Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
33 Consoles of Christmas
Nintendo DS (2004)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 20, 2006   |   Episode 28 (Show Archive)  

It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!

Synopsis: Despite early skepticism, the Nintendo DS proved everybody wrong when it started to offer games the mass market wanted. In Japan the DS is the fastest selling console of all time, something that is only helped by the system's broad appeal. You will see adults and children alike playing the DS, thanks to a wide selection of worthwhile games. Whether you want hardcore games or just want to exercise your brain, the Nintendo DS is the portable for you. Best of all, the DS retails for significantly less than its competition. The Nintendo DS is full of quirky ideas, but somehow Nintendo has managed to make them all work and turned this little system into the must-own console of the 21st century.

Best Games: New Super Mario Bros., Advanced Wars: Dual Strike, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Nintendogs, Brain Age.

Let me just get this off my chest: I love my Nintendo DS. I love Nintendo's first party games, I love the Castlevania titles and I love what Nintendo is doing with the handheld. I probably talk a lot about the PSP and other handhelds, but it doesn't mean I hate the system. Because I don't. I love it. But there's one thing I don't love, and that's the terrible design. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the look of the original Nintendo DS. It's like the portable game system equivalent of a brick. I wouldn't be surprised if the mafia is throwing the system through windows with notes attached to them. The system is enormous, and I personally am a little embarrassed to be seen in public with something that large. The only way you could fit that into your pocket is if you had shoplifter-sized pockets. Sure it's durable, but so is a brick. Nintendo sure does know how to make great portable games, but the Nintendo DS clearly hit every stick on the ugly tree as it fell into my hands. Obviously the DS Lite was a huge improvement ... but we're not talking about the DS Lite, we're here to grade the awful, awful design of the original Game & Watch, er, DS.

One of the biggest selling points, to me, in regard to Nintendo's long line of handhelds is their overall durability. I am a clumsy man; the majority of my day revolves around Kramer-esque pratfalls and the constant dropping of whatever I'm holding, usually into a boiling pit of lava. One of the reasons I love my DS so much is due to the fact that it's built like a tank. I have dropped this thing so many times it should be considered abuse, and it has nary a scratch on it. Both of the screens are also very bright, and the touch screen is quite durable. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I don't attack the touch screen when I'm using it, but it has also withstood my buffoonery famously. I have an original model, which may not be as attractive as the new, slimmed down model, but it serves its purpose just fine in my eyes. The buttons are nicely mapped on the bottom half, the volume slider is well placed, and I've never accidentally turned the system off while playing thanks to their placement of the power button. Say what you will about the actual games and the functionality or needlessly excessive use of the touch screen in some games, but I find the look of the DS to be perfectly pleasing.


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