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The Nintendo DS has been the fastest selling video game system, console or handheld, of all time. More often than not, it stands perched at or near the top of worldwide sales charts. Yet for some reason, there are certain Nintendo classic games which Nintendo has been hesitant to create versions of some of on the DS, and only they know for sure the reasons behind this questionable move. Here are five Nintendo classic games that could definitely stand to have a new version created specifically for Nintendo’s dual-screen portable unit.
Punch-Out!! -- Perhaps it’s asking a little much to have a new DS entry in the Punch-Out!! series, considering that one was announced for the Wii in October 2008. Still, think of the possibilities. The dual screen means that when opponents retreat to the other side of the ring in preparation for their special attack, they could actually shift from the bottom screen to the top one. Controls would also work well. By using touch-screen controls, players could poke for jabs, make upward swings for uppercuts or a half-circular loop to throw a hook. Throw in optional button controls for those who prefer to play in the old-school way, and while we’re assembling a wish list here, how about a Create-A-Fighter mode and Wi-Fi play complete with Metroid Prime: Hunters style stat-tracking?
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Super Smash Bros. -- While we’re on the topic of online-enabled fighting games, when in the world is Nintendo finally going to make a version of Super Smash Bros. for the DS? After all, this four-player free-for-all would work immensely well on the handheld. Trim the graphics down to 2D sprites (after all, previous games have proven they can look mighty fine on the DS) and lose some of the extras like the assist trophies and the final smashes if necessary, but make sure the game includes a decent number of our favorite Nintendo characters and stages, and for goodness sake, make sure that the game includes support for at least four-player online brawls if not for 16 or 32 player tournaments. It’s hard to imagine that this wouldn’t sell millions of copies, and it’s even hard to fathom that the game hasn’t been made yet!
Pikmin -- Those who are already familiar with the Pikmin series of games know what a joy it is to explore as Captain Olimar and Louie, finding different items/treasures and interacting with the Pikmin themselves to defeat enemies and overcome a variety of obstacles. Now imagine doing it on the DS, playing co-operatively with one or more friends (one person playing as Olimar, another as Louie, a third as the Boss, and perhaps a new character for the fourth) locally or over the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. Plus, the touch screen means that players could use the stylus to direct or flick various color Pikmin to different locations. There’s no doubt it would be a tremendous amount of fun, especially if the exploration and item-finding aspects of the game were closer to Pikmin 2 in nature than to the original, time-limited title.
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Golden Sun -- The last entry in this Camelot-developed RPG series, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, reached U.S. shores in 2003, meaning it has been five long years and counting since fans last saw Isaac, Felix and company. For those unfamiliar with the series, one of its main features was the use of special elemental powers outside of combat for puzzle solving. Those could be drastically enhanced and made more interactive through the use of the touch-screen and the stylus. Plus, while the two Golden Sun titles on the Game Boy Advance were already visually impressive, the DS’s two screens and the improved hardware means that graphics could be vastly improved. Giant multi-screen bosses have already been made a reality in other RPG, as have dramatic special attacks. Perhaps Golden Sun would be able to take both of those features to the next level.
Mario Strikers -- In truth, this could easily be any Mario sports title. Mario Golf DS with touch-screen control would probably be just as good if not better, especially if it contained the heavy RPG-style elements from Mario Golf: Advance Tour. However, since we’ve already got that game’s developer, Camelot, working on a new Golden Sun game, a handheld version of Mario Strikers would work just fine. After all, other developers have already proven that soccer games work well on the DS, and Strikers fast and frenetic play would make it an excellent candidate for multiplayer matches over the Wi Fi connection, just like in the Wii version. As for special shots, this time around there could be character-specific touch-screen input commands to trigger them.
For all the great games there have been on the Nintendo DS, these are among those that have been lacking. With a little time and a little luck, hopefully Nintendo will take heed and give the fans what they want -- handheld entries in these five Nintendo classic games series.