2008's most impressive DS games

This title was criminally underplayed this year, which we just don't get. Emo adolescents love Kingdom Hearts and current Final Fantasy games, but give them a new RPG title from the same minds but with new characters and they compete to see who could care less. We didn't forget that WEWY tried a lot of new things, but its greatest deed had to be how it took advantage of both screens in a way no other DS entry had.

It might have been a too complicated for some, but the mind-bending battles used both screens, demanding people to think ambidextrously. With one hand you maneuver the main character using the stylus, while the other members of the party reside on the top screen and are controlled by a series of inputs on the d-pad with your other hand. No other game this year asked so much of the players using both screens, which singles it out in our opinion.

All the above games have a lot going for them, but none are what we would call the total package, a title so full of technological splendor it makes all other DS games look like Game & Watch. Final Fantasy IV DS is such a game.

It has must so much fancy tech going on, we’re not really sure where to begin. Not only does it start with a great CG cutscene, but the in-game story moments are pretty outstanding too:

Astonishing, no? All the fully 3D characters, speaking full dialogue in a DS RPG just struck us dumb when we started the game. Throughout there are a ton of graphical flourishes great and small, plus composer Nobuo Uematsu’s soundtrack sounds better than ever. It may be a remake, but Square put so much into improving everything around the old game, that there’s simply no other option for “biggest wow factor.”

Thanks Square, and here’s hoping you top yourselves on the inevitable FF V remake.


Just like a poorly shaped pancake tastes great but may not be the best thing to put on a plate, so too were there a few games that almost made it to the butter and syrup stage, but didn't have it all:

Soul Bubbles, perhaps the best use of blowing into the mic to date; Ninjatown, for its great RTS design and similarly great use of the mic; and lastly, Sonic Chronicles: Dark Brotherhood, for doing the seemingly impossible by being a new Sonic game that didn’t make us want to annihilate the Earth.

Dec 16, 2008

The NEW Nintendo DS
The DSi is sleeker, simpler, and more functional than its predecessor

The Top 7... Games you don't want for Christmas
We round up the worst titles 2008 had to offer

World of Nintendo
Dipping a toe in the Nintendo backwaters


  • 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

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000