2008's most impressive DS games

The esteemed Civilization series is justly respected as a premier PC franchise. This year it made the transition from PC to console, and some wondered if could really be done right. How could you doubt Sid Meier? Shame on you.

However, even though we had faith in the console version, we weren’t so sure about the DS port.

Thank Napoleon’s ghost our worries were as foolish as yours. Not only was the DS version of Revolution just as sleep-deprivingly addictive as all Civ titles are, this one had the benefit of playing exactly the same as its console versions. Sure, it might look cartoony compared to its 1080p sisters, but shy of obvious graphical differences you were playing the same game.

Not too shabby, as 99.9999999999999% of multiplatform DS versions are nothing like the real things or are complete disasters when they try to be the same. Good show, Sid and whoever those other people are who made the game.

After living with them for years now, perhaps you've forgotten how stupid and needlessly complicated friend codes are. Want to play against a bud online in a DS game? Better be ready to trade your 16 digit code for his or else he might be a child molester. After doing that, get ready to repeat it with every online game that follows. And don't even think about trading created content. You may as well invite a bear into your home as far as Nintendo is concerned.

Above: There's got to be a better way!

All of that BS is why Bangai-O Spirits deserves a heap of praise. The title, filled with mind-numbingly hardcore shooting, also has a level editor capable of sharing levels with pals via sound blasted from the DS speakers onto your friends mic, which then replicates the level. It's like how dial-up modems worked when the first caveman successfully landed on the moon with Genghis Khan.

The way you share is so clever and charmingly retro, we wish it existed before we learned a cumulative 464 friend code digits.

LOL is a strange case. It isn’t pretty. It has no single player options. In fact, it has almost no game to speak of. It’s just up to you and your friends to make the game fun for each other. It comes with so little, yet it does the most that one game can with such a small amount of direction.

The cynical might remark that this is just Picto-Chat with colors. Wrong-o. With just the hint of structure and a time limit, you get so much fun out of it. Make your own questions, you and up to three friends answer them, and then you vote whose answered it best. And if you're stumped, just draw a sword every time, which worked fine for us. LOL handedly wins this award we made up for it, as it makes the most out of something that’s barely a game and is still a better time than many other “real” DS games.


  • marioman50 - December 17, 2009 4:45 a.m.

    "but why.... WHYYYYYYY???!!?!!!" @nik: me too, w00t!
  • nik41507 - December 17, 2009 12:14 a.m.

    I clicked on the link from 2009's best games
  • sourpunch - December 17, 2008 5:54 p.m.

    You know I don't have any of these :( the only one I played was ninja gaiden demo off of the nintendo channel (Wii). Lack of money really sucks. Lol I just forgot to type in the words before I hit post and got "Ooops - that's not what was written in the image. You may be a robot. Try again." Me being a robot is news to me.
  • dreamgor - December 17, 2008 1:39 p.m.

    FFIV and WEWY is the best portable games i've played... they struck me dumb with amazement and when i think i'm done with it they just reveal new fantastic things
  • ssj4raditz - December 17, 2008 8:09 a.m.

    "It's like how dial-up modems worked when the first caveman successfully landed on the moon with Genghis Khan." LOL
  • TheSuburbiaRuins - December 17, 2008 4:25 a.m.

    First feature, good job Henry. I will actually look into many of these now
  • Corsair89 - December 16, 2008 11:25 p.m.

    WEWY, FFIV, and NinjaTown are amazing games. I wasn't thrilled by Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, though. Ninja Gaiden II is better because it is way more fun to chop enemies to bloody pieces than poke them with the stylus.
  • DontPanic - December 16, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    I must have that SIE paddle...
  • DEATHWISH - February 13, 2009 9:53 p.m.

    Ninja Gaiden was the the sh't on DS. Sadly, I never met anyone else who actually played it. >.> Ohh well. Glad you see it though, Henry.
  • secretsearcher - December 22, 2008 5:50 p.m.

    I never really got into the whole final fantasy thing, but IV looks real good. I'll have to get that. Anyway, props to GR for giving the DS a chance to shine.
  • supersonicsparky - December 18, 2008 9:03 p.m.

    Korg was to complicated, and I just couldn't get into TWEWY, I wanted to love it, but it just didn't click.
  • Gingerbread - December 17, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    those look like some cool games
  • GR_HenryGilbert - December 17, 2008 5:49 p.m.

    Yeesh, thanks for spotting the Arkanoid f-up. I owe you a no-prize. However, I just fixed it, so history will remember me spelling it right.
  • Bronzus - December 17, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    Arkanoid is a SHITE game. Good paddle, though.
  • year20xx - December 17, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    It's "Arkanoid." With no E. Kind of important when honoring a game to spell it right. I wouldn't reeeeaally care, except that it's such a good list of this year's significant DS games.
  • Cwf2008 - December 17, 2008 2:38 a.m.

    And really how many f**king Final Fantasys have there been anyway? I would guess at about 5 Final Fantaasy VII, 3 Final Fantasy V...PLEASE MAKE THE EMO RPG STOP!
  • Cwf2008 - December 17, 2008 2:29 a.m.

    fourth. Really though its sad so few games on the DS are good...
  • skyguy343 - December 16, 2008 10:50 p.m.

    i love that dial thing

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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