The DS has some great hidden gems

1 : Anonymous2021/03/07 08:23 ID: lzmg0i

I have played almost on all Nintendo consoles over the years, but never the DS for some reason. It had over 150 million units sold so theres a huge catalog of games there.

A few weeks ago I came across this app called Drastic. An emulator that runs DS games on your phone. Since you have to pay for it I was kinda skeptical, but I went for it anyway. The emulator runs fantastic and I never knew the DS had so many quality games. Took a while before I found these games, but these that I found are fantastic.

1: Monster Tale.

A Metroid/Pokemon kind of game. Hard to explain. You explore different worlds while having a monster companion along your journey. As you progress to free the world from evil monsters, your monster companion evolves from a little baby to an enormous powerful monster. The bosses and power ups are unique and fun, and exploring the worlds is great. Only downside I can think of is that the game is maybe too easy for my liking.

2: Henry Hatsworth in the puzzling adventure.

The title kinda says it all. You are Henry Hatsworth and you are adventuring in a puzzle world. This game is challenging to me. The whole plot of the game is that you are an elegant british man and you have to find the golden suit before your nemessis does. The suit is divided in pieces scattered across the world. The characters are quirky, the platforming is challenging and theres great power ups aswell as some awesome boss fights. In the bottom screen you have the puzzle realm that you can switch between the real world and puzzle world. Everytime you beat an enemy they become a puzzle piece or a power up, and you have to clear them out (getting three or more of the same colours to complete them). Its a really unique concept and im completely addicted to this game since I started it last week.

3: Dragon Quest Heroes - Rocket Slime.

Started this game a few days ago and haven't completed it yet. But, man. This game is a mixture of Zelda and Paper Mario. It has the adventure and exploration of Zelda, but the witty dialogue of Paper Mario.

If you have any other recommendations on DS games then post it down below.


2 : Anonymous2021/03/07 10:58 ID: gq35lhx

I’ve always wanted to try Ghost Trick - Phantom Detective. Apparently a pretty neat puzzle game, but pretty hard to find in Australia!

ID: gq3jgb4

If you want to, it's a game you can easily play on any emulators out there - PC (melonDS / Desmume) or Android (Drastic) - since it relies pretty much only on touch controls. I recommend it cause it's very quirky.

ID: gq3tuwg

One of the best soundtracks of all time. Excellent story. Gameplay is OK. Still highly recommended.

ID: gq4y2g8

Worth noting, it's also on iOS. Not that I personally have one but eh.

It's a good game though, would defo give my recc to it!

3 : Anonymous2021/03/07 14:11 ID: gq3jcj1

The DS was at the point where smaller studios could still make games, and it also was possible to be very creative with the two screens, the touchscreen, and microphone. So it got a ton of games, and a lot of them had very strange and interesting concepts.

A few games that aren't well known on the system:

Space Invaders Extreme: a take on the classic with a very stylish graphic style

Speed Racer the videogame: a decent and good looking arcade racing game with a whacky presentation.

Trackmania Turbo: a really fun iteration of Trackmania (a time attack arcade racing game where you replay stages to get the best times), performance can get pretty bad especially on snow stage though.

Anno 1701: a surprisingly competent version of the strategy/gestion games.

Bionicle Heroes: a fun though kind of repetitive first person shooter, it has a great atmospheric soundtrack.

Nanostray: a shoot em up made by Shinen, who would later develop Fast Racing Neo or The Touryst. The OST and graphics are great.

ID: gq47qol

The DS was at the point where smaller studios could still make games

If anything, I'd say that this is still the case. Indie games have been pretty popular on Steam for, I dunno, the past decade. And on the console side, the Switch seems to have plenty of smaller games on their e-shop.

ID: gq6qcc6

space invaders extreme is honestly really good, its sort of lumines meets space invaders.

4 : Anonymous2021/03/07 10:16 ID: gq339ft

I loved the Phoenix Wright series. You can get them as mobile games now.

ID: gq4gqez

I see that the Pheonix Wright DS games were also brought to 3DS as a trilogy. Is there any such collection of the DS Professor Layton games? I can't find them on the 3DS store.

ID: gq4znts


5 : Anonymous2021/03/07 15:01 ID: gq3o3x8

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and its sequel Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

A mystery thriller visual novel where you hold the DS sideways like a book. You play as Kyle Hyde, a former detective turned salesman who gets involved in a strange mystery case when he stays at a hotel on business. You might recognise him from the Spirits mode in Smash Ultimate. He's a cynical asshole who doesn't like people, his job, or really anything besides food and coffee, but somehow they manage to make it work thanks to the sharp writing and colourful (...figuratively) cast of characters.

You use the stylus to walk around and interact with people/things similar to a point-and-click adventure game. It's one of those games that really tried to make the most out of every single gimmick the DS hardware was capable of, sometimes to a fault, and it's always fun to see what they're going to make you do next. I will say that one puzzle is basically impossible if you aren't using original DS hardware because it has you physically standing the DS upright and looking into the reflection cast on the other screen to read an invisible message, and it doesn't work with a 3DS for some reason. While some things can be a little finicky and sometimes the progression is a bit too linear (linearity isn't a bad thing but it can be way too rigid at times, little room for doing tasks out of order), but it's a very charming game. The art style is terrific, the story is full of twists, and the soundtrack is somewhat reminiscent of the one Danny Elfman did for Midnight Run. The sequel is arguably better, though still retains some of the original's flaws - however it was never released in America, so you might have to import it (now you know how us Brits felt about Zero Escape: 999).

