This weekend I bought a black Nintendo DS Lite and a copy of New Super Mario Bros. This is a direct result of having tried one of the three others that co-workers invested in.
The DS Lite is a tiny handheld console that has a dual screen (hence the DS) setup reminiscent of Donkey Kong on Game & Watch. In addition, the bottom screen is touch sensitive to both chubby digits and the bundled stylus tucked away in the bottom of the shell. The DS Lite allows you to play DS games, GBA games and surf wireless internet using the DS Opera Browser.
The last console I owned was a Super Nintendo back in my pre-teen years. Then came the wave of 3D games that has saturated the market these last 10-15 years; unfortunate for me, since I very quickly get motion sickness with those games. These last few years, however, has seen a new dawn of so-called “retro” games, old games like we used to play them. Enter the DS Lite.
Initially I was skeptical about the dual-screen setup, it seemed superfluous. Having tried it, however, I’m convinced. The combination of the dual screen setup and the touch-sensitivity of the bottom screen makes the DS Lite extremely easy to pick up and enjoy. The myriad of extra buttons that plague similar handhelds like the PSP are simply graphic buttons on the touch screen. The stylus lets you play anything from the mini-game Whack-A-Mole (my girlfriend had the highscore within minutes) to the first-person-shooter Metroid Prime which is cleverly played using the stylus to control point of view. Other games benefit from being able to clean the play area by moving all UI elements such as points and lives to the bottom screen.
The battery life is great, the look & feel is spot on, wireless multiplayer is as easy as anything and the games are, of course, Nintendo’s biggest strength. Long story short: the DS Lite is the best thing to happen to handhelds since the cellphone.
Do you have a DS Lite? What are your favourite games? If not, why?