The Nintendo DS was extremely popular. when released, as it was accessible to almost anyone who could their hands on the handheld gaming device. The DS letters of the console name was short for the term Dual Screen however it seemed to have prompted developers to play with the letters, to form phases from the DS letters to these games. After my previous list on Nintendo taking the lead in fixing developers, both first or third parties to name their games in such a way, to push the creativity away in naming their games. Why would any developer or Nintendo themselves, take the DS letters from Nintendo DS and spilt it, to name their games for the system and how did this come about? Good question. My best guess, one company took noticed with how Nintendo were taking lead in fixing developers to name their games. They wanted to take that lead away from them and that company was Namco with there game Mr. Driller Drill Spirits.

This all started when Namco was developing a game for the Nintendo DS in 2004. Aimed to be a launch title, they decided to create a Mr. Driller gamed and was presented to the world at E3 in 2004, with the working title New Master Driller. This allow those to see the match-3 gameplay and how the touchscreens worked, which was a huge deal at the time. The news of the game continued with the game being renamed to Mr. Driller DS, until the game was launched in late 2004 but released with the final name Mr. Driller Drill Spirits. Now, if you didn't see anything wrong with that (trollish, if that's a better way of explaining what went on there), Namco took the game and presented it to the world under a so called working name and discretely slapped the final name of their official release of the game. Which lead to, maybe they've always have intended for the game be named like that. Maybe to take the shot at Nintendo and their marketing department, showing how flawed their DS part of their console name is. That's my opinion (a really strong opinion, I'd admit) on how the play on the term, got started.

Then why would Namco take the effort and risk to release a game this way? Namco have always been in the video game business and even making video game hardware longer then Nintendo. While Nintendo had dominated the video game market around this time and continued to do so, Namco being in business longer then them, despite their small success, really wanted to stay in the competition, which is maybe my best guess, to why they did it. Maybe it's backed by the fact that Namco's late 70s game is titled Gee Bee, the name being a play on the term Bee Gees, who were a popular music band in the early 70s, which put Namco in the arcade scene. There's even the North American release of Pac-man, renamed from Puck-man, so that's Namco for you.

Did Nintendo sue and get the game Mr. Driller Drill Spirits, off the shelves and destroyed? No. Nintendo embraced it with their game Advance Wars: Dual Strike but then SHORTLY afterwards, many other games from big, well known developers quickly released their games playing with the DS term, to fill the market scene with names, so much that here's a top 10 list of them.

Again, my opinion (a strong one) and to defend my opinion, this list are almost all the other games which took it up, to name their titles, using the DS letters. Was the aim to attack or defend Nintendo? We don't know, I'll leave that up to you. I would prefer if the names of the games keep the format similar to how the Nintendo DS was formed, using the DS term as a suffix at the end of the game franchise name, so games like The Dark Spore and Derby Stallion DS wouldn't be on the list. Also no switching the DS letters with a game like Commando: Steel Disaster from Capcom, so that wouldn't be on the list, if that was the intent from Capcom (because it looks like the acronym was really fun to switch around).

So, for this list, I'll be judging a book by its cover, again and the big name developers with many of them, being the well known franchises really deliver on the front of splitting the DS suffix and naming their games. Many of the games on this list has a colon to form a separator, from their main name of the game and the term they made with the letters DS.

While Namco drew first blood with naming their game Dr. Driller Drill Spirits and saw Nintendo's response with Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Namco returned again, knowing full well what they did towards Nintendo (in my opinion, really), so to continue the fun and not flee, they released Dig Dug: Digging Strike in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. Maybe a nice response towards Nintendo's release, considering Namco used the same word Strike, in the title like Nintendo used the term in their game Advanced Wars, with their game Duel Strike. To make up for how they hit out at them when they released Mr. Driller Drill Spirits.

Dig Dug: Digging Strike is the fifth game in the Dig Dug series and expands upon the mechanic Dig Dug is known for. Making use of the Nintendo DS hardware to generate a blocky 3D worlds, to give the game a retro dated feel, like a PlayStation 1 game. Then with a game which looked like it's been made in a short period of time and tackled together under a popular name, maybe was just made to slap the DS name sake on the game and to quickly take it onto the market and maybe what it is, considering the quiet history that I've pointed out. Trying to stay on top, over Nintendo? Thankfully the only other game from Namco, where they had fun with the DS lettering, before they formed Namco Bandai.

