5 years of DS roms- day 5 covering year 5 Time for year 5 of our 5 years of DS roms in 5 days threads. As the name implies we saw the five year anniversary of the first proper DS rom on the 16th of June so in celebration of the milestone this week we are counting off the 5 years of DS roms with a day given to each year. Today is year 5 which ran from the 16th of June 2009 round to the 15th of June 2010 which started with HanGeomDS_KOR_NDS-iND and finished with Megaman_Zero_Collection_USA_CLEAN_DIRFIX_READNFO_NDS-iND. All in the year saw just over 1300 releases including nukes, patches, tools, trainers and the like. Year 5 Year 4 Year 3 Year 2 Year 1 [h2]Some history[/h2] While a quick overview of the history of the DS was part of the celebration thread a lot happened in those years and to cover it all would have made it rather boring to read, these threads however by virtue of dealing with a smaller timeframe can afford to go into detail. Year 5 saw a few shakeups but was otherwise another great year for the for the DS scene. That was not to say things were always smooth sailing though as anti piracy was more prevalent and we saw flash carts troubled with the DSi 1.4 update (albeit only for a short while). The larger screened DSi XL (DSi LL in Japan) was also launched in all territories over the course of the year but that did little to flash carts. By the start of the year most of the big teams had DSi compatible flash carts out already and were busy refining them and their features as well as dealing with anti piracy protection. The big news of the year on the flash cart front was the iplayer and later the supercard DS two which brought more processing power to the DS allowing for such things as GBA emulation using a DS slot device- something that without the extra power would be near impossible and amusingly allowing GBA games to be played on DSi and DSi XL devices (these iterations of the DS lack a GBA slot and support for it). Enhancements of console abilities have a long history with the homebrew scene going right back to the earliest home consoles/computers and while many a game was made better for using a flash cart or work of a hacker with one these were the first that provided an enhancement in processing power to the DS consoles. Emulation now focused on two long standing emulators Desmume and iDeaS. On the scene front we saw a shakeup in the rules used although who uses them and what happens about various things is still hotly contested and there are seemingly two competing sets, (1) (2), of rules in addition to those that carried on the old way and those who pick and choose what rules they want to follow. Crack fixes and intros were now considerably more common and this caused some troubles for various flash carts. Not so many tools released this year although wood dumper got released and earlier on NDS_Backup_Tools_NDS-iND to increase speed and in some cases completeness of the dumps (earlier releases did not use an area of the header later releases had). It also saw a shift in SDK to TWL games for the DSi Hybrid releases (those games that have extra functionality when run from the DSi proper- something all present flash carts do not do). In other news July 2009 saw some DSi mode homebrew made available and later a more refined kit made available. So far this is about the limit of things on the DSi and as mentioned no flash carts had yet done anything with this. Finally in the E3 2010 press conference we saw the successor to the DS line demonstrated in the 3DS although it had been already announced with other accompanying rumours and leaked photos before it. [h2]The releases[/h2] By this year extensive use of anti piracy in roms was common although it rarely troubled those that wanted to run them (indeed many flash cart makers reacted and reduced the footprint to help with the situation)- scene releases often appear before street date and you could usually be playing the game by the street date if not before. Early on in this year we saw the DSi hybrid games (as well as several issues dumping them) although the extra features they might afford are at present still unable to be used owing to flash carts on the new hardware running in legacy DS mode. After all was said and done there were actually fewer releases than year 4, debate on what this means will be left for another day as this is about the past and not the future. In many ways it seems redundant to detail the year that has only just passed but between updates, changes and many continuing to take a back seat there is still plenty of opportunity for people to miss things. As it was in all the other threads we will detail games that were great and those that meant something to the scene. Naturally we can not cover all releases so if you feel we have missed a couple of your favourite game please feel free to make the case in these threads, we ask you confine yourself to the relevant year/thread depending on date of release with the folks over at ABGX providing a nice text release list with dates if you need it. [h2]The games[/h2] It seems that the DS is one of the few game platforms that is able to defy the summer drought with several notable releases happening early in this year. Note the release names posted will be first release unless there is a true need for a proper. Horrible_Histories_Ruthless_Romans_EUR_MULTi5_PROPER_NDS-iND For the unaware Horrible Histories is a franchise of books, TV shows and now games that cover history in ways that are not the traditional memorise a textbook approach. Taken at face value though the minigames themselves are quite enjoyable and you might even learn something along the way. LEGO_Battles_EUR_MULTi6_NDS-BAHAMUT Could have made the year 4 release but it is here now so it will be covered. Lego games have a patchy history in general and on the handhelds even more so, fortunately this game was one of the good ones and one of the few real time strategy games out there on the DS. Catan_NDS-VENOM (Settlers of) Catan is a relatively new board game as far as such things go and this is a DS version of it. We have seen a few PC versions and one on the 360 via xbox live arcade but nothing really on handhelds. The DS version suffers a bit from being on a small screen but a great multiplayer and an enjoyable single player make this a quick and easy way to play one of the best new board games in years. Mon_Coach_Personnel_Mes_Recettes_Plaisir_et_Ligne_EUR_FRENCH_READNFO_NDS_DSi-BAHAMUT This game is only really mentioned as it was the first DSi hybrid game to be dumped. On the other hand if you are looking for a French language cook book you could do worse than this. Mega_Man_Star_Force_3_Red_Joker_USA_NDS-XPA and Mega_Man_Star_Force_3_Black_Ace_USA_NDS-XPA We have covered all of the star force series in these posts and while the franchise much like the earlier battle network series was suffering a bit from fatigue/repetition by this point but if you are coming into the series cold then by all means have a look. Blood_of_BAHAMUT_JPN_NDS-BAHAMUT While the US release of this has been cancelled and realistically you can not play in without being able to read the text this RPG might have been a commercial failure and have a few control issues but it is yet another example of the new and interesting ways people try to take DS games. A few translation projects have been attempted but nothing really got beyond the initial hacking stages at present. Super_Robo_Gakuen_JPN_NDS-iND The games of super robot wars series were some of the best turn based strategy games on the GBA (and many other systems they appeared on) and while it is not the first super robot game on the DS it is still worth noting, a menu translation is available Mario_and_Luigi_Bowsers_Inside_Story_USA_NDS-XPA Mario RPG games are not as well known as some of the other spinoffs but they are usually among some of the top rated games of any system and this was no exception. While still counting as a more traditional RPG it is most certainly not a final fantasy clone and a quirky sense of humour as well as an interesting battle system and minigames will see you playing this into the small hours. Scribblenauts_USA_NDS-2CH Made the same people that brought you drawn to life this game is a puzzle game that sees you solving puzzles not with a few select items but just about any the dictionary might afford. A slightly odd touchscreen based control scheme might have marred it a bit in the eyes of some and the lack of prompting the game provides (it is all too easy to just summon a jetpack) as well as the ever fun rope physics did not help matters but this is a game well worth playing just for the sandbox title screen mode alone. Combat_of_Giants_Dragons_EUR_MULTi5_NDS-BAHAMUT An entry into the combat of giants/battle of giants series of adventures/fighting/psuedo RPG games, it took some of the best aspects of the previous game and improved upon them greatly. It might not do for the greatest of adventure RPG fans but everybody else usually walks away with positive impressions. Metropolis_Crime_EUR_MULTi5_NDS-BAHAMUT We have mentioned Hotel Dusk and Phoenix Wright games in pretty much all of these threads thus far and to overlook this game would be shameful. If you have already completed the other two mentioned games/series then give this a whirl and if you have not then have a go at those other two first but keep this waiting in the wings. Wheres_Waldo_USA_NDS-SUXXORS Where's Waldo (usually known as Where's Wally outside of North America) was a series of find the image (in this case Waldo) books. This DS game only expands on it a bit by providing you with a few more things to search for in each image and a few minigames but it is still just as amusing as the original books ever were. Carcassonne_EUR_MULTi4_NDS-BAHAMUT Usually mentioned in the same conversations that Catan (detailed above) is mentioned in. Carcassonne is slightly more complex than Catan which depending on the person you are speaking to either makes the game or breaks it. That aside it is a great version/”port” of the board game with decent AI and great multiplayer support and much like the “rival” game Catan it is designed for fairly quick play so if you find yourself needing a new puzzle game/board game do check it out. Nostalgia_NDS-VENOM While it did not gain the best reviews of any RPG on the system it found fans among those wanting a nice to play a RPG without heading too far into well animated spreadsheet territory. If you have not played an RPG on the DS have a look at some of the others but there have been worse offerings. Atelier_Annie_Alchemist_of_Sera_Island_USA_NDS-OneUp This game is somewhere between rune factory, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King and a more traditional strategy RPG and manages to pull it off quite well. If a hybrid of those games mentioned appeals you owe it to yourself to check it out. C.O.P._The_Recruit_EUR_MULTi5_NDS-EXiMiUS A third person action adventure game on the DS with some good driving sections in between. It plays like a tame version of GTA with all that such a statement implies (how many reading had things deteriorate into a shootout for no real reason other than it was fun when playing GTA?), like any open world game it can be a bit tedious at times and the hand of a censor was clearly felt upon this title but worth a look in none the less if only for the technical feat. Phantasy_Star_Zero_USA_NDS-XPA Following on from phantasy star online series rather than the legendary RPG series with similar play style and mechanics behind it all. A great multiplayer saw people playing this for many hours though. Some said it did not age well and it would be hard to argue it has not aged but it did not stop many others from placing it among some of the best the DS has to offer. It is also noted for a very interesting anti piracy method that saw drop rates and gameplay changes rather than outright crashing that other games would