[’09 Holiday Buyer’s Guide] Nintendo DS

With the recent introduction of the DSi, many people are going to be wishing to find their first (or second… or third) Nintendo handheld underneath the tree this year. Many people are going to be completely new to the world of dual screen gaming. Many are finding a renewed interest in the platform. And many people are hardcore veterans who’ve had a DS in their pocket since the days of the phat.

Whichever demographic is on your wish list, we’ve got you covered with our holiday buyer’s guide. We cover everything from games to gear in this quick yet efficient list.

2009 Releases
As with every year, 2009 has produced a huge flood of titles for the DS, and it’s going to be very easy to get lost when trying to pick out a decent title for the gamer on your list. When out shopping this season, try to stick to the games on this list to make sure you pick up a stellar title.

  • Scribblenauts

Look, I don’t care who the gamer on the list is, they will love this game. Old or young, I’ve never met a gamer who didn’t have a blast with this highly original puzzle game. The first time your loved one summons God and forces him to fight a tyrannosaurus rex with a ninja sword they will be hooked.
(Our review)

  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Inside Story is the third installment in the stellar Mario & Luigi RPG series, and the second entry to hit the DS. That doesn’t mean, however, that the gamer on your list needs to be familiar the two former titles. This game is not only deep, satisfying, and extremely rewarding, but it’s also very accessible. Inside Story is a no-brainer for a gift idea.

  • Moon

The DS’s touchscreen and button combo was once thought of to be an ideal setup for first person shooting on the go. Well, with the exception of a few exceptions, the DS never really pulled through and took advantage of its boatload of potential. One of those exceptions is Moon, a moody and visually stunning first person shooter set in space. Shooting shit on Earth is awesome. Shooting shit on the Moon? Awesome+

  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

I don’t know why anyone ever bought this game. Maybe people refused to believe that a true GTA game could be emulated on Nintendo’s tiny portable. Maybe the Nintendo crowd just doesn’t care about GTA. Who knows, really. But whatever the reason, this game is great and deserved much better. So why not give your loved ones the gift of pocket-sized drug dealing and cold-blooded murder. They’ll be very grateful.
(Our review)

  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

It’s a Zelda game.


  • Dementium: The Ward
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike
  • Casltevania: Dawn of Sorrow
  • Mariokart DS
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

That’s about it! A little bit later I’ll publish a list of great games for Nintendo’s DSiWare service, so keep an eye out for that. One last thing I want to add is that if the gamer on your list is asking for a DS, make sure you get them a DSi and don’t skinny for the Lite. Turst me, they’ll get much more out of it in the long run.

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