the gba game's charm was the simplicity of only having a few buttons. it also made for really tight gameplay, which is vital for a rhythm-action game. the ds version (got the jp release last summer) is just not precise enough with all the flickin and poking.
Gotta disagree there. I'm a big advocate against gimmicky controls in my video games - especially for something as crucial as a rhythm music action title - and in no way do I feel Rhythm Heaven falls into the realm of gimmicky. Once you come to grips with the touchscreen functionality, it all works flawlessly. There's no way in hell I would've earned even half of the "Perfects" I'd gotten if the controls weren't as precise as they are.
I don't see the tapping/poking as much of a problem, but there's a very handy tip very early on in the game for flicking. (After you've gotten a "Perfect" on Built To Scale.) On "The Secrets of Flicking", it states that you should do your flicks as if you're writing the tail end of a checkmark - the trick is getting that proper snap in your wrist. That's the absolute best way to describe how to do a proper flick.
On the debate between the original GBA's buttons versus the DS version's stylus, I give the stylus the bigger props. And I quote from one of my write-ups: "It really allows for extended variety in gameplay; unlike the limited mechanics of the original, Gold has you tapping, flicking, and sliding to the rhythm, and mixing it all up provides a far greater sense of interaction with the music. I had quite a bit more fun with the sequel than the original."
kinda felt the same when warioware moved to the ds and wii... inferior in all ways to the gba originals :( IMO
I'll agree with you about the WarioWares. But I've always felt that had partially to do with the development teams involved. R&D1's greater involvement with the two original WarioWares and both Rhythm Tengoku titles certainly show over Intelligent Systems' Touched and Smooth Moves.