Picture the scene; you’re happily going about your business one day when suddenly a vast armada of evil alien Brain Thingys descends from the sky and rapidly proceeds to zap your friends and relatives with deadly lasers. Those they don’t fry to a crisp they turn into mindless robots via malevolent mind-control, and order them to lay waste to our green and pleasant land. In..
The biggest Japanese RPG series you've never heard of gets a new lease of life on the DS
ChunSoft’s Mystery Dungeon series (better known as Fushigi no Dungeon in its native Japan) has been running for more than a decade and has become linked with other famous videogame brands such as Pokemon, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. Amazingly, despite the...
Ninja Reflex is essentially a minigame collection in the same vain as Brain Training, Maths Training, Sight Training, Potty Training and Learn-To-Walk-With-Nintendo. Ok so I made the last two up but you get the idea.
The only real exception with Ninja Reflex is that instead of teaching you everyday things, this game teaches you how to be a ninja – which is pretty darn badass. Essentially the game..
Finally - a fighting game DS owners can be proud of
Although the DS has witnessed some truly amazing titles in its lifetime, one genre that has singularly failed to translate effectively to the format is the fighting game. While the PSP has experienced some particularly impressive brawlers (despite its woeful d-pad which is put firmly in the shade by the one showcased on Nintendo’s portable..
Transformers: Decepticons is practically the same game as the Autobots edition told from the angle of the “evil” Starscream as opposed to the “heroic” Optimus Prime.
All the gameplay flaws are present (see our review of Transformers: Autobots for the full details) the only difference being you are treated with a whole new set of cut-scenes...
I, like most other Transformers fans was pretty upset to hear that my “backpocket interest” was to be thrust into the mainstream once again.
Having loved The Transformers since I was very young sometimes it’s pretty irritating hearing all the tweens talking about something you’ve loved so much longer than them. It must be some kind of...
Mario and Sonic are back sooner than you think in the DS version of SEGA's biggest hit in 10 years.
With Beijing only a few months away SEGA (finally) bring us the handheld dose of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, a game that wasoriginally to be released along side the Wii version in November. Better late than never, that's what we say. Mario and Sonic are joined by a cast of 14 other..
The problem with compilations is that as a general rule of thumb, they tend to feature a handful of good games, with the rest being a load of all tat just there to make up the numbers or act as padding.
It's even worse if you come across some of those packs that boast over a thousand games, only to discover that actually, there are probably ten...
We know what you are thinking.
You have looked at the score at the bottom of the page, noticed that it is quite high and wondering how on earth a Sudoku package could possibly be rated so highly. The answer is that it isn't the Sudoku that holds our interest, it's the rather well hidden mode of picture puzzle that has us gripped, otherwise known as picross. For those who haven't played 'Picture..
“Chalk and cheese” is a phrase usually used when comparing two objects of juxtaposing qualities. Such a phrase could be applied to the titles “Metroid Prime” and “pinball”, so it's quite a compliment to developers “Fuse Games” that it merged these two contrasting entities into an enjoyable DS game. Metroid Prime...
Never get lost within the Magic Kingdom again - whoopee
Some interesting developments are happening in the Magic Kingdom. In a recent post on a Disneyland fan website (we don’t make a habit of visiting these places, honest), a recent vistor to Walt’s Wacky Wonderland reveals that they were asked if they would like to participate in a trial run of the park’s new guide system. Amazingly, it..
Recently I had the privilege of meeting up with a great bunch of people who make up the band of travelling DS gamers, DS: London. I got the chance to ask one of the organisers (Joe Lee – a.k.a. thiswayup) a few questions at the same time as playing some hardcore DS. DS: London is bringing the multiplayer gaming scene from the dark &...
And the best thing is, no DS is required to play it
Capcom has released a rather neat Flash-based demo for its upcoming legal sim Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. http://static.capcom.com/apollojustice/embed.swf[/flash] The game is the next in the Phoenix Wright series of games, although Phoenix himself has stepped down and made way for the up and coming Apollo Justice. Now there’s an excellent name..
