The Nintendo DS Appreciation Thread

Starting this as I‘ve just installed TWiLight Menu on my 3DS (lets you play DS roms off the SD card) and I was surprised to see few dedicated DS threads on here. There’s one on The best touch-only DS games but I think we deserve another.

I haven't played my DS in a while, but here's a few games I remember enjoying to start us off.
[Sideswiped]( - It's like a portable Burnout, but more out there.
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[Ragnarok DS]( - a fun, un-online version of the MMO classic.
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[Retro Game Challenge & Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2]( - The 2nd one is particularly excellent.
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[Picross DS]( & [Picross 3D]( - It's Picross!
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[“The DS Appreciation Thread”,“The Nintendo DS Appreciation Thread”]

I like the first lost in blue a lot. It is one chill as heck puzzle game. It ruses you pretty hard with >!animal hunting!< and a few other spots though where it makes you think you're doing it wrong in an action sense instead of a brain sense. But its all about choices and not technique.

Instead of shouting out a game i‘m just gonna say that the best part of the DS is that it has the cheapest flashcart of any console (haven’t fact-checked this). you can get an R4 for like 10 bucks and that rules. (alternatively you can jailbreak a DSi but not every DS is a DSi)

I just bought Nostalgia because I never played it, so I‘m ready for DS conversations. It came out around the same time as solatorobo, and I could only afford one at the time, so went with solatorobo. It was the right choice in pretty sure, but a new RED rpg was also very intriguing so… Maybe I’ll find out what it's all about soon!

It's also weird to me how the DS was like... My main console for a while, and I've got something like 50 games for it. Then the 3DS comes out and I've got maybe 10!? What's with that.

(actually thinking about it a bit I got a lot more digital 3DS games)

@“穴”#p104183 something that's always confused me, is a R4 card a brand or a thing?

I've been thinking about getting one so I can mess around with DS dev.

Is there a specific one anyone recommends?

I got my DS lite in 2006, then I gave it to a friend when I got my 3DS, decided I need 1:1 pixel mapping again and picked up a DSi just before the pandemic. I also got a fixerupper lite again last year that I think needs new screens.

Some of my favourite games for this system include *Hotel Dusk* and *Last Window*, *Flower Sun and Rain*, ***Ghost Trick***, and *Professor Layton and the Unwound Future*. I have very vivid memories of coming home from school in college and playing DS in the living room until the sun went down without getting up to turn on any of the lights, so eventually there would only be a dim glow from the window and two LCD screens floating in the darkness. It was spring and you could smell it. This is how I remember playing the bulk of *Contact*, another of my favourite DS games.

I love this system, it might actually be my favourite. I love the low poly graphics and the sound of its sound chip, and all the novel ways to interact with it. Despite this I never had a lot of money for games and I got an R4 cart late, and for the purposes of hacking my 3DS, so I still feel like a DS neophyte. I'd love to spend more time with the DS.

I'd also love to figure out how to make something listenable come out of Korg DS-10+, and I have the cart for it for some reason despite not being a musician at all.

Really love the DS and this thread. The DS Lite was such a great console with the GBA slot. I have a lot of fond memories of playing DQIV, DQIX, the FFs, and the Pokémon games on DS. A JRPG powerhouse.

I very recently bought a DSi XL, and it’s a fantastic size and looks wonderful. The clicky d-pad is nice. I’m looking forward to playing games on it haven’t yet, like the Castlevanias and Chrono Trigger. Will come back and post some pics soon!

Funny anecdote I just remembered. A couple Christmas’s ago I thought a perfect gift for my 4 yo nephew-in-law would be a DS Lite. They’re built pretty well and have a ton of cheap games for kids. So I bought a used one on eBay and a bunch of games like Lego Batman, Mario 64, etc. They didn’t have cases, so I bought empty ones and drew custom box art for them:

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I was so excited to give him this gift because it’d be his first console and he already liked Mario, Batman, etc. just from cultural osmosis.

So Christmas comes around that year and it turns out he got a Switch! The DS Lite and games I got were promptly opened and ignored. :rofl: Oh well, it was a fun idea.

@“beets”#p104194 Just search R4 cart on your shopping site of choice and then get one that says no time bomb. Some of them have a kernel which will die after an amount of time. I think I saw someone say in a different thread that you can fix that but just buy a non time bomb one.

i‘d like to start by making it very clear that Chinatown Wars is, in fact, the best GTA game, and that The World Ends With You is Square’s best original game of that particular generation (although handhelds fit kinda weird when it comes to videogame generations).

personally, the DS was my first and only handheld. I'd beg my dad for a game boy color (i knew the advance was out of the question) but he wouldn't budge. Eventually I'd ask my cousin who lived in the US for that darned game boy color (which I imagine got her confused looks from american game store clerks in 2005) and she got a DS fat instead, which was a very pleasant surprise for little me!

it was the device that introduced me to chrono trigger and FF4, and also the best nintendo game console period.

I love the DS!

Had some very chill times with my DS lite. I got a launch model but that thing is ugly so switched to a white lite.

Can highly recommend:

  • - The Castlevanias (get an R4 cart since they're expensive)
  • - Advance Wars Dual Strike
  • - Front Mission
  • - Flower, Sun and Rain
  • - Retro Game Challenge
  • - Bangai-O Spirits
  • - Zombie Daisuki
  • - Resident Evil Deadly Silence
  • Flower, Sun and Rain is a great otherwordly summer experience. I really love Resident Evil DS, it is a great version of a masterpiece. I didn't play as many games on the DS as I wanted to when it was around so I'm picking games up as I go or sticking them on an R4 if they are too expensive.

