Review by AJM Ruler

"The Nintendo DS is the portable N64 that I ALWAYS wanted!"

This is a review for the Nintendo DS! I haven't owned a portable since I got the Game Boy Color back in 1998, great portable. It was like having a NES in my own hands. I only got a handful of games for it, yes I had so many great times with the Game Boy Color. Then the Game Boy Advance came out in 2000, only 2 years after the release of the Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Advance was like having a portable Super Nintendo in your own hands. I was uninterested since I only bought the GBC a year ago for $100. I held out until the day Nintendo decided to give me what I always wanted, a portable Nintendo 64. That day was 2004. I reluctantly gave my Game Boy Color away, and used my birthday money to get the Nintendo DS along with Super Mario 64 DS. Boy was I amazed, and still amazed right now.

Graphics: (10) The Nintendo DS has blown me away on what it can do and how it performs. It's launch titles almost as good as last generation Nintendo 64 games. That is saying a lot because that means the DS is more powerful than the Nintendo 64. Take for instance DS's launch title Super Mario 64 DS. Amazing game, and if you would compare it to it's N64 counterpart, you will be amazed to see the Nintendo DS actually improves on everything the Nintendo 64 version offered. Mario looks more cleaned up and the environments are more smoothed out on the DS. And this is FIRST generation graphics for the DS here! However some titles like Madden NFL 2005 don't look that great mainly because EA made a fast and ugly port. But the 2006 season looks promising in the graphics department for the DS.

Sound: (10) With duel speakers, the DS can just make a game so atmospheric. Gone are the bleeps and bloops the Game Boy Advance could only display. The DS is capable of doing GREAT things with it's speakers. Mainly, the one I am most excited about is voice-acting. Like the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo DS can do voice-overs. The first time I experienced this was when I was playing Super Mario 64 DS, at the beginning Peach gave her little speech to Mario. It amazed me that it was kept INTACT. As for in-game music, the DS can do WONDERS! Super Mario 64 DS, when played outside the castles, it really feels like your outside. Such amazement engulfed me.

Control: (9) With the additions of another two buttons, the DS now features 6 buttons which include L, R, A, B, X, Y. The D-Pad is a given along with a Power button and a Select and Start button. This is MUCH improved over the GBA's 4 buttons and the GBC's 2 buttons. The biggest addition is the second screen which happens to be a touch screen. It can act as a button. For Super Mario 64 DS, you can move your character around with the touch screen, though innovative, not well suited for Super Mario 64 DS. The only thing I found that was a problem was the overall feel of holding the DS, since Nintendo included a GBA cartridge port, sometimes I just had to feel that empty space in the GBA thing, which sometimes made me feel awkward.

Games: (7) This is Nintendo DS's poorest category. Nintendo claims Nintendo DS has SO many titles in the works, that is great. Main problem is that there is SO few launch titles for the DS, and most are pretty crappy like Ping Pals. I only see me buying another DS title this month which is going to be Asphalt Urban GT. Hopefully Nintendo will wise up and start releasing more 3D games, I am tired of 2D games. I want to see more 3D games like Super Mario 64 DS. Hopefully Nintendo will wise up and start releasing more and more 3D games.

Summary: (9) I give the Nintendo DS a solid 9. With a price of $150.00 US, you can't go wrong. I would wait though, at least a couple months until more good DS titles. March 2005 seems like a good month for the DS, hopefully it will be for me since I want more DS games. As for the packaging of the DS, Nintendo is still offering the Bundle of the DS/Metriod Prime: First Hunt demo. So even if you don't buy a game right away, you got Metriod Prime: First Hunt to play with. Also look forward to Online play which Nintendo says they will do....lets hope so.

+Nintendo 64 quality graphics
+Superb sound
+Ability to include voice-acting
+3D games

-Sometimes awkward feel when holding DS
-Lack of launch titles

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/11/05

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