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Ephraim 225

Chunkey Simmons reviews the Nintendo DS

Yeah, this time we're doing a hardware review. What could possibly go wrong? What indeed. The Nintendo DS surprised everybody when it came out - it was a portable console with TWO screens, the bottom of which was sensitive to the touch, opening even more possibilities for would-be awesome games.

What kind of concept is this? The best concept ever, obviously.

The Gameboy Advance SP had been released in 2002, or maybe 2003 if I remember correctly. It was a huge improvement from the original Gameboy Advance, since the system actually had light. The main problem with the handheld systems released before was that the thing could never be played in the dark, simply because there is no light-up screen. If you wanted to play in the dark, you would have to find a flashlight, hold it in one hand, and use your other hand to play the same. Makes perfect sense since you only need to use one hand for the Gameboy, right?

Or you could buy one of those little light things that attaches to the GBA. I forget what they called it but I know I had one.

There's a simple concept of having the usual control pad, a few buttons on the side, and a pause button. Having anything more is usually questionable.

Yeah. What's the GBA Link Cable port ever going to be used for? Why should it be there? Will I get a discount if I buy a GBA without the cable port?

What is a touch screen? What does DS stand for? That's every question that boggled everyone's minds since it was unclear for a while.

What do you THINK a touch screen is?

Two screens is just impossible when it comes to games. What kind of game can you play that needs two screens?

Oh please. A strategy game could display the map on one screen with unit info on another, or a platformer could have action on one screen and a map on the other. And this is just off the top of my head.

They are not even together. They're apart, making games even harder to play. It's nice to have the score on one screen and all, but most games use both screens for the gameplay, and it's hard to look from one screen to the other when needed.

Oh my god, I have to move my neck! So stressful!

A big problem with the dual-screen is that it does not match the format of any other video game system ever made.

It's almost as if it were an entirely new idea!

It started with the early systems where one played the games right on the television screen. We all know the television has a square-shaped screen. Every handheld system followed this concept. Now don't get me wrong, the Gameboy's screen was a little short in width, and the Gameboy Advance's screen was a little too wide, compared to a television screen, so here comes the Nintendo DS... with two screens. It's great that something new is being tried, but there is one problem... it exempts the system from certain things, like the Gameboy Player, which plays Gameboy games and Gameboy Advance games on the television screen rather then on the handheld system. How can you put Nintendo DS games on the television? Either, the two screens would have to be small enough to fit on the television screen, or two televisions would be needed.

What...why...why would you...why would you NEED to play a PORTABLE console on a TV?! Why is that VITAL to your...I don't...

If you have Gameboy games but threw away your Gameboy Advance SP, that was simply a big mistake, because while the Gameboy Advance SP can play original Gameboy games, the Nintendo DS can't. The Nintendo DS can play Gameboy Advance games, but not regular Gameboy games, so keeping your Gameboy Advance SP is required so you can still play in the dark. Why do that? Especially coming from me, who plays regular Gameboy games a LOT more then Gameboy Advance games.

And why would I throw out my GBA SP? And why is this such a big deal? I was expecting them to eventually not bother with backwards compatibility anyways since the old GB is so...well...OLD.

So overall, if you are looking into buying a Nintendo DS to enhance your Gameboy gaming experience, the Nintendo DS is not a good place to look.

Why would you buy a DS...if I'm looking to play GB games? I wouldn't. If I buy a DS, it's to play DS games. So, reviewer, how are the games?

If you are looking into buying a Nintendo DS to play your Gameboy Advance games on, then the Nintendo DS is a good solution, unless you already have a Gameboy Advance SP system, then you can just buy a DS Lite for DS games.

But the DS Lite can also play GBA you mean the DSi?

The whole touch screen thing was a good idea... but wait, you have to be VERY careful with the screen. You could ruin the touch screen forever by tapping it too hard or by using other devices rather then the official touch screen pen.

You're kidding me, right? Where the hell did you hear that?! I've used a pencil eraser as a stylus several times, too. The screen isn't fragile.

I've seen people use their hand on the touch screen; it's honestly easier. However by keeping the system clean and functional, you need to use a touch screen pen. Yeah, holding one of those things while playing the game is certainly fun.

DS in one hand, stylus in another. Heck, the hand holding the DS can reach the other buttons and a shoulder button, too, depending on hand preference.

I know some games actually require the touch screen and the pen to function the movement of the character you are controlling, but why would you go through the trouble of scratching your screen with the touch pen when you can just use the control pad and buttons?

Gee, it's a good thing most of the GAMES will let you pick a control style! You know, the GAMES. The most important part of any console. Which you haven't mentioned yet.

A lot of times when playing the DS, I drop the touch pen on the ground and have to look for it.


Sometimes when I am in the heat of the game, I get to a part where I have to use the touch screen pen. I don't feel like taking that out only to use it for a few seconds. Wouldn't it easier just to use your finger? To have to worry about breaking the Nintendo DS is not fun.

