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August 27, 2008 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I own a Nintendo DS. What are some great, unheralded games I should probably know about?
posted by Christ, what an asshole to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
there are hundreds and hundreds of games out there—it would help a lot if you told us what games you already have and like.
posted by lia at 11:56 AM on August 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

I was a huge fan of the original Dragon Warrior/Quest games and I was really glad that the DS game made some huge strides in game play. While it's not perfect, I loved all 35 hours that my game claimed that I played it. Also, I liked Professor Layton and the Chibi Robo game.

On that note, I love the Harvest Moon games, but I haven't liked the DS ones I've played so far. I hope Island of Happiness, the next one, will be good.
posted by melissam at 12:00 PM on August 27, 2008

Puzzle Quest, Advance Wars
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:05 PM on August 27, 2008

I just got a DS and asked the same question of my brother, who recommends Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and The World Ends With You.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:06 PM on August 27, 2008

Response by poster: there are hundreds and hundreds of games out there—it would help a lot if you told us what games you already have and like.

Good point.

I enjoy games that reward thinking outside of the box, are different than your typical fare, contain adult themes, and above all, are fun.

I've enjoyed Professor Layton, Phoenix Wright, and Advance Wars.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:06 PM on August 27, 2008

If you want puzzle games that sap your life, try PICROSS or SLITHERLINK (Jap Import).
posted by Frasermoo at 12:08 PM on August 27, 2008

I would HIGHLY recommend Final Fantasy 4. (http://www.gamespot.com/ds/rpg/finalfantasyiv/index.html?tag=result;title;1) It was originally FF2 for the Super Nintendo, but they did a good job porting it over.

This game sucked me in, and I have friends now who own DS's and they all have loved it. If you haven't played this game (and even if you have) I would recommend it. The story is epic, the characters are great and it's overall a very fun game. I can still remember all the music all these years later.
posted by OuttaHere at 12:09 PM on August 27, 2008

Strongly seconding Slitherlink. Everything the Eurogamer review says is true.

Also, consider Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer, as well as Etrian Odyssey (if you can find it).
posted by Prospero at 12:10 PM on August 27, 2008

brain age (1 and 2), elite beat agents, FF4, puzzle quest, club house games.
posted by Mach5 at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2008

Well, you already know about the Phoenix Wright series, so finish out those ones if you haven't (I found the last title, Apollo Justice, to be a little weaker in story/difficulty though.). Rumour is they're working on a Miles Edgeworth - Perfect Prosecutor game!

If you like mysteries, Hotel Dusk - Room 215 is excellent, and unlike any other game on the system. More an interactive mystery novel than a game I'd say, but very engrossing.

Don't miss out on the aforementioned Puzzle Quest - Challenge of the Warlords. It's an excellent RPG with Bejewelled-style combat, very deep, fun and addictive.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife and Under the Knife 2 are basically surgery simulators, and the game play can be unforgiving but well worth it.

I just started Final Fantasy IV after hating III, and so far I adore it. If you're into hack and slash RPGs, The World Ends With You is unique and addictive, I didn't get too far into it before GTA4 hit, but I'm meaning to go back.

If you homebrew (get a flashcart like the R4 for around 50 bucks online) you can get the ScummVM engine and run old school LucasArts classics like Maniac Mansion. Portable Monkey Island rocks my socks. You can also use it to pirate games, but I wouldn't recommend that. No siree.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:19 PM on August 27, 2008

N+, an deviously addictive and minimalist platformer with hundreds of unique levels, debuted for the DS yesterday.



Reviews (83/100 average score)

You can also download the full desktop version for free (Windows, Mac, and Linux) to get a feel for the game.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:21 PM on August 27, 2008

What are some great, unheralded games I should probably know about?

I'm not sure if it counts as unheralded, but I just want to make absolutely sure you are aware of Final Fantasy Tactics A2. It's awesome. I've played a lot of DS titles and it's by far the most addictive one I've come across. It's also got a lot of depth for a DS title. If you're an RPG guy in the least, you will enjoy it.
posted by crunch buttsteak at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2008

Oh--and the DS port of Disgaea comes out next month. If you're the sort of RPG player that likes level grinding and stat tweaking, Disgaea is by far one of the most addictive games you'll have the (mis)fortune to come across. The game mechanics are so intricate, bizarre, and exploitable that they effectively function as parodies of the mechanics of other, more mainstream strategy RPGs. Give up on 80-100+ hours of your life if you decide to purchase it. (As for me, I can't believe that I'm buying it again, after playing through four Nippon Ichi games on the PS2.)
posted by Prospero at 12:41 PM on August 27, 2008

Puzzle Planet is a lot of fun. There is also PuzzleQuest for the DS now.

This post reminded me I need to buy FF4. Damn you Square, selling me Final Fantasy 2 again and again and again.
posted by chunking express at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2008

In the vein of Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics :A2, Disgaea DS is coming out towards the end of next month, and its depth makes FFT:A2 look like the kiddie pool. That isn't to slight FFT, though, as I am currently enjoying the hell out of that game.

On preview: Prospero beat me to it. Can't recommend any turn-based strategy RPG game too much, though.
posted by owtytrof at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2008

And strangely, I unintentionally channeled nearly a full sentence from the post just above mine. Odd.
posted by Prospero at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2008

Hotel Dusk - Room 215, FF Tactics Advance 2

Second both of these. FFT:A2 has relatively bland story (and the protagonist's red beret, my god), but the game itself is absolutely awesome.