    I forgot to mention Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland !! I still haven‘t finished it, and it feels soul-crushing to play without a guide, so who knows when I’ll get around to it. I don‘t know who got away with making this brutal capitalism simulator about a Zelda character duped into risking his life for a pyramid scheme but I love it despite the pain. It’s got this fabulous pixel art style that felt very familiar from the moment I booted it up. It‘s light with the soundtrack so all these great ambient sounds follow you on Tingle’s adventure instead. The tune you hear the most is maybe this really funny one. So good.

    Love this thread. I still somehow have a working original model DS (it's going beige in places) and a somehow still working R4, so I go back to my DS often.

    Some favorites that I haven't seen mentioned yet:
    **Daigasso! Band Brothers**
    One of my favorite rhythm games, even though it's all midi. On the high level it asks you to use the four face buttons, the d-pad, and and L and R buttons. Very satisfying experience to get right. Kinda have to hold the DS weird though.

    It's a Bemani rhythm game with a frog theme. It's got cruel angel's thesis. What more do you want?

    **Air Traffic Chaos**
    Game about being an air traffic controller. Extremely stressful (in a fun gamey way).

    **Giana Sisters DS**
    Way better than it has any right to be.

    @“connrrr”#p104204 That game gave me so much shoulder pain as it makes you do way too much for way too little on that tiny touch pad. I really wanted to like it. I hear the sequel is actually much better and there is an English patch out for it.

    I will got to bat for all the CING games on the system: Hotel Dusk, Trace Memory, Last Window as being well written visual novel / puzzle games. The DS form factor is kind of perfect for the lite novel experience they provide. I have always been trying to find anything else on the system that scratches that specific itch, but haven't quite found it.

    I‘m not even sure where to start with any DS recs! Just kidding, I absolutely know a few I’ll suggest!

    **Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia** is one of the best if not the best Castlevanias on handheld. It's brilliant to the point where after importing and playing through the JP version, I subsequently bought the NA version and played it all over again.

    **Final Fantasy Tactics A2** scratches all the same itches that its GBA sibling does, making for a cozy sort of SRPG that encourages the player to just mess around with strategies in lots of ways that I felt as though I could never do in more 'hardcore' tactics games like Tactics Ogre.

    **Contra 4** is a blast, and I can remember thinking that WayForward understands what makes for a good Contra game, post-Hard Corps.

    I think I could keep going, but I'm trying to avoid suggesting games that subsequently came out for the 3DS like the Devil Survivors games, Etrian Odyssey 1-3, and Radiant Historia.

    absolutely incredible library, and oddly one of the ones where i thought nintendo's first party output was way less interesting than all the 3rd party offerings

    i know there's solid emulators but i hope one day analogue makes a pocket sequel to play DS&3DS games, no idea how it'd work docked but i want it all the same

    I was reminded of Magician‘s Quest: Mysterious Times, so I’ve been playing that lately. It's good. Underrated. I like the dialogue and characters and stuff:

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    There are a couple of sequels that really flesh things out (untranslated, unfortunately), but this first one had a lot of ideas and was kind-of-unfairly dismissed as a bog standard Animal Crossing clone at the time. Worth a look imo. Konami-published, developed by a studio that assists with a lot of Boku no Natsuyasumi games, with music farmed out to Vanpool.

    I've also been playing DQM Joker, which (predictably) rules. It's, like, technologically at a level Pokemon is only just catching up with. But on the DS.

    So R4 used to be a specific brand of flashcart waaaaaaaay early back in the DS hacking days. It was one of the early, no-frills carts, and it was pretty heavily cloned for a long time. The original one was super basic, limited to 2 gigabyte SD cards, really rudimentary compared to later cards like the Acekard 2, Supercard DSTwo, etc. that would come with additional features like co-processors, SDHC support, more bells and whistles for homebrew, and a whole bunch of other gimmicks. However, the R4 was still the biggest name in the market, and the hardware was well understood enough that there were legions of clone cards using the R4 name, and tacking a whole bunch of marketing fluff onto it. So while the original was simple and understated:
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    Nowadays you have a very packed clone market, producing things that look like this:
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    So these things predictably had a reputation for being junk during the peak years of DS homebrew, but eventually they sort of settled into being reliable-enough cards at around the $10 price point. One of the bigger complaints at the time was that the clone carts didn't get AP-patches as fast as the big names like Acekard and Supercard, but nowadays you'll find R4 clones running Wood R4, a modified firmware based off of the original Acekard All-in-One firmware. Those are the ones you want. You'll need to do some research to see if the one you're looking at is a decent clone (some of them were built to die on a timer so you'd have to buy a new one) but there are good options out now. There are also Acekard 2 clones, but I don't know for sure if those support the (unhacked) DSi or not.

    Personally, my recommendation for playing DS games in 2023 is to import a DSi from Japan. They skew cheaper than the ones in the US and in my experience going through Japan, you're much less likely to get a barely-held-together unit that's been abused by a kid. I don't think you can change the system language, but you're going to want to install Twilight Menu anyway to load roms straight of the SD card. It's the nicest revision of the hardware, and all-told you can get away with spending under fifty bucks, which is killer.

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