The third dimension is a new big thing, and it doesn’t seem to go away any time soon. We can all thank James Cameron for that. Although 3D TVs are still very expensive and there are a limited number of games and movies that use them, Nintendo is here with a future tomorrow… today! Join the Nintendo 3DS, the first consumer electronics device with a 3D screen that requires no special glasses.
The first 3D-enabled TVs were released, and glass-free screen technology is so new that it’s even more expensive – but the smaller DS screen allows Nintendo to keep the price of the DS somewhat reasonable.
How smart? Well, $ 250 is the price for the latest gadget in the block. But the feature set is wide. The system has two screens, the top is a large wide screen with a 3D display with an adjustable slider so you can decide how intense you want the effect to be, or even turn it off. The bottom screen is a smaller touch screen, similar to what was on the DS lite.
The two cameras on the back allow you to take 3D photos, albeit at low resolutions, and one camera on the front paves the way for exciting opportunities to take pictures of the player. You can also create Miis and play many built-in games on the system that use different features, two games, one of which uses what Nintendo calls AR cards, which create the game wherever you place the cards, and the other allows you to photograph someone’s face and shoot small spheres that have their own face as spheres take away parts of the real world. The latter uses a gyroscope in the 3DS, allowing it to determine how you move the DS.
3DS also has Wi-Fi, so you can play against your friends locally or online. You can also use Wi-Fi for what Nintendo calls “Street Pass”. Once activated, Street Pass allows you to share Miis and perform additional gameplay functions, such as passively fighting other players in “Street Fighter 4 3DS” for trophies or receiving items from players in “Samurai Warriors Chronicles”.
In addition to having its own games, the 3DS is backward compatible with the original DS (not GBA games; sorry people), and you will soon be able to download games from the DSi store. I say soon because Nintendo has delivered the 3DS without a few features such as a store and a web browser. They should be added a few months after the firmware update, but their absence seems unnecessary. The 3DS comes with a 2GB SD card before downloading content and games because it can also be used to save games.
In terms of power, the games look just as good as anything you can see on the PSP, and seem to be approaching the graphics capabilities of the Wii. Expect the 3DS to have a long life, as Nintendo is unlikely to do major hardware reviews for some time (instead expect small hardware reviews over the next few years.
Moving past the equipment itself is how it “feels” and “plays”. As for control, it is little different from DSi or lite. The big changes end up being a revised button layout, adding “Home”, “Select and Launch” buttons, both on the Wii, and a new analog node that acts as a joystick. For me, the system was extremely convenient to hold and play, but players with big hands may have problems with small face buttons and shoulder buttons.
As for 3D effects, they seem to vary depending on the game. Some use it very well, others … not very. The 3D effect is impressive when playing a game that uses it well, but the downside is that the screen requires you to look at it almost dead. Viewers who may be near you will not get a 3D effect at all.
Also, one warning is widely mentioned on all boxes – the 3D effect should not be seen by children under the age of 7 – so keep that in mind for your kids who love Pokemon before you buy them. They even recommend players take a break every 30 minutes of play. I haven’t had eye fatigue issues lately, but for some players it can be a problem. Of greater concern than viewing 3D effects is that the jump in hardware levels has significantly reduced battery life from about 15-20 hours to about 4-6 hours depending on whether Wi-Fi is used.
It’s hard to talk about any piece of gaming equipment without mentioning the games that go along with it. Out of the box in the DS there are some things that will keep you occupied, but you will want to finish quickly and add a new game to your library.
Because of the number of titles released, these are not complete reviews, but recommendations based on several hours of play in each game with suggestions of “buy” or “don’t buy”.
“Pilotwings Resort” is a return to the name “Pilotwings” from SNES. It has three activities: a flight with a backpack, airplane control and hang gliding. You will explore the island of Wuku with “Wii Sports Resort” and perform tasks such as flying through the rings and evaluating your technique. “Pilotwings Resort” is a fun and simplistic but short walk that doesn’t really use any of the system features other than 3D.
Buy – If you want to explore and have fun with an emphasis on research.
Don’t buy – If you are easily bored and you want to play that will last you a while.
«Super Street Fighter IV 3DS edition»
Many argue that there hasn’t been a good Street Fighter game since the early / mid 90s “Street Fighter 2”, but “Street Fighter 4” has caused a lot of headaches by updating the graphics while maintaining the classic gameplay. The SSFIV 3DS does just about everything, from having clearer, more exciting graphics to the best use of Street Pass for passive battles and even online gaming. Owners of “SSFIV” in other systems will not see much new content, but if you transferred “SSFIV” before, it opposes the home versions.
