Admittedly, the Nintendo DS is not the best platform for fighting games--it is actually its successor, the 3DS, which was a home for incredible fighting games. Still, the DS has great fighters in its library. Here are seven of the best fighting games for the portable video game console.
Best Nintendo DS fighting games
7. Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Destiny 2
The second installment in the Ninja Destiny series takes the impressive 3D fighting experience on the DS to a whole new level. With an abundance of characters and locations, the game showcases remarkable improvements in 3D quality compared to the first game. It is not just the game features that have been dramatically enhanced but the storyline this time around is at least decent.
The game boasts sharpened graphics and the convenience of only having to defeat enemies once. The inclusion of characters from both Shippuden and the original series adds diversity and the relatively easy unlock process for the 34 playable characters is a plus. The ability to save progress in story mode addresses a previous limitation from the first installment.
As a 3D fighter, the game surpasses expectations with its attention to detail. This game is already a must-experience for Naruto fans. Admittedly, those who are not fans of the anime may find themselves a substantial barrier in getting interested in the game. But for DS owners looking for a DS fighting game, this is one of the few to get, partly because there are only a few choices.
6. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2
Here is another sequel that made a quantum leap from its lackluster predecessor. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 is a fighter with a great control scheme. The controls, now featuring six buttons, have undergone a significant overhaul, separating actions like guarding and attacking for a more nuanced and enjoyable combat experience. The addition of a touch screen for character tagging and executing team attacks enhances the overall control finesse. The game's narrative, while following the familiar DBZ arc, introduces intriguing "what if" scenarios that inject unpredictability and freshness into the storyline.
The game offers a well-balanced difficulty range, with the ultimate mode presenting a genuine challenge for players seeking a tougher experience for what is an easy-peasy base difficulty. The unlocking of what-if stories requires thoughtful strategy. Boasting eight gameplay modes, including an improved practice mode and a comprehensive story mode, there is a lot of meat to sink your teeth into.
Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 emerges as a solid choice for fans, offering an entertaining month-long gaming experience with occasional revisits. It successfully rectifies the flaws of its predecessor. And if you are asking, the answer is no. There is no need to play the original to enjoy this sequel.
Draglade offers a unique blend of one-on-one beat-em-up action and side-scrolling sequences. With four distinct heroes competing in the tournament, this fighting game puts players in intense battles against anime-inspired opponents. The combat mechanics are straightforward, requiring players to master a combination of quick hits and powerful strikes using the X and Y buttons.
The standout feature of Draglade that is not usual in fighting games is the Custom Beat Combos, allowing players to unleash devastating attacks by tapping out rhythmic sequences. This system, combined with the diverse range of Bullets, creates a dynamic and visually impressive fighting experience.
While the main storyline may be relatively short, the game's replay value lies in the multiple characters and their unique stories, offering varied perspectives. Despite its limited marketing and lack of a prominent anime tie-in, Draglade stands out as a fresh and enjoyable 2D fighter on the DS. It is really a surprise that this game was localized when Atlus, around the time of this game’s release, was allergic to getting its games out of Japan.
4. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009
The gameplay in WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 for the DS has seen significant improvement compared to its previous iterations. One of the best aspects of this wrestling game is the controls as they are user-friendly and allow players to customize them. Many classify wrestling games as sports games, but here are Nerdvana Central, we classify them as fighting games, just in case you are wondering.
There is a Story Mode, where players can begin their journey. The narrative unfolds as the player navigates various destinations, such as the hospital, gym, GM's office, and other brands, collecting cards along the way. This mode takes about 15 hours to complete if you take your time. This is also one of the better-looking DS games out there.
3. Custom Robo Arena
Custom Robo Arena centers around intense battles between heavily armed robots in holographic arenas, with the primary focus on strategic combat. To succeed, you must customize your robot with various weapons and adapt your tactics based on your opponent's style. The gameplay offers a mix of battles and exploration, allowing you to collect experience points and prize money.
Custom Robo Arena provides a diverse range of opponents, each requiring a unique approach. The game features dozens of robots and parts. Hence, it allows players to experiment with different combinations. In addition to the fighting, the game includes a quirky little feature where you can pose your robot in different scenarios and polish it using the Touch Screen. While the graphics may not be groundbreaking, the gameplay, and customization (especially for a fighting game) are what makes this game incredible.
2. Ultimate Mortal Kombat
There is no such thing as a fighting game best-of list without a Mortal Kombat or a Street Fighter. Here it goes, a Mortal Kombat title on the DS, which should not be surprising since this franchise appeared in the most power-starved handhelds several years before the DS. Ultimate Mortal Kombat for Nintendo brings the classic Mortal Kombat experience to handheld gaming, but this time around, it is not merely an estimation of an arcade/home console version but rather an actual port of the arcade version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
The game successfully maintains smooth graphics, avoiding common issues like lag or glitches. The blood and gore that Mortal Kombat is known for is also present, dispelling the long-time reputation of a Nintendo console to be lame for not allowing violence. Puzzle Kombat, a mini-game from Mortal Kombat: Deception, is also included.
The sound quality successfully recaptures the nostalgia of Mortal Kombat, with iconic sound effects, background music, and the satisfying cries of pain from defeated opponents. The controls, utilizing the DS buttons rather than the stylus, feel natural and responsive.
Gameplay delivers the classic Mortal Kombat experience with a variety of characters, moves, stages, and fatalities. There is still the challenging AI in single-player matches that requires mastery of tricks, moves, and combos. The game's longevity and replay value are substantial, with profile tracking and unlockables, including characters and Shao Khan's treasures.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is an exciting and faithful handheld adaptation of the classic 2D Mortal Kombat era. It caters to both old-school MK fans and newcomers, offering a nostalgic trip with added features and content.
1. Beach: The Blade of Fate
Bleach: The Blade of Fate is the best fighting game on the DS and it is not even close. This ranking is merely ceremonial to usher in the real deal. This does not mean that the other fighters in this list are not worth playing, they are, but the drop off in overall quality.
The storyline follows Ichigo Kurosaki's quest to rescue his friend Rukia, staying true to the second arc of the anime. Fans of Bleach will find enjoyment in playing as their favorite characters, while those less familiar will still experience an enjoyable game despite not knowing a single thing about what is currently going on in the narrative
One notable aspect is the effort put into making even seemingly weak characters in the story playable and balanced. The game's character balance is commendable, with no single character dominating or being rendered useless. In terms of gameplay, Bleach: The Blade of Fate offers a 2D fighting experience with a focus on aerial combos, similar to other iconic fighting game series. The dual-platform screen system, featuring background and foreground, helps manage chaos during four-player battles. The ability to change planes adds another angle to what could have been a stale mechanic.
The combat mechanics involve normal attacks, special moves, and super moves, all contributing to a satisfying fighting experience. The game introduces a card system, allowing players to unlock and use cards for various effects during battles. The touch screen features special and super moves, providing an alternative input method.
Bleach: Blade of Fate sounds good, looks good, and plays well. Everything you hope for in a fighting game on the portable is here, including a hefty amount of content.