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Author Topic: DS Lite Thoughts After a Week  (Read 2878 times)
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Scott
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« on: June 26, 2006, 08:15:20 PM »

DS Lite Thoughts After a Week

Got the DS Lite for fathers day, and proceeded to eBay and buy far to many games for it to try and play with.  I've used the PSP and old GBA SP as a comparison for the DS Lite.  So far, my basic impressions are (in list mode):

- I really like the form factor of the DS Lite.  I thought the original DS looked like kind of a joke, a huge brick for two tiny screens and some buttons, as big as the far more powerful PSP.  The DS Lite really cleans up the look of the device and makes it small enough to easily carry.

- The new brightness on the screens really make the new screens jump out, and look almost as nice the PSP screen

- I'm loving the 'touch' gameplay.  Granted, its been done on PDA's for years, there haven't been any big commercial games that really exploited the screen well.  Games like Trauma Center really are the perfect use for the touch functionality.

- The second screen so far on the DS has been okay.  I haven't really seen a game that fully takes advantage of it.  Sure, its nice to have a map displayed on the second screen, but I think I'd take one large screen (ala the PSP) instead.  

- The sleep mode on the DS Lite isn't nearly as nice as the PSP.  Yes, the DS Lite can sleep, but I'm concerned the long term duration isn't there.  Its not so much a sleep mode on the DS, as a shut off the screens mode, and you still drain far to much of the batteries in this state.  

- The cartridges and the speed of the game loading is still incredible.  It is so nice to put in a cartridge, and to be playing a game 20 seconds later.  On the PSP, 20 seconds later and you're still looking at the Sony startup screen, with another 1-2 minutes of loading to come.

- Comfort wise, I'm finding the DS Lite to be more comfortable to use and play then the PSP.  The analog nub on the PSP is by far the worst controller I've ever used as far as hand fatigue.  Stylus control does fatigue my hand over time, but not nearly as badly as the analog control the PSP.

I do however like the PSP's d-pad and buttons more then the DS Lite.  The DS Lite buttons / d-pad feel a little to cheap to me.

- Durability: Personally, I'd never want to drop the PSP, or let my kids play with it.  The DS Lite seems much more solid though in general, so I've let the kids use it without issues so far, and even my wife smile.

- Game focus - I'm enjoy a lot of the quicker games, and the family focus of the Nintendo games has my whole family using the device (Kirby/Nintedogs for the kids, Brain Age for the wife for example).

In conclusion, I'm loving the DS Lite.  The small size and fun control options, quick loading games, and better games (for me at the moment); have me liking the DS Lite a lot more then the PSP right now.  Some future PSP games may change this a bit, but I got really tired of the loading screens and bad analog control, as well as sloppy PS2 ports on the PSP.

------

Some of the games I've played and tried:

Advance Wars DS - by far the best handheld strategy game right now.  It really puts Field Commander to shame.  The graphics and animations are as well done as ever, and you can skip all the cutesy dialog now by hitting start, so an even bigger win.

Kirby Canvas Curse - Kirby is a lot of fun to play, but even better, its somewhat original in its gameplay.  It has also been great for my 5 year old, as he needs to increase his hand strength (for writing).  Holding the stylus and drawing lines has really helped him (he's halfway through).

Brain Age - My wife and I are currently in competition to see who has the younger brain.  Unfortunately she moved ahead of me yesterday!  I never would have thought math would be fun again.  For $20, one of the better games, especially with Sudoku included.

Castlevania - I wasn't sure I'd like this, but so far I've played it the most.  The second screen is actually useful here, as I've found its great to have the map up continuously.

Phoenix Wright - After not having played an adventure type game in a while, I'm loving it.  My only problem is sometimes there is far to much talking and to little 'playing', but an entertaining story.

Trauma Center - With Kirby, the two best touch games I've found.  The concept and implementation are incredible so far.  I'd recommend it to anyone buying a DS to just experience, though apparently it gets frustrating fast (haven't gotten there yet)

Nintendogs - Ehh.  Good for the kids, but not to much there for me.

Yu-Gi-Oh - (spelling?, never can remember)  Looks fun, and good use of the dual screens.  I wish the graphics were better showing the artwork on the cards though, and that I could find some easy people to duel in the game smile.

