DS Ports


Nov 2, 2012
I've always felt that the Nintendo DS is a great system for ports of older games, particularly those that could have benefited greatly from a map or mouse compatibility. (Were there any games other than Mario Paint that used that SNES mouse?) It also has considerably more power than older consoles, allowing developers to add some extra content so you don't feel like you'd be better off just emulating your favorites of yesteryear. So, what are some of your favorite ports on the DS? Here are a few of mine.

First and Foremost is Front Mission, a mecha combat turn-based strategy RPG originally released by Square on the SNES. The SNES version was never given a release in the states, but it gained a lot of popularity in the emulating community due to a fan-translation. From what I hear, Square actually went to the team who'd translated it to polish things up a bit when they re-released it on the DS. The improvements on the DS version mainly consist of the bottom screen showing everything the regular screen showed on the SNES, with the added bonus of being able to click on things, and the top screen showing things like a map of the battle area or vital statistics of the currently selected character. There's also an extra mode in which you see things from the side of the opposing army. I haven't played that bit, myself, but hey, it's more gameplay hours.

Also noteworthy is Resident Evil: DS. The full title is Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, but this really has nothing to do with the content of the game. They just picked two serious-sounding words that started with D and S, and called it a day. Deadly Silence is a port of the original Resident Evil for the Playstation with a good bit of new content thrown in. There are now various minigames scattered throughout the mansion, including a dart game that will make you rage like a four year old playing Contra 4 and a combat minigame where your character enters the room and inexplicably decides they're hardcore enough to defeat a few waves of enemies by flailing about with their knife. And speaking of the knife, thank Miyamoto, that useless cake carver no longer takes up an inventory space. You just draw it by holding the L button, no need to even switch weapons. That's reason enough to buy the game right there!

Finally, there's Disgaea, a game originally from the PS2. I haven't gotten too far into it, but I know they've added a diary that adds more insight to one of the main characters. The same character also gets their own brief campaign, unlocked when you beat the game. Disgaea is another turn-based strategy RPG, much like Front Mission or Final Fantasy Tactics. Unlike those games, however, it is extremely grindy and almost needlessly complex. Be ready to put in some serious time and research with this one.
You're quite correct in saying that the Nintendo DS was a great system for old game ports. Front Mission was an awesome tactical RPG that benefited from being on the DS. I remember playing it almost entirely with the stylus, it's almost as if the game was built exclusively for this handheld. Contra 4 is another favorite of mine, the system's d-pad and buttons are excellently positioned with near-perfect tactile feedback for such a twitch game.

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