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Matt Keller
01 Dec, 2005

Christmas Buyers Guide - Nintendo DS/Game Boy Advance

DS Feature | Nintendo's pulling out all the stops on its handhelds this year. See our picks for one of the best years handheld gaming history.
Nintendo have dominated the handheld arena for over a decade, and 2005 has one of their strongest handheld lineups to date - some of the staff have almost sent themselves broke buying the star studded DS lineup, so we've taken the time to assemble a list of the absolute best games for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance that will be available this Christmas.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$79.95 | Also on: NR
D: Konami | P: Konami
OFLC Rating: M
PALGN REVIEW: 8.5 | BUY NOW: NDS


After a successful trilogy on the Game Boy Advance, Konami has release their first title in the franchise on the DS, and it’s nothing less than stellar. Set one year after the events of Aria of Sorrow, Soma Cruz finds himself in the centre of the plans of a cult’s plot to revive Dracula. In order to save himself and those closest to him, Soma must infiltrate the enemy’s home base, a towering replica of Dracula’s castle that is teaming with all sorts of nasty creatures. Just a little warning; the game shipped in relatively low numbers to Australia, so it may be a little tricky to find a copy.

...



Kirby: Canvas Curse

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: HAL Labs | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: 8.0 | BUY NOW: NDS


HAL Labs’ little pink blob has been a fan favourite since his debut on the Game Boy over a decade ago, so it’s only fitting that Kirby would make his way onto the DS and produce yet another enjoyable little romp. An evil witch turns Dream Land into a "picture" world, and when Kirby confronts her, she uses her magic to turn him into a ball! Luckily, he finds a magic paintbrush she left behind, and uses it to turn the DS stylus into a magic item capable of drawing rainbow paths. Kirby then sets out to regain his shape and save Dream Land.

...



Advance Wars: Dual Strike

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Intelligent Systems | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: PG
PALGN REVIEW: 9.0 | BUY NOW: NDS


The western world was introduced to the Wars series for the first time on the Game Boy Advance, and it was an instant success. Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have continued the series in its original form on the Nintendo DS, using the dual screens to add an all new dynamic to the game, where players will be commanding different forces on each screen. Add in a stash of new modes, levels, vehicles and C.O.s and you’ve got one game that will last you well beyond this holiday season.

...



Nintendogs

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$49.95 | Also on: NR
D: Nintendo EAD | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: 8.5 | BUY NOW: Chihuahua & Friends | Lab & Friends | Dachshund & Friends


Nintendo’s canine simulator has been a smash hit across the world, capturing the attention of many dog lovers regardless of gender and whether they’re gamers or not. Players care for and train their puppy by petting it, walking it and buying it supplies to play with. As a puppy competes in obedience and agility trials, owners can win money to purchase other puppy breeds. While there are three versions of the game, players only need one version of the game to unlock the other breeds; the different versions of just decide the breeds that can be chosen at the start. Nintendogs is especially good for luring the misses into gaming.

...



Mario Kart DS

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Nintendo EAD | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: 9.0 | BUY NOW: NDS


For years now, gamers have been on Nintendo’s back about offering online play for their games. They’ve answered the call with Mario Kart DS, offering free online play for anyone with a wireless access point, with support for up to four players, on top of what may be the best Mario Kart game to date. Of course, there’s still a fully featured single player mode with a boatload of tracks, and local multiplayer which includes the much lauded battle mode on top of the GP. Mario Kart DS is perfect for those long holiday trips and killing time on Christmas Eve.

...



Meteos

Release Date: December 1st
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Q Entertainment | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: 9.0 | BUY NOW: NDS


Puzzle games were once the bread and butter of handheld gaming, and lately Q Entertainment has been at the forefront of the resurgence. Meteos is all about being a pick up and play game – the battles are fast paced, in your face, and over in a matter of minutes. Quick as it may be, it’s amazingly addictive, and likely to be the first of many excellent puzzle games for the Nintendo DS.

...



Sonic Rush

Release Date: December 1st
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Sonic Team | P: Sega
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: NR | BUY NOW: NDS


Since Sonic Adventure, the blue hedgehog has lost a little bit of steam, with recent efforts suffering from being far too diluted, with much of the focus on ancillary characters rather than Sonic. Sonic Rush promises to put an end to this, with much of the focus back on the titular character, who joins forces with a new character named Blaze the Cat. The duo must find the dangerous Sol Emeralds to ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands. Sonic Rush is also the first 2.5-D title in the series, featuring a fully 3-D Sonic on gorgeous 2-D backdrops. Combine this with mind-blowing speed and fiendish difficulty, and you’ve got one of the best Sonic games yet.