Ouendun (spelling?) - looked really fun, need to figure it out, but another good touch example

Prince of Persia Battles - looks a lot better then I thought, though haven't spent much time with it.  I thought the graphics were more then adequate (the big complaint I've seen).

Sorry for any typos...
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 08:27:39 PM »

Great impressions, should help some other ds-newbies to see what a great system it is.

A note on the sleep-feature, they say in sleep/standby mode(only ds games support this standby, I think gba games only have the screen shut off when closed) that it can last about a week when you start with a full charge, that's long enough for me:)  I'm also not sure if that week estimate is the old DS or the lite, with its amazing battery.

Age of empires ds is pretty fun but a little buggy(it can crash, losing your unsaved progress, and sometimes even crash badly enough to ruin your game cartridge and make it unplayable) and Warioware: Touched is a great use of the touchscreen, though it's much easier than the two gba pre/sequels(regular warioware and warioware twisted, which has fun little gyro-controlled gameplay)  

If you like that castlevania, there are 3 others of that style with the same gameplay and all, but different castles and powers(circle of the moon came first and is the hardest, harmony of dissonance and aria of sorrow came next and are available right now on the castlevania double pack) and are great, but it's hard to go back after having the second-screen as a map with the DS game.
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2006, 08:29:07 PM »

Damn you for having a copy of Phoenix Wright!  It was one of those games around Christmas that I told myself I would get at the beginning of the next year and then suddenly it disappeared.  I always look for used copies and can never find them.
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2006, 10:29:31 PM »

Phoenix Wright is some great storytelling, but the gameplay is simply in the cross examination and talking to people.  It is about as pure an adventure game as you are likely to see.  It is good though.
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2006, 11:00:35 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
- Durability: Personally, I'd never want to drop the PSP, or let my kids play with it.  The DS Lite seems much more solid though in general, so I've let the kids use it without issues so far, and even my wife smile.


classic smile (still enjoying my 'brick', btw)...

aside from resident evil (nostalgia), electroplankton (acquired taste), & that mightiest of all ds titles, animal crossing, you've pretty much covered my favorites, & i agree with all of your impressions. trauma center does indeed  become extremely nasty after a while, which is very unfortunate, as it makes as good use of the touchscreen as any ds game available...

getting in lots more time with my psp lately thanks to monster hunter, but the ds still gets my vote for #1 handheld...
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2006, 12:21:57 AM »

I'm probably being stupid (nothing new...), but while I was really hyped for the DS Lite release, I'm really disappointed by no browser being available.  

This weekend, for example, I was at Best Buy, considering whether to get one or not.  The funny thing is, I'm now wondering exactly how much I even need a browser on it anyway.  Like I said, its probably dumb, and a dumb reason for delaying the purchase.
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2006, 12:28:56 AM »

I'm so happy I picked one up. I love it. I was on the fence before I grabbed it, but I got a hefty tax return, so I just thought, "eh, what the hell?" And I'm really glad I did.

And I don't know why, but I like using the touch screen - even for the menus! It doesn't make any sense, but I really like that kind of interaction. Kirby is probably going to melt my fragile little mind.
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2006, 12:39:53 AM »

Quote
- The sleep mode on the DS Lite isn't nearly as nice as the PSP. Yes, the DS Lite can sleep, but I'm concerned the long term duration isn't there. Its not so much a sleep mode on the DS, as a shut off the screens mode, and you still drain far to much of the batteries in this state.


I've got to contradict you here, I left NSMB in sleep mode overnight the other day, came back and still had a good 4 to 5 hours of gaming left before having to recharge, and that's after already playing for a solid 2 - 3 hours.

So I would argue that the machine has an excellent sleep mode.

Quote
This weekend, for example, I was at Best Buy, considering whether to get one or not. The funny thing is, I'm now wondering exactly how much I even need a browser on it anyway. Like I said, its probably dumb, and a dumb reason for delaying the purchase


I don't think it's a dumb reason at all, and there's no harm in waiting, you'll probably be able to get some of the better games for less when the browser does hit and  you finally get one.
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2006, 12:51:27 AM »

I know this has been covered already.  But to me the biggest advantage of the DS/DS Lite is the load times.  I don't think Advanced Wars is fundamentally a better game than Field Commander.  In fact there are some aspects of FC that I like better.  But I play AW DS every day and haven't touched FC for almost 2 weeks.  All because of the load times.
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Scott
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2006, 12:52:46 AM »

Quote
I've got to contradict you here, I left NSMB in sleep mode overnight the other day, came back and still had a good 4 to 5 hours of gaming left before having to recharge, and that's after already playing for a solid 2 - 3 hours.

