The DS at E3: Games, games, and more games

We look at what E3 has in store for the Nintendo DS.

The Wii, the Xbox 360, and the PS3 might be getting the most attention at this year's E3, but don't count Nintendo's two-screen handheld out of the picture. The Nintendo DS probably won't be getting any major hardware announcements this year, but it's still slated to get a bevy of must-have and might-want-to-have games.

Of all the DS' upcoming titles, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is undoubtedly the most anticipated. This direct sequel to the Gamecube hit The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker will be the first Zelda game to hit the DS. This cell-shaded, stylus-controlled title looks great, though its cutesy art style and unique control scheme might throw off old-school Zelda purists.

Square-Enix is bringing a ton of exclusive titles to the DS. Dragon Quest IX will be the first "real" Dragon Quest game to hit a portable system. While the Wii is getting the less anticipated Dragon Quest Swords. The DS remake of Final Fantasy 4 will bring the classic SNES RPG into full 3D, much like last year's remake of Final Fantasy 3. Since Final Fantasy 4 (Final Fantasy 2 when it was first released in the United States) was many gamers' first taste of the Final Fantasy series, plenty of old-school gamers are excited. Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and Front Mission 1st will give the DS a much-needed taste of turn-based strategy RPG gaming. Front Mission 1st, a remake of the original, Japan-only Front Mission for the Super Famicom (SNES), doesn't have the chocobos of Final Fantasy or the cute slimes of Dragon Quest, but it has giant robots and they're pretty darn cool, too. If that's not enough, Square-Enix has no less than three more DS games on the way: Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Heroes of Mana, and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker are all scheduled to hit stores between August and December.

Nintendo and Square-Enix aren't monopolizing the DS, though (even if Square-Enix is trying its best). Tecmo will show off Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Sierra Entertainment will show off Geometry Wars: Galaxies, trying to catch the eye of Xbox and Xbox 360 owners who played their games' previous versions. Capcom is bringing more Mega Man to the DS with August's Mega Man Star Force and this fall's Mega Man ZX Advent. Finally, keep an eye on Konami; Contra 4 is hitting the DS as a direct sequel to the SNES classic Contra 3: The Alien Wars, and it's pretty safe to say that there's another Castlevania in the pipe.

As for hardware and accessories, the DS probably isn't going to get much. Earlier we reported a DS camera for a Japanese face-training game , but we probably won't see it at E3. Face Training for the Nintendo DS has only recently been announced in Japan, and it'll take some time before we'll get any news of a translation and U.S. distribution.

 

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