Not always the most glamorous part of games industry, portable gaming is nonetheless very popular, with the DS in particular selling like hotcakes around the world. If youâ€™re one those who likes to play on the move here are a few releases youâ€™ll want to look out for.
1. Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo â€“ DS â€“ Adventure): Zelda games are always hotly anticipated, and Phantom Hourglass will be the debut appearance on Nintendoâ€™s handheld. The spiritual successor to Wind Waker, the game will use cell-shaded graphics and will feature a Master Dungeon that must be completed in stages by clearing other parts of the game. Naturally, the game will also take full advantage of the touch-screen in its gameplay.
2. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (Konami â€“ PSP â€“ Action/Stealth): A direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Portable Ops will be the first Metal Gear PSP game to use the traditional action and stealth gameplay found in the main series. This makes it an important release for the PSP and favourable reviews in the US, where the game has already been released, show itâ€™s certainly worth looking into.
3. Dragon Quest IX: Defenders of the Sky (Level 5 â€“ DS â€“ RPG): Depending on who you talk to, Dragon Quest VIII was one the best RPG games released on the PS2 last year. After this success, publishers Square-Enix revealed the next game in the series would be appearing on the DS, thus continuing their practice of developing the series on the most popular format of the time. That this is a genuine part of the series, not a spin-off, says everything about the success of the DS in Japan and worldwide.
4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All (Capcom â€“ DS â€“ Adventure/Legal Drama): Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has been a long running series in Japan, and one which only recently became known in the west when it arrived on the DS. Since then, however, itâ€™s become a massive hit. Following on from that success, Capcom are releasing Justice For All in Europe this year. If you canâ€™t wait, however, why not take advantage of the lack region coding and nab an import copy?
5. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (High Impact Games â€“ PSP â€“ Action/Platformer): Ratchet and Clank has been a supremely popular series on the PS2, so it comes as some surprise that Size Matters will be the first game to appear on the PSP. Starting where Deadlocked left off, Size Matters is bound to emulate the same fun platforming action as found in the PS2 games.
Also Look Out For: Earthworm Jim (PSP), Harvest Moon (DS), Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS), Children of Mana (DS) and Final Fantasy Tactics: Zodiac Brave Story (PSP).