I didn't say the sleep mode sucked Tebunker, just that it wasn't as nice.  I don't want to leave a game in sleep mode for a few days after I've been playing the system for a while.  Sometimes life gets busy, and I don't feel the DS Lite will preserve that save point as well.  The PSP writes the state of the game to memory, and shuts down significantly, and can preserve the sleep mode for weeks.  The DS Lite works, but its just not as nice in this regard.

Quote
Damn you for having a copy of Phoenix Wright! It was one of those games around Christmas that I told myself I would get at the beginning of the next year and then suddenly it disappeared. I always look for used copies and can never find them.

I just eBayed it, and paid a little to much.  I had to try one of the few DS games Devil liked smile.  I haven't played an adventure in years either, so this is pretty fun.  

Quote
trauma center does indeed become extremely nasty after a while, which is very unfortunate, as it makes as good use of the touchscreen as any ds game available...

I wish it was more of a puzzle type game, instead of becoming to reliant on reflexes.

Quote
I'm probably being stupid (nothing new...), but while I was really hyped for the DS Lite release, I'm really disappointed by no browser being available.

I've used the PSP browser a few times at hotels, and its nice to have it.  But the PSP browser really sucks.  Its slow, looks bad, and its horrible to input text with.  The DS browser looks great, and hopefully works as well as it looks.  I have faith in Opera though.  I can see this being a great feature, but not a good reason to delay I don't think, at least for me.

Quote
And I don't know why, but I like using the touch screen - even for the menus! It doesn't make any sense, but I really like that kind of interaction. Kirby is probably going to melt my fragile little mind.

Yep, touch screen is much better then I thought it'd be.

In general I like the PSP, but I find it ergonomically horrible to use the analog nub, so a lot of the games are painful for me to play.  A lot of the games are bad PS2 ports too, which I'd rather just fire up the PS2 for.  The PSP also just takes to long to load, so getting in 5 minutes of a game really sucks on the PSP.  I've enjoyed PSP games though, and I want to play Acid 2 and Monster Hunter.

The DS Lite though really is a great little portable game player though.  Its so quick and easy to use, and has some really solid games.  I do miss the PSP's graphics and screen sometimes, but the other DS strengths more then make up for it.   Its time for some Castlevania now I think.  (Still can't believe I find this game so addictive).
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2006, 12:54:08 AM »

Quote
I didn't say the sleep mode sucked Tebunker, just that it wasn't as nice. I don't want to leave a game in sleep mode for a few days after I've been playing the system for a while. Sometimes life gets busy, and I don't feel the DS Lite will preserve that save point as well. The PSP writes the state of the game to memory, and shuts down significantly, and can preserve the sleep mode for weeks. The DS Lite works, but its just not as nice in this regard.


Ah, I see the difference and understand you better now.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2006, 12:56:21 AM »

Quote
I don't think Advanced Wars is fundamentally a better game than Field Commander. In fact there are some aspects of FC that I like better. But I play AW DS every day and haven't touched FC for almost 2 weeks. All because of the load times.

Seriously?  I found Field Commander to be a pale copy of Advance Wars 1.  I can't think of any advantages Field Commander had, from graphics to gameplay.  FC was a huge disappointment.  Okay, one thing that was better was air and ground units being able to share the same spot on the board, but otherwise, Advance Wars 1 was better.  Advance Wars DS is far beyond FC in my opinion.  

(I didn't really like the stealth units of FC, though I suppose they could be a pro, maybe).

The biggest fault with FC, is why release such an inferior version of Advance Wars, when you had such a refined system to copy?  FC even screwed up the multiplayer, without a friends option, or option to easy connect and play with friends.

Ironically, I thought FC's load times were great in comparison to other PSP games smile

Sorry, just a bit bummed by FC, such potential smile.

