Specials: My DS is going to get quite the workout soon.
While Nintendo has clearly used their E3 presence to show the world that we will all be playing the Wii come November, the DS was front and center as well. Nintendo plans to publish 23 DS games in the foreseeable future and third parties have even more in the making. Needless to say my DS is going to be very busy for the next several months.
In fact, Nintendo will waste no time what-so-ever when New Super Mario Bros.
appears in stores bright and early Monday morning. A final build of the game has shipped off to select sites already, but just knowing that the first Mario platformer in fifteen years will be in my hands in a little over 48 hours is almost too much to handle. Screenshots and developer speak really can't do it justice, Seeing Mario jump, skip and butt stomp his way through the Mushroom Kingdom on the DS in all his side scrolling glory is amazing. I almost can't believe it's real. As pretty as Super Mario Galaxy is, New Super Mario Bros. will be the Mario game to have.
But then they had to go and show Star Fox DS
. Star Fox and pals were last seen in the GameCube's Star Fox: Assault and while a lot of people really like it, many were left saying ?but Star Fox 64 is still better?. And that's where Star Fox DS fits in. The game looks exactly
like Star Fox 64. For all of the PSP's horsepower, the DS can still create a game world that I've played in before and I want to play in again. Add in the touchscreen support to actually set the flight patterns of Falco, Slippy and the other one (do you think we can send Slippy careening into a building?) and it's a good day in the Lylat system. And the best part, it comes out in less than four months on August 28.
While Star Fox DS was probably my favorite surprise of the show, another game that I've known about for ages has me equally as excited. Children of Mana
is Square-Enix's latest adventure in the world of Mana and has been in development since the birth of the DS. It too features the same look and feel of a game world I know very well. I've played through Secret of Mana no less than five times and each time it feels like the first time. From what I've seen of Children of Mana, It echoes Secret of Mana just enough to make me feel right at home.
Nintendo may be publishing Children of Mana, but that hasn't stopped Square-Enix from bringing another classic series to the DS. With the release of Final Fantasy III
, Square-Enix has made it possible to play the first six chapters of the Final Fantasy saga on a DS (Origins (I & II) and IV were released on the GBA, V and VI are coming soon). FF3 is also considered the lost Final Fantasy as up until now the game has never been released in America. There was even some question as to whether Square-Enix would localize the DS re-release. But it's coming, it looks and feels like Final Fantasy and that makes me thrilled.
Mega Man has been no stranger to portable gaming as he has appeared on nearly every major portable in the last fifteen years. And Mega Man ZX
won't even be his DS debut, as he appeared in last year's Mega Man Battle Network 5. ZX brings the series into the future yet again, hundreds of years past the X series and into a new future with "living metal". This living metal has managed to infect everything and a pair of new heroes (including a girl, which Capcom is very happy about) have to stop the threat with the essence of X and Zero powering their new weaponry. I'm not sure if Mega Man himself will fit into the story anywhere, but it's classic 2D Mega Man and if Capcom won't give us Mega Man 9, I'll take this.
Rounding out this look back at classic franchises reborn and reworked for the DS is the first lady of gaming herself, Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: Legend
. While I'm downright flabbergasted the game is coming to the GameCube, a DS version always seemed like a certainty after the success of the GBA Tomb Raiders. Legend for the DS will be a 2D/3D hybrid that collects all of the levels from the console versions of Legend. It will also be great fodder for "Lara Croft on a touchscreen" jokes and that's never a bad thing. Right?
It's never been a better time to be a DS owner and Nintendo and the rest of the third party publishers have a huge slate of great titles ready for the little handheld. And don't worry, there will be plenty of new stuff coming to the DS as well and we at Gaming Target will Lite your way to all the best stuff.