This article was originally published before Christmas 2007 on N-Europe.
Welcome to the N-Europe Buyer’s Guide for Nintendo’s wondrous dual-screen handheld and the fantastic games that Santa should be lobbing down your chimney this Christmas.
2007 has been a fantastic year for the Nintendo dual-screened phenomenon that’s knocking on three years old now. We’ve seen everything from a return to form for Star Fox to a new adventure for pointy-hatted hero Link in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. But surprisingly, it was the ‘non-games’ that really shone through for me. I would never have dreamed of picking up a game like Picross on the Game Boy Advance, but the DS iteration has eaten my time faster than a cheetah on a treadmill. But enough of my introduction, I’ll get down to my top 5 DS games that you should be begging Santa Claus for over the next couple of weeks.
And the top dogs this Christmas are…
Developer: Two Tribes
Released: August 2007
Worms returns to its 2D roots in this fantastic DS installment of the popular series created by Team 17. Lead your squadron of gun-wielding invertebrates to victory with a fearsome arsenal of weaponry, including my personal favourite, the Holy Hand Grenade (for the Monty Python fans). Online deathmatches make this a must-buy.
Developer: Game Freak
Released: July 2007
A real return to form for Pocket Monsters. Diamond and Pearl feel like a walk down memory lane, a trip back into childhood, the days when you’d gladly beat your best friend with a crowbar to get a shiny Pokémon card. The difference here is the world of Sinnoh has been brought to life in 2.5D, and you can now show your Pokémans to strangers as far away as Antarctica thanks to the power of Wi-Fi. Essential for any Pokénut.
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Released: June 2007
Arguably one of the best puzzle games on the DS, beating even the mighty Tetris DS at its own game. Puzzle League’s basic premise is epilepsy-inducing block sliding, but the game goes much deeper than that. Rack up the highscores by creating chain combos, keeping your stylus hand on edge throughout every session.
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Released: October 2007
It’s been over three years since we last saw a Zelda game hit a Nintendo handheld, but what a return this is. Zelda is arguably the finest adventure the DS has seen. Despite being a little short, not only does it answer every Zelda fan’s sweet prayers, but the levels of innovation the game cartridge emits are off the chart; the game is compelling and a masterpiece. The Sun Crest puzzle remains the simplest yet most wonderful Zelda puzzle I have ever had the pleasure of beating to date.
Released: May 2007
Picross is one of the most criminally underrated games in history, yet also one of the simplest. This sudoku-esque puzzler sees you working your way through levels by stabbing squares and crosses into a grid to make a picture. It sounds� strange. But it isn’t. Picross is essentially the best DS game on the market, and unlike the cake, that’s no lie.
So in short, it’s been another fantastic year for the DS, and it can only get better with games such as Chibi Robo, Fire Emblem, Kirby and more Final Fantasy coming in the new year. Thank you Nintendo for giving my beloved handheld a wonderful year, and may you all find joy in these games at Christmas. Game On!