Pom-Pom likes the Single Deuce

Wednesday, 28 July 2004 — 2:23pm | Video games

The Nintendo DS has a brand new look – and compared to the one revealed back in May, the form factor is sleeker in a curvaceous, aerodynamic way. Plus, I can put aside fears of Nintendo, say, forgetting to include a slot for the stylus and magnifying the warranty service nightmare they are boldly trying to avoid. I like the new shape; whereas the last one was a rounded rectangular prism that could slip around in your sweaty fingers, this one invites a firmer grip with its intrusions and extrusions. In the initial photographs, the black and silver make for a somewhat awkward contrast, and I will likely want the machine in prettier colours (or even a retro design like the NES-style Game Boy Advance SP); purple, mayhaps?

Also, the Nintendo DS will not be renamed prior to release, which is a good sign. To change it at this stage when it has already established itself as a brand name to which the gaming public is accustomed would be folly, unless they had something really nifty-sounding in mind, like the Double Deuce.

On the software end of things, Square Enix has been sending out polling cards concerning what games to port or update for a DS release. To me, this is a no-brainer: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI (III in North America) and the curiously unlisted Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Imagine playing these games with maps and status screens put on a separate display, not to mention all the speech and battle status boxes that cover half the picture and in Chrono Trigger‘s case, even block enemies from your field of vision. Also: Square, you’re developing for a Nintendo system. Everybody in that consumer demographic wants Super Mario RPG back, especially with its descendants (Mario & Luigi and the upcoming Paper Mario 2) bringing the Mario-themed role-player back in vogue for a new generation. To understate things, porting SNES-era RPGs and leaving this one out would be a bit of an oversight.

The DS itself is looking pretty solid at this stage, even though we have yet to see a retail price. But given that its projected release is within the next four months, and Nintendo absolutely must get the unit shipped before Christmas to get a jump on Sony, it is disconcerting how little we have heard about the software to be available at launch since the E3 unveiling. We are getting Animal Crossing DS at launch, right?

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