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The Nintendo DS: Is it truly worth it?

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:01 am
by Sim Kid
November 21st 2004 A.D Nintendo has launched their Dual-screen handheld, which had been anticipated by some to fail and others to succeed. Many thought Nintendo would pull a Game Boy Advance, this time with more Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games than Nintendo games since the DS has buttons the Game Boy Advance lacked. Many others just thought two screens just wouldn't work out. Others simply didn't care whatsoever and would go for Sony's PlayStation Portable. Today, all of those questions and concerns would be answered.
Despite my plans to purchase the Nintendo DS after my birthday when I had more money, I had instead chosen to get it on launch day at a Target. The reason I had chosen Target is because I had gift cards totaling up to $30 for that place and my mom had offered to purchase it right there provided I pay her back. Plus, many others had gone to Gamestop, Best Buy, other game stores, and Wal-Mart (*Hiss* Evil. Eeeeeviiiiil) instead of Target. It had felt rather heavy in the box, but that had been because of the AC Adapter and Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt
The first thing most people noticed is that the Nitnendo DS is wider than the Game Boy Advance SP most people use. It had felt a bit awkward to me because I had accustomed to my Game Boy Advance SP, which is much narrower than the Nintendo DS. Some people who hadn't gotten a DS and had (Unfortunatley) sticked with the original-scratch prone screened and dark Game Boy Advance may not feel such a drastic change in the switch between the two since the length of the Game Boy Advance is closer tho the length of the DS than the length of the Game Boy Advance SP. Another feeling I felt when I picked up the Nintendo DS was that it was heavier than the lightweight Game Boy Advance SP. To me it just doesn't feel right, but I have grown accustomed to the Game Boy Advance SP, so I'm sure that's natural. Another thing I had discussed with Chunky and Luigi007 over AIM today is that the buttons had felt a bit small for my liking. Of course, it's probably problem with the way my hands are built, because my hands are big. (So big I really didn't have any trouble adapting to the Xbox controller except I felt that the placement of the left analog stick was a bit awkward) While the power switch does look a bit too close for comfort to the D-Pad, it shouldn't really cause any troubles. The positioning of the Start and Select, in my opinion, felt a bit awkward because I had grown so accustomed to hitting the start or select buttons with my left thumb after doing it for got knows how many years.
When you start your Nintendo DS, it asks you the language, your nickname, the current date, and the time. It even asks you your birthday. My birthday's in a week-If it does something special for your birthday, I will be sure to inform you. This offers a little more customization. Like a computer, it has to restart before you can start any gameplay but since the power switch is a button (Sometimes it may take two tries to turn it off, but that's most likely a result of just tapping it) you don't have to fiddle with any levers.
The Nintendo DS is backlit (After the SP, you really can't be making a system and not have it back lit, can you? [img]tongue.gif[/img] )and it doesn't appear to be as strong as the Game Boy Advance SP's. The Game Boy Advance SP had a very powerful backlighting system, in fact, during the great blackout, a man stranded in a maze of paper and file cabinets in the basement of a hospital had used his Game Boy Advance SP to lead him to safety. That was some excellent tool use there-He really deserves some recognition for that. Back to the DS, the backlighting system is pretty good, however it sometimes inverts if you hold it at a specific angle but you can't play from that angle.
The lower screen, the Touch Screen, can get dirty pretty quick. According to my sister's boyfriend, you can get a protector for this so you wont' be fumbling around with a stylus or the strap you wrap around your thumb to use the touch screen for gliding controls. Before you start a level in Supre Mario 64 DS, the lower screen says "Touch me". That sounds so wrong.
The DS comes with Pictochat, but I haven't used it yet. When I do use it with someone else, then it'll be time to spaaaaaaaam like I did with the Wireless Adapter.
When you start up the DS, you have to hit the Touch screen to continue after the warning info, then you have to select whether or not you're going to play a DS game, a Game Boy Advance Game, Pictochat, or download. This works rather well, but I can't help but think "Palm Pilot" and "N-Gage" when I start it up.
