[h2]5 years of DS roms celebration- day 2 covering year 2[/h2] Welcome back to the 5 years of DS roms threads, today is year 2 in our countdown of the DS. For those just joining us in the middle of E3 was a special day for the DS scene- it marked the 5 year point since the first proper release of a DS rom. We had a thread and as mentioned in it this weeks sees a 5 years in 5 days series of articles. Today is year 2 which started with Nintendogs_Dalmatian_And_Friends_EUR_NDS-LGC and ended with Unou_Kaiten_Match_Bou_Puzzle_DS_JPN_NDS-iMPAcT. In between we saw just over 800 releases in with nukes (considerably fewer than the first year now the golden sun team were not releasing any more), patches releases, rips, trainers and demos. Year 5 Year 4 Year 3 Year 2 Year 1 [h2]Some history[/h2] The 5 year celebration thread had a quick history but in addition to the first few releases we saw many things that went alongside the roms themselves. This second year was interesting for the DS, we already had the nopass and every team was making their own version of them and we saw the DS lite appear in all territories. Picking a few dates 2006-06-27 saw WRG_Dumper_v1.4_NDS-WRG which was nice as it meant people without some fairly uncommon hardware could dump some roms now (it would be August 2007 before we saw Rudolph's DLDI based dumpers though) 2006-07-26 saw Ensata_1_4D_CRACKED-EXPERiENCE. Not quite so useful as the first Ensata release in the previous year as no$gba was doing fairly well for itself by this point and would only get better with Desmume not being that far behind. December 2006 saw the rise of the slot one card and not too long after that the domination by r4 and m3 DS simply. GBA slot devices and other cards would still be present and do fairly well for a while yet but drag and drop was now the order of the day and it was the R4 that made it happen (others still had options, some optional patching, savelists and fiddly things- they may have made it better in the long run but it was not what the market called for). On all fronts now it was also the exception rather than a common occurrence if a newly released rom failed to work and we had yet not seen the rise of anti piracy so when new games failed to work it was usually a problem with saves (the downside to the drag and drop nature of the R4 meant that this often tripped it up). With the rise in DS slot carts will also saw a rise in features and by the summer cheats were a given for any flash cart that wanted to compete. Tomorrow's year 3 post will see cheats from the beginning to now covered but this year saw a handful of trainers, many patches from cracker and company as well as the action replay (a device to enable cheats on official carts) and nitrohax (a homebrew to do the same sort of thing). As had to be repeated several hundred times over the year(s) DS slot devices could not play GBA roms so we also saw several low cost GBA devices released. Most notable of these was the EZ 3 in 1 along with source code for it (meaning everyone could use it once applications were built). The DS browser will be mentioned in the releases but it was useful for such things here as well. While we are not covering homebrew as such in these threads it would be seriously bad form to ignore the introduction of DLDI to the flash cart world. Prior to this you had to build homebrew against a library that supported your card if you wanted to access the memory (?SD, CF, NAND etc) which was a nightmare for those without a supported card or a card with support added since last build. DLDI took such matters out of the developers hands and put them into the end users (eventually flash carts took over and patched homebrew for end users which was even better). Throughout the year we saw several download stations released, while not a great deal could be done with them short of flashing the receiving DS with flashme or just playing the bundled demos they did quite a bit for DS rom hacking. [h2]The releases[/h2] The second year was considerably more active than the first on the hardware front but these threads are about releases so let us get on with that. Scene releases are done for many reasons and one of them is preservation meaning anything that can be released will probably be released. This means a lot of data and not all of it worth your time from a gameplay perspective. Even then if we narrow it down we will still end up with a huge thread that is no fun to read so once again we will list some of our favourite/notable releases and then kick it over to you for some discussion. With the rise of the DS slot/slot 1 device it brought a lot more people