Getting a Nintendo DS?

For many, many years, I’ve been a Nintendo fanboy. It’s become a quite negative term the past few years, but I’m just a fan of Nintendo. There, I said it.
It all started at primary school, about 15 years ago. I got an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and loved it. My first game, Low G Man, was awesome. I also got Star Wars which was great fun but pretty damn hard at certain points. I never actually finished it on the NES (but I did a few years ago on an emulator). Of course I also had the three Mario games, all of which were great then and are still great.

After a few years I got the opportunity to buy a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and when I got it I sold my NES. Looking back now, I shouldn’t have done that. NES’s are hard to come by these days for a reasonable price.
The SNES was a great machine and featured several excellent games: Super Mario World, the three Donkey Kong Country Games, Unirally/Uniracers, and of course: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I still have my SNES and several games for it and I don’t intend to get rid of it. It’s even still hooked up to a tv!

In 1997 two friends of mine got a Nintendo 64 and we spent hours each day playing on it. Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, GoldenEye 007: those were the days… A few years ago they “moved on” to the PlayStation (and PS2) so they gave me their N64. It was great playing all my favorite games again and my N64 is still hooked up to my tv as well.

In November 2007 I bought a second-hand GameCube. I once borrowed a GC from a friend of mine but didn’t get to play on it that often. I got the GC with Super Mario Sunshine with it (which I’m ashamed to say I didn’t finish yet :X ) and bought Luigi’s Mansion and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker later on. The GC is also hooked up to my tv and I play on it once in a while. Damn you lack of time! Once I finish all three games it will probably end up in a closet because unlike the other systems, there just aren’t that many good games for the GC 🙁 which is probably why it’s considered a flop.

A few months ago my sister bought a Wii and let me tell you: it’s a great system. Coming from a self-proclaimed Nintendo fanboy that might not mean a lot, but playing on the Wii is just so much fun! I’m sure GTA IV looks great on a XBox 360 or a PS3 but I’ve got a pc for that.
Wii games might be simple compared to the other console’s games, but most of them really are plain, simple fun.
Super Mario Sunshine for the GC was a nice game, but compared to SM64 it wasn’t that big of a deal. Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii however is a big step forward. It has easy levels but also a lot of very hard levels, which is always a good thing.
I haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess yet but from what I’ve seen and heard it’s a very good game.

So, now let’s move on to the handhelds. Many years ago I played on a GameBoy a few times and it was nice. That’s all I can say about it.
I’ve played a few GB Color games (The GBC Zelda’s) on an emulator and they were fun to play and as far as I’m concerned they live up to the console standards.
Then there’s the GB Advance which my sister has. It’s like a pocket SNES when you look at the graphics and listen to the sound. I’ve played a few games on it and it’s a nice system, but I prefer to play the games on an emulator. The only game I played worth buying is (once again) The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Most other games are just SNES-ports and since I own a SNES it’s not worth the money.

But now there’s the Nintendo DS. Like the Wii, it’s a radical change from its predecessors. The touch screen appears to be a really nice touch. Until now I’ve thought about buying one but it cost about 175 euros which is quite a lot (it’s a bit cheaper now: 150 euros, but that’s still a lot)
Also the only reason for buying one would be the DS Zelda game: Phantom Hourglass. Again there are a lot of ports (SM64, Mario Kart) and “improved” games (New Super Mario Bros.) but not that many new games worth buying. That all changed a few months ago though when Rockstar announced a Grand Theft Auto game for the DS.
I’ve been following it’s progress and was a bit sceptical at first. GTA Advance wasn’t that great so would Chinatown Wars be as good at its big console/pc brothers? Well, I just saw some behind-the-scenes stuff yesterday and today I saw the trailer and the first in-game footage. Right now I’m pretty damn excited about the game!

So now the big question is: should I get a Nintendo DS or can I resist the temptation of missing out of a Zelda and a GTA game?
It should be an easy choice, but I haven’t made it yet. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Afterword in July 2012:
I never bought the DS, but a few  months ago I bought a Nintendo 3DS. In the mean time, I bought a new tv which has only one SCART connector. So unfortunately my SNES, N64 and GC are not hooked up anymore, but my Wii is! I finished Super Mario Sunshine a long time ago and almost completed Twilight Princess by now. I own the DS games Phantom Hourglass (haven’t played it yet, I want to finish Twilight Princess first) and New Super Mario Bros. Back when I wrote this blog I thought it was an updated version of the SMB games, kind of like what SMB All Stars was on the SNES. I was wrong. It’s an awesome new 2D mario game! I’ve played Chinatown Wars for a while on an emulator but haven’t gotten around to buying it yet.