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DS: The Ones to Watch

Article: World domination by Christmas

It's strange. With more than 46 million units sold, the DS is a phenomenal success and the most popular format of the current generation, yet the handheld was barely mentioned at this year's E3.

Either Nintendo is pouring all its resources into further boosting the Wii's popularity or it's got more than a few secret gems up its sleeve.

Even with the lack of first-party announcements recently, DS fans still have a great Christmas to look forward to this year, and what better way to start than with what is quite possible the best game on the console so far: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

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Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

It's the game we're all waiting eagerly for and as usual, it's been a long wait. The long delays it has suffered means that Nintendo has spent the time necessary to make it the best it can, and as we told you in our import review of the Japanese version, it's bloody fantastic.

Twilight Princess proved that the traditional Zelda formula may need to be re-thought but the unique approach of Phantom Hourglass will prove that there's plenty of scope for new ideas in the long-running series.

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Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings

Final Fantasy is one of the most epic RPG series ever but that turn-based stuff just isn't for everyone. Revenant Wings is different.

It uses the touch-screen functionality of the DS to simplify the battle system, and introduces a new mission-lead gameplay mechanic.

We're hopeful players previously put off by the complexity of the battles can experience the FF universe that we've all loved for years.

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Sonic Rush Adventure

Sega needn't have given us any specific details about this game. Just by being the sequel to Sonic Rush it automatically became one of our most anticipated games on DS.

The main point is that, despite the addition of the word 'Adventure' on the title which, for the console games, equated to 'naff 3D and shoddy physics', Sonic Rush Adventure retains the same awesome 2D mega-sprinting seen in the first DS title.

But added to this game are new 3D actions stages that let you use the stylus to control a hover craft, water bike and submarine, then take on 3D bosses.

You can see these new stages in action with screens tucked away elsewhere on the site.

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Nanostray 2

We're suckers for old-school scrolling shoot-'em-ups and, quite frankly, there's not enough of them on DS. The original Nanostray looked awesome and had all the makings of a great shooter (lasers and insane bullets swarms, and hard-as-nails bosses) but its strange 3D perspective and crap touch-screen weapon-select system put a downer on things.

Nanostray 2 has fixed all that, and throws in some new tricks too: awesome levels that rotate from vertical to horizontal scrolling, screen-sized bosses that go berserk with lasers, and new weapons. Yes!

Just look at the trailer, guys. That's all you need to do.

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MySims

We're looking forward to the Wii game, so you can bet we're keeping a close eye on the DS version of MySims too.

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