Gaming Accessory Review: Batman Begins Nintendo DS Pak

If you are a diehard Batman fanatic and own a Nintendo DS, then man oh man do I ever have the product for you. With Batman Begins having made its way to strong DVD sales after triumphantly conquering the box office and garnering high marks from movie critics, fans of the film can now showcase their extreme fandom for the world to see by picking up the Batman Begins DS Pak from Mad Catz. The kit includes four pieces: clear plastic screen protectors, a DS game and stylus storage case, a DS console slipcase and a set of DS console skinning stickers.

Aside from the screen protectors, which I have and will always hate for any handheld device, the three other accessories are definitely worth the money, at least for serious Batman fans mind you. With the DS console stickers, you get a collection of three skins that easily apply to and remove from the device itself. The three stickers cover the outside of the top flip screen, and both the inside faces around the screens themselves with appropriate cutouts that conform to the button and speaker layouts. In terms of the quality of the skin graphics, they look great, although the design style caters more to the younger audience – I highly doubt that more mature gamers will be applying these skins.

Now to the actual functional products of the Batman Begins DS Pak: first we have the DS Console Case, a black neoprene and rubber Batsuit-stylized slipcase that easily slips over both halves of the DS’s clamshell case with holes cut out for access to all the device’s essential ports and buttons. While the aesthetics of the case are the main attraction (it certainly looks really frickin’ cool), it does have some useful functionality as well.

Though it’s not necessarily meant to be a full on protective case, it does provide soft padding that will protect the DS from minor bumps and falls. More importantly, though, with the case slipped over the DS, two clear plastic panels line the inside of the armor that protect the DS’s screens from scratches without hindering screen clarity or stylus functionality. It would’ve been a great touch to have some sort of belt loop available since the design would have perfectly allowed for it, but that’s just a personal preference.

Lastly comes the game cartridge and stylus storage case. It can hold a maximum of six DS games and two DS styluses, and it does so with unbelievable security. The conforming rubber storage compartments secure the contents incredibly well, so you won’t have to worry about anything jostling loose inside. You’ll also love the case’s form factor. At roughly 4.5 inches long and half an inch deep, it can easily slip into any pocket or backpack space without feeling bulky or adding an extra burden. While the case itself is fantastic, the Batman artwork covering the accessory isn’t the most spectacular in the world.

Overall, Mad Catz’s Batman Begins DS Pak is a solid kit of accessories. Though much of the kit is aesthetically driven, the protective slipcase and game storage box do provide useful functionality. This kit was designed with the Batman enthusiast in mind, and for its target audience it is a highly recommendable product.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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