As per our discussion in the lightning crash thread, today I broke out my 3DS and played a few minutes of Mario 64 DS and Yoshi Touch & Go.
And, y'know, I learned something today.
I've criticized the DS a lot for not being conducive to game playing. My big, strong hands just can't manage to play through an intense action game like Samus Returns on such a tiny controller; if that game were on Switch, I'd be all over it, but as it stands, I just don't feel like it belongs on a small screen.
This was exactly my experience with Mario 64 DS just now too. Sure, half the problem comes from the faux-analog controls lacking the precision of the original game, but small screen + small controller just doesn't work for that kind of platformer.
And that's where my newfound appreciation for Yoshi Touch & Go comes in.
It was a nostalgia trip both in it being a game from my youth (the most recent high scores on there were from 2005!) and in it harkening back to the days when developers were being really experimental with the DS's hardware. We talk a lot about how games like Wind Waker are timeless because their art style was conducive to the hardware that they were on, and how they didn't try to compete on pure graphical horsepower alone. But I'm realizing that the same goes for gameplay: any game in a traditional genre is only a few years from being improved on. New Super Mario Bros. isn't as good as New Super Mario Bros. Wii. But weird games made specifically for the hardware that they're on are timeless.
Yoshi Touch & Go would only work on the DS. We were talking in the other thread about how it'd be great on phones, but even that would be a bit contrived, since only being able to touch the bottom screen plays a big role in the game's dynamic. You even use the microphone to blow clouds away!
I never want Nintendo to stop making Mario Odysseys and Breath of the Wilds. But I think there's way more credit to give to the 1-2-Switches than we usually do.
...looking at the high scores, it looks like I only ever played Time Trial and Marathon modes like two times as a kid!? I remember playing this game so much in car rides, but most of that must have just been Score Attack mode! I played Time Trial and Marathon a few times, and there's stuff in there that I don't remember at all.
That's crazy, everyone talks about how small and underwhelming this game is, but I've only experienced a quarter of it and it's still one of my favorite games. I still haven't even unlocked Challenge mode!