...



Animal Crossing: Wild World

Release Date: December 8th
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Nintendo EAD | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: NR | BUY NOW: NDS


Animal Crossing was surprisingly successful when released on the GameCube a few years ago, and Nintendo are hoping that history will repeat itself when they launch its successor, Animal Crossing: Wild World for Nintendo DS in a few weeks. Combining all of the fun and cheer of the original game with full, free online support, Animal Crossing: Wild World should prove a good addition to what is a rather action packed line-up for the Nintendo DS.

...



Donkey Kong Country 3

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$49.95 | Also on: NR
D: Rare | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: 8.0 | BUY NOW: GBA


Despite joining Microsoft’s first party development team, British developer Rare have continued their relationship with Nintendo when it comes to porting their smash-hit Donkey Kong Country series to the GBA. Donkey Kong Country is the third and final game in the series, and follows the exploits of Dixie Kong and her cousin Kiddy Kong as they attempt to rescue Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from the evil Kremlings. With a fresh soundtrack and new mini-games in addition to an already classic platforming experience, Donkey Kong Country 3 is a worthy addition to any Game Boy Advance library.

...



Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Intelligent Systems | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: PG
PALGN REVIEW: 9.0 | BUY NOW: GBA


The Fire Emblem emerged from Japan for the first time with the previous GBA release, and the Sacred Stones continues the fine tradition that has made the series popular in the east. For generations, the nations of Magvel have lived in perfect peace. Now, defying all reason, the Grado Empire has invaded neighboring Renais. Twin heirs to the throne of Renais, Eirika and Ephraim, fight to free their kingdom and uncover the secret behind their former ally's treachery. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is highly recommended for the strategy-RPG buffs.

...



Mario Tennis: Power Tour

Release Date: December 1st
RRP:$49.95 | Also on: NR
D: Camelot | P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G
PALGN REVIEW: NR | BUY NOW: GBA


The Mario sports titles have been popular on both handheld and console formats for the past couple of years, and Mario Tennis: Power Tour continues Camelot’s tradition of delivering Mario sports games that combine RPG and sports game elements into one title. A fine companion to the Australian Open in January, Mario Tennis: Power Tour should keep tennis buffs quite busy during the summer holidays.



...



The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Release Date: Out Now
RRP:$69.95 | Also on: NR
D: Flagship| P: Nintendo
OFLC Rating: G8
PALGN REVIEW: 9.0 | BUY NOW: GBA


Flagship have been at the helm of the portable Zelda series for quite some time now, and The Minish Cap continues the fine tradition of the old top down, 2-D style Zelda games that fans have enjoyed for many years. Long ago, a hero saved Hyrule after being given the Four Sword by the Minish people. Unfortunately, during the annual festival, an evil sorcerer named Vaati infiltrates a jousting tournament, breaks the mythical four sword, places a curse on the Princess Zelda and leaves the kingdom in chaos. It’s up to Link to find the Minish people, restore the Four Sword and save Hyrule.

...



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8 Comments
8 years ago
Cool choices, but no Metroid Prime Pinball? I think this will be favourite for all ages.
8 years ago
I almost bought Prime Pinball today. I was thiiiiiiis close. Any good?
8 years ago
Said this in another thread somewhere... went to buy it today but nobody had it, not even EB. I had store credit at Big W too so it would have been perfect... but noooooooooooo.

Where you get it from?
8 years ago
I didn't get it, but saw it in Ultimate Gaming in Adelaide, but I'm pretty sure they only have stores in SA. It was only $60 though (I think), which is why it was so tempting.

But I've got to to buy xmas presents, so I didn't.
8 years ago
Great article, probably the best christmas lineup ever for portable gaming
8 years ago
Woops yeah I meant "where you see it"... anyway Big W is supposed to have it for $58.92 and it's not gonna be any cheaper importing or from DVDCrave so I was hanging around for ages waiting for them to empty boxes... but then I realised exactly how sad that was and left.
8 years ago
oh yeah! great games there!
...
be about 5 yrs before i cn afford one of them...-_-"
8 years ago
It's hard to believe, but Nintendo has a decent line up for once.
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