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 DS FEATURE

The 10 worst DS games so far

When DS stands for doubly sh...ocking
 
Pocket Gamer's worst best DS games so farLast week we warned you off the worst 10 games so far released for PSP. In an ideal world, we could now relax and make a cup of tea.

Alas, the fight goes on. For all its special gems like New Super Mario Bros, Elite Beat Agents, and Harvest Moon, the DS has suffered from as many bad games as its Sony rival. Indeed, according to this unbiased evaluation of the PSP and DS game reviews on MetaCritic, DS has played host to even more dreadful, money-sucking, gameplay-less stinkers.

The reason? Probably the same things we love the DS for – its unique features, such as the dual-screens and the stylus. A lazy PlayStation 2 port might at least result in a mediocre game on PSP, but DS games done on the cheap are likely to be pure evil.

Most of the DS's best games were developed by Nintendo, which backs up this theory, and not one of our awful games were. Taking Nintendo's software designers away from the company's hardware is like making an omelette without eggs, of course, but it reinforces the point that focus is required to get the best from DS.

Without further ado, here are 10 of the worst games to grace our beautiful DS Lites. Don't give them the benefit of the doubt. Cast them out!

The worst ten DS games so far
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
Published by: Eidos
Perhaps the best way of viewing Tomb Raider: Legend DS is as the book of the film. You get the same story, and it takes you to the same locations, and covers many of the same experiences as the big screen version, but you can't help but feel as if the whole thing is simply going through the motions. Indeed, so much of what was an otherwise quality adventure has been lost in the transition, this is more like a book of the film where half of the pages have been torn out. Avoid.
(Score 4/10 Full review)
ATV Quad Frenzy>
Published by: Majesco Games
The PSP version, the appropriately entitled ATV Offroad Fury, drove us absolutely mad, and only just missed out on getting included in our 10 worst PSP games. The DS version is even worse. Pocket Gamer hadn't launched when it came out, and we were concentrating on getting good games reviewed ready for our archives and hoping that sloppy nonsense like ATV Quad Frenzy would die off through good old fashioned natural selection. Racing trilobytes would be more fun than driving these quad bikes.
(We didn't review it, and will be thankful for that on our deathbeds)
ATV Quad Frenzy
Guilty Gear Dust Strikers
Published by: THQ
For Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers, the first DS outing of this well-established 2D fighting franchise, the gamemakers have made some dramatic changes to the hitherto successful formula. Of course, there are precedents for this kind of thing: Scooby Doo got lumbered with The Scrappy Doo Show; Coke tried New Coke; one day Vinnie Jones decided he could act up off the pitch. But sharp-brained readers will spot that all of the above reinventions have one important thing in common: they suck. And sadly, Dust Strikers can be added to that list of dismal rejigs, rebrands and reboots.
(Score 4/10 Full review)
guilty gear
Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop
Published by: Atari
What's going on with the millions-selling Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop? Most of the corner shops we've frequented were owned by slightly sweaty middle-aged men, not Hello Kitty-obsessed teenaged girls. Yet despite the bright colours and unusual fare, after playing for a while you start to reach the conclusion the game was actually designed to be an ultra-realistic cornershop simulator, where you face groundhog day after groundhog day, with the same people coming in to buy the same things they bought yesterday, and the day before that. You'll probably have more fun walking your dog on a rainy Monday afternoon.
(Score 4/10 Full review)
Tamagotchi Connection Cornershop
Rainbow Islands Revolution
Published by: Rising Star
Focus on the bubble, or on the environment. It seems like a game mechanic that could work, but in the case of Rainbow Islands Revolution, there's just too much going on. You can't leave your bubble alone for long enough to destroy the enemies ahead – they'll just respawn. And even if you could, you just don't get enough rainbow power to protect the bubble from the hordes that attack it. There's even a problem with the responsiveness of the DS touchscreen compared to the speed at which the enemies move. The best you can hope for is, move, move, move, attack, panic, bubble popped, frustration... switch off.
(Score 4/10 Full review)
Superman Returns
Published by: Electronic Arts
Where this game really falls apart are in the 15 crucial mini-games. The main reason they're so painful is the clumsy nature of the flying controls, which will have you crashing into buildings almost every time you try to turn. And because each mission is strictly time-limited, too many such mistakes will see you time out. You end up learning a set way to complete each mini-game, mainly because you'll repeat them so often. It's less to do with being the Man of Steel, more a rusty version of the tin man. With heroes like these, who needs enemies?
(Score 4/10 Full review
Space Invaders Revolution
Published by: Rising Star
Nostalgia can be fantastic. Reminiscing about events, places or people almost forgotten but whose memory still generates a warm glow is one of the tricks the human psyche plays to keep us happy. The rule is, though, to never revisit the past. What was so good then isn't exciting now. In fact, it's almost boring. Given a copy, you'd probably load up, have a couple of games, shoot down the mothership, and switch off. Steven Spielberg was wrong. The only good close encounter is of the first kind.
(Score 3/10 Full review)
Space invaders
Burnout Legends
Published by: Electronic Arts
We don't remember exactly why we never got around to reviewing Burnout Legends. Big brand? Check. Big publisher? Check. Highly anticipated game – you betch'ya. Oh yes, we remember now, it was absolutely appalling. Look, early 2006 was a busy time for Pocket Gamer. We weren't even a live website then, in fact, though we were busily reviewing a shedload of stuff behind the scenes. This one didn't seem a priority. There were teeth to be flossed, and a newly-painted office wall to watch dry.
(We bottled out of reviewing it)
Burnout Legends
Peter Jackson's King Kong
Published by: Ubisoft
The PSP version of Peter Jackson's King Kong was bad enough, so when we got a look at the DS version and realised it  was even worse, we drew lots to (be the unlucky one forced to) review it. Then we played 'Iny Meeny'. Then we descended into fisticuffs. In the meantime, something good came along and we played that instead. A murky horrible mess, imagine if a 50-foot high monkey sat on you and by some quirk you found yourself up his ass. Yes, you'd be lucky you hadn't be killed. But would you call yourself lucky, really? You're up a monkey's ass, man!
(We bottled out of reviewing it, too)
King Kong DS
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Published by: Activision
What's your favourite part of the original Star Wars trilogy? Is it the bit where a gold-bikini-clad Leia walks on thin air over the carnivorous Sarlacc Pit? Or when the Death Star II is destroyed and the actual miniatures used for the special effects shots collapse and vanish in an amateur fashion? What about when Luke slides down the invisible hill? And as for that bit when Harrison Ford got stuck in the set and the film had to be restarted... Wait a minute! That doesn't sound like Star Wars at all! It is, however, the Nintendo DS version of Lego Star Wars II. About as coherent as Yoda on crack, play the glorious PSP version instead.
(Score 2/10 Full Review)

Right, that's enough DS dross. Check out our top 10 DS games of 2006, or look for more goodies in the DS Buyer's Guide.
LEGO Star Wars
 

Reviewer photo
Owain Bennallack 17 January 2007
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