Sunday, December 08, 2019

10 Nintendo DS games I want to play in 2020

I don't know what got into me this year, but whatever it was pushed me to play more Nintendo DS games than I've played since the dual-screened system's heyday.

I'll chat about those DS titles in an upcoming post. What I want to discuss today are the DS titles I'm hoping to buy and play in 2020.

Again--I've heard this CiNG-developed game pales in comparison to the rest of the company's DS releases, like Trace Memory and Hotel Dusk, but I want to play it anyway. I've loved every other title it put out before filing for bankruptcy in 2010, including the aforementioned ones, so I think it would be only fitting for me to try Again, too--even if it proves to be a disappointment in the end.

The Dark Spire--Those of you who still follow the DS probably know why I've yet to play, or even buy, this Success-made dungeon-crawler. For the rest of you, the reason is complete copies of The Dark Spire go for a pretty penny these days. Still, it's intrigued me for so long that I'm planning to bite the bullet on it sometime in the coming year--bank account be damned.

Japanese cover art for The Dark Spire

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings--For reasons I can't remember, I avoided nearly all of the Final Fantasy and Mana games Square Enix brought to the DS. (The sole exceptions: Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.) I guess the word of mouth on them must've been bad? Regardless, I've long thought they looked brilliant. Revenant Wings, especially. I have little idea as to how it plays, but that's rarely stopped me before.

Flower, Sun, and Rain--I bought this DS port of Grasshopper Manufacture's second-ever game (originally released in Japan for the PS2) shortly after it was discussed while recording an episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever. In other words, it's been sitting on a shelf, sadly unplayed, for quite some time. Here's hoping I can make it the second Grasshopper-made game I've ever played--after another of its DS titles, Contact--as soon as possible next year.

Infinite Space--I've got to be honest here: I don't actually know much about this one. I know it was made (in part) by PlatinumGames. I know it was published by Sega. And that's basically it. OK, so I know it's set in space, too--hence the second part of its title. Whatever. I've heard and read such good things about Infinite Space that I couldn't help but buy it when it was reprinted a couple of years back. The current idea is to get off my butt and finally play it within the next 12 months. Fingers crossed.

North American cover art for Knights in the Nightmare

Knights in the Nightmare--Is it strange that I want to play this 2009 release even though I've never played any of Sting Entertainment's other "Dept. Heaven" titles? I suppose so. The thing is, I'm not the biggest GameBoy Advance fan in the world. (Gulp!) And though I love the PSP, I rarely pull mine out these days. In other words, it's unlikely I'm going to play the series' first two entries--Riviera: The Promised Land and Yggdra Union--anytime soon. So why not skip right to the more-accessible-for-me third (or fourth, according to the people who call the shots) entry?

Magical Starsign--Here's a game I bought after asking folks on Twitter to name some underappreciated DS titles. I'd always liked how it looked, but I'd also heard rumblings that it was boring. When a few of the aforementioned social-media acquaintances suggested otherwise, though, my wariness toward this Brownie Brown-developed role-player dissolved like a Kool-Aid packet into water. Helping matters: even new copies of Magical Starsign are fairly cheap at the moment.

Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times--You might think that, given my love of the Animal Crossing series, I'd have played this Konami-published knockoff by now. Well, I haven't. That's mostly because I've never liked its aesthetic, if I'm to be honest. Still, I'm in such a DS mood these days that I'm seriously considering games that previously failed to attract my interest. Magician's Quest may have to wait until late in the year to be played, however, as Animal Crossing: New Horizons is sure to take up all of my life-sim bandwidth from spring to autumn.

North American cover art for Mystery Dungeon

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer--Full disclosure: the only reason I don't already own this iteration of the vaunted Shiren the Wanderer series is its hideous North American box art (see above). Also, this isn't the kind of game someone like me is even going to attempt to play through in Japanese. (That region's cover illustration is leagues better than ours, naturally.) I'm going to push my prejudices aside, though, and nab a copy soon so I can see how it stacks up against the other Mystery Dungeon games I've enjoyed to date.

Nostalgia--This is another game I've waffled on buying for ages. Still, I'm thinking of flopping over to the "buy" side of things in 2020 for two reasons. One is that Red Entertainment, of Tengai Makyou fame, had a hand in making it. Another is that the similarly talented Matrix Software helped with its development, too. I have a feeling Notalgia won't live up to the pedigrees of either company, but I'm willing to take a chance on it anyway.

See also: '15 Nintendo DS games you should think about starting in honor of the system's 15th anniversary'

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