DS Reviews - Page 3

Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy (DS)

Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy (DS)

Hint: The heart is beneath the floorboards

What we know about the death of Edgar Allan Poe is as cryptic and tragic as some of his written tales. After a more than imperfect romantic life, he was reunited with his love of long before, Elmira Royster Shelton, and the two were engaged to be married. On a trip that took place soon thereafter, Poe fell off the radar and re-emerged "in great..

Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp (DS)

Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp (DS)

Decent but a bit murky

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered over 40 years ago, introducing television audiences to the lovable Mystery Inc. team and its unique line-up of distinct characters, each charming in their own way. It followed them as they took on spooky yet ridiculous case after case, and over time the show firmly embedded the phrase...

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (DS)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (DS)

Ga'Hoo would torture themselves with this?

TV and movie tie-in games are relatively synonymous with tedious, uninspired titles rushed to release to fool the poorly informed. Rather than clever game design, effort goes toward getting the game onto store shelves in time for box office hype to drive sales. Still, some of us try to remain optimistic, remembering quality licensed titles like Batman: The..

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)

Little Mario, big fun

For fans of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, the good news is that Mini-Land Mayhem! is another truly stellar entry in the series. For those who are not yet fans, the good news is that Mini-Land Mayhem! is an excellent place to start. Mario's latest business venture (seriously, when does he ever find time to do any actual plumbing?) is an amusement park, with a theme of..

Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands (DS)

Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands (DS)

Farming fun in the sun

Harvest Moon’s power to enthral and entrap gamers is often underestimated by those who have yet to experience the unbridled thrill of growing a crop of healthy tomatoes, but nearly 15 years after the original Super NES Harvest Moon the series continues to sell well to experienced farmers and newcomers alike. Now Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands has reached Europe, and it..

Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (DS)

Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (DS)

Hokey Poké?

There are two types of players in the world of Pokémon: those who enjoy capturing, training and battling with their Pokémon, and gentler, liberal-minded players who assume responsibility for the safety and well-being of the beloved pocket monsters. In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, the third instalment in the Pokémon Ranger series, the latter brand continues. As the game opens,..

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (DS)

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (DS)

Worth its weight in gold?

When the Golden Sun series kicked off on the Game Boy Advance in 2001, it was lauded for its unique visual style and challenging puzzle elements, but after two releases the series took an extended break, so long in fact that many fans wondered if the series would ever see another entry. Now, over seven years later, Camelot...

Call of Duty: Black Ops (DS)

Call of Duty: Black Ops (DS)

Portable ops

Even though they're wheeled out every year alongside their console cousin, n-Space's Call of Duty games on DS never cease to surprise. From making first-person gameplay work well on the unconventional handheld to pushing horsepower limits, each entry seems to have something new to prove. This year, Call of Duty: Black Ops pushes the DS...

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar (DS)

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar (DS)

Top of the crops

Harvest Moon games have remained largely the same since the series made its debut on the Super Nintendo all those years ago. You get up, tend to crops, care for animals, get married, raise a sprog, and continue forever. However, the latest title to hit North American shores, Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar, strays from the template...

Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (DS)

Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (DS)

Flail, you fools!

Released in parallel to the Headstrong Games-developed Wii title, it is worth noting that the DS version of Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest is a separate game, not just a handheld port of the Wii version. It shares similarities with the Wii game, predominantly in its hack-'n-slash gameplay, but it distinguishes itself in the way that it presents its stat-building character..

Super Scribblenauts (DS)

Super Scribblenauts (DS)

Word

We've always had to accept that in video games, there will always be more objects we want to play with than those we're allowed to use. The original Scribblenauts changed all of that, allowing the virtual world to become a malleable, ever-changing playground. You solved simple objectives in search of a Starite, manifesting any object that its...

Sonic Colours (DS)

Sonic Colours (DS)

All things bright and beautiful

The portable part of a hedgehog double whammy, Sonic Colours is – you guessed it – a high-speed 2D platformer. But wait, there’s more: this time Sonic is joined by a range of unique power-ups that help to refresh the standard formula. If you’ve played either of the hedgehog’s previous two outings on DS, the...

Blood Stone 007 (DS)

Blood Stone 007 (DS)

Third-person Bond is first-rate fun

Whereas Nintendo console gamers only get one James Bond shooter this fall, with the first-person GoldenEye 007 on Wii and third-person Blood Stone on HD platforms, DS owners get their pick of the litter with diminutive versions of both courtesy of developer n-Space. Just as GoldenEye on DS did, Blood Stone 007...

GoldenEye 007 (DS)

GoldenEye 007 (DS)

Use the handheld, that's what it's for!

Developer n-Space is no stranger to first-person shooters on Nintendo's technologically humble portable, having delivered three increasingly advanced Call of Duty DS games day-and-date with their console counterparts. That successful core formula hasn't changed all too much for their retelling of James Bond's...

Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS)

Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS)

A brilliant retelling of a classic RPG

When the original Lufia 2 was released on the Super Nintendo, it came rather late in the console's lifespan and with very little fanfare. Sadly, this meant that many gamers missed out on one of the true RPG gems to come out of the 16-bit era. Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a complete re-imagining of Lufia 2, complete with a radical action RPG makeover and..

Puzzler World 2011 (DS)

Puzzler World 2011 (DS)

Puzzlingly good

You'd be forgiven for not being familiar with Ubisoft's Puzzler series. Based on an ongoing magazine, the first game saw release in 2008 as Puzzler Collection, which was then followed up by Puzzler World in 2009. The games contained numerous puzzle types ranging from crosswords and Sudoku to more obscure games such as Link-A-Pix and Pieceword. Now we have this year's edition in the..

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow (DS)

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow (DS)

Forever in the shadow of other RPGs

Awakened Shadow is the third RPG game in Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Blue Dragon series. Developed at Mistwalker Studios, this iteration also marks the third completely new gameplay style after the turn-based tactics of the original and the RTS stylings of Blue Dragon Plus. Awakened Shadow has a more real-time action RPG flavour than its predecessors, but when a..

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (DS)

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (DS)

As challenging as it is charming

Having already had success with its two previous Final Fantasy DS remakes, Matrix Software decided to take a fairly different approach for the brand new and completely original Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. While some of the basic gameplay elements were carried over, the game received a fairly significant visual makeover, not to mention a host of new..

Pang: Magical Michael (DS)

Pang: Magical Michael (DS)

It's showtime!

Everyone loves Magical Michael, 'cause the tricks that he does are ever so cool. However, at the moment, no one is particularly loving him, as a failed experiment on his part has caused hundreds of dangerous bubbles to be released across the world. Now it's his task to venture across the planet and eliminate the threat. If you've played Pang or Mighty! Pang in the arcades, many of..

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS)

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS)

A fitting send-off from Cing

Throughout its lifespan, the DS has been a popular medium for graphic adventure games, many of which have become very successful. 2007 saw one such example in the form of Hotel Dusk: Room 215. Developed by Cing, also well known for the Trace Memory/Another Code series and published by Nintendo, it was a hit among gamers so it's no surprise to see that three years later,..