Nintendo DS: To Feel 9 Years Old Again

Tetris DS High Score
Originally uploaded by genericman.

The first game system I ever owned was an original Game Boy. Its pea-soup-colored screen and stereo sound from the (included!) headphones captivated me all through the winter of 1990 for years to come, until I left it in the car one hot day and the screen got ruined. (I would go on to trade it to someone on the OS2 FidoNet echo in exchange for a broken video card.)

Since then I've owned and played many game systems, but on a lark I decided to pre-order a Nintendo DS Lite shortly after I arrived in Seattle. My friend Sabrina, a game developer in Pittsburgh, has had one for a while and has gotten quite a lot of use out of hers. Plus, I had heard good things about its support for Internet play. I received the DS Lite, charged it up, and have been playing it ever since.

My game of choice: Tetris.

Yes, that same game that I played for hours on end when I was nine years old. It's one of very few games (Dance Dance Revolution being another) that I played until (a) I risked physical injury and (b) I started to dream about it. Now I can play it online, and yesterday after I got home from work I played for about three hours straight. I don't know very much about the people I play against on the Internet, as Nintendo doesn't support any sort of voice or text chat system either out of laziness or fear of the wrath of lazy parents. However, I do know that I haven't been this addicted to a game since Tetrinet, online Tetris on a home computer, and I can play this game anywhere. The batteries last surprisingly long even when the wireless radio is in use; I got through over 100 matches before the red "you should probably switch to AC power" light began to blink.

I also have New Super Mario Bros., which I've beaten the first time through; at some point I should find the way in to the two extra worlds (without looking at GameFAQs) to experience it all. Because the DS Lite arrived a day before the two games I ordered with it, I ended up buying Metroid Prime Hunters. The graphics and gameplay are okay, but I still don't find it very fun to play FPSes with my thumb or a stylus as a "mouse." (The much-touted lanyard stylus from the original DS isn't included with the DS Lite.)

Of course, what I really should be doing is unpacking the last of my boxes at home, but that's immaterial.