RKD on… 2010: Part 4 – Portable preferences


Things You Thought You’d Never Say a Decade Ago: “Who needs to play games on bulky hardware, when a simple phone will do?” Today’s chapter in RKD’s ongoing 2010 retrospective series is one that appropriately fits neatly in the palm of your hand.

Tristan: 2010 was a year in which traditional handheld gaming died for me.

Harry: You finally stopped playing your vintage Game & Watch systems?

Tristan: With my iPhone in my pocket all the time, and mobile gaming finally venturing beyond Snake and Bantumi, I no longer felt the need to carry another device to kill time on. In fact, the only handheld game I bought this year was the latest Professor Layton and I haven’t even gotten around to finishing it yet, what with my all consuming drive to keep up with my wife’s
steadily climbing Drop7 scores.

Harry: I finally got around to trying a Professor Layton game (for those keeping score, it was Pandora’s Box) last year. It was certainly fun, but coming from the Ace Attorney series, it’s a shame that the context and story of the Layton games don’t play a larger part in the puzzles. But that might change soon enough, Wright? Erm, right?

Tristan: iOS has everything that I love about quick playing titles. There’s enough experimentation with games such as Eliss or the audio-only Papa Sangre, and also more than enough simpler and/or big budget titles to allow for bite sized gaming to fill an overflowing-and-almost-becoming-unmanageable online store to the brim.

I’m starting to think that if Sony and Nintendo can’t create something which can plaster a look of surprise to my face akin to that of a blow up sex doll’s then it’s close to the end of those companies in the handheld market.

Fraser: My heart says no, but my iPod Touch says “You bought and played 30 games on me this year, and only one on your DS.” And it cost about the same.

Harry: With 2010 being the year that the Nintendo DS had its acceptance speech slowly but surely drowned out by the announcement of the 3DS, it’s unsurprising that there wasn’t much to look forward to on the release calendar.

As for Sony and its PSP: there was nothing there to look forward to from the start.

Daniel: Does the iPhone do 3D without the glasses, and can you play remakes of classic Nintendo games on it? When it can, Apple will knock Nintendo completely out of the handheld market. This might only be a matter of time (if Sonic can take Mario to the Olympics, then Apple can release a virtual N64 emulator in the year 2016), but until then Nintendo won’t be completely out of the race.

Harry: The day Nintendo relaxes its grip on its back-catalogue and lowers its standards to the now sadly irrelevant Sega, is the day Pokémon ceases to exist. Answer: Never, ever, never. Never.

Reality hurts, especially when it comes time to consider the Final Truths of our existences. Tomorrow, RKD’s retrospective gets all philosophical, as we recognise the evolved nature of death in some of our favourite titles of 2010.

Related posts:

  1. RKD on… 2010: Part 3 – There’s something about Minecraft
  2. RKD on… 2010: Part 1 – The “meh” year that was?
  3. RKD on… 2010: Part 5 – Dealing with death

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Harry Milonas

A writer from Melbourne, Harry prefers you follow him on Twitter rather than home.

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