ID: gq5pfa8

Everything Cing did during this era was awesome. I'm more partial to the Another Code series (Two Memories and R respectively) as their puzzles feel more centric to plot and character development. Hotel Dusk has you decorate a tree. I also recommend their last game "Again" where you play a detective who has visions of the past who is trying to solve a case where a serial killer has returned.

ID: gq48sec

Huh, never knew Hotel Dusk got a sequel (likely because of the aforementioned lack of NA release). I should see if I can find my old DS somewhere.

6 : Anonymous2021/03/07 11:25 ID: gq3754s

I strongly recommend Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales.

It's not some amazing game, and you're not missing anything by not playing it (a lot of people have never played it), but it is quite unique and satisfying, and very well made.

If you're looking for something a bit out of the box, well-suited to handheld, and something that very few people have played, that is also definitely a hidden gem, this is it.

ID: gq5pk3r

Chocobo's Dungeon on the Wii is a great dungeon crawler for noobs, and carries much of the same charm.

ID: gq6qfr3

I own it and like it, but it's kind of random sometimes with the mini games. It's literally Final Fantasy: Mario Party edition though, and I still think Alpha in FF14 is the chocobo from that game, lol.

7 : Anonymous2021/03/07 13:38 ID: gq3ggry

The DS was and is amazing, I'm honestly saddened that its form factor makes porting the titles a pain because you have to rethink it and that inevitably comes with compromises.

Anyway, my recommendation is a weird one, Age of Empires. Its very good but its a turn based strategy like Advance Wars - not an RTS. If you're familiar with the franchise then give it a check out.

My first experience with Age was actually the DS version so when I played the PC version I came in with all kinds of weird preconceptions like "are you limited in the number of town centres you can build?" and "wait you don't have to place farms adjacent to mills?"

ID: gq3ve4s

Wait, Age of Empires is on the DS?! My favorite strategy game on PC back in the day. I must try this one out. Thanks for recommending it!

8 : Anonymous2021/03/07 10:47 ID: gq34zqh

Electroplakton, Trauma Center, Ninja Town, Professor Layton...

9 : Anonymous2021/03/07 10:50 ID: gq355ug

I second the Phoenix Wright games and get the Mega Man Zero Collection

10 : Anonymous2021/03/07 16:02 ID: gq3uson

TWEWY and 999 if you want a game with mindfuck plots.

Buuuuut TWEWY is somewhat unplayable on an emulator because of how it used the touchscreens.

ID: gq5o3wb

You can emulate it on Android with Drastic. It plays fantastically well on a phone or tablet. Alternately, there's the native Android and iOS versions, TWEWY: Solo Remix (which is what the Switch "Final Remix" version was based on).

11 : Anonymous2021/03/07 13:36 ID: gq3gazx

Here's my best:

Bakugan Battle Brawlers TWEWY Ninja Gaiden Bowser's Inside Story Rhythm Heaven GTA Chinatown Wars
12 : Anonymous2021/03/08 06:48 ID: gq6q7ev

Big list, as the DS is one of my favorite systems.

Avalon Code is a great RPG that has a unique hook. You are tasked to record everything in the world before the apocalypse, and the bottom screen of the DS is the pages of the book you record it in. You get an entry for each character or thing and can manipulate the attributes in it, in the form of tetris pieces. Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island is the ds's entry in that series, but its different in that they really play up the comedy in it. The heroine is the laziest, most incompetent alchemist yet. Touch Detective and Touch Detective 2 1/2 are fun adventure style games where you play as MacKenzie, a young girl who likes to touch everything (and keeps a list of what she does) as well as solve cases. Very oddball, charming style to it. Phantasy Star 0 is a suprisingly great port of the Online series. It's not like Universe; it pretty much is classic Phantasy Star Online with some minor twists, and some limitations due to the platform. But it really scratches the same itch as the dreamcast games. Luminous Arc 1 and 2 are pretty good anime-style tactical RPGS. Much more anime influence along the classic style, kind of Grandia 2 vibes in story. Stella Glow is the third game in the series. Sands of Destruction is a fun little RPG that kind of fell by the wayside. Join the world destruction society in a desert world ruled by beastmen. Time Hollow is a fun little visual novel by Konami which is my "chill" game. You're given a time travel pen one night, and you need to use it to prevent a bad future. The only Final Fantasy 12 spin-off game is on the DS, FF12 Revenant Wings. I haven't gotten into it yet, but since they rereleased the original, try tracking it down.

I'd add Solatorobo: Red the Hunter but its incredibly rare and expensive. It's a spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto on the PS1, but much better. The DS honestly is a wonderful system.

