My family spent this Christmas on a train to Stockholm this year. In exchange for using my laptop, my brother let me try out his Nintendo DS, which was an unusual experience. I grew up with Game Boy and am a proud owner of both a Game Boy Color and a Game Boy Advance, so this was definetely something else. I’ve tried Nintendo DS before (my classmates have them), so playing it wasn’t any news to me, but to use one on a trip was new to me, which gave me a traveller’s perspective of it. Now, the Game Boys can be pretty clumsy and take up a lot of space in the carry-on luggage. The Nintendo DS, however, takes up as much space as a pocket mirror, which is excellent when you bring a tiny purse or decide to stick with the inner-pocket of your jacket. Then we have the games. Forget the thumb-muscles, the pen’s the ruler now! With a pen as the control device, the gameplay’s a lot more different than on the Game Boys. The pen’s a lot more quiet than the buttons, so that’s something, but losing it during the trip is not an option you want to live with. Good thing I never lost my brother’s pen, because he’d never let me hear the end of it. Another problem with the Nintendo DS was the microphone. Sure, I don’t mind talking to a game console on the train, but there are bad things about it too. As I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, my brother told me about a screaming competition somewhere in the game. Screaming in commute vehicles is where I cross the line. The other passengers are going to be stuck with you for at least 30 minutes, so why bother them with noise you wouldn’t be able to stand yourself? Nintendo should’ve added room for a headset on the Nintendo DS, because you never know when you need one.
As for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, it’s a fun game to play and will surely take you back to the past. Too bad they ruined the feeling of Zelda with the childish graphics. Even the characters looked like they came from a childish version of Grim Fandango. As a matter of fact, the ship repairman on the first island looks EXACTLY like Glottis (the yellow demon in Grim Fandango)! I hope my brother lends me his Nintendo DS again soon so I can finish the game to the end, because I’m certainly enjoying the fact that I have to litteraly blow out the candles in the game!