Quote
Ah, I see the difference and understand you better now.

One other negative to the sleep problem as well, is that since my wife and kids are more interested in the DS Lite, its likely to have a different cartridge in when I get home smile
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2006, 01:45:02 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
 I do miss the PSP's graphics and screen sometimes,


I actually like the DS Lite screens better than the PSP- just as bright and clear to my eyes, and much less ghosting which has hurt many a PSP game for me.
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2006, 03:16:03 AM »

I'm a long time PC Gamer and I've never owned a console or a handheld, so I was on the fence about the DSL.  Well I'm really happy that I bought one as I am loving it so far.  

I bought AOE, Prince of Persia and AW:DS to start and I really like them.  I rented Lost Magic as I wanted an RPG and at first I wasn't crazy about it, but seeing all of the positive user reviews on GameSpot and on the Nintendo boards I stuck with it.  One day it clicked and now I am totally hooked on the game, I've barely touched the other games.  It's a great RTS/RPG and makes great use of the touch screen.
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2006, 02:06:18 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Quote
Damn you for having a copy of Phoenix Wright! It was one of those games around Christmas that I told myself I would get at the beginning of the next year and then suddenly it disappeared. I always look for used copies and can never find them.

I just eBayed it, and paid a little to much.  I had to try one of the few DS games Devil liked smile.  I haven't played an adventure in years either, so this is pretty fun.  


Just finished this last night (a very rare thing for me). Absolutely wonderful game, and it just gets better with each new case. The final case (the one added for the US release) in particular is downright exquisite. I can't wait for the next one!
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2006, 02:41:32 PM »

Any rumblings that the game might get a re-release?
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2006, 07:57:10 PM »

I could have sworn that I read a while ago that PW WAS going to be reprinted/reissued, but I still have never seen it anywhere.
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2006, 08:17:59 PM »

Phoenix Wright has been re-released for about a month now. You can get it easily online from some of the smaller retailers for like 35 bucks. I know I saw a link at www.cheapassgamer.com in their forums.
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2006, 09:03:13 PM »

Quote from: "Tebunker"
Phoenix Wright has been re-released for about a month now. You can get it easily online from some of the smaller retailers for like 35 bucks. I know I saw a link at www.cheapassgamer.com in their forums.


You're partially right. It was re-released, but it has been no easier to find.
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 09:03:56 PM »

Anyone want to sell me their copy?
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2006, 09:48:32 PM »

Game Quest Direct has PW in stock right now for $39.99

http://www.gamequestdirect.com/013388320011.html
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2006, 10:44:02 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Game Quest Direct has PW in stock right now for $39.99

http://www.gamequestdirect.com/013388320011.html


10.00 more than it should cost plus 7.00 shipping!

Egads!

Thanks anyway.
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Scott
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2006, 12:20:40 AM »

Quote

10.00 more than it should cost plus 7.00 shipping!

Egads!

Buy it for $40 then sell it for $40 on eBay.  If you are going to let $10 stop you from one of the better games on the system, that's your problem.
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« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2006, 01:11:55 AM »

http://www.capcom.com/xpml/game.xpml?gameid=800038

Ahem, love me for what I do. Get on it ATB!
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« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2006, 02:11:52 AM »

Ordered!
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« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2006, 03:39:28 AM »

Heh, try shipping UPS Ground to Canada...insane.
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« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2006, 04:41:07 AM »

I weep.
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« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2006, 12:00:23 PM »

Quote from: "Dafones"
I weep.


Why Sir?

I use bucket to gather your precious tears!
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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2006, 02:41:08 PM »

Why? Ha, because, as ChaoZ pointed out, shipping to Canada is a little steep. To the tune of $110. I could probably drive to an eBay seller in Seattle to pick up the game and save money instead of picking up through Capcom's store.
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« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2006, 07:13:14 PM »

I found my copy of Phoenix Wright for $18 used at GameCrazy.
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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2006, 01:19:00 AM »

Oh, if I can chime one thing in about the Lite itself ... I don't like the shoulder buttons. They're either too easily pressed, or not big enough, or not "clicky" enough, or something, basically because I wind up pressing them unintentionally a lot. I just wish they were more solid.
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