Buy – If you like fighting games or want one of the best games for your 3DS.
Don’t buy – If you have already played “Super Street Fighter” IV, there are almost no additional content in the home versions.
At launch, the 3DS received two racing games. Of these two games, Gameloft “Asphalt 3D” sounds a little looser and feels a little faster, but doesn’t make anything terribly impressive. Fans of arcade racers “Asphalt 3D” will like it more than “Ridge Racer”, because it is more like “Mario Maps” in terms of management. But you shouldn’t write about it at home.
Buy – If you can’t wait for the best racing game for 3DS.
Don’t buy – If you can wait for the final, but not yet announced release of “Mario Kart”.
Riiiidge Racer! “Ridge Racer” is something that is immediately associated with Sony systems. The name PSP “Ridge Racer” stands out as one of the best games to run any system. But for some reason, despite the increase in power of the 3DS, “Ridge Racer 3D” does not look as good as on a portable Sony device, and the 3D effect is not even so good. For the limited amount of time I had to play, it seemed like most of the content had been reworked from previous Ridge Racer games, so if you’ve been on this road before, you can just stay away.
Buy – If you love the Riiiiiidge RACER series!
Don’t buy – If you have a Ridge Racer made in the last decade or so.
“Rabbids: Time Travel 3D”
“Rabbids: Travel in Time 3D” has little to do with the name of the home console other than the room. This is a platformer game similar to Mario … So, those who are looking for the name Mario-esq for their new Nintendo system should look no further than Rabbids. It’s fun, but simple and easy. The depth isn’t very great, but it will allow you to play for a while while you go through four time periods in the game.
Buy – If you are looking for a non-existent Mario name for 3DS or love a platformer.
Don’t buy – If you burn out on the Rabbids titles.
«Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars»
“Shadow Wars” is one of the most ridiculous games in the Nintendo 3DS, and it’s also my personal favorite. While the previous titles “Ghost Recon” were aimed at adults, this one is more child-friendly with less blood and violence than the previous titles. This is a strategy game with RPG elements, centered around a small specialized team of hidden soldiers. What excited me the most was that the game was developed by the original designer of an old computer game called “X-Com UFO Defense”. X-Com ground turn-based combat is accurately represented in “Shadow Wars”. Another fair comparison with the names of the DS “Advance Wars”. Whatever you compare it to, it’s great. 3D is not a must, but it adds a little experience.
Buy – If you like good games. Or have good taste. Or as strategy games. Just buy it already.
Don’t buy – If you hate kittens and puppies. Or you can’t stand turn-based strategy games.
“Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs 3D”
This is a series I was completely unfamiliar with before the title, and it seems to be the fifth major release. “Dinosaurs 3D” sounds like a budget name for kids, but actually seems to hide an interesting set of mechanics with almost knocked out combat mechanics. The controls are a little awkward for navigating the world, but 3D is somewhat effective, and it’s probably one of the less standard games of the games I’ve played. If you’re on a fence, give it a try.
Buy – If you are interested and you are looking for something else. And you already own “Ghost Recon” and “Super Street Fighter IV”.
Don’t buy – If you can only get one or two games.
“Samurai Warriors: Chronicles”
The Chronicles is an interesting title in that it deviates in some way from previous series conventions, but still focuses on the unification of Japan. You play as a wandering soldier who moves from camp to camp, and you help some of the greatest figures in Japan’s history wage major battles to determine who will rule. It plays like any other title in the Samurai / Dynasty Warriors series, as you’ll break and smash many enemies, but what’s new is that you can switch to other warriors on your own side of the battlefield and play like them for battle. Keeping the console style of the gameplay is welcome, but confusing is that you really can’t create your character as a personal character. Overall, even the minimal elements of the RPG in this title don’t really add enough to set it apart from the form, but if you’ve never gotten on the bandwagon of “Warriors,” “Chronicles” is a pretty decent entry in the series.
Buy – If you are looking for an action game “hack and slash”, then the launch line of 3DS actually has no other options.
Don’t buy – If you have played too many Dynasty / Samurai / Gundam Warriors games. The mechanics change a bit, but they don’t invent the wheel.