Nintendo DS goes out with bang

'Pokemon: Black' (and 'White') is one of the last big titles to arrive on the DS before the 3DS comes into vogue.

Death, that great and undiscovered country, is about to lay claim to the Nintendo DS.  The dual-screened handheld that could is about to be replaced by its younger, hotter cousin, the 3DS. Is it going out without a fight? Heck no! The DS is dying just as it lived, by releasing great games. Here are reviews of the final two big titles in the system’s illustrious library.

Pokemon Black/White
Nintendo DS
Nintendo
Rating: 4 (out-of-5)

Hide your kids. Pokemon is back and ready to again turn those pesky tots on to the wild and wacky world of OCD impulses. Gotta catch them all, indeed. However, this time around the house that Pikachu built has received a much-needed facelift. There are actual innovations here! The Pokemon series tends to evolve slower than a Madden-saur.

The new iterations boast three-on-three battles and actual in-game animations. Gone are the days of sad, static Pokemon. The Internet functionality has also received a huge boost. It allows for instant battles and trades via a suite of tools that appear on the bottom screen. Some of the new Pokemon are pretty stupid, though.

Okamiden
Nintendo DS
Capcom
Rating: 4 (out-of-5)

The cynical among us derided the PS2’s Okami as a shameless Zelda knockoff. If that was your take, then this DS sequel isn’t going to change your mind. It is full of nods to its source material, from familiar dungeons to the slow accumulation of weapons and tools. Still, there is enough new here to make it a must play for the system. Besides, nobody stopped listening to Phish because they cribbed from the Dead. Bad example?

It is amazing how hard this game pushes the ancient DS hardware. The graphics are gorgeous and the game is a fully explorable open world. It must be noted that this kind of seamless play was something Nintendo’s own developers were unable to pull off with the actual DS Zelda titles. The quest, which takes place in a lovingly rendered rural Japan, is lengthy. Perfect for you gamers who can’t yet afford the 3DS. "


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