Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Two steps forward, two steps back

Rakeela isn't very territorial about gadgetry, really to the point of not being territorial at all, so she doesn't mind in the least when I use devices that have been, technically, allocated to her. This is most financially useful in letting us get by with one good laptop computer (and a collection of netbooks and outdated laptops, as well as the desktop PCs). It's been specifically handy for the last couple of weeks, though, when I've been using Rakeela's Nintendo DS Lite instead of my own DSi. (She's got my DSi available, but hasn't used it, much like the last thing she played on the DS was Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box a couple of months ago.)

It's making it easier to admit a conclusion I'd already come to: Trading in my DS Lite for a DSi was a straight-up mistake. I knew I'd be losing GBA backwards compat functionality, but I failed to understand that the DS Lite was better as a DS, too. DSiWare has some real highlights (Number Battle, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and the Art Style series), but that's not really enough; I play cartridge-based games significantly more often. (That said, I'm considering grabbing Primrose, but haven't yet. With no plans to allow a downloaded game library to migrate from a DSi to a 3DS, waiting a year before expanding my downloaded collection further seems prudent.)

I'm acutely aware that the 3DS isn't going to actually be better in any of the regards I'm about to gripe about, but unlike the DSi, it's reasonable to consider it to be a legitimately separate system. The DSi is the DS Lite with an app store and a poorer hardware implementation.

So is it just mine, or do all DSis have a green tinge to the screen and uneven backlighting? I do like being able to change brightness in the middle of a game, but the trade-off of digital volume control isn't worth it- as almost always happens, my preferred volume setting for headphones is right between two of the notches, with one distinctly too loud and the next below it distinctly too quiet. I prefer analog control, although I understand the trade-off, since (by Japanese law) the shutter click needed a volume override.

I'm trying to figure out why I like the feel of the GBA SP's buttons, but not the DSi's. The DS Lite has firm-click long-throw (well, relatively long) buttons, which I've generally found to be the most comfortable style, but I like the GBA SP's clicky short-throw buttons as well. I think the convex shape of the DSI's fire buttons (as opposed to the flat SP buttons, or even the flat DS Phat buttons) works poorly for me and tends to make my thumb-tips sore, and the insufficiently rounded corners of the undersized D-pad aren't any too nice on my left hand either. I guess it makes sense for a system that de-emphasized button control for a touch screen, but I guess long-throw just works a lot better for undersized controls. Honestly, it's the button throw I care about the most, with regard to actual usability of the system. If I had to guess why Nintendo went back to clicky controls, I'd have to guess it's out of interest for system thinness. Which I can get behind for portability, but the DS Lite's thicker profile is actually easier to hold.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just a console curmudgeon, but I really do think the DS Lite is the basically better system.

This is sort of a pattern with regard to so-called upgrades. I'm still trying to find a Windows Mobile ROM that does what I want and, predictably, giving up and going right back to the most recent release of the branch I'd been using for a while. I'd switched to Windows Mobile 6.1, discovered that 6.5 fixed its SMS-related bugs and shows my next appointment on the lock screen and it's the bug-fixes I miss despite 6.5's thoroughly stupid implementation of a gesture-based interface, and then went around four versions of improved (and one classic) editions of HTC Sense (AKA, Manilla) interfaces before deciding that all of them were way too aggressive with memory and I was better off with SPB Pocket Plus. Experimentation with upgrades and new devices often shows me I was better off where I started.

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Tags: geek

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