The World Ends With You
One of the most original games we’ve ever seen on the DS, The World Ends with You is a shining pillar of creativity in the mundanity of the JRPG genre. The frantic, dual-screen battles are as fun to watch as they are to play, thanks to great art direction and a straight-up sick soundtrack. The World Ends with You is one of those games that isn’t afraid to be different. While its radical choices may prove too much for some gamers, they were what cemented the game on our DS Game of the Year list.
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV DS isn’t a port of Square’s classic RPG; it’s a reimagining. The epic, inspired story and classic turn-based battles are made better than ever thanks to excellent 3D visuals, smart gameplay tweaks, and voice acting. If you’ve never played Final Fantasy IV before, you’re in for a hell of a treat. If you have, prepare to fall in love with the game all over again.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
It took eleven years and thirteen games, but Konami has finally crafted a Castlevania which can stand toe-to-toe with Symphony of the Night. Order of Ecclesia is an old-school gamers’ paradise, with tons of intricate boss battles, tight controls, and the same great mix of platforming and combat the franchise is known for. At the same time, Ecclesia’s streamlined design will be inviting to any newcomers to the franchise. As far as old-school action goes, Konami has once again come out on top of the DS market.
The original was one of the best games on the Super Nintendo, so the return of Crono and his friends was more than welcome. Chrono Trigger DS is a pretty basic port - the visuals are exactly the same, the level design has remained intact, and there’s little new content. But that’s FINE, when the core game is as good as it is. Chrono Trigger DS is the perfect way to experience what some argue is the best RPG of all time.
Guitar Hero: On Tour
So how exactly do you bring the world’s most popular music game franchise to the world’s most popular gaming handheld? The answer is Guitar Hero: On Tour. Let’s not fool ourselves, On Tour is not anything new or innovative but what it is, is pure music gaming fun. Using the GBA slot to modify your DS into a mini guitar controller, Vicarious Visions brought the experience of playing the home versions of the Guitar Hero franchise to the mobile market almost entirely intact. Sure there might be some weak points, but the good far out weigh the bad and it makes for one of the most satisfying pick up and play experiences of the year.