Game Collector: Go Out and Play!
You may know where you're going on vacation this year, but what will you play on the way? Find out in this latest handheld gaming edition of a revived GameSpot feature, Game Collector: Go Out and Play.
Welcome to Game Collector, a GameSpot feature that's here to help you catch up on the best games of today, yesterday, and years gone by. The whole point of this feature is to help you pick up of the hidden gems of games you may have missed the first time around with us digging up easy-to-find suggestions to add to your collection. And the best part is, even though some of these games came out some time ago, they're still great games…and they're usually marked down in price! Unfortunately, some games, such as the classic strategy game Advance Wars DS, have become extremely hard to find--but we've compiled a list of some of the best and easiest-to-find portable games you can take with you wherever you go this summer. If you think there are other great handheld games worth taking out into the summer sun, leave us your picks in the comment section, below.
Age of Empires: The Age of Kings
Release Date: Feb 14, 2006
GameSpot Score: 8.2
Do you want to visit a foreign country but only have enough funds in your pocket for a couple hot dogs? Forget the frankfurters and grab a copy of Age of Empires: The Age of Kings for your Nintendo DS. This is your passport to a world tour of strategy and conquest. With several of the smart details that made the PC games so addictive, this game is a solid choice for handheld strategy enthusiasts. Today your bus stop, tomorrow the world!
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Release Date: Oct 4, 2005
GameSpot Score: 8.9
What's pale, lives in the dark, and burns in the sun? Probably you--and vampires too! But the great outdoors need only be fatal for one of you with a copy of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Following the success and story of its predecessor, this deeply entertaining DS game puts you in the vampire hunting boots of Soma Cruz as you attempt to thwart the nefarious plans of a Dracula-worshiping cult. Dawn of Sorrow packs serious bite for your buck.
Elite Beat Agents
Release Date: Nov 6, 2006
GameSpot Score: 8.9
Maybe you're perfectly happy at home, but you feel a little bit stifled by the community outside. If you really want to break through the boundaries of everyday life, check out Elite Beat Agents for the DS. It's basically a rhythm game version of the awesome dance sequence at the end of Napoleon Dynamite, but it has its own wacky characters and unique tales to tell. Forget the monotony of running for class president and take this one with you to the dance floor.
Mario Kart DS
Release Date: Nov 14, 2006
GameSpot Score: 9.2
Traveling to your summer getaway can mean lots of gas station stops, back-seat complaining, and hours of repetitive countryside with nary a turtle shell or thwomp trap. That is, unless you travel prepared. The next time you get roped into a day's worth of woefully safe travel, make sure to nab a copy of Nintendo's fast and furious Mario Kart DS. It contains all the characters, cups and fun of the console games. Plus, if you ever stop at a McDonald's (Gee, where will you ever find one?) you can race friends or strangers online for free.
Yoshi's Island DS
Release Date: Nov 13, 2006
GameSpot Score: 9.1
Wherever you go, you can always stop in at Yoshi's Island DS for charm, fun, and adventure. The soft crayon-art style provides a welcome visual contrast to the harsh lights of airports, train stations, and the sun, while the game's easygoing pace may provide a needed escape from uptight travel buddies (not you, honey). There are worse places to get stuck than Yoshi's Island.
Release Date: Sep 13, 2005
GameSpot Score: 9.0
For those who want to crash and burn souped-up tuners on their sleek black toy, there is only one choice: Burnout Legends. Transferring the high-end console engine of the series to the PSP's smaller chassis was probably harder than cramming a Ferrari engine into a toy car. Yet, EA's master mechanics succeeded. You can leave the retail lot with this racer in mint condition, without leaving much cash behind. Fuzzy dice not included.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Release Date: Oct 24, 2005
GameSpot Score: 8.6
No matter where you get away to this summer, you won't be able to escape morality, mortality, or the police in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for the PSP. With more violent, open-ended action than you can wave a Kalashnikov at--as well as the famously robust soundtrack of the series--this game is your passport to gritty, action-packed excitement in the palm of your hand.
Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure
Release Date: Feb 12, 2007
GameSpot Score: 8.0
The only thing worse than being dragged out of the house is being left behind while your friends or family tour strange new places. But this is exactly what happens to a little girl in a game called Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, which takes our heroine into a mystical world of spirit fog, magical drills, and action role-playing game fun. Follow her lead and grab Gurumin; it's a sweet little trip you can take on your PSP without even going anywhere.
Metal Gear Acid 2
Release Date: Mar 21, 2006
GameSpot Score: 8.2
Everybody's favorite snake-eating outdoorsman returns in another unorthodox game of strategy and collectible cards for the PSP. We know it sounds like a strange combination, but it goes together like the proverbial peanut butter and chocolate. This is thanks to a crazy story, tons of cards, and the series' signature boss battles. On top of that, it irons out several of the previous game's wrinkles and provides hours of deep play. If you must go on a camping trip, let Snake be your guide.
Release Date: Feb 12, 2007
GameSpot Score: 8.1
We saved one of the best for last. This port of Rockstar's awesome video game that acts as a motion-picture companion piece is nearly as good as the original, with all the awesome characters from the film, intense combat, and open-ended gameplay. Playing this game on your PlayStation 2 is the only thing better than playing it on your PSP. But if that's not an option, then: Warriors, go out and play!
These are some suggestions for some of the best handheld games to add to your summer collection. What other games would you recommend? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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