The Nintendo DS Launch Guide
Oh Nintendo, implicitly you take us back. I’m not too sure if it’s intentional, but for a person whose age lies way outside the target marketing boundaries laid down for Pokemon, it seems like only yesterday I was playing with what was the DS of it’s day: the immortal and seemingly unstoppable Game & Watch. Sure it had only one functional game at a time (in my case Pinball). So it only had two buttons. And sure- it ran on two watch batteries that were protected by a battery door; a door that always seemed like it was one step away from getting lost in couch-cushion oblivion. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the greatest things to ever fall into my eager gamer hands in the mid-80s. 2 frames per second of pinball across two screens glistened in a purple border was always the portable alternative of choice when the TV was commandeered by the folks. That was indeed my handheld bliss.
And come November 21st [Editor’s Note: Or if rumors persist, even sooner!], Nintendo is going to floor us like Lenin did the Mensheviks. Sure, you’ve kept abreast of the latest and greatest that Nintendo has served us over the years, and those keen enough to stay off of the pipe know that innovation is the mark of their beasts. The rumble pack, the D-pad, the very standard that set the parameters for (good) 3D gaming. It’s all from the house that Mario built. And now, we’re going to be treated to the best collapsible gaming console since the Game & Watch. The revolution is coming- and Sony, the proverbial capitalists of this class warfare, don’t stand a chance.
Comrades, I give you the Nintendo DS.
Folks, I could spend this entire feature detailing what this piece of fine machine can handle, but this list should be enough to wet your appetite:
- A touch-sensitive screen that’ll change the way you interface with the games you’ve come to know and love. Take for instance Pac-Pix: instead of using the D-Pad to move around Pac-Man, you will be able to DRAW HIM ON THE SCREEN and POINT HIM TO HIS ENEMIES! Face it kids- that’s more control than most Cold War-era dictators could handle, and arguably twice the fun.
- Wireless gaming within a radius equal to that of A THIRD OF A FOOTBALL FIELD (that’s up to 100 feet for those who don’t want to burn neurons dividing yards) running off of a single game cart. Think about it- no more wired multi-cart hassle, making it easier than ever to run from your opponent after wiping him the floor with him in Bomberman.
- Voice recognition integrated from the get-go. Not only will you be able to control future titles with verbal commands through this thing, but now you’ll be able to chat in real time during gameplay. On a personal note, I’m waiting for a Duck Hunt sequel in which I could use this function to berate that smirk dog on every sweet occasion I can get. But I digress.
- Near-N64 3D quality with a few new visual tweaks for good measure. I mean, why spend your time on Metal Gear Solid: Rehash or Grand Turismo: You’ve Seen it Before, Now it’s Mobile! Edition, when you can be playing games that mix in innovation with beauty, all from the first guys to make true 3D gaming a reality?
- Two- not one, but TWO cartridge slots for all of your GBA and DS games. Not only does this make it rather convenient to handle your favorite games from across the system libraries, but think of all the great stuff that Nintendo and the three giant peripheral factories in China could fill that GBA slot on the side. How about playing a Mega Man game and actually being able to pop in battle chips like on NT Warrior using special weapon packs on GBA cartridges? Or perhaps something like a camera attachment? Needless to say, the possibilities are endless.
And that’s just the hardware. Coming up in the following pages, the staff of Inside Pulse will take you on a preview odyssey detailing the DS titles that we’re excited about (and ones we`re, err.. not so excited about), and the innovation behind each title, all wrapped up in the expert commentary you’ve come to know and trust. Not all of them are coming out on Launch Day–as of press time there are currently six: Super Mario 64 DS, Feel the Magic: XY/XX, The Urbz: Sims In The City, Asphalt Urban GT, Madden 2005, and SpiderMan 2–but everything you see here should be available to your greedy gaming hands by the end of this year (or as Nintendo puts it, their “launch window”). So sit back, relax, and pick up that Game & Watch copy of Pinball and start to get a feel for the future of handheld gaming.
|– Frederick Badlissi