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What the dilly with the DS?

posted on November 9th, 2006 by jay

I was psyched for a handful of recent DS releases but then the reviews came. Yes, reviews aren’t gospel, but they aren’t as worthless as fanboys would like you to believe (for an interesting case study on the power of denial, visit the Sega forums). These once promising DS games now look significantly less promising.

The first of the bunch is Children of Mana. I don’t know why I expected anything from this game after Legend of Mana sucked so hard. Perhaps it’s the small hope I still carry that one day there will be another game in the series as good as Secret of Mana. Most reviewers describe the game as a “slow,” or “boring,” dungeon crawl with barely any plot. It’s possible the action RPGs of my youth that I hold so dearly had the same shortcomings, but I am no longer 12. I expect more.

Magical Starsign also looked very nice. Until I read that it was shallow, plotless and had bad stylus controls. As far as obscure Japanese series to bring to the States, this one seems like it was a bad choice. I’d rather have had Mother 3 (along with some mediocre reviews of it) since at least that game seems historically important.

Most depressing of the group of DS games I anticipated is Touch Detectives. Developer BeeWorks could have inspired more DS adventure titles had they pulled off Touch Detectives well. The reviews for this one were pretty scathing. The graphic style is great, but not much else. Perhaps the worst criticism for an adventure game was lobbied against this on – the puzzles are confusing and make little to no sense. It’s very hard to enjoy an adventure title that has you randomly guessing what to do where so it looks like Touch Detectives is a game I’ll have to pass on.

Contact got mildly better write ups than the rest of the games on the list and based on what reviewers actually said, I will enjoy the game. It’s a shame Marvelous Interactive didn’t make gameplay that lived up to the title’s offbeat charm. Still, I eat creativity up and will be getting this one.

The only DS games left to be excited about before the new year seem to be Final Fantasy 3 and the new Castlevania. Still, one is a remake of a 16 year old game and the other is likely a retread of worn out territory. Rocket Slime is currently occupying my interest, but Nintendo needs to get their stuff together if they want me to continue to spread the good news about the DS.

6 Comments

  1. craig said on November 9, 2006:

    I know you mention reviews aren’t gospel, but I always think that you can’t truly say whether you like a game or not until you’ve tried it.Go try them. 

  2. jay said on November 9, 2006:

    Reviews can be off. Sometimes I like or dislike a game that got good or mediocre reviews, but I never love a game with crap reviews. Also, I don’t have $105 + tax for games that are very likely not great (I left Contact out of that calculation).

  3. Christian said on November 9, 2006:

    Contact was made by Grasshopper wasn’t it?  That’s enough to get me interested in it 

  4. pat said on November 9, 2006:

    there have been some disappointments with the creative ds titles recently, but then again, theres always elite beat agents.  should be a blast.

  5. Matt said on November 9, 2006:

    This will tend to happen to a system when it gets big. You will undoubtedly get some really good games and some really bad ones. It’s better than getting no games, like the PSP. But yeah, I was looking forward to all these games (excluding Children of Mana, which really hasn’t caught my eye yet). I was about to pick up Touch Detective, but those glaring problems are exactly the reason I would regret doing so. And something tells me Nintendo is a little Lite (pun intended) on the DS games because of Wii. Nintendo wants money, but needs it to go more towards the Wii at the moment.

  6. TrueTallus said on November 10, 2006:

    Another title to look forward to on DS, particularly if you want a cool adventure game, is Hotel Dusk.  It has a neat visual style and a promising story premise.  Its being developed by Cing, the same people who made Trace Memory.

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