The Nintendo DS is the fastest selling game system worldwide in history, and has an incredible game library to back up its astounding sales. That's not going to change this year. 2008 will include some of the biggest games ever on Nintendo's touch-based handheld. This list is dedicated to showing off the biggest games in the DS's 2008 game library. It will be updated with any new announcements. Enjoy.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin - January 21, 2008
Advance Wars rides again with its second appearance on the DS. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin brings a lot of new things to the franchise such as wi-fi play and a new darker art style and plot. Use terrain to your advantage and build up your army. This turn based strategy game will test your strategic thinking abilities as you build your army and try to conquer your opponent both in campaign mode and online against your friends.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney - February 19, 2008
The 4th game in the cult hit Ace Attorney franchise has arrived. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is the start of a new saga in the Ace Attorney franchise with a new hero. Investigate the crime scene, use advanced forensic tools, and defend your client in court in the 4th game in this creative franchise. Fresh characters, great humor, and an intricate and well-written plot are sure to keep you upcomming defense attorneys interested in this point and click style courtroom drama.
ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat - TBA 2008
Mistwalker's first foyer into handheld gaming is a big one. ASH is a turn based strategy RPG. It's the first Nintendo DS game to use a 2 gigabit game card. ASH follows the story of Queen Aishya on her quest to find a sacred sealed flame. The game is filled with gorgeous FMV sequences (See screenshot on the right) and stylized special moves.
Bangai-O Spirits - Q2 2008
If you didn't play the original Bangai-O on the Sega Dreamcast, fear not, you will still get a chance. Bangai-O Spirits is the sequel to the explosion filled Dreamcast action game. It added some puzzle elements that its predecessor didn't have, but if you're looking for crazy arcade explosion filled action, look no further. Bangai-O has more explosions than you can handle.
Blue Dragon Plus - Q2 2008
Mistwalker's second Nintendo DS game is Blue Dragon Plus; a direct sequel to Blue Dragon on the Xbox 360. This game takes place 1 year after the events of the original. It's a real time strategy RPG (similar to Revenant Wings), and follows Shio on an all new adventure. The game mixes 2D sprites with 3D monster and environments for a unique style.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - Q4 2008
Gorgeous 2D art and for the first time a female lead make this title stand out in the DS's already incredible game library. Order of Ecclesia features a brand new glyph system with over 100 attack variations. In true Castlevania style it features a mix of RPG, Action, and platforming elements. Look forward to this title near the end of 2008 in North America.
Civilization Revolution - June 2, 2008
Sid Meyer's popular franchise is making it's first console and handheld foyer with Civilization Revolution. Master 16 civilizations, build your epic empire, and smite your enemies. The game is streamlined for the handheld with touch controls and faster gameplay. Online multiplayer available.
Disgaea DS - Summer 2008
One of the most quirky and humorous franchises, Disgaea, is heading to the DS for the first time. Disgaea is a strategy RPG series with quirky humor and cute characters. Disgaea DS is a remake of the original Disgaea. It will include many new features to the franchise including those added to it in recent incarnations of the franchise.
Dragon Quest IV, V, and VI - Steptember 16 (DQIV) to early 2009
Dragon Quest IV is the first of 3 Dragon Quest remakes heading to all territories. These 3 remakes are Dragon Quest IV, V, and VI. These 3 Dragon Quest games are often refered to as The Zenethia Trilogy, and are grouped as one continuous trilogy in the franchise. The first of these, Dragon Quest IV, was released last year to enormous success in Japan. V and VI are soon to follow, and will be hitting American shores for the first time ever. If you are looking for some classic RPG action, the Castle in the Sky trilogy is a defining JRPG experience.
Dragon Quest IX - TBA 2008
Along with the Castle in the Sky remakes, Square Enix is also publishing the next main game in the Dragon Quest Franchise on the DS. The game is developed by Level 5, just as Dragon Quest VIII was, and will be in full 3D. The game features 2 big firsts for the franchise. Fully customizable character appearance and online multiplayer. As Square Enix's biggest Japanese franchise the game has been in development for more than 2 years, and screens so far show some of the best visuals ever seen on the DS. Expect to see this game in North America anytime between late 2008 and early 2009.
Etrian Odyssey 2 - TBA 2008
Atlus's 3D classic dungeon crawler returns for another go. Etrian Odyssey will include all the job classes from the original game including 3 new classes: the Doctor Magus, the Pet, and the Gunner. With a much improved mapping system and more classic dungeon crawling this is a game for real hardcore RPG fanatics.
Final Fantasy IV - TBA 2008
One of the most popular Final Fantsy games on the Super Nintendo, Final Fantasy IV, is getting a 3D remake on the Nintendo DS. According to Takashi Tokita, creator of the original FFIV, 3/4 of the original script were left out of the SNES version. Some of that is apparently going to be added back into this enhanced remake, making it the closest to the creator's artistic vision. The DS remake sports a new ability system and extended plot and gameplay.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - March 11, 2008
The sequel to the Gamecube game is on its way. Ring of Fates features wi-fi multiplayer and item trading. Gameplay is similar to the Gamecube original, and of course moogle painting is back. Combat can be done with either the D-Pad or the stylus and takes place in real time. It's a direct sequel to the plot of the Gamecube original, and is followed by Crystal Bearers on the Wii.
