If you haven’t read part one, check it out here!
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure: Hatsworth combines a solid action platformer and match-3 game into a really polished package. It’s extremely well-designed and legitimately funny (omg TEA TIME); turns out the hype was justified!
Elebits: The Adventures of Kai & Zero: I’ve always had a soft spot for Elebits. The Wii game wasn’t perfect, but I enjoyed its charm and unconventional gameplay. Yet, for whatever reason, I never checked out the DS game (which was released 2+ years after the original). A poor choice as it would turn out, because the game is fantastic! In addition to the whimsy, cuteness, charm, and sincerity you’d expect from an Elebits game, there’s also a really pleasant core game here. Like a cross between Pokemon Ranger and a Metroidvania, Kai & Zero feels like Zelda-lite. It’s a super lovable and chill game, one well worth your time.
Syberia: I really enjoyed Syberia when I played it on PC. The atmosphere, characters, and creativity really resonated, and got me interested in point and click adventure games once again. While all those traits are still present in the DS version, they are hampered by a poor port. Little was done to account for the lower resolution of the DS, so small objects are almost indistinguishable from the pre-rendered backgrounds. The touch controls feel awkward and imprecise as well. Bummer.
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals: This is a sequel to a game I never actually played, but was always curious about. The DS Spectrobes games were developed by Jupiter (Picross series, The World Ends With You) and published by Disney Interactive (their first original video game IP). Super interesting! The game itself feels like a curious sci-fi mashup of Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon, with combat similar to the former and the creature companionship of the latter. It definitely feels like a pretty solid action RPG (with some great music), but I’m not sure I’m sold enough on the characters and world to commit to it.
Meteos: Disney Magic: The second Disney-published game from a Japanese developer on my list (?!) is a Disney-themed version of early-DS puzzle classic Meteos. Like, it’s very exactly just that. The Disney touches are well-done (the animation is very nice for a DS title) and the game packs the same great Meteos gameplay with a decent amount of modes. YMMV on the Disney stuff, but you should definitely own at least one of the versions of Meteos on the DS.
New Zealand Story Revolution: I don’t have any experience with Taito’s original New Zealand Story (though I always thought it looked cute). Revolution is cute, for sure, but it’s also extremely punishing, with streams of enemies constantly flooding the screen. The game is difficult to the point of not being fun and did little to keep me wanting to play more.
Despite a few duds, I’m pretty happy with my $40 GameStop DS haul. The highlights for me are probably Henry Hatsworth, Elebits, and Sands of Destruction- three titles that I plan to continue playing. There are quite a few more cheap DS games I’m on the lookout for, so there will probably be another series of posts similar to these in the future.
Are you on the hunt for cheap DS titles? Any rad/surprising finds? Let me know!