Some of us have waited nearly two decades for this game - does Konami's latest 2D effort match the brilliance of the SNES Contra III?
Konami’s Contra (AKA Gryzor, Probotector) is one of those franchises that has struggled to make the transition from 2D to 3D. After the excellent arcade and 8-bit editions, lucky SNES and Megadrive owners were...
Altair's back for another stab on the DS
The home console version may have been the most crushing disappointment your humble reporter has experienced in quite some time, but we’re nevertheless still quite excited about Assassin’s Creed: Altair's Chronicles on the DS here at NintendoLife. Publisher Ubisoft has released some details on the forthcoming prequel, which will utilize a 3D engine and..
First shots of BioWare's latest RPG epic, featuring Sonic himself!
American softco Bioware, famous for its Star Wars RPGs on the Xbox (as well as numerous other titles) has released shots of its upcoming Sonic title for the Nintendo DS. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (to give it it’s full moniker) is looking very promising indeed and the initial scans published in the latest edition of..
Just to make things even more complicated
Intelligent System’s latest entry in the massively popular Advance Wars series has been given a new name for its forthcoming European release. The eagerly awaited title, which will be released in the US as Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and in Japan as Famicom Wars DS 2 (which is in keeping with the Japanese name for the franchise), will now be called Advance..
Features robots and large breasts, in that order
Fans of obscure Japanese RPGs should rejoice - Famitsu magazine has recently revealed that Nintendo's Monolithsoft is working with Banpresto to create a new title called "Infinite Frontier Super Robot Wars OG Saga". I'm sure you'll agree, that's quite a mouthful. Coding duties are being handled by Terada-san, who is responsible for the..
Videogame giant is unstoppable on home soil
Early figures from Famitsu magazine indicate that Nintendo has dominated the Japanese sales charts over the Christmas period. Although a PS2 title (Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Gaiden) took the number one position, a quick glance at the rest of the top 20 shows that the Big N is firmly in control; 7 of the top 10 titles are for Nintendo consoles..
A simple case of crossed wires?
It seems that our man Reggie was misunderstood in a recent interview with the New York Times. As we (and pretty much the rest of the internet) reported a few days back, his interview with the well known newspaper seemed to indicate that ‘full’ DS titles would be made available for download in the future. However, Nintendo has now released a statement clearing up..
Claims that Brain Training can boost intelligence may not be true after all - well, duh
You might have seen Nintendo's Brain Training adverts, in which well-known celebrities like Patrick Stewart and Nicole Kidman gleefully promote the software like it’s a one-stop miracle solution to being a bumbling thickie. "I have quickly found that...
Reggie speaks about the upcoming game download service on the DS
The rumours have been circulating for quite some time but the concept of downloading ‘complete’ games to your Nintendo DS is becoming a reality, if a recent interview with Reggie is anything to go by. Nintendo’s main man spoke to the New York Times recently about the new ‘Everybody’s Nintendo’ channel and how DS owners..
Long-running Japanese publication has the scoop on this interesting update of the classic city building franchise
The latest issue of Japanese videogame magazine Famistu carries an interesting news story regarding the next instalment of the Sim City franchise. Dubbed Sim City DS 2, the game appears to be heavily tailored towards younger gamers with some cute looking townspeople not a million miles..
The DS passes PS2 lifetime sales in The Land of the Rising Sun
We all know that the Nintendo DS has been a massive success for its parent company but the latest figures from Japan still make for stunning reading; the likeable handheld has now surpassed the PS2 in terms of Japanese sales. To put this into perspective, the PS2 has sold millions of units since its release several years ago and is..
Sony and Microsoft struggle to get a look in
Sony’s Gran Turismo 5 Prologue may have entered the Japanese sales charts in the top 5 but a cursory glace at the rest of the chart should make depressing reading for anyone not affiliated with Nintendo. The Wii and DS continue to dominate the Japanese market in a way that hasn’t been seen since the days of the Famicom and Gameboy. Here's the lowdown..
