Nintendo DS Emulation NEWS

The Nintendo DS is the newest console from Nintendo and the new pretender to the handheld console crown, heres my review of the console itself.

Suppliers

I live in the UK and that means that the Nintendo DS isnt going to be released here until say March at the very earliest, so i was forced to go the import route, i actually brought 2 Nintendo DS consoles. One from Lik Sang and the other from the British Import specialist GBAx.com, both consoles arrived in quick time from both suppliers, because of the worldwide rush for the consoles i had to have 2 Japanese DS consoles but because they are region free and also the fact you can change the language i decided to buy them.

GBAx.com supplied a UK adapter with their DS which took away the worry of what adapter to use, although if you have a PC you can use an adapter that charges both DS and GBA via the USB slot.

Lik Sang supplied the instructions to change the language from Japanese to English but to be fair a bit of tinkering and you wouldnt find it a problem anyway.

The prices of the consoles were about right for the time i brought mine, be wary of Shops selling Nintendo DS for silly inflated prices, if they want £200 or $300 then its far too much even if theres a mega rush for them.

The Console

Im a massive fan of gaming and i want consoles the minute they come out (if i can afford them and if the wife lets me :P), so ive been waiting for ages for the DS to be released. Nintendo made the right decision with the style of the console, i love the flip design which also protects those screens when you put your DS in your pocket. The console itself seems well made and just about the right size to be able to play with and to fit nicely into pockets although like any console get a protective case/bag to keep your console scratch free.

The buttons and the layout seem perfect, i especially like the speakers on both sides now for proper stereo sound. The screens seem similiar in size to the GBA SP although i wish that Nintendo would have put some cleaning wipes or something similiar in with the DS to keep the touch screen smudge free. The console iself isnt too heavy and will fit in anyones pocket rather nicely and with the added advantage of being able to have a GBA and a DS game installed at the same time.

Turning the Nintendo DS On

The moment i was waiting for, on pressing the power button i was greeted with options like name, date etc, once they were typed in the console restarted, the first thing that greets you is an Heath Warning, all you need to do is press the touch screen to progress. After that the first thing to do is follow the instructions any good importer should have gave you and change the language to your preferred language. It will then restart and lo and behold the warning was in English.

The first thing i tried was the Pictochat, which when clicked gives you the option of joing chat rooms, obviously because not many in the UK have a Nintendo DS i didnt see anyone to join a chat with. Pictochat is like a Text and graphical chat program which if you had people on your street and in your house you could strike up some neat text chats. This could be very handy if you have a DS in your computer room and someone has one downstairs, telling them to get the kettle on has never been easier :P. Its probably more of a gimmick than anything but if you do have friends living with a few doors away then it will be a very cheap way to send text messages to each other.

GBA Mode

Using the DS to play GBA games can be fun too, the GBA game takes over the top screen and looks much better with the backlit screen than the original GBA or the GBA SP, one downside is that you cant link a DS to a GBA if you have Link games, so one minor niggle there.

GBA emulators like PocketNes, Snes Advance and GoomBA work great on the DS, there doesnt seem to be any enhancing of the emulators but they still look sexy on the DS, the same can be said of all the free homebrew games for the GBA, So if you have a Flash cart thats not too old you can enjoy the DS to play your Homebrew games. One note also the NIntendo DS can not play GBC/GB games, so the only way to play them is either by keeping your GBA/SP or trying the GBC/GB emulator GoomBA.

Playing with The DS

I brought Mario 64 DS with my console (Jap Version) and the first thing that grabs you is the small ness of the DS Card(cartridge), its minute compared to the GBA cartridge, so i advise buying a bag to keep all your games in one place.

Mario 64 DS looks awesome, seeing the classic Nintendo 64 game in your hand is very impressive although unless your an hardcore gamer i advise to never buy Japanese games unless you are confident your not worried by not having the language you understand. One quirk with Mario 64 DS is that you have to make Yoshi/Mario run by pressing a button down all the time, you do get used to it but for purists it can be annoying, the touch screen can be used to move Mario/Yoshi but until a new wave of games comes along that fully untilise it ill reserve judgement on it, although the possibilities for its inclusion into games is mindblowing if done right. One note i did have is that after 60 mins of play my hand was aching but to be fair after that long you should have a break anyway.

Pros

Awesome Console

2 screens = twice the fun

Well made (doesnt feel like it will break the moment you use it)

Ports of Nintendo 64 games to appear :)

Region Free (Any console works in any region)

Nice rechargeable battery with a decent life

wireless gaming.

Cons

The worry of the touch screen becoming majorly scratched (although only time will tell)

High Price Worldwide (the price is quite steep to those like me in the UK because of the rush for the console.)

Buy only games that you know you can work out. ( dont buy jap games unless your sure you will be able to play and enjoy the game, sometimes its better to wait)

Summary

I loved the Nintendo DS, its the best console to come out this year and im looking forward to the many exciting games that are coming too, not to mention the fact a MP3 and MPeg 4 player is coming soon, so that should be awesome, always make sure that you buy from a reputable dealer of consoles, i can recommend both GBAx.com & Lik Sang to buy your Nintendo DS consoles and games from.

Thanks for your time, hope you liked my review of the Nintendo DS.

wraggster

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