13 : Anonymous2021/03/07 15:26 ID: gq3qogq

DS and PSP both are a treasure chest. Especially for emulation because it seems too burdensome to obtain and play many games for old systems.

I’m going to try those ones you mentioned. I haven’t heard of them, except for DQH which I haven't tried it yet. Henry Hatsworth has good color palettes.

PSP emulation:

Final Fantasy IV The Complete Collection. Best version of this game. Pac-Man Championship Edition Outrun 2 aka Outrun 2006 Ridge Racer 2 TACTICS OGRE - LET US CLING TOGETHER, this is pretty good. Final Fantasy Tactics Disgaea Jeane D’Arc Persona 3 (but the PSP version doesn’t let you walk a character around, it’s like a touchscreen interface for the game areas) Wild Arms XF?

DS emulation:

Contra 4 is hardcore Mario Kart DS Metal Slug 7 Mr. Driller Pokemon Platinum. I never played a Pokemon game in my life, I’m an adult, and I still had a good time playing through this whole game. It’s wonderful (but difficult and tedious in some parts.) Radiant Historia. I haven’t actually played this but it looks cool? Valkyrie Profile. I haven’t played this yet but it looks neat.
14 : Anonymous2021/03/07 11:18 ID: gq36quc

Phantom hourglass. Spirit tracks. All of the DS castlevanias

15 : Anonymous2021/03/07 10:03 ID: gq32jr9

Henry Hatsworth was a gem. A clever blend of genres that makes full use of the dual screens and touch screen in a way that doesn't feel like a gimmick, fun characters, nice sprite art. I don't think I ever beat it though. I remember it getting really hard later on.

I'd love to see them bring it back. Obviously they'd have to rework some things since it was so heavily designed around the DS, but I'm sure they could get it to work.

Unfortunately, it was an EA game, so I doubt that'll ever happen.

16 : Anonymous2021/03/07 12:02 ID: gq39dvf

The Dark Spire

17 : Anonymous2021/03/07 12:25 ID: gq3axxz

Theresia is a brilliant horror game.

18 : Anonymous2021/03/07 15:25 ID: gq3qkhp

Meteos is one of my favourite DS games, it's a puzzle-y game that I just kind of tried out on a whim, but the core gameplay is such a fun idea that I'd really recommend it to anyone.

19 : Anonymous2021/03/07 16:05 ID: gq3v3kb

Great recommendations guys! Will try them out

20 : Anonymous2021/03/07 16:50 ID: gq40b0i

Soul Bubbles

21 : Anonymous2021/03/07 17:48 ID: gq47cjy

Platinum Games' often forgotten space opera RPG Infinite Space never gets enough attention. It has a lot of flaws, but I really enjoyed a lot of the tinkering with ship components and crew that it let you do. Playing as the captain of an actual ship(and later on, a fleet) was a nice change of pace from a lot of sci fi RPGs where your spaceship mostly just seems like a means to get from place to place.

ID: gq5ltvm

That one is so good, but I've never finished it. It's really easy to lose track and then not know where to go next.

ID: gq5pset

An absolute exhausting time sink, a captains log would have made remembering everyone so much easier.

22 : Anonymous2021/03/07 18:29 ID: gq4dh64

Radiant Historia and Picross 3D are my picks.

ID: gq6qhfj

I really enjoyed the parts of Radiant Historia that I played, although I ended up feeling a bit lost with what I was supposed to be doing and where the story was at. I guess I like my rpgs to be much more linear, e.g Dragon Quest is my favourite series.

23 : Anonymous2021/03/07 22:34 ID: gq5cmyz

The DS is probably my favorite Nintendo handheld. It had the most gems on it that I really enjoyed. Most importantly, it was home to some of the most creative and unconventional games like Nintendogs, TWEWY, and the Professor Layton series. So much experimentation on that device.

24 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:53 ID: gq5lovd

The original Nintendo DS lineup is probably one of my favorite game system libraries of all time. It's got so many good games. I still play on a 2DS XL. And after emulating original DS or playing on the 2DS XL for a long time, I finally sprung for a DSi XL at the beginning of the year to play them as they were meant to be played.

25 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:54 ID: gq5ls53

Rune factory is a spinoff of the harvest moon series which mixes HM with JRPGs

26 : Anonymous2021/03/08 06:49 ID: gq6qbjl

Etrian Odyssey (1,2 and 3 on DS) are three of my all time favourite games although I don't know if they count as hidden gems. The ones on 3DS including the remakes and the Etrian Odyessey Dungeons were all really good too. Fighting Fantasy is IMO a hidden gem, it got fairly terrible reviews at release but once you got use to the controls there was a lot to like. I wish I still had my DS so I could look through as I'm sure there's a lot of great games that I've since forgotten. EDIT- Aliens: Infestation was a fun side scrolling shooter.

27 : Anonymous2021/03/08 07:34 ID: gq6tc1l

I’m a huge fan of WarioWare Touched.

28 : Anonymous2021/03/07 15:04 ID: gq3oelp

Shin Megami Tensei 4.. so good

ID: gq488ii

Isn’t that game on 3DS? This thread is talking about the original DS.


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