On March 27th, the latest gaming handheld from Nintendo will launch in the United States: the Nintendo 3DS. With graphics on par, if not better, than the company’s ever-popular home console, the 3DS promises to bring us 3D gaming without the use of glasses and possibly usher in a new era for handheld gaming. Is Nintendo right about that, or are they just talking big about another Virtual Boy? Sure, a lot of gaming websites have stated that the 3D effects are fantastic, but they also said something else: You have to see it, to believe it. So, being the Nintendo fanboy that I am, I headed down to Grand Central Terminal earlier this afternoon to check out the system. So, how are the effects? The games? How successful will it be with the general public? Hey guys, I’m RacattackForce, and you can find all that out after the jump…
- AR Games
If there is one thing that I have to complain about, other the lack of a real messaging system, it is the pack-in AR Games. They aren’t bad: far from it, the games were fun to play. But I personally had some trouble staying in the sweet spot that Nintendo wanted me to be in so that the game would actually work. I had fun shooting that fire-breathing dragon, but whenever I ended up moving a bit too much when playing around with the gyroscope, the scene went from said dragon to the AR Card on that black table. I also had fun taking a picture or two of a tower of 8-bit Marios and shoes that someone before me made, and I just added on to. Bottom line? A bit hard to get started, but in the end, an enjoyable experience that I was willing to waste a few minutes on. However, there is more fun to be had with Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Steel Diver, and other games that aren’t built into the hardware, with the exception of maybe Face Raiders, which I can’t say much about because I didn’t play it. At this point, I must make something clear: the amount of people there was huge, and growing by the second. So, I had to leave so other people would have the chance to check the handheld out. That meant not being able to try out three of the games: Madden NFL Football, Pilotwings Resort, and Face Raiders, to be exact…
- Asphalt 3D
This title reminded me just how bad I am at racing games that don’t have the word Mario in the title. Thankfully the cool depth of the 3D effects of were enough to take my mind off the fact that I was in last place for all three laps. It was with this game where I first experimented with the 3D depth slider a bit, before deciding to keep it at 100%: decision that I later made for all the games I played today. Now, these games don’t need 3D to be enjoyable. But the 3D really makes them feel different and adds a whole new level of gameplay that I enjoyed, and I’m sure that others will as well.
- Steel Diver
This game was MADE for little boys…and teenager guys and men. You’re a submarine that shoots torpedoes and dodges naval mines. Before today, I didn’t give a damn about this game. Now? I wish that I didn’t have to stop playing so a little boy next to me could also play it. On a related note, he also totally loved it. Steel Diver, may possibly the best game out of the entire bunch presented. At the very least, it ties with Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition as being a must-have launch title game. The controls just felt extremely natural and were easy to learn. The graphics were surprisingly realistic for an in-house Nintendo game, which made shooting down those enemy ships all the more fun. Despite only haven played it for five minutes tops, I seriously recommend this game to anyone who plans to pick up a Nintendo 3DS. This, along with Street Fighter, is one of the best games that the system will have to offer before E3 comes around, and the core first-party titles rear their head.
- nintendogs + cats
Oh, so you guys what to know how I felt about nintendogs + cats? Well, you see…
Steve! Give Susan the ball! Steve…DON’T KICK HER IN THE FACE, YOU DOUCHE! *grabs ball* *plays catch with Susan* *Steve steals ball* …Steve, I’m going to kill you.
…it was an delightful experience that I’d love to have again sometime soon. Only flaw I can see is not being able to shoot your pets. Damn, Steve…
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
It’s just another LEGO game by Traveller’s Tales. The same gameplay and humour that you’ve come to expect from the LEGO series, and nothing more. Unless you are a huge LEGO fan, Star Wars fan, or just haven’t played a LEGO game before, then I don’t see why you’d pick this up. I’d probably have a lot more to say if I wasn’t restricted to a single segment of the only level available for the demo because I didn’t have a character necessary to progress over a pit of lava…in a space ship…huh.
…I’ve never played a main Street Fighter game. Yeah, I know the characters, I know the moves, etc. But I’ve just never played any of the games. My first fighting games were Rare‘s Killer Instinct Gold for the Nintendo 64, and the arcade version of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, which seemed to be in every pizzeria back in the day. Yes, the latter had characters from the Street Fighter series, but I rarely played with them. I usually stuck with Marvel characters like Spider-Man, with the occasional decision to go with a Capcom character like Mega-Man, since those were characters that I had some knowledge of. That said, my first outing into the world of Street Fighter was a huge success. A really easy pick-up and play game, this Capcom title truly showcases the the graphical power of the handheld and is possibly the best example of 3D for the system to date. If you buy this, promise me you that won’t turn off the 3D, because that’s really the best way to play. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, in combination with Steel Diver, made it clear that the Nintendo 3DS is something that I want to pick up.
- Mii Maker
Works the same way as the Nintendo Wii Mii Maker, but with one difference: after selecting skin tone, eye color, and hair style, the Nintendo 3DS allows you take a picture of yourself to fill in the rest of the details. I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally found that to be a nice touch that was surprisingly accurate. You can also make QR codes for your Miis, which others can scan so that Mii can enter their 3DS system. I, however, forgot to make one, so I’ll have to make a new Mii from scratch when I pick up a 3DS later this year.
Is the Nintendo 3DS worth the suggested US$249.99 price point? Well, with the combination of the built-in games (considering that it doesn’t require the system to be at an exact angle, Face Raiders is bound to be more enjoyable than the AR Games), I’d certainly say so. And the United States is also getting the system at a cheaper price than any other region, so I feel that we should be grateful to Nintendo of America for that. But even if there weren’t any built-in games, I still feel that the Nintendo 3DS is completely and utterly worth it. Games like Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Steel Diver really show what the handheld can do, and are great games on top of that. Add in Netfilx, the 3DS Virtual Console, and the improvement on the Friend Code system (just one code per system)…well, I’ll be picking it up as soon as I can.
Will this device be a success with the general, non-gaming public? Well, at my demo pod, at least a quarter of the people there were Nintendo fans like me. Everyone else was a casual gamer: little kids, parents, businessmen…and they were just as excited to try it out as the rest of us. And I know that a few moms were pleased when Nintendo reps told them that the system was backwards compatible with games from DS line of handhelds. And seeing how big the crowd was when I left, and how much fun some people were having with the system….Nintendo’s latest gaming console with indeed print money.
Want to check the Nintendo 3DS out yourself? Head over here to find a Nintendo 3DS kiosk at a local retailer, if you don’t live in one of the four cities that have demo pods or just want to go somewhere that’s closer than said pods. So, with nothing else left to say, this is RacattackForce, signing out.