Nintendo DS Surprises Me

Our good friends Greg & Kat came to visit us this past weekend. Greg is a video game junkie, and works for Cranky Pants Games.

So naturally, I seek his opinion on what’s hot and what’s not in the video game world. His answer? His favorite system on the market right now is the Nintendo DS.

I had always been a little leery of the DS. It felt gimmicky to me, with the two screens and the stylus. My gut reaction made me think of the infamous Virtual Boy. But Greg offered me a whirl free of charge on some of the best games the system has to offer.

Was I ever surprised! The graphics are far superior to any of the other Nintendo handhelds, probably on part with something the PSP has to offer. What was truly shocking, though, was how naturally the two screens and touch screen fit into the gameplay. For example, in many games, like the fantastic New Super Mario Brothers, the second screen isn’t really used for much other than a map. However, there is a spot on the second screen where you can store an extra power up which can be intuitively retrieved by simply tapping at it with your thumb. In other games, like Brain Age, the stylus is the primary input mechanism for the entire game.

Greg had just bought a new, shinier DS Lite, so he sold me his old one for cheap. He didn’t have to work hard.