How I met the DS
by, 23 Feb 2011 at 11:27 PM (4575 Views)
It was April 20XX barreling toward Chicago on a tour bus. The workplace was sponsoring a trip to see the Cubs/Cards play and given it was 9 AM and limited lavatory space I opted for a game of Zero Mission instead of Edward Forty-hands like most of my co-workers. The guy sitting next to me took note and proudly pulled out his new DS. Nice guy, early adopter type though. Always had the new system, got the prerequisite Madden/Resident Evil/ Tekken etc and was trading the whole mess in to repeat the cycle. I knew absolutely squat about the DS save itís dire launch headlined by Mario 64 and repetition of the word ďmegatonĒ. He fired up the Metroid Hunters demo and I sat in awe.
My fondness for Prime was met with a shoddy Doom hack. Shit was abysmal. I fumbled around with the controls for a few minutes taking out pixilated droids and passed it back. His interest faded quickly too and it disappeared for the rest of the trip and likely sold soon after for a PSP. Nintendo has a tradition of powerful hardware with notable Achilles heels, in the case of DS they didnít even bother with the horsepower. It was a odd system, it looked thrown together, not to mention the stylus was just plain uncomfortable. I wasnít a fan of the PSPís optical format and Sonyís push for UMD movies but by comparison the DS was a joke.
Itís February 20XX and the successor to the best selling system of all time is due out this week in Japan. Iím continually amazed how the DS ever carved out a niche let alone surpassing the GBAĎs lifespan. Third party support didnít happen until three years in and the extent of itís 3D capabilities was developers aping DQ IXís cel-shading for their own J-RPGs. The system boosts a great 2D catalog comparable to GBA and has been privy to some amazing experiments in gaming. If you described Hatsworth, Elite Beat Agents, Ghost Trick, TWEWY, etc to someone theyíd look at you with polite apathy, itís really not till you play said games that it clicks. Retro Game Challenge is the novelisation of any given childhood in the 8 bit era. Okamiden, DQ IX, and Strange Journey probably alienated as many fans as they gained for choosing more suited hardware instead of leading edge. Scribblenauts easily would have come to any modern console and yet such a ambitious concept was pitched for the most humble of them. Canvas Curse, Picross, Electroplankton, and Band Bros deserve more of the limelight reserved for the Nís platinum offerings. ANYWAY, enough rambling. The DS turned out a lot different than I expected and ended up one of the most bizarre and interesting footnotes in the history of gaming.
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