In 2006, my older sister and I each received a Nintendo DS Lite for Christmas. We used to travel up to Scotland a lot to visit family, so countless car journeys were spent playing Mario Kart DS. Those days are long gone now, as my sister is no longer interested in video games and Nintendo Switch has become the talk of the town. However, the Nintendo DS was home to a plethora of unique titles, some of which have entered the realm of obscurity. Some of these games deserve a second chance in the spotlight, whether it be a remake or sequel, and Nintendo Switch would be the perfect platform for them. So without further ado, here are three underrated Nintendo DS games that should be revived on Nintendo Switch.
Pokémon Conquest is a game that I’ve spoken about in great detail in the past; I absolutely love it. Depending on whom you talk to, Pokémon Conquest may or may not be considered an obscure or underrated Nintendo DS game. The Pokémon franchise is obviously a behemoth, winning the hearts of younger audiences and nostalgic adults. There are a lot of Pokémon spin-off games; however, most fans only pay attention to the Mystery Dungeon and Ranger series. Although they provide engaging experiences, there’s nothing quite like Pokémon Conquest, a crossover between the popular Nobunaga’s Ambition and monster-catching franchises. Being able to command an army of Pokémon is an interesting concept, as the battle systems translate well into a tactical RPG setting.
Although the battlefields may be small compared to in the likes of Fire Emblem, there is a high level of strategy required when maneuvering your army. Core mechanics of the Pokémon series also come into play here, as you are able to evolve your Pokémon partner when you reach a certain bond level. The warlords themselves can also achieve an evolutionary stage, where their appearance changes, allowing them to activate new warrior skills and increase their partner’s movement speed. Pokémon Conquest launched during the fifth generation, so it would be interesting to see a sequel featuring Pokémon from the three generations released since then.
Mario Hoops 3-on-3
Mario Hoops 3-on-3, also known as Mario Slam Basketball here in the U.K., was one of the first Nintendo DS games that I played. Like I mentioned earlier, I spent a great amount of time in Scotland, so I invested a lot of time in Mario Hoops 3-on-3 with my siblings. There are obviously a lot of Mario sports titles, such as the beloved Super Mario Strikers, but Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (developed by Square Enix no less) is rarely mentioned in conversation, very much ranking among the underrated games on Nintendo DS. Firstly, the soundtrack is insanely good, featuring some absolute bangers like the main theme and “Character Select” music. I often find the game’s music playing in my head rent-free, so as you can imagine, the soundtrack is quite memorable.
Then there’s the gameplay, which is surprisingly deep and engaging, injecting Mario‘s personality into basketball. Just like with the Mario Strikers series, you are able to activate special moves, which in this game are activated by tapping the touch screen in a particular order. For instance, to utilize Mario’s special move, you must create an M shape on the touch screen. Obviously, if Mario Hoops 3-on-3 were to make a comeback on Nintendo Switch, it would probably need some adjustments to allow the game to be played in docked mode. This would probably be resolved by incorporating motion controls, while handheld mode continues to use the touchscreen inputs.
Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop
You may be a little more confused to see Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop than Pokémon Conquest and Mario Hoops 3-on-3, but I love games that allow you to manage something, like in Stardew Valley. My love for management games was in fact directly inspired by Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop. If you’re like me, you probably owned one of the many types of Tamagotchi virtual-pet toys that were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Corner Shop essentially takes the characters from the popular toys and throws them into a game where you manage a variety of shops.
Although the game design is simplistic in comparison to that of other games, Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop is extremely addicting. At the beginning of the game, you choose which shops you want to unlock first. For example, if you decide to open the Cake Shop, you’ll be creating desserts for the various customers that visit your shop. Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop is very much a bona fide mini-game collection; however, if it made a comeback, more could be added to the game to expand upon it. Corner Shop received two numbered sequels, which added more shops to run and more characters. With that in mind, I’d be happy if they released a “Deluxe” version featuring content from all three games and new gameplay mechanics.
These games are some of my favorites on the Nintendo DS, as I spent countless hours playing them with my siblings. Although these may be my personal choice, some of you surely have your own opinions about underrated Nintendo DS games. The DS is obviously a fantastic console with a huge library of games, so if I were to write about more than three, we would be here for a long time. What are your thoughts on underrated Nintendo DS games? Let us know down in the comments.