Broaden my DS Horizons

Ok, so since I've been irrationally antagonistic with Nintendo's kindly portable device of late, it's time to broaden my horizons for April. For those keeping score - Birth of America 2 -- I liked its strategy and depth of play. The Witcher -- While I liked its themes, it lacked a pace and a combat system to keep me moving forward.

So, what DS game do you think I should pick for my next Horizon's Broadening Project?

I'll be announcing my decision Thursday.

(Yes, people, I will still get to Dwarf Fortress)

Ohh, timely. As I just picked up a DS for $15, I too would like to know what I should pick up.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Platforming & RPG gameplay mixed together into a delicious blend of undead killing win.

I recommend the extremely hard to find Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. However, if you can't manage to borrow/rent/find a used copy of that, then Order of Ecclesia is also very good.

Based on what you said about Birth of America 2 on the podcast, and your comments on The Witcher, you might consider Fire Emblem: The Shadow Dragon. I think that Fire Emblem, and it's cousin Advance Wars, sport very good strategy systems (probably not as deep as Birth of America, but very strategic), and often very good stories to support them.

Elysium, have you played Chrono Trigger before? Or Dragon Quest V? I know you are not really a fan of jrpgs, so playing a DS JRPG would kill two stones at once.

Another game you might want to look at is Advance Wars Day of Ruin, it's a tbs game and might be up your ally.

- Castlevania: DoS or OoE
- GTA: Chinatown Wars if you like GTA
- Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

...

Yeah, that's all I got for you.

You might consider Soul Bubbles if you can find it. It's certainly very different, charming, and as far away from "hardcore" as it gets - as evidenced by the disclaimer screen prior to the title screen. I've really liked the few levels I've played so far and am looking forward to more.

Rhythm Heaven (bizarre and awesome rhythm, US version is slightly more LCD friendly)
Elite Beat Agents (bizarre and awesome rhythm, US version is slightly more LCD friendly)
Kirby's Canvas Curse (stylus platforming, often overlooked)
Feel the Magic (bizarre mini-games)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (lemmings)
Picross (math puzzle thingies)
Trauma Center (surgery)
Children of Mana (Action RPG - addictive but repetitive)
Contra 4 (hard)
Ninja Gaiden (short)

All have their merits, but if you really want to broaden your horizons (and your sexual identity) -Nintendogs or Cooking Mama.

Picross DS ?

if you are not familiar with puzzle-deduction games abstract, this can broad your horizons, more if you can play in multiplyaer against someone else.

The World Ends With You

I hate the characters and the story (especially the main character. total douche), and I turn the music off when I play, but I keep playing. It seems like everything in this game can be leveled up, altered, and leveled up again. Your attacks and abilities are determined by pins, and you can level those up too, and sometimes they evolve into new more powerful pins, and it just keeps going. Christ, the game even levels your crap up as a reward for not playing the game for a few days.

Sometimes I turn it on just to watch the experience bars on my pins go up, save the game, and then turn it back off.

It's the weirdest thing ever.

The combat does manage to be a lot of fun though. Read a review or two and see if all the "ding! leveled up!" stuff might appeal to you.

Game I cannot recommend enough on the DS : Metroid Prime Pinball. It really is excellent.

If you want a fun puzzle game that's easy to learn but difficult to master pickup Meteos.

Yoshi Touch and Go was the first game I picked up for my DS and still one of the best. It's the only game I own that has more than 4 different people on the scoreboards, and it takes a LOT now to get on the scoreboard.

Thin_J wrote:

The World Ends With You

This would certainly broaden your horizons. Playing on two screens at once is pretty original.

And yes, it's rife with jrpg cliche: amnesia; zippers; emo, androgynous lead character. But the story is well written and the super emo lead character is that way for a reason. He has amnesia for a reason too, it's not just a cheap way to start the game.

You may not end up getting the most votes for TWEWY, but you should really check out some videos or a review. It's quite an interesting game.

Note: I play all the Final Fantasy games, but haven't finished one in close to a decade. I've beaten TWEWY twice.

I'll second Kirby's Canvas Curse and throw my hat in for Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Both fun, both weird. And Kirby has a nice, even difficulty curve that nevertheless gets insanely difficult near the end.

Just finished the main campaign of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin over the weekend. Highly recommended.

I recommend Castlevania as well. Of all the DS games I can think of, I can mostly easily see you enjoying getting hooked on one of those.

mrwynd wrote:

If you want a fun puzzle game that's easy to learn but difficult to master pickup Meteos.

I second this one and Professor Layton!

And I also recommend Theresia. It's an adventure-horror game. Some of it might be a bit repetitive, but check it out.

I'll put in another recommendation for The World Ends With You. If we're going for newer games here, how about Henry Hatsworth? Everything about it seemed like it would be a flop to me, until I played it. It uses the top screen for platforming and the bottom for a puzzle game that effects the platforming.

Also, those of you suggesting the Castlevania games, what do those games offer that would make them worth looking if someone had already played Symphony of the Night for a project in 'broadening horizons'?

Elysium, are you looking for newer DS games to prove there's been something worthy as of late or just any possible DS game that makes the system worth your time?

Advance Wars?

Interesting as it is, I feel like recommending TWEWY would let Elysium off the JRPG hook a little too easily; I'm still holding out for a vicarious romp through the MMO-esque vagaries of Final Fantasy XII or maybe even one of the later Persona games.

For the DS, Contra 4 sticks out to me as a great candidate. Even though it drew rave reviews for restoring the series to its previous glory, I think it was obscured somewhat by its arrival on the DS, where expectations for pure action games are low.