It's already sold bucketloads of copies in Japan, American and the UK - now our European friends are warming to Dr. Kawashima's unqiue brand of mental fitness.
Nintendo's amazing success story continues with the news that its Brain Training series has topped sales charts in two key European territories. Nintendo's DS Brain Training games have...
The Nintendo DS continues to sell like cakes that are rather hot, effortlessly breaking the UK hardware sales record for the second week running.
All the predictions of a bumper Christmas for Nintendo in the UK seem to be proving accurate, with news that its consoles are selling in record numbers. The DS has now broken the previous UK weekly hardware sales figure twice this month, shifting 185,000..
Dancing seems to be everywhere right now, so why not in your pocket?
More musical mayhem hits the DS in the form of the discotastic Boogie, a smaller, simpler sibling of the Wii title released a few months ago. The concept is quite simple, its a dancing game, pretty much in the vain of the infamous Dance Dance Revolution but with a few twists thrown in. Firstly your “controlling” your dance..
The orcs have overrun the mountain, can you get to the bottom and save the King?
Your father, Eöl, has recently passed away and so you are travelling to meet one of his old friends, a Dwarven King named Brahm. Eöl and Brahm once fought together in a great war aided by magical weapons gifted to them by a powerful wizard. Eöl was given a talking wand named Ellon and Brahm a war hammer named..
Hudson pulls Bomberman out of the multiplayer arena and drops him into another game type. Is it a successful transition?
When a company succeeds in creating a strong mascot chances are it will milk the character for all its worth. Mario has driven karts, gained a PhD and hosted numerous parties, for example. However, there’s a fine line between...
Join Link on his first DS adventure
No doubt many of you have already seen the many positive reviews for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass dotted all over the Internet. We realize we're a bit late with our own critique of this highly anticipated videogame, but with a series like Zelda you simply have to take your time. It wouldn't be wise to...
We've seen several Simpsons games over the years, not all of them good... can the DS version buck the trend?
Love them or loathe them, you can’t deny the incredible staying power of The Simpsons. This popular TV series has now been on air for almost two decades and shows no sign of running out of ideas – an incredible feat when you consider most...
Nintendo's latest in the 'Touch! Generations' series hits the DS. Is this the puzzle game to beat all puzzle games?
I'm not sure about you, but I love a good puzzle. Have done for years. When I was a kid, I used to love jigsaw puzzles. Nowadays, I don't like to do anything on a Sunday before finishing the Daily Mirror's Sumdoku puzzle. It's like Sudoku but way harder! I'm also a huge game fan,..
Another week, another DS puzzle title hits the shelves - but is this one worth your valuable time?
Here at NintendoLife we’re constantly surprised by the steady stream of puzzle titles released on the DS; rarely a month passes without a new game appearing on the shelves hell bent on exercising your flagging grey matter. The DS touch screen interface is undoubtedly well suited to the puzzle genre..
EA has already had several kicks at the ball when it comes to creating the ultimate DS soccer game - has the company finally succeeded with this latest effort?
With the Wii instalment of FIFA 08 leaving us extremely impressed indeed, we had particularly high hopes for the Nintendo DS version here at NintendoLife. Although the franchise has come in for some harsh criticism over the years, things..
EA's best selling franchise relocates to a somewhat less comfortable environment - but is this a situation worth surviving?
In the modern world of capitalism it’s a commonly accepted fact that when a company hits upon a successful concept they’ll flog it for all it’s worth. This is clearly demonstrated by EA’s highly lucrative Sims franchise - in the past year or so we’ve already..
MySims arrives on the DS. Is it time to remove Animal Crossing: Wild World from your DS cart slot?
On paper EA’s MySims seems like the perfect game concept for the Nintendo DS. The machine has already proven it can play host to vibrant ‘virtual worlds’ thanks to Nintendo’s best selling Animal Crossing: Wild World. The enduring allure of the ‘Sims’ brand is also a massive plus point and..
Altus bring us yet another slice of Japanese RPG gaming - but can Luminous Arc present a solid challenge to the best the genre has to offer?
