The Nintendo DS is dead — or is it? Nintendo’s first dual-screened wonder may lack the third dimension, but is still pumping out great games. Read these reviews and learn what to buy your friends’ kids so you won’t feel awkward being the only single adult at their birthday parties. Sigh.

‘Dragon Quest

Monsters: Joker 2’

Company: Nintendo/

Square Enix Grade: 4/5

As any raw-nerved Pokemon addict will tell you, the worst thing about the series is waiting a few years between each installment. Thankfully, the franchise has a top-tier competitor in the form of the Dragon Quest Monsters series, which Nintendo also publishes. Yes, the company is both Coke and Pepsi in this scenario. Somebody break out a copy of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

These games cull their creatures from the Dragon Quest RPGs; so instead of Pikachus and Charmanders, you’ll be collecting Slimes and Platypunks. The game play will be eerily familiar to Pokefans: battle monsters and capture monsters. This series features a fully realized 3-D world though, which Pokemon has never quite gotten around to.

 

'Kirby Mass Attack’

Company: Nintendo

Grade: 4/5

Nintendo never knows just what to do with their pink puffball Kirby. He’s been a gluttonous blob, a painter’s muse and even a lowly piece of fabric. Kirby Mass Attack finds our hero engaging in yet another play style when he is split into ten identical copies of himself. The game is a highly addictive sidescrolling platform adventure that is heavy on lunacy. A handful of Kirby-centric mini-games round out the package.

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