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All Nintendo DS Launch Titles: Unpacking the Classics

In 2004, Nintendo introduced the DS, a new handheld system with two screens, one of which was touch-sensitive.

This unique design marked a significant departure from previous handhelds, and there was a lot of curiosity about how games would make use of these features.

The launch titles, as with any new console, played a crucial role in setting the tone and expectations for what the DS could offer.

This article explores the initial games that were available for the DS in North America and how they compared to titles launched in other regions. Let’s take a closer look at the games that kicked off the DS era.

Full List of North American Launch Titles

1. Asphalt Urban GT: Developed by Gameloft, this racing game brought fast-paced action and impressive graphics to the DS. With a variety of cars and tracks, it showcased the system’s graphical prowess.

2. Feel the Magic: XY/XX (Project Rub in other regions): A quirky and unique collection of mini-games, this title made full use of the DS’s touch screen. Players found themselves performing a variety of tasks, from shouting into the DS’s microphone to rapidly tapping on-screen challenges.

3. Madden NFL 2005: EA Sports’ renowned football series made its mark on the DS with Madden NFL 2005. The title leveraged the DS’s dual-screen layout, providing players with tactical views and on-the-fly play-calling.

4. Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt: This title served as a demo for the eventual full release of Metroid Prime Hunters. It introduced players to a first-person shooter experience on the DS, centered around the renowned bounty hunter, Samus Aran.

5. Spider-Man 2: Based on the blockbuster movie, this action-packed game had players swinging through New York City as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Touchscreen mechanics were integrated into combat and web-swinging sequences.

6. The Urbz: Sims in the City: A spin-off of the mainstream Sims series, this title placed players in an urban environment. They built relationships, pursued careers, and navigated city life, all while customizing their character and personal space.

7. Super Mario 64 DS: A beloved N64 classic, reimagined for the DS. This title wasn’t just a port but added new characters, mini-games, and challenges, making it a must-have for Mario enthusiasts.

Full List of Japan DS Launch Titles

1. Daigasso! Band Brothers: This rhythm game offered players the opportunity to interact with music in various creative ways.

2. Kensyūi Dokuta Tendo: Literally “Resident Doctor Tendo”, this game put players in the shoes of a young medical intern, navigating the challenges and intricacies of hospital life.

3. Mahjong Taikai: A classic take on the ancient game of Mahjong, bringing traditional strategy gameplay to the DS.

4. Mr. Driller Drill Spirits: Part of the beloved Mr. Driller series, players delved into colorful underground worlds, drilling through blocks while managing their air supply.

5. Pokémon Dash: A departure from traditional Pokémon games, this title was a racer where players controlled their Pokémon across various terrains using the DS’s touch screen.

6. Polarium: A unique puzzle game that tasked players with flipping tiles to create patterns, perfectly utilizing the DS’s stylus controls.

7. WarioWare: Touched!: Comprising a series of quirky and short mini-games, this title showcased the fun potential of the DS’s touch screen and microphone.

8. Zoo Keeper: A match-three puzzle game with vibrant graphics, offering fast-paced gameplay based on aligning rows or columns of animals.

9. Zunō ni Asekaku Game Series Vol.1: Cool104 Joker & Setline: A card-based game that brought a different, more casual style of gameplay to the DS’s launch.

Full List of Europe Launch Titles:

1. Ping Pals: More than just a game, Ping Pals was a chat application that allowed DS users to communicate and exchange avatars.

2. Rayman DS: Ubisoft’s iconic platformer starring the limbless hero, Rayman. This was a port of “Rayman 2: The Great Escape”, optimized for the DS’s dual screens.

3. Retro Atari Classics: A nostalgia-packed collection, this title brought ten classic Atari arcade games to the DS, some with new stylus-based controls.

4. Robots: Based on the animated movie, this action-adventure game let players step into the shoes of Rodney Copperbottom on his journey to make the world a better place.

5. Sprung: A dating simulation game where players navigated social scenarios, making choices that affected the outcome of their in-game relationships.

6. Tiger Woods PGA Tour: EA’s renowned golf franchise made its way to the DS, allowing players to swing, putt, and play tournaments using the touch controls.

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson, known to the online gaming community as "GameMaster", brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the world of video games. With over 15 years of experience, Alex has worked as a game tester, programmer, and designer for several top gaming companies before deciding to share his insights and reviews with the gaming community. He specializes in RPGs and adventure games, but his love for gaming knows no genre boundaries. Alex's goal is to help gamers of all levels navigate the exciting and ever-evolving world of gaming.

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