Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 10 Budget DS Games to Buy Other People or Yourself, or, a Cyber-Monday Video Game Guide to the DS

You've got friends, children, people, and they need video games. They've probably got a DS, but you honestly don't know what they hell to buy them. Maybe your on a budget and don't want to waste a chunk of change for a crap game. This list is in no particular order, because I've tried to offer a variety of genres for everyone.

These are the games that define the DS.

#10 Final Fantasy III

You really can't go wrong with Final Fantasy III. The commercials for this game really showed off the power of the DS, and made this Famicom classic come to life. Everyone was waiting for Final Fantasy III to come out, and about 5 of my friends bought it on launch day. I was the first one to complete the game--3 months later. This adventure will always be remembered by anyone who conquers the crystal tower, and is a must-have for the DS. It's been out for years, so you can find it cheap.

#9 Contra 4

I remember the E3 announcement for Contra 4: gamers were stunned. A new golden age in retro releases and rehashes was beginning, and Contra 4 helped get us there! Contra 4 is sidescrolling action perfected, and if your buddy has the cart multiplayer mode can be a blast.

#8 Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (and, sure, the others)

My personal favorite Castlevania, and one of the games that convinced me to buy a DS. Metroidvania gameplay is perfected, and a few stylus gimmicks keep things fresh. This of this game as Symphony of the Night on crack, and you're approaching Dawn of Sorrow. You can summon Death's Scythes, swarms of demonic locusts, and fire a 9mm handgun and rocket launch ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Need I say more? It's got more modes and difficulties than you'll know what to do with; well over 50 hours to complete everything.

#7 Sonic Rush

Another early DS game, and not a bad entry in the Sonic series. Unlike some of the more recent flops, Sonic Rush holds up as a Sonic game, and manages to be worthy of Genesis comparison. For those who are tired of Sonic 1, 2, and 3, Sonic Rush would be a much better option than Sonic 4 of Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Colors.

#6 Dragon Quest 9

Not a port; this is a full-fledged original entry in the Dragon Quest series. RPG fans will appreciate the standard JRPG grind fest and explorative adventure. Some people hate it, others love. Personally, I lament the loss of what this game could have been: an online action RPG--until fans backlashed and the game was redesigned. They listened to the fans, but I wish they hadn't. DQXI is a solid entry, and great fun on the DS.

#5 Chrono Trigger

A timeless classic. Considered by many to be the greatest game of all time. Either you've already got an opinion on Chrono Trigger, or you need to play this game. The DS version is far superior to the Playstation port; this game is recommended to all! I've seen this game for 5 bucks at stores, so you've got to be able to find it.

#4 Kirby Canvas Curse

A game that uses the stylus with style. Either all gimmick or no gimmick, Kirby Canvas Curse is still the best Kirby game on the Nintendo DS, and, in my opinion, the best Kirby game of all time if we don't count Super Smash Brothers Brawl. This one might be a little more rare, but if you see this game this holiday season, you might want to grab it for a gamer.

#3 Retro Game Challenge

If 8-Bit City were a video game, it would be something like Retro Game Challenge. Actually, if 8-Bit City were a game, it would be Star Quest. Expectantly, Star Quest and Retro Game Challenge feature a similar mechanic: games within the games; except in Retro Game Challenge you get magazines and new cart as you grow up as a young kid playing the Famicom. It's stranger than that, but this game is without a doubt one of the best on the DS, and reason enough to buy a used DS Lite or something.

#2 Meteos

The best puzzler around, and it's for the Nintendo DS. Meteos is half space shooter, half puzzle game, and all action. You need twitch reflexes and pattern recognition skills for this one. Improve your mind, play Meteos!

#1 Contact

The most underrated game for the DS, Contact went barely noticed. It still enjoys a cult following, and you can probably find it haunting a Gamestop this year. Contact breaks the forth wall, and recognizes that the player is playing the game and communicating with space aliens via a device called the Nintendo DS. It gets weirder from that, as you possess a boy from another dimension and turn him into a killing machine, all to help a dubious 8-Bit scientist. Contact engages the player directly, you can't help but love this game. If you're buying someone a gift for the DS, make it Contact--this might be the last year you'll be able to find this rare gem. It's sure to be worth quite a bit in the future, and will likely be sought after by collectors as an essential piece of the DS library.


Terms of Service said...

Chrono Trigger & Castlevania are great games for the price. I would have included Disgaea as well, you can play it for hours on end and the DS version is great.

Benjamin Fennell said...

Haha, I already have 6 of the games on this list. Definitely a strong list. Still need to pick up FFIII, been on the fence on Chrono Trigger since I have the original cart and Virtual Console release, and in Contra 4's case, I've yet to even finish the demo. Haven't picked up any of the Sonic DS games yet otherwise, though. I can definitely second this list, though - great selection.

Matthew St. Cyr said...

I found a copy of Contact @ Gamestop for $5!!!! Good thing that I had read this list just a couple days before, otherwise I probably would have completely looked over it! I haven't had the chance to play it yet, but I'm looking forward to checking it out!

8bitcity said...

Epic find! I paid $35 on launch day. I had recently purchased a DS Lite, so I was really keeping up with all the releases. EGM gave it a 6.4 or some shit.

Anyway, let us know how you like it.

Matthew St. Cyr said...

I haven't gotten very far fact I only found the first cell in my first play, but so far I have to say I'm really digging it! I love the fact that the graphics remind me of the old hand painted type the Sierra used to use in their adventure games (i.e. Space Quest, Kings Quest).....then combine that with the crazy little 8-Bit Scientist....awesome!

Matthew St. Cyr said...
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