While it’s certainly true that we’re all hardcore Ninty fans here at Nintendo Life, it would be silly to suggest we don’t dabble with rival systems from time to time. One manufacturer that is almost...
[screenshot=468bc2098dbeb]Card Based Combat[/screenshot]Sorry, I had the overwhelming urge to begin this review with a play on words involving DBZ and cards… and that was the best I could do! Anyway, to the point. Dragon Ball Z is quite easily the most recognisable cartoon to come out of Japan. I remember the days of my childhood where I would wish to have the strength of Goku, the..
Trade Pokémon all around the world.
Nintendo have launched a new site that will help trade Pokémon all around the world. The website named Pokémon Global Trade Station is compatible with both Diamond and Pearl versions of the game. If you like Pokémon and are having trouble locating that level 100 Snorlax you may want to read on for the...
Worms kinda lost it’s way big time. Some games welcomed the switch into 3D, making them feel fresher, fuller and on the whole a lot more enchanting. Worms was not one of those games.
Last year, Team 17 decided to bring the series back to it’s routes. DS and PSP iterations of the game reminded us why the game was so crudely popular on the PC way back in the mid/late 90s. A combination of..
EA Montreal have been confirmed as making a DS version of the recently released Wii game Boogie. Release set for November: Gimmicks included...
Electronic Arts, in their wisdom, have confirmed that a DS version of the recently released Wii title Boogie is currently in development at it's Montreal studios. Pop legends such as Kool and the Gang and current favourites like the Black-Eyed Peas are..
The big city is here... on the little DS.
Sim City is arguably one of the best simulation games out there: it practically wrote the book on the genre. On the PC it's a tried and tested formula. But, never before has it made a comfortable transition to any other format. So, has Sim City DS achieved the grandeur of modern day society, or does it bear more semblance to the dark ages? The concept of..
The cult 2D fighting game series makes its debut on the Nintendo DS, but has the magic of the previous titles been retained?
The Nintendo DS often represents a rather difficult proposition for developers. The unique nature of the hardware can sometimes pose a significant stumbling block when it comes to porting existing franchises to the popular handheld. Do you stay true to your roots and ignore..
Can EA atone for the shameful lineage of Harry Potter games with their latest instalment on the Nintendo DS, or will this particular spell fizzle out like the rest?
If you’ve had the forethought to read our recent preview of the Wii version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (let’s compress that down to HP:OotP from hereon in) you’ll be aware that we were pleasantly surprised..
It's been a touted announcement on message boards for some months now but today gamers got the information they've been waiting for.
The Nintendo DS camera has finally reared it's head onto the Internet and we have the screens to prove it. The camera slots into the GBA port on the Nintendo DS and includes a stand which keeps the DS upright when you're trying to take a photo of your beautiful mug..
The DS certainly isn't short of puzzle games. Does Namco Bandai's latest release have enough charm to stand out from the crowd and represent a worthwhile purchase?
Handheld consoles and puzzle games go hand in hand. Through the history of portable entertainment every major machine has played host to at least one truly ‘essential’ puzzler. The Gameboy was practically sold on the back of the..
The 'lost' Final Fantasy is at last made available to the English-speaking world. Is it a glorious reinvention of a genre classic, or merely a pointless step back in time?
Given the stature of the Final Fantasy series, it’s somewhat surprising to think that only very recently has the entire franchise been made available to a worldwide audience. Up...
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have finally arrived on the Nintendo DS. Was it worth the long wait? (Yes!)
Pokemon returns to your DSPokemon fans have received three lackluster Pokemon Games since the Nintendo DS launch over two years ago. Pokemon Dash, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, and Pokemon Ranger were poor offerings, almost as if...
Dream On Studio’s tribute to Sega’s ‘House of the Dead’ hits the DS – is it the sleeper hit of the year or as sad and shambling as the flesh-eating zombies contained within?
Zombies, eh? They seem to be everywhere these days. After starring in a seemingly endless flood of low-budget gore fests in the seventies, the festering undead enjoyed a period of well-earned rest before recently..
