Nintendo DS: Still Alive And Kicking
The release of Nintendo's 3DS was significant for plenty of reasons that go beyond glasses free 3D. Most importantly, it signaled the beginning of the end for one of the company's most beloved handhelds, the DS.
First released in 2004, the dual screen portable thrilled audiences with a variety of wonderful hits, including New Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Nintendogs. To say it had a fruitful seven years while becoming one of the most dominant systems in history would be a Bowser sized understatement.
Thing is, the DS still has plenty of quality games on the horizon. In fact, now's a great time to buy one on the cheap and prepare for what should be a year filled with potential hits.
That said, don't shed a tear for the system prematurely. Instead, grab a pen and mark these upcoming games on your calendar.
Kirby Mass Attack (September 19, 2011)
The rotund puffball returns in what could be his greatest DS game yet. As the title implies, Mass Attack tasks you with controlling up to ten Kirbys at once with the stylus, pummeling enemies and solving puzzles; you can even control Kirbys individually.
Kirby has always shined brightest on handhelds, so we expect nothing short of a triple A effort from Nintendo.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter (Fall 2011)
Everyone's favorite puzzle solving professor returns in this spirited prequel to the DS hit, Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Here, players test their skills against a new set of brain teasers while unraveling the story of how Layton met his trusty assistant, Luke. We just hope the 100 hour bonus RPG, London Life, makes the transition to the States.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (August 28, 2011)
After crashing onto a strange island, your mission is to find the airship's remaining crewmembers while at the same time pitting your monster party against others. What makes Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 intriguing is the ability to synthesize two unique creatures to create a brand new monster, then customize it using more than 240 skill trees. You can also connect to Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies via Tag Mode. Do that, and you'll be able to scout monsters from those games.
In addition, the game features both local and online multiplayer, giving Square Enix's ambitious RPG infinite replay value.
Super Fossil Fighters (Winter 2011)
The original Fossil Fighters was a fun but severely limited Pokemon clone. For the sequel, Nintendo retained the concept of cleaning fossils and bringing those deceased "Vivosaurs" to life to fight other creatures. This time, though, you'll enjoy matchmaking battles, new fossil rocks and new Super Evolver Vivosaurs that should add more dramatic punch to the gameplay.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (Winter 2012)
The sequel to the critically acclaimed role-playing game introduces you to a new cast and story that revolves around a strange website that showcases people's deaths before they happen. You'll recruit a party, form unique bonds with each character and then collect/customize demons to aid the team in battle. Expect to spend months playing this twisted adventure.
Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures (September 6, 2011)
If you can't get enough Mama, Majesco has yet another entry in the million selling series, except this game kicks you out of the kitchen and into the great outdoors. New mini-games challenge you to start a fire, fish and pitch a tent under the watchful eyes of Mama and Papa. All the fun of real camping, without thousands of mosquitoes.