FGotY 2009 [Nintendo DS]

Next up on the Fun Games of the Year 2009 is the Nintendo DS.

Brock – This is a tough one. We’ve had several great games on the DS this year with Nostalgia being my pick for old-school JRPG fun, Rhythm Heaven for silly minigame fun and Retro Game Challenge for just oozing charm and respect for a bygone era. That said, I’ll have to play it safe and go with my current love, The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for bringing a huge smile to my face as I toot-toot my way around Hyrule. It polishes the gameplay mechanics of Phantom Hourglass and does away with pretty much everything that was a negative with that title while layering on new items, fantastic music and the awesome fun that is pulling on the emergency brake every time you pull into station.

Jason O – The DS was another late year addition to our house and I think it has exposed that I’m not really much of a portable gamer. Yet the massive library means something has to be there for everyone. For me, the best DS game was Phantasy Star 0. If I were reviewing it on a traditional scale it probably would rate pretty mediocre, but I loved Phantasy Star Online, purchasing it both for the Dreamcast and later the Gamecube. This is essentially Phantasy Star Online for the DS. What really has made the game appeal to me is that it’s a real RPG with just enough Japanese styling to not get in the way but maintain visual appeal. That and the gameplay is essentially Phantasy Star Online right down to the control scheme.

JamesDragonball Z: Attack of the Sayajins: If you ever wanted to play a Final Fantasy game with other characters from a different series like…Dragonball Z then this is your game. I like The Final Fantasy series and having the characters and moves from the Dragonball Z series makes the game all that more enjoyable for me.

Nat – Hearkening all the way back to January, I was introduced to Big Bang Mini. It’s unique style of SHMUP play and catchy music propelled it to the funnest game I played on the DS this year. It’s the only title I know of that is challenging and relaxing. Retro Game Challenge gets props for bringing a huge nostalgic smile to my face.

Will – My Nintendo DS doesn’t get as much attention as I would like to give it, likely due to the fact that I don’t leave the house very often. As a result, the only three games I played that are eligible for the FGotY 2009 [Nintendo DS] are Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars and Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (The Director’s Cut). I give the award to Henry Hatsworth because of its blend of platforming and puzzle elements. The platforming sections can be pretty brutal, and switching to the puzzle section gives both a much needed break from the action and useful powerups to take on all the enemies you will face.

Tony – I purchased one new DS game this year, Fire Emblem: Dragon Sword. I had liked previous iterations of the Fire Emblem but had my issues with this game. I hope to explore those issues in a future post, but for now I’ll declare Fire Emblem my FGotY for the Nintendo DS by virtue of it being the only one that qualifies.


  1. Jason: I take your pick to mean that if I loved PSO on the Dreamcast (which I did), then I will love the DS version. That’s enough to sell me on it. I’ll try to pick it up soon.

  2. Will, nice call on your games. I have all three of your picks but I haven’t put much time into any of them aside from Henry Hatsworth and while it is a brilliant game, it is so utterly broken and frustrating near the end that I couldn’t even nominate it for my FUN game of the year for the system.

    • I guess I haven’t got far enough in the game to see that side of it yet. I’ve heard that the developers didn’t playtest the last level at all, which is where the majority of problems lies.

      All the same, I’m enjoying it.

      • It was fun until the fight with the boss in the water level (if I remember correctly). I did manage to beat that boss, somehow, but it was one of the most maddening fights I’ve ever engaged in in a videogame.

        The final level, if that’s where I am now, is insane.

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