My initial thoughts of the DS, complete with its Nintendo Gimmick Stylus, was that it was a Junior Pokemon Power Ranger Machine (my affectionate nickname for the Wii that drives Jay up the wall). I had no desire to draw rainbows (for fear of pissing off these people) or successfully masturbate a virtual cat into ejaculation with a stylus, so the DS didn’t seem right for me. Of course, with a $200-ish pricetag and no games I like I didn’t seem like a PSP person either. I thought that my next generation future was the same as my high school prom future: bathroom abortion baby. Or more accurately, being date-less.
Then I started finding good RPG games on the DS. Etrian Odyssey (1 and 2), Chrono Trigger, Magical Starsign, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Dragon Quest 4 (it gets a grudging “good” vote) and now Devil Survivor have all sucked me in. I had the desire to play nearly all of those games in my home, as opposed to on the go, which is the highest compliment a DS game can get from me–being the best available option in my house full of video game toys.
When you think about it, RPGs, particularly tactical RPGs, are perfect for the DS. They almost always have deep gameplay, bite-sized battles, and make good use of the dual screens for displaying combat and party info. Beyond the occasional stupid mini-game, the stylus is largely used for directing your party and not childish exercises that accelerate the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. The DS supports excellent 2-D graphics and even occasionally solid 3-D graphics (Avalon Code, for example) which is all an RPG really needs. The length of an RPG is another plus: with 20 hours of game play from most of these without sidequests, they are an exceptional value, even for marked up Square Enix games. That’s a lot of commuting hours per game.
So my nugget of Wisdom for today: keep the semi-adult RPGs coming on the DS. They’re perfectly suited for the console and more importantly, I like them.