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Redefining Nintendo's DS
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 05, 2005   |   Episode 75 (Show Archive)  

   

If the Famicom version was Famicom Wars, and the Game Boy version was Game Boy Wars, then shouldn't the DS version be DS Wars?
In case you haven't noticed, these days the Nintendo DS is a hot commodity. What with some amazing titles finally hitting the shelves, big titles on the way, online plans, and a price cut, the Nintendo DS is getting a lot of good press lately. But this buzz isn't the only trend we see for Nintendo's portable, lately it seems like just about every company is trying to define what the "DS" means.

That's right; companies all over the world - including Nintendo, Konami, and Capcom - are doing their best to use "DS" in their game without actually putting the letters next to each other. A good example of this is Nintendo's own Advance Wars: Dual Strike, the recently released strategy game. For months we have been calling this game Advance Wars DS, but most of us never imagined that Nintendo would actually go ahead and make the "D" and the "S" stand for something.

And it's not just Nintendo; there are a number of upcoming games with this kind of odd redefinition of the letters "DS". Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil game, Deadly Silence, is

Believe it or not, Super Street Fighter II was not named after the Super NES!
another perfect example. Deadly Silence? That's the best they could come up with? Even Deadly Sewage is scarier than Deadly Silence. Or what about Dig Dug: Digging Strike? How long did it take them to come up with that catchy subtitle?

And it's not just classic games reborn, there's also Lunar: Dragon Song ... oh, wait, maybe it is just for classic games reborn. Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers packs a confusing (but original) name, but is it really better than simply calling your game Guilty Gear DS?

Naming a game after a system has been around since the early days of video games. When Nintendo introduced the Super NES, many of the early titles (and even some of the later titles) sported "Super" in their name. When the Nintendo 64 landed we had a flurry of games with the numbers "64" in their name, and even early Nintendo DS games were adorned with the letters "DS" (Super Mario DS, Ridge Racer DS, etc.). But what's different here is that the companies

Dawn of Sorrow promises to be the most unique Castlevania game yet, but did they really have to re-use Soma as the lead?
are using the system's letters to spell out some truly bizarre word combinations.

Thankfully not every title is as clumsy as "Dust Strikers" and "Digging Strike", Konami's upcoming game, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, manages to use the letters "DS" while still offering a fitting name, something that works well within the confines of the Castlevania universe. If all games could keep it as subtle as Dawn of Sorrow this would not be an issue, but for every one of those titles there are at least five that make you cringe when you hear them.

I doubt this is the end of this trend, either. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mario Kart: Double Speed, Mortal Kombat: Dark Shaolin, The Sims: Dance School, Manhunt: Disturbing Situations, Tony Hawk's Downtown Skater, and of course, Super Mario: Dissolution of Sanctity.

At the end of the day I suppose things could be worse, we could have a lot of games using the word "Touched" - Super Mario: Touched, Feel the Magic: Touched, Spider-Man: Touched, etc. So maybe this "DS" thing isn't so bad after all, but I have a hunch it's going to get real annoying fast.
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