I refuse to believe someone actually broke their touch screen with the stylus. How is that physically possible? Did a bodybuilder write this review?!

It's great to see that the cartridges are getting smaller. From the Game Gear where the cartridges were pretty big, to the Gameboy, where the cartridges are pretty small. An inch or two is not bad for a cartridge size, but why do the Nintendo DS cartridges have to be so tiny? There is absolutely no reason for the cartridges to be a half an inch wide and long, and not even a centimeter thick. I can brake the thing in half. I've actually came pretty close to trying a few times. What did I say before? The touch screen pens are hard to find? That doesn't even compare to the actual cartridges. Those can be easily misplaced.

So keep track of where they are. Keep them in the boxes or something.

I will acknowledge the fact that the system can handle a lot, and the system is definitely playable. Yes, you heard me. It's possible to have fun on the Nintendo DS. Despite the misfortunes of two screens and the touch screen, many gaming companies like Konami have managed to work right around them.

Yes, those companies decided not to use touch screen controls, which must have been a VERY DIFFICULT DECISION to make.

In fact, most of the companies hate the touch screen idea too


As an ending result, the system is a huge success, no thanks to the touch screen, or the dual-screen, but because of the good graphics, excellent sound, and portability.

To say nothing of the terrible library of games.

The capabilities of the system is not the reason for my hatred towards the Nintendo DS, but the unique features like the confusing dual-screen and the hard-to-use touch screen.

Two screens not that far apart from each other...very confusing.

Most gaming companies probably regarded these as faults and tried to work their way around them. No system should ever have faults. You should never have to work around something. It should be simple and easy to use. This is why the Nintendo DS has received a five out of ten. Sorry gamers.

Sorry chump, your review sucks shit and you should feel bad!

I mean come on, he had to have completely made up that comment about companies hating the touch-screen controls. If they hated it, why didn't they just make PSP games instead? They didn't "work around" any sort of "flaw", they simply chose not to involve the touch screen! Way to make assumptions. He also didn't mention the games, which you'd think would be kind of important to mention. I'm gonna write my own review. With hookers. In fact, forget the review. How can you even have a review with hookers anyways?


Holy shit... You know, someone should show him a Game & Watch Multi Screen. Dual screen games back in the 80's? It would totally blow his mind.

Also, it is possible to screw up one of the touch screens on the older models. I haven't managed to break one, but I have completely screwed up the input before.
SomeColorMage 28th May 11
The DS Screen may be strudy, but I am too protective of my DS to treat it with anything but the utmost care.
Emperordaein 28th May 11
My touch screen is rather beaten up at this point. To the point I'm afraid to play stylus-based games on it. It doesn't help that after the years I've owned it, the stylus is now sharp enough that I can probably kill someone with it.
ManCalledTrue 28th May 11
I keep losing my stylus because the original model's one is way too small. I don't have a lot of stylus-intensive games, but it's still annoying. I'm hoping to get a 3DS for Christmas, and I'll try to be more conscientious about that kind of thing.
EponymousKid 28th May 11
"What...why...why would you...why would you NEED to play a PORTABLE console on a TV?!"

You forget that this was during the early Naughties, when game developers thought that 2D was for portables. Back in those days, the only way to play good 2D games was on portables. If you like 2D games but didn't care much for portability (like me), the Gameboy Player was a Godsend (and pretty much the only reason I keep my Game Cube around since I got a Wii).

"Sometimes when I am in the heat of the game, I get to a part where I have to use the touch screen pen."

WTF? OK, I don't own a lot of DS games, but not one DS game I own has you constantly switching between buttons and the touchscreen. If the game has touch gameplay, it always has touch gameplay. And vice-versa.

Maybe I just don't by crappy games.
Korval 28th May 11
Yeah, again a rather... odd review, that makes me wonder if the "reviewer" actually ever used a DS or just pulled something out of his ass.

I never had problems with switching between touchscreen and buttons. When I do that often, I just put the stylus between the middle finger and the ring finger of my right hand when using buttons. I can switch easily that way.
Nyarly 28th May 11
and the reviews get stupider and stupider

Honestly this guys are amazing me with their stupity
Envyus 28th May 11
I've had problems with the touch screen, but then I cleaned it. The guy may not know either A) how to clean the touch screen or B) his own strength, so he pressed really hard and broke it.
TheOneWhoTropes 1st Jun 11
I agree with the reviewer on fragility of the screens, but otherwise...
Loid 16th Aug 11
Oh my god this is such a stupid review. One of my main gripes is how he complains about the delicacy on the screen, when I have used the charger in lack of a stylus before and scratched the screen really badly, and it still works as good as it did before I scratched it!

Also, the double screens a flaw? I took this to mean Nintendo didn't mean for the double screens to be there, except for the fact that the ENTIRE HANDHELD IS MODELED FOR IT.

Another funny thing I'd like to point out is at the beginning the reviewer says that no one had known what DS meant for a while, and a few lines later says "Dual screen," which is what DS stood for.
Reecer6 13th Oct 11