaper and kids want one. That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t have better games than the PSP.

  26. jay said on July 13, 2007:

    If your argument is that there is no ultimate objective good or bad, then I agree with you. The Saturn is better than the PSX, the Master System better than the NES and so forth, at least to some people and their opinions are as valid as anyone else’s.

    As I’ve said a handful of times now, this article isn’t supposed to prove the games listed are better than other games. The list doesn’t even need to be there, I just figured people would be upset if they didn’t have more content to argue about. The point of the article is both to lightly mock lists of what makes things better than other things (specifically the PSP Fanboy article) as well as make the argument that games are what should matter most to a games system.

    Now of course this is also just a subjective stance. We could decide that since there is no real objectivity there is no need to write opinions down anymore, but then what would I do on my Friday nights?

  27. Sharp said on July 13, 2007:

    Just jumping in again, saturn was better than the PSX and anyone who says otherwise is a big dummyhead.

    Oh, that’s right. I went there.

  28. thelama said on July 19, 2007:

    You are kidding right? This is such a sh!t ‘article’. 65 games – of which more than 1/2 are lame. I own a psp (which I rate highly) and also want a DS but this doesn’t attract me in the slightest. If i wanted a list of 65 games, i would have gone to Amazon and look at ‘DS Games’.

    Quite frankly, what a lame comeback to the psp article, no thought applied whatsoever.

  29. jay said on July 19, 2007:

    We are all adults here, thelama, you may use the word “shit”. Your insults reminded me to check out the PSP Fanboy article. They seem stalled on number 46 – they haven’t updated the list since July 2nd.

  30. Flab Face said on July 20, 2008:

    I’d love to have a DS but… i’m not allowed so i’ve been trying 2 win a game console for my whole life!

  31. Flab Face said on July 20, 2008:

    and no… we’re NOT all adults here you immature ****!

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