Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
Little did I expect this game to wow me like it did, but man, Cing did a great job with their second DS title. The game has one of the best stories I've ever gone through (loaded with twists and turns), excellent characterization for everyone, inventive uses of the touch screen (and the DS in general), mostly topnotch direction, and some of the coolest artwork I've ever seen in a game. The animation for the characters is purely awesome, that it is. The game grabs you by the collar, sits you down and lets time slip by without a care in the world. It's gripping stuff.
There are a few flaws, though, mainly that the game's mostly good direction of what to do and where to go sometimes vanishes. There's times the game abandons you when you get done with one event, leaving you at a loss of what to do next. Hotel Dusk gives you a good idea of what to do most of the time, which unfortunately makes these awkward "what do I do now?" moments stand out. And of course, since the game is fairly linear (it is being billed as an interactive mystery novel, after all), the replayability (outside of finding secrets) is fairly small, despite a few alterations to the plot if you do replay it. But like a good book, Hotel Dusk is something that can be reread later on (maybe yearly or something). It's a shame Nintendo didn't really hype it too much...it's a wonderful game that showcases the strengths of the DS very well.
I replayed this recently on its "second quest", which opens up some more dialogue options (as I mentioned above). I also aced it this time with no Game Over's, so I got the special ending, too. I truly do love this game. It's excellently written, and when one can replay it and still get all of the enjoyment they received the first time all over again, that's a strong testament to its quality. Nintendo has rereleased it for their Touch Generations line for a lower price, so go pick it up and give it a whirl. A truly special game.