Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Girl Gamer Recommends: Portable Games

Last of my “Girl Gamer Recommends” series, the portable games! The only portable game systems I have are the Nintendo DS and 3DS so sorry for any PSP players out there! I can't say enough about how much I LOVE my 3DS. I love the extremely wide range of games that are available, from just about every genre imaginable. I really love the way Nintendo incorporated Miis into the 3DS, and the Street Pass feature and mini-games are awesome! The 3D feature isn't at all distracting because you can adjust it for yourself, or turn it off entirely. I've never had a problem with their webstore, and (again) they offer a seriously large selection of down-loadable games there too! I might have to get a new one though because I recently saw this on Tumblr!! Being the Nintendo, hardcore Mario fan that I am, I am REALLY tempted!!!

Also, I don't think many people know this, but Nintendo has a really fun loyalty program. In almost all of the Nintendo games you buy, inside is a flyer about Club Nintendo. By registering your game and filling out a short survey about it, you not only get to give your feedback directly where it matters, but you also earn points that you can redeem for some amazing official Nintendo merchandise. So far Husband and I have scored a cute messenger bag and a 3DS case that looks like Mario's hat.

I actually have a ton of DS games, so many that it took quite a long time for me to find the perfect case for them. I kept having these guys in specialty game stores telling me that I “only really need to take like three games with me.” Um, no. I like to have as many as possible!! The case I have now is from Hori and it holds up to 24 DS games (or 23 and one SD memory card). 

Since I do have so many games though, I'm only going to talk about a couple... All of the ones I regularly play, and some that deserve a special shoutout.

New Super Mario Bros.: Seriously, did you think I wasn't going to start with this one? Love it love it love it. Nintendo has really recaptured the feeling of the original game with these latest incarnations and they just get better and better. As long as they keep doing it right, I'm going to keep giving them my money. The nice thing about this portable version are the different options for save points. Once you've beaten the game fully through you can save anywhere you like, but before that you have to get to certain save points (which can be a drag if you're an adult with places to be) but never fear, simply closing your DS will put it into sleep mode and automatically save your place. Man I love this system so much.

Super Mario Bros.: Downloaded for free as a loyalty perk for buying the 3DS before the price drop, this is the game that I play the most. Almost constantly. Of course I would. With the exception of a few bugs that are not present in the original game, this is the real deal. It even controls the same way. So if you're looking to play the classic and don't happen to have a spare Nintendo around, this is the next best thing.

MarioKart DS: This game actually came with Husband's special edition red DS, but I've since stolen it. It plays really faithfully like the other editions of MarioKart and it's fun on the go. I also love racing against Husband over the Wi-Fi connection!

The Legendary Starfy: Husband actually bought the Japanese version of this game at an anime convention, and proceeded to become VERY popular with the ladies. Lots of, “Oh, that's so cute, what are you playing?” “The little star has costumes!!” “*Squeeee!*” I have to admit though, it IS really cute and Husband eventually bought me my own US/English copy. It's a basic platformer, with the exception that as a starfish, you spend most of the time in the water. The controls are spot on though, just different, and even out of the water Starfy controls just as well. And yes, you do collect silly costumes for the little star to wear. I like when he's dressed like a shrimp.

 Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D: This is my latest pick-up after Husband learned about it on GayGamer. Gabrielle's is a rhythm game that's simple and easy to pick up, but the real fun is in collecting all of the different outfits, badges, and accessories. The story and characters are really adorable too.

Tetris DS: This was initially Husband's game, but I eventually adopted it and play it more now than he does. If you like Tetris, this is fun to play on the go and there are a lot of different variations on the classic game to try out.

 PuzzleQuest: Again, this was Husband's game first. He would play it endlessly, but he would ask me for help with some of the skill puzzles. When I found myself not giving it back to him once I was done with that specific puzzle... well I think that's a good sign that I should just play it for myself. It combines a role playing game and essentially another version of Bejeweled, but that really doesn't describe how fun the game really is. <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/03/28">(Though this comic from Penny Arcade does.)</a>

Princess Debut: This was the first “dating sim” I ever played and it was really fun. I did spend a lot of time on the phone with Husband at work yelling, “But what should I choose!! I don't want to be alone!!” Luckily, I don't think you CAN end up alone. It's very fanciful and a wonderful escape. I've been thinking about starting a new game again. The only reason I didn't start a new game right away was because I got the ending that I had really wanted the first time! 

Style Savvy: Get ready... This was Husband's game first. Actually we have two copies now. This is a sim game where you run a fashion retail store. It's totally addictive. You design your character, your store, what types of clothes to carry, go shopping to stock your store, help customers, compete in fashion shows.... endlessly fun to play. The very best part is that you can connect over the Wi-Fi with other players and shop in their stores to get limited edition or out of stock items. Husband and I have a ball playing this! Also, once I was on a plane and was really sad I didn't have my copy with me because a little girl was playing in the aisle across from me and I wanted to shout, “OMG STYLE SAVVY! WE SHOULD CONNECT!” which, you know, as a grown woman isn't weird at all and totally wouldn't have weirded out her mom or anything.... ha ha... At least it wasn't Husband, he would have REALLY freaked out that poor lady. 

 My Japanese Coach: I bought this to continue to brush up on my language studies. I really love the way that this game lets you take a placement test before dropping you in to something that's either too easy or too hard. The interface is also really fun, you move geographically through Japan as you complete lessons and features my favorite place on Earth: Puroland! There are also helpful tools included such as a dictionary for both words and phrases. I've actually found it really useful!

Special Mentions:

BrainAge: Husband got this for me when I first got my DS and I liked playing the brain teasers, but mostly I used it to play Sudoku. Now that I have Sudoku on my phone and my iPad and in books, I don't use it as much.


Professor Layton Series (The Curious Village, The Diabolical Box): I really want to like these games. I love mystery games, but if Professor Layton is so smart, then why do I have to solve all these stupid puzzles? And what is wrong with these people that they can't even be remotely helpful? I think I really just need to sit down and watch the Professor Layton movie and let someone else play the games.

 Phoenix Wright: I had the first of these games and I really liked it, but again I was bogged down trying to find just the right thing in just the right spot in scenes. It was also frustrating when I would know the answer and would still struggle to find the exact way that the game wanted it presented. Despite that the characters were awesome, as were the stories, and mysteries.

And that's that! Hopefully someone out there has found something new to try our or maybe reminded of an old favorite. Happy gaming everyone, I have a Princess to save in another castle!!

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