On Friday I got the email from Best Buy; my 3DS has shipped and will be here shortly. Soon I’ll finally be able to see what everyone is talking about and whether or not I think it meets the hype. I won’t have any cartridge games to play with it, so I’ll have to judge it on the AR games alone. As of right now, I don’t have a DS to call my own, as I’ve sold off my DS and DS Lite. This week I’ve been hoarding my friend Jake’s DS so I could get through Okamiden, and I’ve been playing it as much as possible. Whether I’ve had classes the next day or not, I’ve been staying up until after 2 am playing Okamiden, and it brings me back to when I first got my original DS in 2004.
I had a Game Boy Advance, but never got or even wanted an SP. I didn’t like the way it looked, and thought the buttons were too close together. I was probably the only person that liked the original GBA. It’s true that the backlit screen of the SP was a nice touch, but at that time, I couldn’t imagine wanting to play in the dark. I was so used to playing with a light, that the screen didn’t do anything for me, until I got my DS. That’s when I realized how wrong I was about the screen. I could lay in bed for hours with the light off, and still be able to play a bunch of games. Despite the system not having a good launch, I still stayed up late every night early on playing Super Mario 64 DS. It was the second time I had played through Super Mario 64, but it didn’t matter. I was playing it on a portable system, and I was amazed.
It was also the DS that got me back into Pokémon games. I hadn’t played any since Gold and Silver, but thanks to DS’ ability to play GBA games, I found myself playing Emerald and loving every moment of it. Since then I’ve been back to play every Pokémon game I could. Pearl was great, White was better, and even Ranger was enjoyable. Luckily for me, DS introduced and reintroduced me to many more games than just the Pokémon ones.
Despite having a GBA, I never knew anything about the Advance Wars games. When DS came out, that all changed. Dual Strike and Days of Ruin are both equally amazing and challenging. They were so tough there were times when I would have to put down my DS, but I always went back to it and won in the end. I loved the characters, the stories, and the art style. You can bet that I’ll get any and every Advance Wars game that comes to DS.
Believe it or not, DS is also the system that I used to play my first Final Fantasy game, which was Chocobo Tales. It has Final Fantasy in the title, despite being completely different than any other FF game. Many of my friends were big on FF, but it was the art style and cute Chocobo that ultimately drove me to purchase the game. I didn’t really know anything about it, other than the fact that it looked good. As it would turn out, the game was absolutely fantastic, and is still one of my favorite games on the system. Thanks to Chocobo Tales, I wanted to play the main FF games, so last year I started at the beginning. So far, I’ve beaten Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II (IV), and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
DS is also the system on which I owned a Tetris game for the first time. Tetris may have been a blockbuster on the original Game Boy, but I missed out. However, I didn’t miss Tetris DS, which is one of the best puzzle games ever. Dragon Quest was another series that I hadn’t played since Dragon Warrior on NES, but Dragon Quest IX was as good a place as any to get into the series like I never had before. Kingdom Hearts is another series that I had never played until DS. Now I may be more excited for Dream Drop Distance than any other 3DS game.
Yes, DS may have been extremely popular and successful, but it was more than that. If it wasn’t for DS, I wouldn’t have been able to play a number of excellent games, or jump into video game series that I had heard so much about. I’m sure many people have DS stories of their own to share. Go ahead and tell some of yours in the comments. I had some great times with DS, but now it’s time to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to a new one.