Sunday, December 23, 2007


Thirteen Games I Take Everywhere

Last year, I did a little run-down of the DS games that I take with me everywhere. I thought at the time that it would be interesting to do a follow up one year later, so here I am.

I've purchased extra game cases since last year's article, but I've come to realize that they weren't necessary. Turns out there's such a thing as having too many games available. Thirteen seems to be a pretty good number for me, so here's how it looks:

Brain Age, Brain Age 2, and Big Brain Academy -- My pocket-sized mental fitness gym. I keep falling out of routine with it, but it's still nice to have around.

Phoenix Wright 1-3 -- Who says Phoenix Wright games have no replay value? I keep all three of them on hand and rotate through them fairly regularly.

Nintendo DS Browser -- No, it's not the best web browser in the world, but it's still pretty cool. There's nothing quite like grabbing my DS off my nightstand and reading the latest Smash Brothers Dojo update in bed first thing in the morning.

Animal Crossing -- Animal Crossing remains on the list from last year, though my interest continues to wax and wane.

Jam Sessions -- Way too cool. This is my handheld karaoke box, and the songlist is only limited by the chords I can find on the internet.

Mario Party DS -- Finally, the real Mario Party in portable form. It's even a pretty good entry in the series!

Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck -- Have you pissed off your cartoon duck today?

Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends -- More action, more danger.

Picross DS -- The finest logic game created by mortal or divinity.

Missing from last year:

True Swing Golf -- Basically just got tired of golfing.

Clubhouse Games -- Mario Party DS does a better job of satisfying my cravings for both board games and quick action games.

Sudoku Gridmaster -- There's just no comparing Sudoku to Picross. I just don't need anything beyond the Brain Age games to slake what little desire for Sudoku I still have.

Super Mario 64 DS -- I'll be back someday. Just not right now.

Electroplankton -- Still a neat toy, but I don't need to take it with me everywhere anymore. Jam Sessions seems to have cured my itch for on-demand music generation.

Elite Beat Agents -- It was hard to say goodbye to this one because it really is such a great game. The problem is, it requires some very specific conditions for optimal enjoyment -- earphones, seating, and frame of mind. It's just not an easy game to whip out and enjoy.

Cooking Mama -- Still a good game, but it pales compared to its sequel.

So let's look at the results:

Six of the games (Duck Amuck, Cooking Mama 2, Jam Sessions, and Phoenix Wright 1-3) aren't published by Nintendo, up from just one last year.

Four of the games (Picross DS, Brain Age, Brain Age 2, and Big Brain Academy) are official Touch Generations games in North America.
Four of the games (Animal Crossing, Nintendo DS Browser, Phoenix Wright 1-2) are official Touch Generations games in Europe.
Three of the games (Cooking Mama 2, Jam Sessions, Phoenix Wright 3) would probably receive Touch Generations branding if Nintendo had published them.
This is up from nine Touch Generations style games last year.

Nine of the games (Duck Amuck, Cooking Mama 2, Picross DS, Brain Age 2, Jam Sessions, Mario Party DS, Nintendo DS Browser, Phoenix Wright 2-3) were released this year, up from seven of the games last year.

Six of them (Jam Sessions, Nintendo DS Browser, Animal Crossing, Brain Age, Brain Age 2, Big Brain Academy) are non-games, up from three last year.
One (Cooking Mama 2) is based on real-world activities, down from four last year.

I use the stylus as the primary input for eleven of them (Duck Amuck, Cooking Mama 2, Brain Age, Brain Age 2, Big Brain Academy, Animal Crossing, Jam Sessions, Phoenix Wright 1-3, Nintendo DS Browser), up from eight last year.

Seven of them (Cooking Mama 2, Picross DS, Brain Age 2, Animal Crossing, Mario Party DS, Phoenix Wright 2-3) are new entries in series I've played before, up from three last year.

I play only one game online regularly (Nintendo DS Browser), same as last year.
I have two other games (Picross DS, Animal Crossing) that are WFC-enabled, but I rarely use them, up from one last year.

Seven of the games (Cooking Mama 2, Picross DS, Big Brain Academy, Jam Sessions, Nintendo DS Browser, Phoenix Wright 2-3) use exclusively 2D art (or use 3D so subtly that I don't notice it), up from five last year.
Four of the games (Duck Amuck, Brain Age, Brain Age 2, Phoenix Wright 1) use 3D art in a secondary capacity, mostly just for decoration, up from two last year.
Two of them (Animal Crossing, Mario Party DS) are fundamentally 3D games, down from three last year.

Doesn't look like my overall habits have changed very much, even though the games themselves have. Guess we'll see what it looks like next year.


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