I'll add my voice to the votes for The World Ends With You for a DS HBP entry.

Minarchist wrote:

Kirby's Canvas Curse

This is one of the best games to take advantage of the stylus, and frankly a game that would not work on any other system except the PC or maybe the Wii. It has the look of a cutesy, just for kids game, but in typical Nintendo fashion, it is a great game for anyone to enjoy. However, it is a Nintendo game, and first party titles seldom suffer the shovelware fate.

Puzzle Quest is excellent, but we know he hates that game. Pac Pix is a pretty cool way to showcase the dual screen, touchscreen functionality - find it cheap, though. From what I played of the Ninja Gaiden demo it seemed really good, nice use of the touch screen, great graphics for the system.

These are all very good suggestions.

I would support The World Ends With You, Henry Hatsworth, or one of the Castlevanias without hesitation. Of those, I think people are right that The World Ends With You is probably the most "horizon-broadening". Ninja Gaiden is probably the most unique use of stylus control on the system, being a completely legitimate hard-core action game controlled by nothing but taps, swipes, and blocking by holding down any button on the DS. If you do Ninja Gaiden, be sure to play it on Hard mode (which sadly requires one playthrough on "normal" first - loan it to a friend?), because that's where the good stuff is.

GTA Chinatown Wars is also really worth playing, and while I understand you might initially be repulsed at the suggestion, given how much you've enjoyed Saints Row 2 recently, a GTA game more in the style of the initial top-down entries but with the gameplay refinements of the sequels might actually be something you'd really enjoy.

As another option, I don't know how you feel about classic JRPG's, but the recent release of Dragon Quest V is very, very good.

Ulairi wrote:

Elysium, have you played Chrono Trigger before? Or Dragon Quest V? I know you are not really a fan of jrpgs, so playing a DS JRPG would kill two stones at once.

Another game you might want to look at is Advance Wars Day of Ruin, it's a tbs game and might be up your ally.

Final Fantasy IV is a good one to slot in here, but TWEWY might be the prime pick. Speaking of, it sounds like I need to pick it up

a few recommendations:

Lock's Quest: a fun title that mixes tower defense and real time strategy. i'm not a fan of tower defense games but i really enjoyed this game. (its by the guys who are making the very intriguing Scribblenauts)

http://www.metacritic.com/games/plat...

1701 A.D.: Dawn of Discovery: It's a game similar to civilization with some sim city thrown in. It has a great interface that never feels overwhelming even though it puts so much at your finger tips.

http://www.metacritic.com/games/plat...

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: It would be great to hear your thoughts on this game. Based on your appreciate for Saints Row, I think this could be the GTA for you. Plus it's amazing how much content it has and how well made it is.

I also think you and everyone with a DS should pick up Picross. I've gotten more game time out of this game than any other DS game.

a few honorable mentions: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Guitar Hero: On Tour, Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends

The Ace Attorney series - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

The Advance Wars games - Dual Strike and Days of Ruin

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Hans

To explore the adventure genre you could try either the Ace Attorney games or Hotel Dusk. All of them pretty heavy on narrative, the former on the fun side, the latter on the serious one.
If it's JRPGs I think you should stick with The World Ends With You, since it's original for DS and not a remake. But there's plenty of JRPGs on other platforms that we could inflict you instead
Or, if you dare take on a roguelike that originally came out on SNES, you could try Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. That's pretty broadening, isn't it? And recommended by Bill Harris!
Or you could play the interactive puzzle book that is Professor Layton, but you probably played puzzles like that when you were little, so hardly uncharted territory

Here's another one for The World Ends With You, the best RPG on the system so far, maybe even best RPG of 2008.

The strategies have been mentioned already (Fire Emblem and both DS Advance Wars are great), so I'll just mention that Disgaea is also out for the DS. You said you want deep, right?

Meteos, Kirby are also highly recommended. I'll add to them Geometry Wars Galaxies, which is just a great action title for the DS. I spent tens of hours with it and I'm still not done.

From the "totally crazy" pile, try Bangai-O Spirits.

I'll third (fourth?) Kirby Canvas Curse (Power Paintbrush over here, for some bizarre reason). I've completed it twice now and loved it both times.

Zelos wrote:

I'll third (fourth?) Kirby Canvas Curse (Power Paintbrush over here, for some bizarre reason). I've completed it twice now and loved it both times.

I'll agree with Zelos and everyone else, Kirby Canvas Curse is a great DS game one of the best, I would also recommend all the Pheonix Wright Games and Professor Layton, The Castlevania Games as well as all of the great RPG's such as Chrono Trigger, The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Quest IV and V.

Yikes! Can't believe I forgot the Phoenix Wright games. The only problem I found with them is that the first one was fantastic because it was such a new experience. The second I played not so much anymore. That's why I took a 2 year break before tackling the third.

Professor Layton is also a great game.

IUMogg wrote:

I also think you and everyone with a DS should pick up Picross. I've gotten more game time out of this game than any other DS game.

In my case, that would be the cheap Bejeweled rip-off I picked up out of a bargain bin - Zoo Keeper. I've sunk dozens of hours into it and my gf plays it obsessively every now and then as well.

EDIT: Hey, since The Witcher was the HBP for February and carried over into March, shouldn't Elysium have to play TWO DS games in April?

Having just finished it, I too must vote for The World Ends With You. I like that once you beat the game, there is still more you can do. Besides, it's the only game I can think of that rewards you for not playing, in fact if you want everything you have to not play, that or mess with your system clock... um not that I would do such a thing...