History Behind Nintendo DS Purchase
After it was first announced, my interest in Nintendo DS was tepid at best. It wasn't clear how it was going to be better than Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP). But something happened over the system's first year: It established itself through its uniqueness (i.e., touch screen, built-in microphone), free online play, and vast library of quality games. Third-party developers had not flocked to a Nintendo system like this since the Super NES era.
Although Nintendo DS came out in November 2004, I actually did not purchase mine until January 1, 2006. What finally caused me to purchase it? Three little words: Mario Kart DS. If you've read my work, then you know how much of a Mario Kart fan I am. The idea of playing Mario Kart online was fabulous to me. Because I decided to buy the Mario Kart DS Bundle Pack (red, original-sized DS and Mario Kart DS for $149.99) after Christmas, I sweated a few bullets because I had shop around 4 or 5 stores before I finally purchased it from an EB Games.
Strangely, I am very fond of the DS, yet I do not have that many games for it, nor do I play it all that much. Still, the charm of this handheld lies in its touch screen functionality, which has enabled publishers to release both easy-to-play and wildly imaginative titles. Fortunately for us, this is a handheld for the ages. Unfortunately for Nintendo, it's going to take another breakthrough for so many people to upgrade next time.
For me, I know that the Nintendo DS would have been a gaming system that I would have absolutely loved as a kid. Unfortunately, I was in my late-20s to early-30s during its primetime and could not give it the attention it deserved. Furthermore, since I'm only an avid collector of Nintendo's home consoles, I doubt I'll go back to collect and experience any other DS games. That being said, Nintendo DS is the pinnacle of dedicated, portable video game systems. So many great and unique games were released for this system. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, however, I doubt we'll ever see another dominant, single-purpose gaming machine like this.
This is the reason I finally purchased a Nintendo DS, and the game did not let me down. Mario Kart DS comprises everything that is good about the Mario Kart series, removes the things that never were quite right, and caters to the fans by including old Mario Kart tracks for online play. This mash-up of old and new is incredibly deep, polished, and balanced. Over time, its online offerings may be seen as limited (i.e., no battle mode, only two-thirds of the tracks, and just four racers), but the package as a whole always will make it one of the best DS games of all-time. Besides, who doesn't want some handheld Mario Kart action that is as good as or even better than its console siblings?