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At this point in the review all those PlayStation fan boys (and girls) are probably shrugging their shoulders in a kind of “so what?” fashion. So what if the DS Lite looks a million times better than the original, the games are still rubbish compared to the PSP right? Wrong!
Doing what I do for a living I have no shortage of gaming hardware and software at my disposal. I see a regular stream of Sony PSP games land on my desk, but for the past six months or so I’ve spent a lot more time playing my DS than I have my PSP. The reason for this is simple – there are games on the DS that are fun. That’s right, fun, pure, unadulterated fun. I’m not denying that Grand Theft Auto on the PSP is superb, because it is and I’ve spent a lot of time playing it. But with the PSP you essentially have a home console in the palm of your hands, with games that are just as big and complicated as they are on a full size machine. With the DS things are just that bit simpler.
Look at Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll. If ever a game was designed for touch screen control it’s this one. Then throw in Nintendogs (the game that finally convinced me to buy a DS, even though I knew that the DS Lite was on the way) – not only is this game innovative, but it has the honour of being the only video game that has ever made me feel guilty. With Nintendogs the clock keeps ticking even when the machine is off, so if you don’t look after your puppy regularly she’s gonna feel neglected!
Then when you look at classic Nintendo properties like Mario Kart, things start to look rosy indeed. With Mario Kart Nintendo also instigated Internet multi-play, matching one of the PSP’s big features. Then slap in a game like Sega’s Project Rub and you get a real feeling for the capabilities of Nintendo’s machine while you tap, rub, shout and blow your way through some of the most bizarre gaming environments you’re ever likely to encounter.
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