into the fold (for one it made it trivial to get around in these circles) but there is still probably a large number of the present GBAtemp crowd that were not around for these days and likely missed out on something. To this end this post can act as a retrospective and a chance to find out about something you might have missed. We ask that like us you confine yourself to the relevant year for the thread in question, the folks over at ABGX do a nice simple text list with dates. The second year of DS roms saw the DS rise in popularity with developers and users alike as well as the end of the GBA releases (there would be a few more releases and region dupes that trickled out over the next year or so but summer 2007 saw the ports of Final Fantasy 5 and 6 and nothing topped that). [h2]The games[/h2] Owing to the timeframe chosen for these threads it means each "year" we start in the middle of the summer (historically a slow time for game releases) so our first release comes from August 2006 (read we could not justify having Kouchuu_Ouja_Mushi_King_Greatest_Champion_e_no_Michi_2_JPN_NDS-WRG in there as the opening release as apparently fighting beetles is not the done thing). A couple of Japanese releases of things like mario basket(ball) and final fantasy 3 as well as magical vacation 5 were among the summer releases but they will have entries corresponding to the English language releases. Deep_Labyrinth_USA_NDS-LGC A port of a mobile phone game and one that was supposed to set the world on fire. That there is a good chance you are only reading about it for the first time now means it fell short but this 3d dungeon crawler is a good example of developers getting comfortable with the DS. It looks and plays a bit like a game that started out on a mobile phone and while those after such a thing would probably be better off with an emulator it still works as a dungeon crawler. Star_Fox_Command_USA_NDS-LGC The first handheld starfox game and while it was OK the controls did not do it justice. Fortunately those with flash carts can use cheats/patches and end up with a superior version. Megaman_ZX_USA_NDS-LGC The Japanese release was actually among the earliest releases and considered by some to be the superior version owing to things like more cut scenes and voices being present (there were some hacking efforts to backport things but they did not get that far). None the less this is a platform game in the megaman franchise and an entirely new series/setting for the series. It heads into more adventure territory than the earlier platform games of the series but it never forgets where it comes from and is a fine entry into the megaman universe. Cooking_Mama_USA_NDS-pSyDS The four word summary of "touchscreen driven cooking game" does not do this little game justice- far from being a shovelware game, kids cash in game or instruction manual it is very reminiscent of a warioware type game and as such can quite happily sit with any of the "crazy" touchscreen genre. Harvest_Moon_DS_USA_NDS-LGC By and large it is not a great game- those looking for a farming/life simulation or something like it are pointed towards animal crossing or Rune Factory instead but Harvest Moon has a long history and the first one on the DS is a noted event. Dragon_Quest_Heroes_Rocket_Slime_USA_NDS-LGC While it got a lot of awards from all sides it does not come up all that often in top games lists but this adventure game is as much of flash cart staple as tetris is for a lot of people. The slime is a mascot of the Dragon Quest series and you play as said slime in a world of other slimes with the sort of humour you expect from a Japanese game with this sort of premise. Nintendo_DS_Browser_EUR_NDS-ArangeL See also Nintendo_DS_Browser_EUR_CRACKED_NDS-TRIFORCE and nowadays there are third party patches and often loader level support for various flash carts and GBA slot ram devices (the official release actually came with a ram expansion pack that was mandatory to get it running). We have better homebrew browsers today in the likes Bunjalloo and DShobro among others but back then this was an interesting release not least of all because it caused some troubles with rom numbering in various places. It is also noted for being very hackable with common image formats being used to make up the GUI. Club_House_Games_USA_NDS-WRG Known as 42 all time classics in the European release. As the European name implies this is a whole collection of games (card games, several board games and more) and while none by themselves would stand up as a commercial game compared to some of the other offerings as a collection nothing really comes