Resurrected from the PC original released in 1994, Theme Park on the Nintendo DS places you as the designer, developer and manager in a realistic and believable finance-based simulator.
Created by video game legend Peter Molyneux, Theme Park has a very simple concept on the surface but when you persevere with the title you will find there is a great amount of intricate detail and depth to explore..
Arguably the best DS puzzler in existence returns with a brand new appearance – but has this alliance with the House of Mouse sullied the game name of the series?
It’s never pleasant watching someone you admire sell out. Be it a band, sports personality or comedian, many of our heroes fall victim to the irresistible allure of cold, hard cash. Sadly it would appear that our video gaming idols..
Tetris meets Final Fantasy? That can't work, surely? We lift the lid on one of the most interesting DS releases of the year.
When developers mix widely opposing game genres it usually results in a bit of a mess. This is the main reason why I initially gave Puzzle Quest a fairly wide berth when I saw it in my local videogame store a few weeks back...
The Wonderswan puzzler is reborn on the DS - but has Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment done enough to elevate it to truly classic status?
When Gameboy creator Gunpei Yokoi was tragically killed in a car accident in 1997 he was working on what he saw as the successor to Nintendo’s machine – the bizarrely named ‘Wonderswan’. When the handheld was eventually released in 1999 manufacturer Bandai..
A hidden object in Super Paper Mario hints at future connectivity between the Wii and the Nintendo DS.
Super Paper Mario is already gaining a reputation of being hidden with little treats and one such gamer has found a Nintendo DS hidden within the game. On clicking it a message appears stating "Awaiting Data Upgrade". Will a Wii update in the very near future allow us to send data to our DS?..
A return to the text-based games of the past
Hotel Dusk is entirely a throwback to retro text based games with some gameplay that really shines. You play the game horizontally (Brain Age style) and only use the touch screen. By conversing with the local hotel guests, bits and pieces of the back story of the mysterious hotel come about, as well as parts of your own past. You play as Kyle Hyde, a New..
The Nintendo 64 classic returns on DS, but how does it compare to Mario Kart DS?
Ah Diddy Kong Racing, one of my old friends, how nice to see you again. How fitting is it that Diddy Kong Racing is Rare's first DS title. One of my favorite games for the Nintendo 64, the game that in my opinion took Mario Kart 64 and improved on it in every possible...
Konami's evergreen vampire hunting series drops by for a second bite on the Nintendo DS, but can it maintain the blistering pace set by Dawn of Sorrow?
Those of you lucky enough to have experienced the sublime Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow will no doubt be very excited by this latest release for the Nintendo DS. Once again Konami have settled on the tried and tested ‘Metroidvania’ format, first..
As I have already stated in my preview the concept for Cooking Mama is utterly fantastic. To think that there are still companies out there that want to be original, that want to make something new and that want make use of Nintendo’s technology is quite heart warming to me.
Cooking Mama might not be the best game you’ll ever play. In fact – I guarantee, it won’t be the best game you’ll..
Elite Beat Agents are GOO!!! -Commander Kahn Tap, slide, and spin your way through awesome songs in this interactive rhythm action game for the DS!
Elite Beat Agents are GO! Elite Beat Agents is unique, to say the least. It’s a rhythm action game, and the closest comparison would be to the PS1 classic Parappa the Rappa. You only use the stylus...
Starfish are so adorable... but hard to understand in Japanese
For many, this may be the first time of hearing the name Stafi. Over in the land of the rising sun the name is held in high regard, with several Stafi games out for the GBA/DS. Alas, all four of the Stafi games have never gone to retail outside of Japan, a huge shame. So without further delay I seek to educate you on this under sea..
Here is a little fact for you: Superman is shit. Why people choose him as their favourite superhero I will never know. How can you relate to an alien character that perfectly resembles a human and wears his underwear outside his tights? Oh and couple that with the fact he is perfectly invincible and it all gets a bit pointless really, doesn’t it?