Bubble Bobble Double Shot was released in 2007 in Europe and Japan and in North America in 2008. Despite the franchise being originally made by Taito, this game was developed by a lesser known developer named Dreams and published by publisher Red Star Games in North America and Ignition Entertainment in Europe. The original Bubble Bobble arcade game was praised for featuring a mix of mechanics however this spin off doesn't add much new to the gameplay nor graphics. Maybe that's something that Taito wanted to put out, maybe due to Nintendo DS's popularity at the time. Double Shot refers to the characters in the game but the game was dull, for just being a platform game with re-uses the graphics from previous Bubble Bobble games, which maybe adds to why they went out of their way to play with the DS letters for their game name. At least the name is original and doesn't reuse the terms like Dual or Strike, so it's a start.

Peggle: Dual Shot was released in 2009 by PopCap games, a very late release for the Nintendo DS. Peggle is a game about throwing a ball and having that ball hit pegs, to clear the screen, thus winning the game. While Peggle is more of a Western style of a game to what's known as Pachinko in Japan. Peggle has its own player base, with the game developed by a company no other the PopCap games, who are more well known for games like Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies. Peggle: Dual Shot was developed by the Japanese company Q Entertainment, known for games like Lumines and Child of Eden. As the game was published by PopCap, maybe their way of welcoming the publisher PopCap (before being bought out by EA games in 2011) to contribute to the scene with their name with the DS letters. Isn't that creative with how they used the word Dual, unfortunately but the name does work as Peggle allows the player to throw two balls into the arena, to help clear the board at times. The game had great reviews, so maybe the name itself isn't that interesting but maybe that's the idea behind the name, not to allow the cover speak for the game itself.

Bleach: Dark Souls was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008. While being a fighting game based off the anime Bleach, which was hugely popular at the time of this games release. Why would a game like Bleach tacked together a name like Dark Souls, almost like an easy attempt to be seen on the market as a fun game? Well, it turns out that Bleach: Dark Souls was developed by one of the most respected developed in the gaming industry. That being Treasure, who was founded by staff in the early 90s, who were known to have made the Contra games in the 80s. The developers are also known for many iconic Sega games such as Gunstar Heroes and Alien Solider to Ikaruga for the Sega Saturn, one of the rarer space shooters. Bleach: Dark Souls was considered a great fighting game, even winning Best Fighting Game for the Nintendo DS in IGN's 2008. The name of the game may have suggested what's in the game, considering it's a fighting game, with a typical theme of good fighting evil, whatever associated with darkness. That's the team taking every opportunity to slap whatever fun, in making a video game and their contribution to playing with the words DS. Dark Souls was actually Treasure's second Bleach game for the handheld. There first game they had developed was Bleach: The Blade of Fate, which was released, 2 years prior, in 2006.

Guilty Gear makes it way to the Nintendo DS with the game Guilty Gear Dust Strikers in 2005. The Guilty Gear series was always a hardcore serious fighting game with extremely detailed anime style animations but the Nintendo DS spin-off is a bit different, being more of a fun take of the game mechanics usually found in the series. I think is adds to why Arc System Works were willing to adopt the DS letters to name their game's spin-off to show that it's fun and not as serious as the console and arcade counterparts were. As the game features many mini-games to make use of the fighting mechanics. The game also adds a 4 player battle, where the game uses both screens as a playing field, which adds to the fun the handheld device offers. The game has a story for all the characters, which maybe hints to why the game is named in such a way, so maybe the characters' story explains that. (which I wouldn't want to spoil, if that was the case).

Guilty Gear Dust Strikers was the first fighting game and being original. Just wasn't as to par of being a great game unlike Bleach Dark Souls, however it was released a year before. Dust Strikers adds to a library of Guilty Gear games where they are over-the-top fighting and action on the screen. The characters were scaled down to almost pixel art styled characters, which wasn't seen in the series and a first and may have even pushed how the graphics were presented in future Guilty Gear games such as Guilty Gear Xrd.

Lunar: Dragon Song was developed by Japan Art Media and published by multiple of publishers, depending on the region of the game's release in 2005. The Lunar games since their introduction of the Sega CD from the developers Game Arts, went on to have more games on the PlayStation and Gameboy Advance. While the games are loosely titled to each other, the developers Japan Art Media had went to create the only Nintendo DS game for the series, so what better way to name the game in North America as Dragon Song. A nice name to really stylize the DS name to a more fantasy style name. A name that doesn't look too fun or too entertaining. Maybe a way to help immerse the player into the game, which the original games did as they were for the Sega CD. The game was released in Japan and Europe under the name Lunar Genesis, maybe as a way to give Europe and Japan something fun since this game first appeared on the Sega CD and not something like the Sega Genesis. That's maybe because many previous Lunar games such as Lunar: Eternal Blue and Lunar: Sanposuru Gakuen weren't released in Europe and maybe didn't want Japan to know what was going on with how games were being named in North America. The game is also an RPG, unlike the other entries, so it's worth noting, that it maybe a way to have an RPG game use the DS letters in it's name and being the only RPG game to do so. I think this game clearly takes the DS letters for its RPG over any others.