do. Might_and_Magic_Clash_of_Heroes_USA_READNFO_NDS-XPA A spinoff of the venerable might and magic franchise, this game is a turn based strategy game underneath it all but it has many things normally seen in other genres which help to keep gameplay fresh compared to some other turn based strategy games. It will probably not sate any desires for a new might and magic game but taken by itself it is one of the best the DS has to offer. The_Legend_of_Zelda_Spirit_Tracks_USA_READNFO_NDS-XPA Supposedly set in the same universe as the wind waker and phantom hourglass games this is the second of the DS Zelda games. A perfectly capable Zelda game that stacks up against any others from the handhelds or otherwise would best sum it up. Sands_Of_Destruction_USA_RARFIX_NDS-XPA A fairly niche RPG that found a home among those who thrive upon complex combat systems. Others criticised the fairly slow pace of the story and lack of quality of it. This being said much like any of the RPGs mentioned in these threads you could do worse. Assassins_Creed_II_Discovery_NDS_DSi-VENOM Another Assassins creed game but this one is a 2d platformer (think old style prince of persia) and is a sidestory to the Assassin's Creed 2 game set after the original Assassin's Creed 2 game finishes. Perhaps not the best platformer on the DS but a great addition to the series and certainly worthy of being among these threads. Ace_Attorney_Investigations_Miles_Edgeworth_USA_NDS-BAHAMUT A spinoff of the ace attorney (Phoenix Wright) games in that rather than defend a client you try to solve a crime by investigating scenes and questioning suspects. The top notch writing/translation is back and the gameplay that made the series great is too. Ragnarok_NDS-VENOM Ragnarok is an online hack and slash game and while the DS is true to this it instead opts to focus on a story thus placing it well into more traditional RPG territory. It left very mixed impression among critics but is best summed up as if you liked summon night on the GBA have a go at this, if you did not you probably will not gain much from it. Sonic_Classic_Collection_NDS-VENOM An emulation (the same author who made the jenesisDS emulator was recruited to make this) of the 4 main 16 bit era sonic titles plus Knuckles in the relevant sections of the other games should you so desire. Chances are you have played these in one form or another over the years and this version does the series justice, it is not a flawless recreation but a good one none the less. Infinite_Space_USA_NDS-BAHAMUT A highly rated space combat RPG with great graphics, a great story and lots of options which all combine to make this a must play for fans of both RPGs and space simulation games. WarioWare_D.I.Y._USA_NDS-2CH Warioware touched was a well liked game early on the DS lifetime and in the eyes of many this took it up a notch by allowing people to make (and more importantly share) their own microgames. Dementium_II_NDS-VENOM The first entry into the series was one of the classic DS titles and this sequel shows what can be done with a lot more polish to the formula. A must play for fans of genuine horror games (in present times horror game all too often means action game with enemies sourced from the horror genre- this is not an example of that). Blue_Dragon_Awakened_Shadow_USA_NDS-BAHAMUT When describing this game it is a must to mention the crafting system as it is one of the best of any game. Otherwise it is a competent RPG as you might expect from the developers Mistwalker and the series in general. Medarot_DS_Kabuto_Ver_JPN_NDS-BAHAMUT The Medabots RPG on the GBA were among some of the best in the well populated monster catching genre (think pokemon) and one that has not been that well represented on the DS. No word of an English localisation yet and nothing much on the translation front but worth knowing about for the future. Tetris_Party_Deluxe_USA_NDS-BAHAMUT At the time of release it had been several years since the somewhat limited run of Tetris DS so for many this was a welcome addition. Opinions on the game are sharply divided and if you throw some homebrew into the mix it will only get worse. Still it has a few extra modes over the original tetris DS game. Safecracker_The_Ultimate_Puzzle_Challenge_USA_NDS-SUXXORS A puzzle gamed noted for great presentation and great difficulty, it will certainly not appeal to everybody but those in need of a complex well thought out puzzle game usually not seen on the DS should definitely take a look. Megaman_Zero_Collection_EUR_NDS-iND The games that make up this collection were originally seen on the GBA and this is a compilation of all four of them for the DS. If you missed out on the GBA versions these are a great way to catch up on these top flight platformer games. [h2]Closing words[/h2] Year 5 was an interesting year for the DS with many interesting happenings. While it could be said the DS is starting to wind down the later years of a platform tend to showcase some of the best it has to offer and the large number of games above should demonstrate this. Once again we lack room to cover all the worth games with Drawn to life next chapter, (Jewel Master) Cradle of Rome, Nanashi no Geemu Me, SaGa2: Hiho Densetsu, Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics, Sword World 2.0 - Game Book DS, Summon Night X, WireWay, 50 Classic Games DS, Yggdra_Unison, B-Team: Metal Cartoon Squad, Colour Cross, Puzzle Chronicles, Estpolis (Lufia), Runaway : A Twist of Fate and Dream Chronicles DS being just some of the ones we missed. If you think we have missed out on something you are invited to reply and tell us and those reading what we missed out on. We hope you enjoyed this series of threads looking back on the DS and even better if you found something you missed out on. Nobody can really say the DS lacks games to play and what these threads hopefully demonstrated was that as well as the big names there are lots of little gems to pick up along the way through it all.