I was one of the unfortunate few who played..
Crash landing on DS, mini games a plenty, but how does this measure up to previous Crash titles?
From what I remember Crash Bandicoot was pretty much written off from the first moment when he landed onto PlayStation consoles all those years ago, at least by the non-Sony crowd, he's no Mario or Sonic, right? To his credit, Crash re-appeared again and...
Another handheld Castlevania?
Since the release of the absolute classic Symphony of the Night on the Playstation, the Castlevania series has metamorphasized from the original side scrolling action/platformers to sprawling adventures games, packed to bursting point with collectables, enemies and areas. Recent 3D incarnations have been incredibly hit...
Naruto has become somewhat of a smash hit sensation over in Japan and now we find that its influence has made it to the West. The anime is airing in the US and UK (although the Japanese is far superior to the American version), but as of yet we haven't seen too many games outside of Japan.[screenshot=44ed88bce07ed]Frantic...
It's proven on consoles, but how will Burnout translate onto the handhelds?
The wonderful world of Burnout: easily my favourite racing series of the last decade. With Burnout: Revenge I'd even suggest that the series has surpassed the infamous Ridge Racer franchise. Each game in the series has developed further and always seems to improve. It's a...
For those of you who would love to play Breakout again.
If you've ever had an addiction for the game Breakout or Arkinoid, you may have interest in the DS game Break 'Em All, especially with the price tag of $19.99. There are 12 power ups you can gain, 50 pre-set levels to play, and a massive number of randomized levels. Unfortunately, this may not be the kind of updated formula you would want to..
Get prepped for surgery, stat!
Trauma Centre is one of those games that I never imagined would become a game. You play as a new, rookie surgeon. That's right, a doctor! Using the touch screen, you perform a variety of surgeries on all sorts of patients. From burning away tumors, to massaging someone's heart to resuscitate them. The game's extensive story begins in Hope hospital, where you are a..
It's actually not that bad...
Monster House, of course, is based on the movie that just got recently released. I must say that I'm quite surprised that the game isn't bad, for a movie tie-in game. The game is in the same style as Smash TV or Total Carnage, with great run and gun action, and a bird's eye view. I have not yet gotten a chance to see the movie yet, so I'm not that familiar with the..
Touching is good!
Yoshi Touch & Go was an early title for the DS. The game centres on getting the highest score possible, making it feel like an arcade game. With other excellent selections for the DS with much more depth though, this game has been overlooked by many. However, it isn't all that bad. The game starts out with you controlling baby...
Court is now in session! Will the defendant please take to the stand?
For everyone outside of Japan, Phoenix Wright is a bold and new concept for a game. Can Western gamers really appreciate a highly text driven game about a defence attorney? For the case against this game for being a waste of money, I plea with you, members of the jury, hear this...
The Urbz: Sims in the City is a poorly made Sims experience. In fact, this is a completely different experience from the original Sims title. The Sims was a slow paced game where you could play God and control how people live their lives. Unfortunately, the Urbz doesn't give you the same freedom that the original Sims gave you. The object of this game is to basically become as..
Dr. Don & Dr. Dan return to our screens, breaking free from the PlayStation universe and emerging on the DS.
For those that don't know, Namco's Point Blank series originated as an arcade title back in 1994 along with its partner in crime, Time Crisis. Both games were ported over to the PlayStation using the fashionable G-Con 45 light gun. Point Blank was followed by two excellent sequels on the..
New and improved?
Just a little over 20 years ago, Nintendo released their Nintendo Entertainment System onto the US gaming market and packaged with it, a game that would forever change the landscape of video games. This game was the original Super Mario Bros. and it single-handedly sold millions of NES systems. Over the next five years Nintendo...
You've got the touch
The biggest mistake you could possibly make with WarioWare Touched! is overlooking it due to the simplistic visuals. Until you play the game it isn't apparent that this simplicity is what keeps WarioWare so entertaining. If there ever was a DS game that can appeal to all ages, this surely is it. I must admit that the subset of...