Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Nintendo DS Mojo is Gone

Alright, kids, confession time. I'm not having much fun with my Nintendo DS anymore. I was a great fan for a long while, until I had to sell mine. I purchased a new one a couple months back, but I've discovered my enthusiasm just isn't there. I spent a lot of time with the old favorites, Animal Crossing and Mario Kart, but I don't really feel like going back for another go.

Even the newer games, the ones I should be excited about - Contra 4, Legend of Zelda, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin - aren't being touched at all. I'm really not all that excited by them. That's a bit of a surprise to me. Here are three venerable game franchises that I always liked, but this time I leave the boxes untouched on the shelf, while I reach for the vinyl albums and the books and the guitar.

So maybe that's it. Maybe I've got other things to do with my time. Or maybe I'm just tired of replaying the same games over and over again. I don't think these are bad games; they're just reruns of classics from years gone by. I'm glad somebody finally got Contra right, but it was achieved only by ripping off the old games. I've already played those ones to death. Even Zelda Hourglass, which has been credited for reviving the series in Japan, really doesn't click with me. I feel I've done this too many times already. I'm happy to see a new control method. But what good does it do me when I'm playing through the exact same dungeons with the exact same simple-minded puzzles for the tenth time?

Advance Wars hasn't been touched for weeks. That's a shocker. Advance Wars 2 on Gameboy Advance was a real classic. But this new one just sits there. Is it because Nintendo only allowed downloading such tiny maps? A 10x10 playfield? Are you kidding me? That's beyond useless, and beyond stupid. But, really, at its core, this is the same game I've played for the better part of a decade. It's more refined and balanced, yes. The grittier look is better than that old happy cartoon schtick. But it's just another game of Risk.

Sigh. So nothing really interests me on DS. And the bulk of new games are hideous slabs of freeware horse dung. How those projects got green-lighted is a mystery. And how many stupid pet games are we supposed to take?

At this point, I'm better off with the emulators of old Genesis and Super NES games. I'm still tempted to get a Dreamcast, but I fear the same fate will befall me. This is much like returning to an old flame. You've both convinced yourselves that, this time, you'll make it work. You've become wiser and more compassionate, and you've learned a new trick or two about kissing. But then you discover that the old magic has disappeared, drifted away with the winds. The mojo is gone, baby.

At this point, I'd say there's a high probability that I'll be selling my DS and games within the next few days. The only thing holding me back is....well, the idea that I'll come crawling back for bout number three at some future point. Then I remind myself about that electronic drum kit I've really wanted, and those Criterion Collection DVD's, and the quest to find a really killer version of Black Sabbath's Master of Reality on vinyl. Oh, and I really would like to find a girl to smooch. Preferably one who wants to smooch back. The dinner table is crowded and something's got to give.

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