VGBlogger Holiday Review Guide: DS

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These are the DS games we reviewed this year!

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes: “And in case I haven’t made it clear enough yet, I strongly recommend this game. I definitely consider it one of the best DS games of 2009, which is saying quite a bit given the amazing release list the platform saw last year. I also see it as the best game in the puzzle-RPG genre since the original Puzzle Quest, besting the original in many ways while staying away from delivering the sort of ‘me too’ design that so many others have fallen on (including Puzzle Quest Galactrix!). Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes delivers an amazing diversity of gameplay for such a seemingly simple combat system – as I have said, the transition between characters is a stunning reminder of how quickly you become ingrained with the tactics and strategies required for one character. If you like challenging puzzle-RPG games with a decent story and loads of combat depth, this game is a must-have.” Read the full review for more.

Bejeweled Twist DS: “But I still have to come back to the lacking challenge as the one flaw that stunts this game’s potential. Bejeweled Twist, like preceding games in the franchise, is a delightful little match-three puzzler that plays well and has its addictive moments. But on a platform with so many standout puzzle games, it blends in with the crowd and fails to be anything more than “just another good DS puzzler.”” Read the full review for more.

Bookworm DS: “For me, Bookworm has become an essential game in my DS library, and so should it be in yours. Whether you’re at home vegging out on the sofa or on the road in need of a quick puzzle pick-me-up, Bookworm is a go-to game for instant satisfaction. You may actually learn something while you play too, so you don’t have to feel guilty if you end up glued to your DS for hours at a time when you should probably be doing something more productive.” Read the full review for more.

Ragnarok DS: “Ragnarok took me a couple dozen hours to complete, but unlike my normal ‘completist’ approach, I left many, many quests undone. There is a load of stuff to do, stuff to fill many more hours – and that is really in keeping with the MMO roots of the game. But sadly, everything about the game is so bland and generic that I was unable to stir up any enthusiasm and just found myself hoping for the end to arrive.” Read the full review for more.

KORG DS-10 Plus: “When I got the original DS-10, my wife looked over and asked – “what sort of game is that?” “It isn’t a game but a musical instrument,” I said, and since then she has enjoyed when our younger son has shared his creations. His complaint is that without some sort of external hook-up it is hard to control for a pianist such as him. Personally, I’m a keyboard hack, so I tend to step-record my compositions even when I have a full keyboard. That makes this ideal for me – it is loads of fun and offers a ton of music creation capabilities and hours of battery-draining potential!” Read the full review for more.

WarioWare D.I.Y.: “All things considered, WarioWare D.I.Y. is a product you will only get out of it what you put into it. If your sole intention is to play it as a game and maybe just dabble with the creation tools, your fun will likely be short-lived, as most of the pre-loaded microgames are similar to previous titles and grow stale fairly quickly. However, if you have a passion for game design and intend to really sink your teeth into the editor and fully embrace the “create and share” mentality, I think you’ll find this to be the definitive WarioWare.” Read the full review for more.

Picross 3D: “Best of all, Picross 3D, as part of Nintendo’s “Touch Generations” casual brand, is dirt cheap. Only $20 is separating you from what in my opinion is the current frontrunner for DS game of the year. Go play it, NOW!” Read the full review for more.

100 Classic Books: “100 Classic Books certainly will not replace your Kindle, iPad or other e-book reader of choice, and even though it’s a fair price for 100 novels, $20 still may seem like a lot to pay for a collection of public domain books you can download for free from places like Project Gutenberg. However, I still find myself very impressed with this title, and definitely see it as a worthwhile app for a much broader audience than dedicated e-book devices reach. This is a wonderful edutainment tool for getting kids interested in reading and a great all-around e-book app for the DS, and even though these books may be free elsewhere, 100 Classic Books’ combination of convenience, quantity and quality is worth paying for.” Read the full review for more.

I Spy Universe: “I Spy Universe is a quality game and an easy recommendation for younger hidden object fans. But with its limited replay value I can’t shake the feeling that this game would’ve been much better off as a downloadable DSiWare/iPhone/PlayStation Minis title at a fraction of the cost.” Read the full review for more.

Tetris Party Deluxe: “Tetris Party Deluxe is by far the deepest, most feature rich iteration of Tetris I’ve every played, and that’s saying a lot considering how many reinventions Tetris has gone through over the years. However, the simple fact remains that this game is still the same Tetris we’ve been playing for decades now, and much of the game’s robustness is built on novelty and gimmickry that quickly wears thin in comparison to traditional Tetris gameplay.” Read the full review for more.

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: “Is it a strange thing to call a game that will mercilessly kill you ‘charming’? Perhaps it is, but that is a feeling I associate with this game. The nice graphics, draw-your-own dungeons and sweet music playing everywhere all just draw me in immediately whenever I start playing. I love the challenge, the feel of the game, and the ability to lead a party and have my choices matter. I enjoyed the characters in town, the way they change and grow. But everything comes down to the dungeons in a game like this, and that is where Etrian Odyssey shines brightest – the balance of you against your environment is perfect, and the execution of making a massive dungeon that is challenging at all levels is simply sweet perfection.” Read the full review for more.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!