I don't feel betrayed by the Nintendo DS....

Inspired by this thread, i thought i’d start a thread for the PSP’s main competitor, the Nintendo DS…

about 2 weeks ago, i picked up a used Nintendo DS from <a very large videogame “Boutique”>, i took advantage of their trade-in program, and traded my GBA SP and a couple games i never played for a NDS, primarily for it’s stereo speakers and true backlit screen, not the sidelit screen of the SP

naturally, i really had no expectations for the DS aside from being a SP with nicer screen and stereo sound, i was sure the Touch Screen was a marketing gimmick and would be useless

the used unit came with the pack-in demo of Metroid Prime Hunters, i picked up a copy of Meteos, as i’m always looking for the next “Tetris-Killer”, and a pre-played copy of Tetris Worlds for GBA, after all, a Nintendo portable isn’t a Nintendo portable without some version of Tetris on it, and since the DS isn’t compatible with standard GameBoy games, i wouldn’t be able to play my copy of Tetris DX <GRRR, Bad Nintendo, how hard would it have been to implement backwards compatibility with GB/GBC, the SP had it…>

i popped in MPH and Super Mario World 2, powered it up and selected SMW, the upper screen was bright and sharp, with none of the “haze” found on the SP. sound quality was reasonably good for a portable with dime-sized speakers, it even had decent stereo seperation, so far, things looked promising…

i rebooted and played around with the built in apps, discovered that the DS could double as an alarm clock, i could see Pictochat being somewhat amusing if i knew anyone else with a DS, heck, if my co-workers had DS’s we could use Pictochat for those times when they need to IM me and i’m away from my machine, the built-in AirPort (okay, okay, 802.11b if you need to get technical…) is cool as well, i wish someone would create a homebrew card that would allow me to use the DS as a WiFi signal strength indicator, to check for dead spots and/or signal strength in a wireless bubble…

then i booted up Metroid Prime Hunters, put on the thumb stylus, and was amazed at the sheer level of control and accuracy it gave me in shooting down the creatures in the game, the “double-tap to jump” feature is novel, and intuitive, the only drawback i find in the game is due to me using the thumbstylus on my left thumb, i’m prone to activating the Morph Ball at the most inoppurtune times…

Meteos, what can i say, it’s just as good as Tetris, and IMHO, is the DS’s “Killer App” (at least until Nintendogs is released next month…), if you’re a puzzler fan, Meteos is reason enough to own a DS, it follows the same time-tested “easy to learn, hard to master” gameplay that’s incredibly pick-up-and-play-me freindly, and it really shows off the potential of the touch-screen, if it wasn’t for the touch-screen, the game would be almost impossible to play (yes, you can play using the d-pad and buttons, give it a try to see how horrible the game would have been without the touch interface)

I just picked up a used copy of “Feel the Magic XY (heart) XX”, primarily because it’s another great showpiece for the DS as a whole, and the touchscreen in particular, but it also makes novel use of the microphone as well, you can shout into the mic to gain the girl’s attention, and you can blow into it to fill the sails of a sailboat, and to blow out Evil Mutant Candles before they set the theatre on fire (yes, it’s a strange, quirky game that’s maddeningly addictive, and is a great showcase for the untapped potential of the DS)

the DS has also caused me to pre-order my first game ever, i’ve never pre-ordered a game before, but i have a preorder placed on Nintendogs, Nintendo’s “Puppy Simulator” that looks to showcase all the features of the DS, touch screen, microphone, decent animal AI… looks to be a rather amusing “non-game-game”

sadly, my used DS had a speaker failure a few days ago, but luckilly, i was able to get store credit for the full price of the system, and turned around and bought a new one to replace it, i don’t fault the used DS (well, aside from getting me addicted to the thing in the first place, damn evil Nintendo and their effective marketing ploys… :wink: ) for failing on me, it was a used system, and i was taking a risk going used, i knew that and accepted the risk, i had no idea how the previous owner treated it, I treated it well, slapping on a screen protector before i even booted the first game

the first thing i did to my new DS, slap on a screen protector, i want the touchscreen to stay pristine

if you’re considering a new portable console, and you want a good, solid system and can live without DVD playback and other “extras”, give the DS a try, i’m happy with mine