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift - TBA 2008
Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is the 3rd and final game in Square Enix's Ivalice Alliance. The first and second were Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. A2 is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. It's a turn-based Strategy RPG. The game follows a boy named Luso who's trapped in the fictional world of Ivalice thanks to a magical book. Luso gathers a clan of allies to help find his way back home to the real world.
Fire Emblem DS - TBA 2008
The original Fire Emblem is finally going to have a chance in North America with this Nintendo DS remake. Fire Emblem is the defining Strategy RPG franchise. It's also very difficult, but the unique new art style and the chance to play the original game in the franchise is an opportunity no strategy fan should miss. The game features updated gameplay and strategy mechanics as well as of course updated visuals from the original Nintendo classic.
Flower, Sun, and Rain: The Endless Park - TBA 2008
In this DS port of Goichi Suda's (never released in America) PS2 game, you play an Assassin who's ordered to board a plane and diffuse a bomb. Unfortunately, you don't make it in time, and the plane blows up, but when you wake up the next day it's the day before again, and you have another chance. Think Groundhog's Day combined with Run Lola Run.
Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness - TBA 2008
After the success of Front Mission 1st (A remake of the original) on the DS, Square Enix decided to port their Cell Phone game Front Mission 2089 to the DS. While it is a port of a cell phone game, Front Mission 2089 has improved visuals, a fleshed out plot, and touch screen combat controls. For those who don't know, Front Mission is a mech strategy RPG.
Guitar Hero: On Tour - Summer 2008
Activision's run away hit Guitar Hero franchise makes its way to Nintendo's handheld and with a really cool peripheral to boot. Guitar Hero on tour basically plays like any other guitar hero game, except you strum with a peripheral pick on the touch screen, and you only have 4 buttons on the peripheral instead of the standard 5. Check out the launch video, the picture of the peripheral, and IGN's first info on the game here.
Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness - Q2 2008
The addictive farm simulation game is back again. The unique thing about this game is there is no town when you start. You and your family crash on a deserted island and decide to make it your new home. As you build up your farm, a town forms as well, and more people move in. Raise livestock, go to festivals, mine, forage, get maried, raise a family and of course farm in the classic farm simulation franchise.
Inazuma Eleven - TBA 2008
Inazuma Eleven is a Soccer RPG. Yes, that sounds weird, but it's being made by famed RPG developer Level 5. It is their 5th Nintendo DS game. The game sets out to combine anime sports style with RPG gameplay. It's completely stylus controlled. There is a 6 minute gameplay video of it here.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - TBA 2008
The famous Disney and Square Enix crossover franchise is back. Pronounced "Kingdom Hearts Three-Five-Eight Days over Two," this spinoff of the Kingdom Hearts franchise covers the events between Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2 from the perspective of Roxas and the other members of Organization XIII. IGN's preview called it the "darkest looking game in the series" and it features a first for the franchise: multiplayer. 4 players can play both wirelessly and online in this Kingdom Hearts game for the DS.
Kirby Super Star DS - TBA 2008
The game often refered to as the greatest in the Kirby franchise is back. Kirby Super Star from the Super Nintendo is being remade on the Nintendo DS with all new levels, powers, and minigames. Some wi-fi functionality is confirmed, but what that functionality is has yet to be revealed. Suffice it to say that this lengthy platforming adventure is a welcome remake for the handheld giant.
Metal Slug 7 - TBA 2008
The popular sidescrolling shooter is back with Metal Slug 7 exclusiev to the DS. Use crazy guns in this fast paced sidescroller to blow up anything and everything. This is the first exclusive to consoles Metal Slug ever (the others have all at least been in arcades). This is exactly what fans want. Untainted side-scrolling arcade action.
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer - March 4, 2008
This is the first game in the Shiren the Wanderer series of Mystery Dungeon to come to the US. Shiren the Wanderer is a series established within Mystery Dungeon, which is characterized by randomly generated dungeons. The most famous dungeon crawler RPG in Japan is finally here. Are you up for the ultimate RPG challenge?
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword - March 25, 2008
That's right, the epic action game from Team Ninja is making it's way to the handhelds. Devleoped by Tomonobu Itagaki himself, this game is entirely stylus controlled. It's played by tilting the DS on its side (as seen in teh screens above). The game is said to take place 6 months after the Xbox Ninja Gaiden, and is a prequel to the events in Ninja Gaiden 2. So ninja fans pick up your styluses and start slashing!
