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Thursday, January 10, 2008

I finally got my Nintendo DS Lite (review)

So I got one. It's "Ice Blue", which in various light sources looks light green. I did not expect to get an Ice Blue DS Lite, but then again I didn't expect to find one at all, since many stores have sold out of them. I ordered one from Dick Smith but they seemed to have forgotten about me, so I snatched up the one I have when I could. I also assisted my brother in getting a Nintendo Wii, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

I have played the Game Boy Advance and have owned one for years, the one I have is one of the horizontal models with a wider screen, but poor lighting, so a plug in light was needed. The upside of this system was that it not only played your GBA games but old Game Boy and Game Boy Color (cursed American spelling oppresses Australian technology users everywhere! IT'S "COLOUR" DAMMIT!) games too.

One of the drawcards for me to get a DS Lite was GBA compatibility, however it can't play Mole Mania, a Game Boy game, because it doesn't play those old cartridges. The upside of DS Lite GBA playing is that with some games, if you have a certain GBA game that features connectivity with a DS game, you can get extra stuff for your gaming, but also, both DS Lite screens are properly backlit, ending eyestrain agony that I had with GBA games in the past on my primitive horizontal GBA.

Oh, and it can play DS games. Like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. That's another reason why I got a DS Lite, the games you can play on it. What other console gives you the chance to be a hotshot rookie lawyer with no legal training or degree required for the experience? What other console gives you the chance to be yelled at by a Japanese doctor with glasses as he puts you through Brain Training exercises, who also explains how you can play Sudoku on your DS using THE SAME CARTRIDGE?

But other than those games there's a good selection out there, which I will review later when I have played them enough to make a decent critic of myself.

The speakers on the DS Lite are a lot better than I'm used to with previous Nintendo handhelds, which in the past had tinny annoying soundtracks on their games. DS games actually try to have good music on them, or at least interesting music. In "Animal Crossing: Wild World", you can create the town's theme tune. I was feeling in a sinister mood, so I put in the "Pan's Labyrinth" movie theme as my town's "town tune". The game even plays variations of it on different instruments when you encounter different people in different circumstances. And that is why I don't trust the purple cat character, he makes the tune play even more chillingly than it should when my character dude talks to him...

The DS Lite, by its name, claims to be lighter than the original Nintendo DS, however I have just compared the weights of the GBA and my DS Lite in my hands, and the GBA is much lighter. Understandably, since the DS Lite has a lot to do, including two screens, built in programs (Pictochat) and dual cartridge capabilities. But that doesn't mean it sucks. It's just a lot more in one package.

I give it Four and a Half Stars (minus one for no Game Boy Colour playback).

- Jacob Martin
AKA "Jake of All Trades"

1 comment:

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