Top positive review
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Lighter is Better
on August 31, 2006
People will no doubt find the Nintendo DS Lite to be a way for Nintendo to sucker people out of their money. It can be that way, if you think of yourself as a sucker, but for me the DS lite is a little better. Simply put, if you're content with your original DS, then don't even waste time to buy this one. If you don't have a DS period, the DS Lite is a much better investment than the original bulky one.
With the DS Lite, gameplay is made a little simplar. The button placement and brighter screen make the gameplay a little better. For one, the start and select buttons have been moved to resemble where they were on the original Gameboy Advance. This makes handling some of the functions (especially for GBA games) a lot easier. The buttons, sadly, are a still a little small for guys with big hands like myself.
The DS Lite also comes with a phony GBA cartridge (called a "cap"). If you don't have a GBA game plugged into the system, you can put in the phony cartridge to keep it from collecting dust in there. However, when you do stick in a GBA game, it sticks out by about a centimeter. It just looks weird. The cap does, at least, keep the system looking good.
Perhaps the most welcome change to the DS Lite is the screen. The original DS screen was not exactly bright. In fact, it was, in comparison the DS Lite, rather dark. Games like Metroid Prime Hunters were darker than they had to be. On this new screen, the difference in how bright the games appear really shows. Not only that but, you can adjust the brightness if need be. It doesn't really affect the battery life, either. You can play the DS Lite for as long as you played the original. And also like the original, it charges while you play.
Another welcome difference is the touch screen itself. These screens last a lot longer than the original DS. Those who have an original DS no doubt experienced a lot of scratches on their screen from their stylus. To the point where it was noticeable. You could still see the screen, but it was apparent that the stylus was doing a number on it. The screen is more protected here. The stylus doesn't scratch the screen quite as easily. In other words, the touch screen lasts a lot longer.
The DS Lite also looks better, and fits in your pocket better. It also performs all the tasks of a regular DS. For example, if you're playing a game and you suddenly have to go, just flip it closed and it sleeps. There's also a place to store the stylus, and the stylus is better too. It's a little bigger and thicker, so it's not quite as easy to lose.
Some problems with the original DS still plague the DS Lite however. You still can't play Gameboy Color or regular Gameboy games on the DS Lite. Also, you still can't configure the controls to play a GBA game much easier. In other words you can't configure "X" and "Y" when you play a GBA game. This probably won't bother you in the long run, however. Also, the touch screen still has its sensitivity. Touching the touch screen with your bare hands is more dangerous than the stylus scratching the screen. The oils from your fingers might damage the screen and therefore, it won't respond to the touch of even your stylus.
When the original DS launched, owners will note that there were not very many good games availible. About the only good game during its launch in 2004 was Super Mario 64 DS. Now there are plenty of games out there (and not all of them are ports), so if you do want a DS, this is a great time to get one, and the DS Lite is a better investment than the original one by far.
The DS may not play movies, or MP3 players, but to be honest, that almost defeats the purpose of a gaming system. Am I looking to buy a portable entertainment center? Of course not, I'm looking to find a system to play some of my games on, and the Nintendo DS delivers. Real gamers know it's about the games, not about the bells and whistles of a system. For the casual gamer, the Nintendo DS delivers, and the DS Lite is a fine improvement.
+Vastly superior to the original DS
+It fits in your pocket easier
+The Screen is much brighter
+Touch screen is more durable
+The placement of the Start and Select buttons is easier
+A better stylus
+The battery life is unchanged
-Those with an original DS, who want a DS Lite will have to spend more money for yet another DS
-Some of the cons of the original DS are still here