Can't Miss Nintendo DS Games

After nearly 5 years, I’m finally jumping on the DS bandwagon, and recognize that I have a lot of catching up to do, and many good games I wouldn’t seek out on my own. I also realize there’s a lot of crap out there, including highly rated crap.

Generally, my preferences fall toward interesting stories, or well-realized new ideas. Sports, violence, etc., have their place, but it’s on home consoles, so I’ll pass on handhelds. Something that could be played on DS in fits and starts is even better.

So far, I’m looking at:
Professor Layton and the Curious Village/Diabolical Box
(eventually) Final Fantasy 4 (and FF3)

El Perro Fumando wants New Super Mario Bros, and we both agree that Mario Kart DS could be a good game.

What are the gems? Which should I add, and which of the above are not worth their purchase price?

Do you like Zelda games? There is one now and will be another soon.

By the way, the Professor Layton games are my favorite on the DS.

I found Professor Layton and the Curious Village underwhelming - too many badly designed puzzles. Diabolical Box, on the other hand, is wonderful, so far.

The World Ends With You is the best RPG on the DS, so far. (Although the FF, Chrono Trigger, and Dragon Quest remakes are all very good.)

Then there’s the visual novels - the Ace Attorney games, and Hotel Dusk are great. (Most people seem to like Trace Memory, the spiritual predecessor to Hotel Dusk, but I was unimpressed.)

Just bought a DSi this weekend and got Scribblenauts and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. I’d posted a DS vs. PSP thread and you might find some interesting suggestions there.

One good link from it is IGN’s Editors’ Choice picks for the DS.

Another useful bit of info from that thread was that the DSi has a WiFi connection (and a free, downloadable web browser developed by the guys who do Opera), but the DSLite can still play GameBoy Advance games as well as the Guitar Hero DS game.

Scribblenauts is fun but I agree with some reviewers that the controls can be a little fiddly - too many things in one area and suddenly you’re grabbing background items and flinging them around, your little dude is dropping stuff, etc. It’s tons of fun still.

I haven’t played the other Professor Layton, but the Diabolical Box game is quite fun so far. There is a mystery story linking the puzzles together, but don’t always expect a deep, meaningful connection of each puzzle to the plot point that triggers it - you may find a maze puzzle involving an ant’s route home if you touch a sugar bowl, or a little girl you’re talking to on the train may say “oh hey, I have a brain-teaser for you” and give you a puzzle about a paper strip’s length. I think it’s pretty easily forgiveable, as the story seems decent. One good/bad thing is that the story gives you a quick “previously in our story…” recap each time you start up the game, typically requiring about 3 “next page” clicks to get through. It’s a nice touch but can irritate a bit if you’re playing for short bursts, putting the game away, etc. Also, you have to get through a few puzzles (IIRC) before you get access to the Save feature, so make sure you have some time to play on your first game.

For me, the Professor Layton games and Mario Kart have pretty much justified the purchase of the DS all on their own.

You might consider Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir, which involves locating objects in very cluttered pictures. It’s more entertaining than that suggests and the design is very good indeed, but it will probably ruin your eyesight. Buy it used, and it’ll be worth the cost.

The World Ends With You, Chrono Trigger, Wario Ware, Meteos, Prof. Layton

Elite Beat Agents is an absolutely excellent game. I agree with many of the other suggestions made in this thread so far, but if I had to suggest only one game it would be EBA.

Mario Party DS
Pogo Island (not complex, but a good time waster)
Clubhouse Games
“New” Super Mario Bros. (if you are a Mario Bros. fan)
New York Times Crosswords (1 year of real NY Times crossword puzzles)

Surprisingly, I’ve also found My French Tutor to be fun and a good way to learn/refresh francais un petit.

ETA: Oh, yeah, the Professor Layton games are fun and very well done, but don’t feature a lot of replay (none, really) and don’t really take very long to get through.

The world ends with you. Seriously, get it.

If you’ve been playing games since the NES era then you need a copy of Retro Game Challenge to make your life complete. It’s a set of psuedo-NES games complete with fake ancillary material like manuals and gaming magazines.

I’m pretty sure Professor Layton has downloadable puzzles that Nintendo updates weekly or so. Obviously they won’t keep that up forever, but it gives it *some *replay.

I also second Retro Game Challenge, if you can find it. Animal Crossing is fun for me, but I’m not sure it fits your criteria… maybe it’s a “well-realized new idea.” Chrono Cross and The World Ends With You both have pretty interesting stories.

That’s neat - how do you access that feature? Does it auto-patch if you’re on a WiFi network, or do you go somewhere special to get them?

It’s only in Diabolical Box, and it’s under the Bonus menu when you start the game.

Huh, odd. I can connect to their network to get games and surf the web, but it won’t recognize that connection via this game. I had to do a manual configuration originally to deal with our wireless router and the security, so I suspect it’s something like that. I may have to use their USB option. Thanks for the heads-up, though!

I picked up “Advance Wars: Dual Strike,” a turn-based combat strategy game, before my trip to the beach earlier this month and have been enjoying it quite a bit. The newer game, “Advance Wars: Days of Ruin” is well reviewed, too.

It’s not only in Diabolical Box, it’s in Curious Village too. And from what I understand, you’re not actually downloading the weekly puzzles; they’re already on the cart, and the Wifi connection just checks which puzzles have been released. So they can’t keep releasing new puzzles indefinitely.



Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars