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Paying £30 for a handheld game buys you a lot of splash screens. From Advance Wars to Slitherlink, from the greatest Space Invaders reboot ever to the first Castlevania games I found at all interesting, from quirky obscurities like Scotland Yard and Subbuteo to the sheer batshit majesty of Ouendan and Rhythm Heaven and the oldskool uncompromising brutality of Contra 4 and Metal Slug 7.

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But really, splitting this thin fare into two full-price boxed products in 2011 is pretty weak.

(The carts are only 32MB each – an eighth of the size of the latest Pokemon games – so it's not like there wasn't room to squeeze it all, and maybe even some games less than 30 years old, into one half-decent package.) 5.

We've listed just two of them, but there are over 30 distinct games in the Imagine series alone, ranging all the way from Cheerleader and Babysitter to Makeup Artist, Salon Stylist and Happy Cooking. For all I know they might all be fantastic games, of course. But terrible virtual controls are the exception rather than the rule nowadays, with even fast-action precision platformers like League Of Evil and Ready Action!

But it's pretty clear who's supposed to be playing with the DS these days, and it's not us. offering pixel-accurate leaping and shooting, thanks to being designed from the ground up to handle touch controls.

The torch was passed some time ago, but if any device ever earned its retirement it was Nintendo's twin-screened wonder.

That it's still producing quality gaming in its last days, even weighed down with a thousand shovelware developers hanging off its arms vomiting drivel onto its shoes, is testament to its mighty stature. Your power light is flickering now, but we will remember you the way you were, bright of eye and fleet of foot, and not as the tired and weary workhorse of today.

What was more unexpected, though, was playing Trackmania Turbo and finding myself wishing for the analogue delicacy of Pole Position Remix, Real Racing or Final Freeway as I bounced off walls with TT's full-lock-or-straight-ahead-and-nothing-in-between digital steering.

The other thing that struck me was how having a multiplicity of controls encourages developers to use them all, just because they're there, which is rarely a good thing. And below: Real Racing 2 (i Pod version), released less than a year later and playable on hardware costing just £40 more than a new DSi. Atari are STILL trying to get people to pay £30 for Pong.

(Oh, and while we're mentioning the controls – despite all the real buttons it's no easier to play than a well-made i OS shooter like Zombie Infection, and their presence means the developers haven't been able to resist throwing in annoying and superficial touch-screen bits even when you're playing with the all-button option. So let's offer a valedictory salute to the DS as it shuffles towards the exit door.

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