5 great third-party Nintendo DS games that should get modern remakes
The Nintendo DS is one of the highest-selling video game platforms ever made. In fact, the 2004 handheld comes second to the crown-clad PlayStation 2 by only a hair's width in terms of sales. This success was largely thanks to its appeal to casual audiences.
However, that did not stop third parties from dishing out great exclusive titles. Many saw fairly low sales but emerged as cult classics that became defining experiences on the Nintendo platform. This is truly a shame, but perhaps modern remakes might do them justice.
Note: This article reflects the opinions of the writer
Amazing Nintendo DS titles from third parties that need remakes for increased popularity
1) Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Contrary to popular opinion, Nintendo platforms have seen releases of Rockstar Games' renowned open-world games — before the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy remaster, that is.
The company developed Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars in 2009, a unique entry even in the GTA saga. Set in Liberty City, players control Huang Lee, a triad member who finds himself between the conflicts of the city's criminal organizations while trying to retrieve a stolen sword.
It is an isometric entry, which is a bit inspired by the first two Grand Theft Auto games. Players can freely move around the semi-open world, engaging in everything that makes the franchise popular. From hijacking and driving around in vehicles to shooting down thugs, the spirit of the franchise is intact, and so is the atmosphere.
The game makes great use of the Nintendo DS touchscreen for activities like hotwiring cars and even has a drug-dealing mechanic that was controversial on release. A modern 3D remake would grab more fans' attention for sure.
2) Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Given how popular the Castlevania games are, the Nintendo DS installments don't seem to get a lot of love.
Developed by Konami, Order of Ecclesia was released in 2009 as the final Nintendo DS entry. It follows the story of a woman named Shanoa who must stop Dracula after the Belmont clan's disappearance. Visually, it is more in line with the older games, especially bringing to mind Aria of Sorrow on the Game Boy Advance.
Players will navigate across levels filled with enemies and beat massive bosses using an assortment of collected weapons and magic. The Glyph system also tweaks the pre-existing soul drops of the Sorrow games and turns them into equipment that grants unique and powerful attacks.
The enemy roster is as varied as one would expect from a Castlevania game, and so are the locations. Given the popularity of the series' spiritual successor Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a remake of this game would be a great decision.
3) Dragon Quest XI: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
The last handheld entry in Square Enix's other popular turn-based JRPG series was Dragon Quest XI: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the Nintendo DS.
The narrative is about redemption as the Celestrian protagonist falls into the mortal realm and loses their powers. The journey takes players through various towns and NPCs, but it's a more gameplay-centric game than a narrative one.
Players will command a customizable party in the game. They will be able to explore dungeons, take down enemies and upgrade their characters with new accessories and gear.
The graphics are fully 3D, even in combat, and the turn-based gameplay is fairly traditional. Retro RPG fans will find a lot to love here, especially considering the fact that the game is bursting at the seams with content.
A current-gen recreation in the vein of Dragon Quest 11 that fleshes out the narrative and characters further would make this one of the best games in the series.
Although 2006's PS2 game, Okami, found itself a niche over the years, not many know that it also received a successor of sorts.
Released exclusively for the Nintendo DS in 2010, Okamiden can be considered both a spin-off and a side-game at the same time. It follows Chibiterasu, the son of Okami's wolf goddess Amaterasu. With a new character, Kuni, in tow, this downscaled action-adventure captures the wonder and charm of the original into a small but cute package.
As with the original, players will explore Nippon, solve dungeon puzzles and battle demons in hack & slash combat. Chibi is understandably weaker than Ammy, and that is reflected in gameplay with a less refined and lower selection of powers.
However, besides that, it is a familiar experience replete with beautiful art style, the Celestial Brush system, charming humor and a sandbox to explore.
A new remake could amplify the scale and scope of the game in line with modern games while fans anticipate the announcement of a true Okami 2.
5) Dementium II
Developed by the now-defunct Renegade Kid, Dementium II is a true showcase of the Nintendo DS' capabilities. It is a first-person survival horror game and is set after the events of Dementium: The Ward.
William Redmoor finds himself awakened inside a hospital but soon discovers that reality itself shifts around him, manifesting in demonic creatures that are out to kill him.
The gameplay sees the protagonist explore the facility and its surroundings while battling or running away from the horrors that lurk around. Combat is both melee and ranged, with several weapons at the player's disposal.
Inventory management and exploration are also staples of the genre. With so few horror games on the dual-screened platform, Dementium II, just like its predecessor, raises the bar. It isn't just a graphical showcase for the tiny handheld, but it also runs at a flawless 60 FPS frame rate.
Given that the studio no longer exists, the chances for a remake are negligible. At least there is a Windows port for those who wish to experience the game currently.
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