2008's most impressive DS games

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

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