Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guess What Came in the Mail Today...(UPDATE - Now With 200% More Horror)

This thing, or rather, these things are a day late, but I don't think Nintendo is to blame for that.

Too far away? Let's get closer.
Ah yes. The infamous "thumb-strap" that shipped with the original Nintendo DS. Two, in fact. But "why?" you ask. Well I lost my original......for a time. I'm sure you can guess what item that was lost for a month I found only two days after I ordered these bad boys; yeah, my original, original Nintendo DS pack-in thumb-strap. Nintendo's actually really cool about returning unopened product. I ordered a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Adapter, then bought Mario Kart DS in anticipation. I played it before I got the adapter, of course, and eventually messed with the Wi-Fi configuration settings; maybe someone else in the neighborhood had Wi-Fi I thought, but only one wireless signal came back. I recognized the SSID. I was stunned to learn that the little box I thought only served to prove to our internet provider that we were supposed to pick up DSL at our residence was infact a Wi-Fi enabled wireless router. So when the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Adapter arrived I called Nintendo, explained the situation and sheepishly asked if I could return this $30 (IIRC) device for a refund. I really don't believe I had to pay shipping again. Too kind of them.

Anyway, back to the thumb-strap. "But why would you want to replace that, that, abomination!!!!?" you wail. "Well, I'm sure they'll stop production soon, and if I don't act now, I might never be able to replace it," I respond. 3DS doesn't ship with a thumb-strap, but the usefulness remains; a sturdy, stylish, Nintendo branded wrist-strap to help me avoid dropping my gadget. I really, really, really wanna avoid lint filled (somehow also lint-injecting) pockets with a $250 device, and I want to carry the 3DS with me everywhere, but I'm not "hip" enough to sport one of these. It also has another, very important use, and it relates back to some pieces I wrote recently.

Excuse the $0.25 screen protector

Yes. The good ol' first-person shooter. Using the thumb-strap gives you the support of another hand to hold the DS (or 3DS, which some say is important to hold steady to see the 3D), and gives you quick access to the second shoulder button, though developers rarely gave a different function to each shoulder button, under the assumption that you might not play with the thumb-strap (or with later DS models, that you probably wouldn't have one). Sure you need an average to long thumb to use it comfortably, but when I played through Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt that came packed-in with the original DS, it quickly became my favorite method of controlling it (the "tap where to shoot" method could have been awesome if it wasn't -literally- hit or miss). And my next game, Super Mario 64 DS, just felt so right to control with the thumb-strap using the virtual touch-screen analog stick. Sadly, developers just stopped adding control options based on the accessory, and quite quickly. Only about 5 months ago I picked up the only other DS game that featured a virtual touch-screen analog control option: Rayman DS, a bit ironic since the 3DS is getting a version of Rayman 2, with proper analog controls. But I can't complete it thanks to a busted R button that won't let me dive properly, so it is one of several non 3DS games I look forward to playing on my 3DS, and I will happily play it with a virtual analog stick.

So what to do, now that I have three (3) Nintendo DS thumb-straps wrist-straps......well, give two (2) of them away of course. Unfortunately (for you), I feel now is not the appropriate time. What's a contest with a 100% chance of winning? A miserable little pile of secrets, perhaps.

In the mean time, if you can't stand the mean time, then you could grab one for yourself: click here!
No guarantee that it will be in stock later.

The wrath of a 14 pound mongrel

Words can't describe the self *facepalms* that ensued with this discovery. In the middle of writing this, I came across this horrifying scene involving a dog and a thumb-strap only minutes old. So young, so innocent. The thumb-strap I mean. Fear not, I think they're cheap enough so I'll get another.


  1. Well now...that sucks! Do you think Nintendo will give you a free thumb strap?

  2. Oh, they might if it was nearer to the DS launch, and the one that got chewed up stood as the only one I owned, but 6 years later I've got two perfectly good ones. I wouldn't even bother asking.