I didn’t jump on board the DS bandwagon until a couple of years after its release. Honestly, when it was announced, I thought that Nintendo had lost its collective mind, and by the time it became apparent that they’d actually had the right idea, they’d already announced the DS Lite, so I waited for that.
My exposure to the system, then, mostly came from seeing the DS software boxes next to the GBA section in stores, and being rather unimpressed with the lineup offered – titles like “Sprung” and “Ping Pals” and the like. I lumped them into the category of “launch year crap”, which is harsh but after you see a few console launches you get a bit jaded.
Anyone arguing that the first year of a console’s life is NOT 90% crap, I invite you to go and pay $60 for Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game and get back to me.
There was also a game called “Feel the Magic”, which I wrote off as probably just being more-of-the-same.
Fortunately, my wife isn’t quite so jaded. She bought it, tried it, determined that it was way too weird for her, and told me to play it.
That was a year or so ago and it’s been on my list as “at least try this once so she’ll stop asking me if I’ve tried it yet”.
After finishing Izuna 2, but not quite wanting to dive into The World Ends With You, I figured I’d at least give it a few minutes. I gave it those few minutes, and then every other spare minute I had over the next day, until it was finished.
It turns out that, kind of like I’d figured, it’s just a collection of stylus-based minigames, with occasional use of the DS microphone.
That having been said, it’s also hella fun, mostly because the minigames are so damn bizarre. Spray painting giant rabbits onto buildings, calming rampaging bulls, saving pedestrians from man-eating ant lions, bowling for humans with live bowling balls… And it’s all just to get a girl’s attention.
You are aided in this quest by a performance arts group called the “Rub Rabbits”, who wear bunny ears, ride unicycles, and apparently build Voltron-esque robots in their spare time.
There is a little bit of frustration in the aptly named “nightmare” level, but that is the only blemish on an otherwise glorious game.
Strongly recommended: A screen protector. This game abuses the touchscreen like nothing I’ve seen since Ouendan’s spinners.