Dementium: The Ward is one of the few M-rated games on the DS and it's the good one. If you like horror-ish games, give it a shot.
posted by Nelsormensch at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2008

Soul Bubbles. One of my favorite underrated gems for the system. The thread on NeoGAF does a better job explaining why than I could.
posted by Remy at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2008

Electroplankton is utterly amazing, not a game so much as an art piece.

My other two faves, Metal Slug 7 and Korg DS-10 are Japanese only but excellent.
posted by Ponderance at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ah. Someone got in there before me. Yep, Puzzle Quest is an underrated gem. Also, I am currently wasting my life on Final Fantasy Tactics A2. It's totally ace. The battle system is a perfect little fun-nugget.

Can I also just sing the praises of Pokémon Diamond? I know it's not exactly obscure, but hardly anyone I know with a DS has got it, and it's easily had the most staying power of any game I've ever played. I've had it for a year now, and I've racked up a sickening 600+ hours on the game clock. When I first saw it, I thought it looked too simplistic and childish for my tastes, but it's a deceptively complex, slick little timesink. Approach with caution - you may struggle not to lose months to it.
posted by RokkitNite at 1:36 PM on August 27, 2008

Etrian Odyssey II came out recently, and if you like that sort of thing it is exactly the sort of thing you will like. Anyway, cortex and I enjoyed it. I probably enjoyed it too much . . .
posted by The Bellman at 2:01 PM on August 27, 2008

The Ouendan series is just great music games all of them, the English version is called Elite Beat Agents. The language barrier in the japanese versions is easy to overcome. Importing Daigasso Band Brothers could also be worthwile if you're into music games. Yoshi Touch & Go consists of some nice minigames, worth a buy if you can find it for cheap.
posted by okokok at 2:14 PM on August 27, 2008

Drone Tactics has been surprisingly fun, but seems to get mediocre reviews.

Yoshi's Island is good for me, since the Super Mario Bros. games are too difficult (I'm inept at action games).

Advance Wars: Dual Strike is great. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin not so much.

Battles of Prince of Persia is a great combination strategy/card game. Very well fun, very fun.
posted by krisak at 2:21 PM on August 27, 2008

I love Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. It's a mashup between round-based strategy, roleplay and jump 'n run. It's very similar to the good old Paper Mario (not Super Paper Mario on the Wii).
posted by donut at 2:29 PM on August 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Electroplankton!
posted by vkxmai at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2008

See: Nintendo DS Essentials and The Most underrated NDS games

I don't think anyone's recommended Civilization Revolution but I'm putting my vote in for that. Trace Memory is allright, but it's one of those puzzle think out of the box type games.
posted by saxamo at 2:53 PM on August 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Favorites I have played:
* Slitherlink - Logic Game - For me it is better than Sudoku.
* Cake Mania 2 (and probably the first since apparently not much changed) - Puzzler - Not much love in reviews for it but for me it was ridiculously addictive, great for filling 5 empty minutes.
* Geometry Wars - Shooter - Asteroids meets 2007, very nice.
* The World Ends With You - RPG with innovative battles and in a modern-day setting - I will probably buy a new DS just so I can finish this one
* Contra 4 - Contra - Hard as hell

Want to try (but need to buy said new DS)
* N+ - Platformer
* Civilization Revolution - Strategy
* Chrono Trigger - Old school RPG I never played in the SNES
* Bangai-O Spirits
posted by fjom at 3:00 PM on August 27, 2008

Seconding Contra 4. It comes with the original Contra and Super C, which seem ridiculously easy after playing Contra 4.
posted by 517 at 3:13 PM on August 27, 2008

I can't believe nobody has mentioned The World Ends With You. It's a Square Enix game set in Shibuya, Tokyo and is one of the most original and fun RPGs I've ever played. It's definitely not a tactical RPG like FFTA2 (which I love) but has a great, refreshing story and incredibly fun gameplay. One of the big sleeper hits this year.
posted by baphomet at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2008

I have an extremely limited attention span when it comes to video games, but I actually managed to play Elite Beat Agents to the end. Great game!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:00 PM on August 27, 2008

It is cheap and I like it... Touch Master. I find myself sitting on the toilet for hours on end playing Mahki
posted by bkeene12 at 7:48 PM on August 27, 2008

Contact was kind of off the wall and fun.

nthing FFTA2
posted by zennoshinjou at 5:57 AM on August 28, 2008

The Lego series does pretty well - I get the feeling Lego Star Wars was slightly better executed for the small screen, Indiana Jones feels slightly squashed sometimes. I still love them both however, and they've kept me going across several transatlantic flights.
posted by Augenblick at 7:28 AM on August 28, 2008

Adding my love for FFTA2 - FFTA for the Gameboy Advance was crack on a stick, but the sequel is like crack, on a stick, in a box, made of crack, covered in ranch dressing.

Has no one mentioned Animal Crossing yet? Yes, I know it's pretty mainstream, but like with a lot of Nintendo games it's deceptively childish looking, but once Slavemaster Nook gets his hands on you, there's no escaping. Lots of collecting, maintaining the town, building relationships, saving money. One of the best features is that it has a massive online community that share friend codes, so you can visit towns and see what other people are doing with the game.

Also: Cooking Mama is always cheap good fun.
posted by saturnine at 12:46 PM on August 28, 2008

Feel the Magic: XY/XX and The Rub Rabbits

Kinda weird but a lot of fun!
posted by chump at 2:02 PM on September 15, 2008

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