Tenchu: Dark Secret was released in 2005. It was originally started on the PlayStation as the stealth game which wasn't noticeable until a game like Metal Gear Solid came along, which had boosted the popularity of the stealth genre. The success of the Tenchu series saw sequels however the game has found a spin off for the Nintendo DS, being the first game in the series to be released on a Nintendo console and with the name Dark Secret. With that in mind, what is the dark secret of this game, from looking at the cover? I wonder and I wouldn't think it's in the game. Dark Secret isn't what you'll expect from a Tenchu game, as the first PlayStation games were characters running around 3D environments, in third person view. This game Dark Secret was seen from a top down view (similar to Metal Gear Solid, with that dated camera, which the game has) and maybe the developers knew that, which is maybe why they played on the DS letters, to maybe help attract interest to the game. At least the name sake contributes in a novel way to how they played on the DS letters, with a more ghastly feel, compared to the other games on the list and tries for a Tenchu game.

Ener-G Dance Squad was developed and released by Ubisoft in North America in 2008. The game was titled in Europe as Imagine Modern Dancer. The Ener-G (or Imagine in Europe) game series were games which were created for the young teenage girl audiences, which had many game released for the Nintendo DS and Wii. Many of them vary in gameplay, from really dull and boring to extremely good. Ener-G Dance Squad is a rhythm game where the players use the touchscreen to hit buttons with the beat of the music and to allow the dancers to perform dance moves and that's really about it. Maybe Ubisoft's contribution to the DS name and offering a game whose title for the young teenage girl audience, to feel part of the ongoing reaction, at the time, to how developers were using the DS name to title their games. That's it. Then the rhythm genre for the Nintendo DS was huge with the amount of games on there, because of the use of the touchscreen, so what better way to try to sell the game and make it look fun, then to name it like that? The game did made use of the Nintendo DS hardware, extremely well, so it wasn't just tacked together, so there was something that looked great for the console.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS in 2005, was created and published by Konami. When it comes to abbreviating words and titles, words like 'of' don't get abbreviated, so there's Konami with the term Dawn of Sorrow, which takes advantage of the DS letters, extremely well. What's interesting about this game is the almost serious nature which is found in this game, such as the strong challenge, mature setting and deep mechanics, which is for that serious gamer who really wants a Castlevania game. The game is extremely serious with the challenge the game offers, it may have put some new players off, so what better way to abbreviate the name DS for the game, to remind us, that the player is having fun. The Castlevania series has always had a dark feel to the series.

Furthermore, this game is actually a follow up from the Gameboy Advance's 2003 Castlevania game, Aria of Sorrow. Yes, I wasn't sure if it was intentional or out of sheer luck but Dawn of Sorrow's story follows shortly after Aria of Sorrow and they managed to fit those together extremely well, that really tied the name of the games, as they both end with Sorrow and their story together, to make a nice pair between them. There were two other Castlevania games on the Nintendo DS, which were Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia. Having mentioned that, Konami around the time this game was released were really pushing their games, especially Castlevania with games like Lord of Shadows and Castlevania: The Arcade, where they used motion controls as the whip, the game is known to have. Konami really didn't miss the opportunity naming the Nintendo DS game, to have a name like Dawn of Sorrow to fit to the DS name in that fun way. Not that it was the reason that the game had great reviews when the game was released because it was a great game. Dawn of Sorrow would also detect if players had Aria of Sorrow connected in the GameBoy Advance backwards compatible end of what first generation Nintendo DS's had to unlock content, which Konami also had a chance to take advantage of. Dawn of Sorrow also had a mobile release, interestingly enough from Glu Mobile.

