The Nintendo Switch has blessed us with some beloved game ports over the last few years. The console has brought some of the niche classics back into the warm spotlight of appreciation. Cult classics like The World Ends with You can now be enjoyed in lush HD graphics, breathing new life into their already-stellar aesthetics. With the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes confirmed to be making the leap to the Switch later this year, the future could be filled with revived Nintendo DS classics. Here are just a few games we wish that the powers-that-be could share a little of that love for.
Sonic Rush (2005)
Sonic may have a lot of ups and downs in terms of reception, but Nintendo DS hit Sonic Rush is definitely one of the series’ high-points. Sonic’s 25th anniversary is garnering high expectations from fans and rumours are flying wild. I think that a quick port of one of SEGA’s most beloved 2D-titles would be a perfect cherry-on-top for whatever the upcoming new games turn out to be.
With colourful visuals, an insanely catchy soundtrack, and the introduction of one of the coolest women characters in the SEGA library in Blaze, this game is a real treat to get your hands on. There’s so much love and attention here. While the feature of running from the bottom screen into the top screen would be lost, aside from this, the game could easily be reworked to work on a single screen.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (2009)
With quirky characters, heart-wrenching stories and one of the most distinct art styles in the JRPG business, Dragon Quest really knows how to separate itself from the rest of the Square Enix line-up. With a hyper-customisable party of blank slate characters and a storyline that can make you laugh as much as cry, there are hours of entertainment to be found in Sentinels of the Starry Skies that could do wonders with an HD polish.
The latest game, Echoes of an Elusive Age, made a huge splash on the Switch, even bolstering unique story content that the other consoles lacked. There’s a lot of love for Dragon Quest at Nintendo right now, and this could be a perfect time to remake one of their beloved (and best selling) entries!
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (2007)
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was the last of the Ace Attorney games to come out before the jump to the 3DS. It was almost like a soft-reboot to the franchise. With the new main character, Apollo Justice, taking over the reins as the titular protagonist from Phoenix, you’ll explore some very strange cases. From rock concerts and missing panties, to defending Phoenix Wright himself on the stand, it’s hard to guess where this crazy ride is headed!
While the previous trilogy were all originally Game Boy Advance games, the Switch ports proved how great these classic cases can look thrown onto an HD screen. This game already has made the transition over to the iOS store smoothly, so with some love and polish, it could look even better on the Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks (2007/2009)
Zelda has had some amazing ports and enhanced editions over the years. Whether they be mere enhancements like the upcoming Skyward Sword, or lovingly reimagined from scratch like Link’s Awakening, Zelda games almost always end up being polished to perfection by Nintendo. Either of these Nintendo DS games would be brilliant to see again, and there are rumours starting to circulate already the potential return.
Carrying on the Toon Link art style introduced in Wind Waker, these games have zanier characters and tones than the rest of the mainline console entries. This one might be trickier to rework, as it relies heavily on the DS touchscreen and other exclusive features, such as the microphone, to interact with things like Link’s Spirit Pipes. If an answer to these can be found, these adventures would bring us an even wider choice of amazing Hylian adventures for the Switch.
Not every game needs a big quest to save the world. If the very warm reception of Animal Crossing New Horizons shows us anything, is that games where you just get to relax with some cute critters are very appealing. Nintendogs was one of the most well-known games for adorable animal friends.
The cuteness of the dogs mixed with the calming atmosphere of the game can put a smile on almost any face. Surprisingly the franchise wasn’t revived for Wii U or Switch, outside Smash cameos that is. Little Friends: Dogs and Cats has attempted to fill the void when it comes to a virtual pet simulator to mixed reception, so maybe it’s time to bring these puppies home.
Professor Layton Trilogy (2007-2008)
From curious villages, vampire-ruled towns or to the far future, there are wacky adventures aplenty here in the magical world of the Professor Layton Trilogy. These games have brought us hours of brain-scratching puzzles, but these are no mere brain-training games. Bolstering a rich narrative, a distinct art style, and even a surprising amount of well-animated cutscenes, it’s no puzzle as to how Professor Layton captured the hearts of so many. There’s nothing not to love here. These have already been ported to iOS, there’s no reason that these wouldn’t make great Switch games. Maybe this could pave the way for their later 3DS instalments to make the leap to HD.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is one of the very few Kingdom Hearts games not done justice in the recent HD ports of the Kingdom Hearts collections. It was converted into a very bare-bones movie, as opposed to a full game. Alright, maybe this needs more than just a few licks of paint to get it up to the Switch’s standards. But when you put aside the gameplay limitations, you have in your hands one of the most heartbreaking stories in handheld gaming.
Balancing is the biggest problem in this game. It has a surprisingly tight 3D-combat system when it comes to the DS. Some of the bosses are balanced with multiplayer parties in mind, so playing the game solo can be nightmarish at times. However, with a bit of a retune that would come with the porting process, a lot of that fat can be cut.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (2009)
With the loving treatment Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX gave to the Game Boy Advance iterations of the Mystery Dungeon franchise, it’s hard not to want more entries. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky has maybe one of the most moving stories in the Pokemon franchise under its belt, as well as a whole cast of wonderful characters. This would be an amazing thing for new younger fans to experience for the first time. With loads of post-game content to boot, even a non-remaster port would be well worth every penny when it comes to hours of entertainment.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (2010)
Another brain-teaser for the list, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective seems to like a very viable candidate for the HD treatment. You play as an amnesiac ghost, acting as a guardian angel through a variety of scenes. Push objects, disconnect devices and trick enemies, all to save innocent lives from harm.
With a slick art style, great writing and some ghostly problem solving, this Nintendo DS adventure has a real charm that has to be played to fully appreciate. This one is lucky enough to already have an iOS port, so it’s proven to work on a single screen too!
Pokemon Platinum (2008)
While we just got Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl given to us on a silver platter, the reception has been mixed. One thing that people are pondering is the level of loyalty: if these games are one-for-one Diamond and Pearl remakes, then surely the enhanced version of Platinum is the obvious next choice for a Nintendo DS-to-Switch port?
With the success of the Sword and Shield’s DLC with the Isle of Armour and Crown Tundra, maybe all the Platinum exclusive-features like the Battle Frontier or enhanced Pokedex can be added to Brilliant and Shining post-release. It probably wouldn’t happen this year, but it would be a welcome addition while we wait for the release of Pokemon Legends Arceus.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo