I like a multitude of different genres of games. I enjoy hack n slash, FPS, action/adventure, extreme sports, fighters, and a whole lot more. I have anything but a narrow mind when it comes to playing video games. However, the DS just doesn’t seem to be catering for me, or others my age. Everywhere I look I see the same kind of DS games- cartoon tie-ins, Barbie games where you get to dress characters up in a rake of different shite, cooking games where you get to bake up some tasty looking tooth decay, Japanese style RPGs in their dozens, and Sims games where you pretty much to do similar stuff to the Barbie games. Kids games are the only thing I seem to be able to find for this machine.
DS is built around the same control scheme as the Nintendo’s classic SNES was back in the 16-bit era, give or take a touch screen. The SNES had a whole catalogue of phenomenal games for pretty much any genre that was available at the time. I honestly can’t count up the amount of hours I’ve wasted on that console over the years, and I never regretted a damn bit of it. But, if it can be done with the same eight button layout twenty years ago, why can’t it be done now on DS? Where has all the originality gone? Most of the games on the DS that could rival anything on the SNES are only worth mentioning because they actually are old SNES games. A bunch of old Final Fantasy games, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which are on loan from the 16-Bit days, along with the old Sonic The Hedgehog games (since Sega and Nintendo are best buddies now) are all re-releases, but seem to be some of the only things happening on DS.
There is only so much chocobo farming, and so many three foot tall biped Manga-styled haircuts who like to brandish eight foot fuckin’ tall swords that I can take! Sometimes I just want to dismember an undead corpse, or feel terrified of what may be lurking behind the next door. Sometimes I want some balls to the wall action. Sometimes I want horror, or a story I can believe in. For fuck sake, sometimes I simply want a good game! Something to invest myself in.
You could easily argue that the reason game shops are flooded with kids DS games is because it’s a family friendly console. This is true, it is family friendly, but old Dad is also part of the family, but there is nothing to keep his attention. I realise that there are a few grown up games available, but these are very few and very far between. Not to mention, near impossible to find. The likes of GTA: Chinatown Wars, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (a port of the original Res E game, or so I’m lead to believe), Dementium: The Ward, and the fistful of Castlevania games that are available, all look fantastic. But you’d be quicker hunting down a living tyrannosaurus rex than you would finding a game shop in Ireland that stocks any of these.
The DS is capable of some great things. Using both it’s screens, it’s mic, and all eight buttons. It should be so far above and beyond what it’s being used for. Mine is also one of the first editions, so it’s a sturdy old thing that could easily be used as a weapon if I was too ever get into a fight... But that’s not the point. Looking at the quality of storytelling and gameplay in both today’s generation and in back the SNES days, I believe the DS could easily be a mighty piece of equipment, if only it adapted some of these qualities. It may not rival the best consoles on the market at the moment due to it’s graphics, but goddamn, it has enough potential to take them down a few pegs! Unfortunately, it’s too busy dressing up in a Barney suit and dancing at kids parties for a quick buck parties to realise what it’s capable of.