After all that, what better way to have fun with the DS term then to sport it with a Godzilla game. Godzilla Unleashed, really fires out the DS term with the name Double Smash. The game was released in 2007 in North America, Australia and Europe. The game wasn't released in Japan, despite the creation of the original films, originating from there. Godzilla is big, mean and bad. I don't think Godzilla messes around, so what better way to scare the competition, then to mess around with the letters DS to form the term Double Smash? Godzilla looks like he's having fun for all the wrong reasons with the title. Throwing the term out there like another challenge to get people thinking if that's right or wrong. Maybe it's the biggest message thrown in there, on retail shelves and shopping websites. If not, on there to the general public, have the game to be thrown into the Namco's or Nintendo's offices to think twice about how the DS was created and played around with. For those executives to deal with this monster in the DS term. The fun Godzilla could be having, maybe to tell the marketing team, to wish that the DS name was never formed to begin with and with how the developers way to express it, towards them. Cast that kind of fear into them? I'll even go the full hogs that maybe they did, which is why we don't see terms like that for games for the Nintendo 3DS library of games? Maybe it was whoever made this game of Godzilla, that did that. Who knows but you'll never get a moment like that and maybe this game was the every reason that changed the course of video game history, to force Nintendo and all developers away from the idea to be fixed into naming their games under hardware suffix or prefix words for their names.

The game is a spin off from the PlayStation 2 game Godzilla: Unleashed and yes, that is a colon between those words, so when Atari, if not Pipeworks Software came around to naming the Nintendo DS version of the game, they moved the colon from between Godzilla and Unleashed from the PlayStation 2 game and placed it between Unleased and Double for the Nintendo 64 game, to make the title work and they don't seem to care! So, what is Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash for the Nintendo DS? It's a platform game, where Godzilla roams around the landscape and attacks other creatures and monsters. That's it. It's a spin-off from the fighting game Godzilla: Unleash usually found on the consoles. That's all it is.

The other games out there:

Betty Boop's Double Shift
A video game about one of the most iconic cartoon characters in animation history, so what better way to make her appearance in a video game, then to name the game in this way? Betty Boop's Double Shift, is a mix of what was found in Diner Dash and Elite Beat Agents, or so the product pages say. It's not where near Elite Beat Agents styled gameplay as the music mini game is just a static image of Betty Boop, with no 3D animations of dancing, which leads me to believe, that the marketing team tried to cram whatever they could to market and sell this game. With Betty Boop being the central character and having to work two jobs, serving customers at diners and performing for them, it is why they named the game Double Shift. Smart, right? I think they really forced the name onto the consumer with everything else out there. I think the character deserves better and I think a game like this, while not classed as shovelware, is very reason that I'm glad something like The Great Recession, ever happened, not to have a mediocre tacked together made game like this, ever again.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy
Based off the anime, if not manga. Fullmetal Alchemist was published by various publishers but not SquareEnix, (if not Enix) who had originally sold the manga and anime. The title is nice enough to have a SquareEnix flare to it, with the word Sympathy placed in it. The game wasn't received well, maybe a hint that they tried to market the game knowing that it maybe wasn't the game, they hoped for. The name of the game in Japan, was titled Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Dyuaru Shinpashī, which makes use of the DS letters, well too.

Mage Knight: Destiny's Soldier
From Namco Bandai, shortly after they formed. Since Namco led the way in splitting the DS letters and using it to name Mr. Driller. Under the Namco Bandai name, they named Mage Knight's game Destiny's Soldier. It is good and the Mage Knight series deserves the best chance but I think they forced that on there, compared to all the other games out there.

That's pretty much everything, hopefully everything. Nintendo went on to make the Nintendo 3DS, the successor of the Nintendo DS. With the Nintendo 3DS and maybe because of how DS got split and named across many games. Nintendo somehow encouraged developers to name their games by adding a 3D suffix on them. Maybe a mainstream way at the time of showing off that games were the next level of 3D and to fit the system but little did we know, it was maybe a way to get developers off splitting the suffix or giving them another break, like they did with the GameCube, if all these games hadn't proved this. Nintendo did later release the console Nintendo Switch and while this seemed an impossible challenge for any other developer to name their games with the term Switch. Nintendo did managed with the game 1-2-Switch which was a launch title for the system but it seems no other games were made with such a title. No game! There does seem to be Double Switch which was actually first released on the Sega CD from Digital Pictures (known for Night Trap and Corpse Killer) and was later ported onto the Nintendo Switch in 2019, which seems to fit the console nicely and with luck. With this, that's everything up to date, with how a small handful of big developers had fun naming their games for the Nintendo DS and has died down after the Wii U, seeing how it hasn't taken off on the Nintendo Switch with their launch game. I'm not sure, what will be beyond that.


List by 91210user
(08/25/2021)

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