Pokemon Mysterious Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness/Time - April 20, 2008
After the success of the Pokemon Mysterious Dungeon games worldwide, a sequel was made that includes the Diamond and Pearl Pokemon. This is Pokemon Mysterious Dungeon 2. Like the original, the game is based on dungeon crawling through randomly generated dungeons. Collect all the Pokemon in the game and customize your party as you please in this RPG where you play as a Pokemon.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village - February 10, 2008
Point and Click adventures are back in a big way on the DS with Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Curious Village is the first game in the Professor Layton trilogy created by acclaimed developer Level 5. The game combines point and click gameplay with challenging brainteasers to create a truly unique gameplay experience. A new puzzle is added weekly via downloadable content. The sequel is confirmed to be coming to America too, but in the interest of time it will be updated later.
Race Driver: Grid - Q2 2008
Race Driver: Grid is the sequel to sim racer Race Driver: Create & Race on the DS. The game allows players to customize their cars, tracks, and pretty much everything else. Grid also has many prebuilt tracks from famous locals around the world such as San Fransisco, Washington DC, Spa, and Nurburbring. Race online or wirelessly in multiplayer.
Rune Factory 2 - TBA 2008
Rune Factory was the first Harvest Moon game to feature combat. It was a combination of RPG and Farming sim games. The sequel is on its way. Rune Factory 2 follows the same basic formual as Rune Factory, but greatly increased the community interaction and farming aspects of the game. This was the biggest complaint people had with the original Rune Factory, so Rune Factory 2 should be a game to look forward to for Harvest Moon fans.
Sim City Creator - September 22 2008
A brand new game in the Sim City franchise, Sim City Creator lets you guide your city from ancient civilization through the middle ages, modern days, and into the future. Creator features four game modes: Challenge, Free Play, Chance Encounter, and Gallery. Ambitious city builders will be able to grab their styluses and start building this fall.
Soma Bringer - TBA 2008
Soma Bringer is the first game developed by Monolith since Nintendo acquired them as first party last year. It's an action RPG with an anime style. All combat takes place in real time and on the same map as exploration (no random enounters, no battle screen). The game offers online multiplayer co-op and local co-op.
Spore Creatures - September 2008
Will Wright's evolutionary new game is on its way to the Nintendo DS. Spore on the DS only has the creature level metagames rather than the civilization and galactic levels, but it still has the ability to create your own character and play around in a large world. Spore Creatures features a unique hand drawn art style in 3D environments. It's more linear than its PC counter-part, but this allows it to be more goal driven.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood - TBA 2008
That's right, this is a Sonic JRPG developed by Bioware. To go through that more slowly, this is a Sonic game, made into a JRPG, developed by a Western RPG developer. However, Bioware is known for their extremely high quality games, and Sonic's Nintendo DS ventures have been very good. This is supposedly the first game in a franchise they are trying to establish, so let's hope it's great.
Super Dodgeball Brawlers - May 27, 2008
What's that? You say you've never played the NES game Super Dodgeball? Well don't worry, there is still hope for your immortal soul. The sequel to said amazing NES game is coming to the DS (finally!) in Super Dodgeball Brawlers. Think of Dodgeball combined with a beat-em-up. Brawlers features Melee combat, special throws, and tons of ways to just bea the crap out of each other in a not-so-friendly game of dodgeball... including online! Unless you hate fun, buy this.
Tales of Innocence - TBA 2008
The Tales franchise makes an appearance on the DS in this action RPG. Tales of Innocence features extensive voice acting and animated cutscenes along with an engaging real time combat system. The game has not actually been officially announced for a North American release, but we can hope.
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff - October 2008
Tecmo Bowl is back, and despite the lack of an NFL license, this arcade-style football game should be great for fans. Although it features fictional teams, the strategies are real. So grab your stylus, make a custom team, and play some (American) football!
Time Hollow - TBA 2008
Time Hollow is a point and click mystery adventure game written by Junko Kawano (creator of Suikoden IV). It follows the story of a boy named Horo Tokio, who upon going to sleep on the eve of his 17th birthday wakes up to a world that has completely changed where his parents have disappeared. He discovers a mysterious pen called the Hollow Pen that lets him open holes into the past and change history. Now he must find out what caused the world to change.
Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One - TBA 2008
Tri-Ace's first DS game is going to be a big one. The Valkyrie Profile developers are handling this DS sequel themselves. The Accused One follows the story of a young boy who hates the Valkyries and seeks vengence on them. Although the perspective has changed, tri-ace assures its fans that the fast-paced strategic battle system has not.
Viva Pinata DS - TBA 2008
Rare's critically acclaimed sim game is on its way to the Nintendo DS, and with gorgeous graphics to boot. The game plays roughly identically to the Xbox 360 version, although with more handheld friendly controls of course. Build your garden, raise pinatas, then murder them with a shovel and feed them to their children. Or just sell them. Up to you.
The World Ends With You - April 22, 2008
A fitting way to end an incredible list, The World Ends With You is a super stylized Japanese Action RPG based on Japanese pop-culture and music. The game is characterized by a very dark style and themes, techno music, and stylized anime-like characters. All combat is completely stylus controlled. The game was designed by Tetsuya Nomura and the Kingdom Hearts team.
Well that's all I've got so far. If anyone has anything they'd like me to add let me know.