Nintendo is a harsh mistress, and yet I cannot resist her touchscreenable treats. They mercilessly beat the crap out of my wallet, and yet I always come back. Such is the nature of abusive relationships. So it's no surprise that the DS Lite, coming to us in all its Apple-esque glory, will soon be mine. (Whimper).
The original Gameboy still stands proudly on my bookshelf, staring at me as a beacon of what once was. This monstrosity wouldn't be considered "portable" by today's standards. It was cumbersome, extremely simple dot matrix graphics, and poor battery life. And yet, it held on as a mainstay in gaming homes for nearly 10 years.
Before long we saw the rise of the Gameboy Pocket, followed by the Gameboy Light (Japan Only), then Gameboy Color. Finally deciding, apparently arbitrarily, to get out of the 8-bit era, Nintendo released the Gameboy Advance. Soon realizing that most people weren't completing the games because they couldn't see a damn thing, Nintendo released the Gameboy Advance SP. Finally, to compete with the PSP, and to commit to their insane new marketing tactics, they released the DS, which I seed and write about like crazy on this place.
With the exception of the Gameboy Light, I owned each and every one of those. I suppose I'm something of a handheld aficionado. What's not to like? Quality, quick gaming experiences that can be taken anywhere. While I still play on my consoles, and the Wii is sure to make more of a habit of it, I use my handhelds more than anything.
Nintendo somehow knows this about me. (I think they bugged my Gamecube). So now, equipped with my kryptonite, they've decided to release... the the DS Lite! Shipping on June 11! Smaller, prettier, more ergonomic, brighter, longer battery life, so on and so forth! Those conniving shrews.
You must realize by this point that I have no choice. Oh, I tried to resist the steely pull of the DS Lite. Its iPod-like plastic white sheen sung to me like a siren to wreckage, but still I snubbed my nose. The improvements aren't that impressive, I said. It isn't that much prettier, I lied. I could resist. I'm getting married soon anyway, I should conserve money, I thought. My wallet was safely in my right-front pocket, and it wasn't going on anymore field trips to the Gamestop.
But again, Nintendo's agents knew where I go... what I do with my free time. First, it assaulted me with a deluge of first impressions from noted geek celebrities, such as the likes of Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho. Curses! Next, the full frontal assault began, as every single gaming podcast I listen to somehow managed to work in an episode or two that the DS Lite was the best thing that has happened to humanity since we discovered the orgasm. Get out of my head, Nintendo. Get out of my head!
Finally, for my mother's upcoming birthday, my aunt decided to get her a DS Lite to play her puzzle games on. We were all to chip in about $15 on the deal. Come on, Nintendo. Getting my freaking mom involved? Does your treachery know no bounds?
So I began to seriously consider it. How much does an original DS get you at trade-in, anyway? Hmm, maybe with a little convincing... But I needed one more nudge, when a friend (surely a plant) showed me this series of DS Lite video reviews. Funny, informative, and irresistible. It was hopeless. I was sold. I am sold. And I'm eagerly anticipating Monday.
It will be sad to see my original DS go. But out of the ludicrous amounts of Nintendo portables I've bought, only the original Gameboy and my GBA SP have remained, either for historical or emotional reasons. More difficult has been deciding which old games to trade in so I won't have to spend cash. I've settled upon a full roster of 19 idle games to trade in, and they all weep every time I look at them. Don't look at me that way, Shinobi, this will be better for both of us.
So on Monday I'll be taking a stack of old PS2 and GBA games to my local retailer and getting myself a shiny new gadget. I've decided to spring for it early, which limits my choice to the white model while other colors will be available in Europe and Japan, or will be forthcoming shortly. White is fine with me, though. Placed next to my PSP, it looks like part of an epic struggle between good and evil. Perhaps I'll play with the two like action figures.
PSP: You cannot match my power! MWA HA HA!
DS Lite: Maybe not, but I have the ultimate power: the power of heart!
PSP: But I can play movies!
DS Lite: Dude, no one cares.
And between the epic good-evil struggle and the occasional round of Brain Age and New Super Mario Bros, I trust this will be a worthwhile investment. It will sate my gaming habits, and my need for expensive gadgets, for the rest of my adult life. Or until they release the DS Nano. (Whichever comes first).