Launch titles for the Nintendo include Metroid Prime: Hunters (Demo-Is included), Super Mario 64 DS (Remake of Mario 64 but you control four characters), Madden NFL, Rayman, Ridge Racer, The Urbz: Sims in the City (I haven't a care in the world for it-I would much rather play more of Bustin' out for my Game Boy Advance. Also added to the fact that it's $39.99 while other games are selling for $29.99), and Spider-Man 2. So far, I have only played Metroid Prime: Hunters and Super Mario 64 DS (I am probably the only person here who has played it in minimum dosages and who has never owned a Nintendo 64. I could only play it at a friend's house but I had instead played more Smash Brothers and Paper Mario, which is why I'm not nitpicking at it so much even though it is a remake of a last generation game) and I rather enjoyed them.
The games are very small-They look alot like N-Gage games, but here you don't have to take out the batteries (That would suck majorly since these are rechargable like the SP's and the door's screwed down) to insert them-You insert them in the back while the original Game Boy Advance games are put in the bottom. I reccomend you to keep them in a case or the original case they come in, as there's a chance they may become damaged or lost, as now they are even easier to lose than Game Boy Advance games. While you slide it in, when you want to take the game out, you simply push in and it releases. It's a very good idea in my opinion.
Metroid: Prime Hunters is the most impressive looking DS game graphically besides Ridge Racer. Sure the Metroids look a bit like bincho fields from Brave Fencer Musashi with tentacles and a little mouth (P.S: That's not a good thing-The Bincho Fields in Brave Fencer Musashi were simple 3D diamonds) but I rather do like how they look when they attatch to Samus's visor. When you start up the game, it shows half of Samus on the top screen and the second half on the bottom. It comes with a replacement stylus (One is stored on the top) and I reccomend using the touch strap that comes with the DS instead of a stylus. The L and R Buttons Shoot and you use the Touch screen to see the map, select stuff like the Morph Ball, jump (you tap it twice-I can't help but feel awkward when I do that), and fiddle with the camera. The controls are symmetrical-you use the A, B, X, and Y buttons like a D-Pad, but whenever I use them like a D-Pad, it just doesn't feel right. The game really does show potential-And it is very possible that Metroid Prime: Hunters may be the first decent handheld First Person Shooter.
Super Mario 64 DS is basically the same game most of you played 6 or 7 years ago, but you control not only Mario but Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi (Yaaay!). Yoshi sounds like the Game Boy Advance incarnation of Yoshi's Island. As Yoshi, you can't punch you you can swallow your enemies and either spit them out or turn them into eggs. (Me gusta huevos) You can still jump on Goombas. The control scheme's rather similar to Super Mario 64, but you don't move around with the Joystick. This takes some getting used too. The touch screen shows the map and you can touch it to move or dash really quick or change the camera, but I would much rather use the R button. Sometimes, Yoshi's trademark "Run in the air to jump more" can be a major hindrace sometimes, especially when you return to course two and jump up the tower on moving platforms. At the beginning, you can have some fun with the Touch screen and you can even draw a picture.
If you're not interested in Super Mario 64 DS, there are the other games out there. Rayman looks pretty good, and he looks exactly like his art on the touch screen that shows Rayman's head.
The Nintendo DS can play Game Boy Advance games but not classic game boy games. Game Boy Advance games may be a bit awkward at first since you have two extra buttons, but when you realize it's not a Super Nintendo control scheme, it's better. You have some extra space when playing Game Boy Advance games like when playing classic Game Boy games on an Advance, but you can get used to them. If you don't have a Game Boy Advance, then you can just get this and play them on it because you also have the possibility of playing DS games too. Personally, I'll stick with the SP for Game Boy Advance games, but you can still have fun with Game Boy Advance games on the DS. (Link2k, I'm looking your way!) To me, it feels awkward when I don't have a Game Boy Advance game in the Game Boy Advance slot. I'll probably just stick a game I don't play *Cough*Sonic Battle*cough* and play DS games only.
Overall, I can say I've had fun with the DS. Trying to explain why I've had fun with the DS is like trying to explain the appeal of Legos or Playmobil-You look at them at first, don't think much, but then have fun playing with them. (Playmobil is to me as Legos is to everybody else. Legos are banned from my house) It's possible that Nintendo will prevail against the PSP because it has a bunch of companies working for the DS, but there's always the possibility they'll pull a Game Boy Advance and pump out remake after remake, this time with more Super Nintendo games than Nintendo games. It would be better for Collections of series, like Fire Emblem than a bunch of different games. The overall descision of whether or not you will be buying a DS this holiday season is in your hands-Do you want the DS? Do you think Nintendo will not fill its library with more remakes than Michael Jackson's face? Do you think it's worth it? Do any of its current games look enticing? All of those questions can be answered by you and only you.

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:51 am
by Beam Yosho the Drunkard

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:10 pm
by Sim Kid
Oh, Josh Davis of Saqbb2 had a few things to say about the menu:

You can set it to not boot to the menu. RTFM. When in automatic boot mode (non-menu) it will boot to the DS game you have in (IF you have one in) after the DS/warning screen(s). If you have no DS game in, but have a GBA game in (OR if you hold the b button while booting) it'll go straight to GBA. If you have no game in it (OR if you hold start while booting) it'll go into the menu. Personally, the menu takes nearly no time to go through, so I'm leaving mine on manual boot mode.

(It's not a quote because VGF doesnt' allow paranthesis in quotes)

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:24 pm
by OcarinaMan
I'm waiting for more games before I get it. A starting line-up of 5 or 6 games is somewhat underwhelming. Still, I love playing the demos at the stores!

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 10:23 pm
by The Yoshimaster
Originally posted by Beam Yosho the Drunkard:

Anyway, I probably won't get a DS anytime soon, but hopefully when I do, it'll be a bit cheaper.

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:55 pm
by X-3
I will get it this Chrismas.
My birthday's in a week-If it does something special for your birthday, I will be sure to inform you.
Did it?

[ November 28, 2004, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: X-3 Zero ]

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:03 pm
by Sim Kid
For some reason, mine didn't but according to Josh Davis of Super Adventure Quint, it just says it's your birthday.

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:55 pm
by I'm not saying lets just say I'm really named Link
For the record, yet again it must be said, the Gameboy Advance SP is frontlit. Not backlit.

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:50 pm
by A Genius
I played it a bit a my local electronics store and its about 29 times less stupid than I expected.

-A Genius (I though it was pretty stupid, and so did the rest of the world. Then again, I wasn't really listening to news updates so the advance graphics and the touch screen both came as complete surprises to me.)

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:45 pm
by Sim Kid
Originally posted by Link the Survivor:
For the record, yet again it must be said, the Gameboy Advance SP is frontlit. Not backlit.
I didn't know that...I heard it was backlit. *grumble* stupid sources...

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:22 pm
by Phoenix Cross
On, the SP was backlit.

If it was front lit then there would be glares on the screen

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:32 pm
by Codiekitty
I don't own an SP myself (I have to look into getting one when the price comes down some more), but my friend does. The light is projected onto the LCD from the front. It is not lit up from the back like a TV.

Where are these lemmings going? The Super Nintendo Super Shire! Hop in line and follow them there!

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:15 pm
Indeed it is backlit, which really helps the colors when playing DS games. Try playing a game on the SP, then switch it to the DS and look how much better it looks.

I still have yet to get ONE SINGLE GAME ON MY DS >_<

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:36 pm
by Sim Kid
Yes it does, you can even see the pixels, dead or alive.

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:51 pm
by Codiekitty
I don't know if I'd like that. I could see the individual pixels of the GBC Lemmings, and it bothered me. Or maybe it was just because the game was a turd. I don't know.

Where are these lemmings going? The Super Nintendo Super Shire! Hop in line and follow them there!

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:22 pm
by Sim Kid
I noticed it's easier too spot pixels when playing a 2D Game Boy Advance game. That may be why it can't play Game Boy Classic games.

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:55 am
by CB007
I like the DS in terms of system design, but I haven't played anything great for it yet. Feel the Magic was pretty good, and Mario 64... well, I liked it, but it was mostly the same game as before.

I love playing GBA games on it, though. They look so much better than on the SP with the improved lighting.

The system is more comfortable to hold than an SP (especially when using the L and R buttons), and the battery on the DS seems to last longer, too.