Thursday, December 28, 2006


Ten Games I Take Everywhere

I stopped caring about having a case for my portable games when Nintendo stopped giving them away with the cartridges. But when I saw a three-pack of DS game cases, each capable of holding three game cards, I was intrigued.

It may have been the best video game accessory I've ever purchased.

Now I command the combined force of ten DS games everywhere I go -- one in the system and nine in the cases. They're far better than any carry-all case could ever be for a number of reasons, the most important of which is that they actually fit in my pocket.

Of course, it's not sufficient to simply throw ten games in your pocket and call that a collection. As I'm sure every video game fan knows, the objective here is to select ten games that aid and abet each other, creating synergy and harmony and ecological balance. And this is what I've come up with so far:

Animal Crossing -- For the days when I just want to zone out and fish.

Brain Age -- Trying to get back into my mental workout regime. My brain's 23 years young, baby!

True Swing Golf -- Dunno if it's there because I expect I'll need it at a moment's notice or if I simply haven't found something else to fill the niche. Still, ever since Mario Golf 64, I've had a certain fondness for video golf.

Clubhouse Games -- Or, more to the point, Billiards. Always fun, especially if I can find an access point.

Sudoku Gridmaster -- For the times when I don't want anything too intense and demanding.

Super Mario 64 DS -- A more expansive and immersive adventure you won't find. Well, maybe you will, but can you play as a dinosaur who runs around eating things? Yeah, didn't think so.

Electroplankton -- I was lucky enough to scoop it up while it was still in print. It gathered dust for a while, but my recent mastery of making pleasant music with Sun-Animalcules combined with a recent craving for relaxing music has put this game into my regular rotation.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon -- Do I talk about this game enough? I don't think I do.

Elite Beat Agents -- Dance! Whoo! Nothin' left for me to do but dance!

Cooking Mama -- After a long hiatus, I've got a craving to start making virtual sushi again. Weird.

So there it is, ten games that I've selected to get me through any boring situation that I might be stuck in. These games were selected basically as the thought to play them struck me, which suggests that these are the games at the top of my consciousness right now.

Some interesting results:

Only one (Cooking Mama) isn't published by Nintendo.

Six (Electroplankton, Elite Beat Agents, Clubhouse Games, Sudoku Gridmaster, Brain Age, True Swing Golf) have received the official Touch Generations branding in North America.
One (Animal Crossing) is a Touch Generations game in Europe.
One (Cooking Mama) would probably be a Touch Generations game if Nintendo published it.

Only one (Super Mario 64 DS) was released in the system's launch window.
Seven (Cooking Mama, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Elite Beat Agents, Clubhouse Games, Sudoku Gridmaster, Brain Age, True Swing Golf) were released in 2006.

Three (Animal Crossing, Electroplankton, Brain Age) are "non-games".
Four (Clubhouse Games, Sudoku Gridmaster, True Swing Golf, Cooking Mama) are based on real-world activities.

I use the stylus as the primary input for eight of them (Cooking Mama, Elite Beat Agents, Clubhouse Games, Sudoku Gridmaster, Animal Crossing, Brain Age, True Swing Golf).

Only three (Super Mario 64 DS, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Animal Crossing) are new contributions to series that I've played before.

There is one game (Clubhouse Games) that I play online regularly.
There is one game (Animal Crossing) that is WFC enabled, but I rarely use it.
None of my other games are online.

Five of them (Clubhouse Games, Sudoku Gridmaster, Electroplankton, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Cooking Mama) use exclusively 2D art (or use 3D so subtly that I don't notice it).
Two of them (Brain Age, Elite Beat Agents) use 3D art in a secondary capacity, mostly just for decoration.
Three of them (Super Mario 64 DS, Animal Crossing, True Swing Golf) are fundamentally 3D games.

I wonder what my gaming habits will look like this time next year. Maybe I'll remember to revisit the idea.


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