close. Contact_USA_NDS-pSyD, Children_of_Mana_USA_NDS-EvlChiken and Magical_Starsign_USA_NDS-EvlChiken If it could be said that the DS lacked RPGs at one point in time the 20th of October 2006 changed that with three good RPGs in one day. Only Magical Starsign is a traditional RPG with the mana game playing much like the other mana titles and Contact has yet to be summarised well; while most games will get you maybe 11 stats which do little and give you control over 5 or so this one lumped you with closer to 30 and left you to it. Gyakuten_Saiban_2_JPN_NDS-WRG Another game that originated on the GBA and the sequel to Phoenix Wright (the Japanese release notably contained the English translation). Maybe not quite as iconic as the first title it is still a very good game with all that made the first one great. Final_Fantasy_III_USA_NDS-pSyDS We had already seen a Japanese release of this and a Chinese translation of it but here was the US release of Final Fantasy 3. For those new to the series (Japanese numbering used throughout) this DS port was the first time Final Fantasy 3 had officially been outside of Japan and this was a 3d remake of the NES version (there is a fantastic fan translation of the NES version mind). It suffered a bit compared to the likes of the GBA's final fantasy 4 port and final fantasy 5 ports which were already around or had just been released both of which sported greatly refined gameplay. None the less it is well worth a play through if you like final fantasy and it also made for a whole bunch of save editors. Jump_Ultimate_Stars_JPN_NDS-WRG Yesterday we reported on the first of the series and this sequel spawned a couple of translation efforts. You can grab a translation from the translation index. The game itself is much like the first- a 2d platform fighting game featuring characters from the JUMP universe (JUMP is a comics publisher in Japan and of similar magnitude to the likes of DC and Marvel in the English speaking world) and once again demonstrates fighting games can work on the handheld. Castlevania_Portrait_Of_Ruin_USA_NDS-XPA The second DS Castlevania game and another top notch entry into the series. Had a rather nasty crashing issue with flash cards but that should be sorted now. Much like the others they mix up the gameplay a bit which helps keep the series from getting stale- this time you play as two characters with different abilities and lots of puzzles/gameplay based around that. Hotel_Dusk_Room_215_USA_NDS-WRG A great branching story, great characters, a great art style, great gameplay (to a point) and more make this detective story one of the best DS games. Lunar_Knights_USA_NDS-XPA Latest game in the Boktai series that started out on the GBA and was noted for the Solar Sensor those games featured. This one had extra features that could use the sensors but worked fine without them. It is an isometric platform/fighting game and quite capable of causing several hours to pass without you noticing. Izuna_Legend_of_the_Unemployed_Ninja_USA_NDS-LGC Roguelikes are not a new genre but commercial games had not really explored them until this, while the homebrew game POWDER is arguably a better game this one had good production values, a decent story and gameplay that was true to everything the word roguelike usually implies. Puzzle_Quest_Challenge_of_the_Warlords_USA_NDS-XPA Never let it be said that a puzzle game can not also have a story and be an RPG. The puzzle section was slightly flawed in that they were mainly a small set of puzzles but that did not stop this game from being a great cart filler and well worth your time. Anno_1701_EUR_NDS-FireX We had a few strategy games for the DS by this point (age of empires, shogun, mage knight) but this was a turning point for many. Play was something like sim city but with influence from settlers and civilisation (all big names in the genre, indeed the PC versions of this series are themselves quite renowned). It does have a sequel out now but the first entry still stands. [h2]Closing words[/h2] Once again there were many games that were missed from this list that could quite easily have taken the place of any on this list. These titles include Zendoku, Trioncube, Wario Master Of Disguise, Hoshigami (Japanese only release- US one will probably feature next time), Final Fantasy Fables, Code Lyoko, Etrian Odyssey, Theme Park, Nodame Cantabile, Tingles Balloon Fight, Mario Vs Donkey Kong 2 - March of the Minis,Lost In Blue 2, many of the Puzzle Series, Bomberman Story, Spectrobes, Sim City DS, Yoshis Island DS, Elite Beat Agents, Scurge: Hive and many many more. Come back tomorrow for DS rom releases year 3.