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- Xbox One Launches This Fall
- Halo Television Show, NFL Xbox One Experience Announced
- Microsoft And Remedy Reveal Quantum Break For Xbox One
- Forza 5 Officially Revealed For Xbox One
- Xbox One Always Connected To Cloud, Achievements And Xbox LIVE To Change Dynamically
- Kinect 2.0 Comes With Every Xbox One
- Xbox One's Kinect 2.0, TV Capabilities Demonstrated
- New Xbox One Features "Trending" Section
- The Next Xbox Is Called "Xbox One"
EDITORIAL: Is The 3DS Really Worth It?
- Categorized in: Video Game News
It's official; Nintendo's 3DS is a huge success. The quirkly little handheld outsold the original DS within its first eight months at retail, and the redesigned 3DS XL sold nearly 200,000 units in Japan within its first week alone. With the 3DS XL releasing in US stores this weekend, I thought it a good time to take a hard, critical look at the system and determine whether or not it was really worth all of the hubbub.
Earlier this month, I posted a 3DS New Owner's Guide designed to help new users acclimate to the 3DS XL when it released. In this guide, I recommended my five favorite games for the handheld: Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Pushmo, and Resident Evil Revelations. Of these five titles, two can be played minus the eye-straining 3D and a few multiplayer gimmicks on a sixteen year-old home console that you probably already own. The other three, while undoubtedly great, are pretty much the only unquestionably excellent games on the handheld. Sure, you might enjoy Street Fighter IV or Mario Kart 7, depending on your personal tastes, but again, those are experiences that can be approximated quite easily on other consoles.
So the outlook of the 3DS depends less upon what is already out, and more on what's coming in the future. Well, let's take a look in the crystal ball, shall we? Today sees the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2, a game which, if my experience with the game's first world is any indication, might as well lose the "New" and the "2." If you've played a Mario game in the last eight years, you've probably already seen what this title has to offer. That's not to say that it seems bad; it's just... boring.
Then there's the new Luigi's Mansion title, subtitled Dark Moon. I believe that the original Luigi's Mansion, a Gamecube exclusive, excites many people more in retrospect than it did at release. It's a game that benefits highly from the nostalgia of a generation, myself included, that grew up exploring those haunted halls shivering along with Luigi. That's not to say that it was by any means a bad game, but for a Nintendo product it was just a little short of the bar. That's why Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon excites me. If Nintendo can smooth up a few of the rough edges in the original release and work the 3D into the puzzle-solving somehow, I think we'll have a fantastic little adventure game on our hands. However, with the way Nintendo has been operating as of late, that's a big "if." Their strategy oftentimes seems to revolve less around adding new mechanics, and more around remixing those same mechanics for a new generation. I'm definitely excited to see how Dark Moon turns out, but I wouldn't place any bets on it just yet.
Of course, those are just two games on a handheld that is getting an increasing amount of attention from developers. Paper Mario: Sticker Star will lead the charge from Nintendo this November, and since the Paper Mario games have never been bad, I'm willing to bet that it'll be at least competent, if not a little similar. Also coming this fall are Professor Layton and the Mask of Mystery and Code of Princess, the former the first 3D incarnation of Layton's puzzle-fueled adventures and the latter a new action-RPG from Atlus. I would be remiss to skip over Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, Animal Crossing 3D, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Epic Mickey 2: Power of Illusion, Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Skylanders Giants, although many of those titles do not have concrete release dates yet. It's certainly a powerful lineup, and although I can't gurantee all of those titles will be great, they do cover a very broad demographic when it comes to tastes and playstyles.
But I'd also like to point out just how well the regular DS has been doing, too. Nintendo themselves are still showing strong support for the system, with titles like Pokemon Conquest and Pokemon Black & White Versions 2 coming out exclusively for the aged handheld. Atlus has also been releasing some quality stuff for the DS; February's Devil Survivor 2 has thus far proven to be one of the better handheld titles of 2012. Between those three titles, you could easily kill 300 hours. But that's not all; Adventure Time, Transformers Prime, and LEGO Lord of the Rings are all coming out for the handheld this fall. It's far from the perfect fall lineup, being made up entirely of licensed games and all, but it does signify that the developers aren't done supporting the DS just yet.
Naturally, the 3DS has a few things that the regular DS doesn't, 3D and more heavily-integrated online play being the two primary differences. The system's 3D is essentially worthless; it'll hurt your eyes after 30 minutes of playtime, and half of the time it doesn't even look good. Plus, you have to be looking at it from a certain angle and distance, or else it all looks like a blurry mess. No, the online integration is really the only thing to get excited about here. StreetPassing with strangers is fun enough, and the eShop has more good titles on it now than the original DS's probably ever did. That, and you can now officially download whole games straight to your system; New Super Mario Bros. 2 marks the first step in this experiment for Nintendo.
Better online is certainly laudable, and it's nice that Nintendo is allowing people to download some of their games straight to the system itself. Having said all of that, I don't think it wise to purchase a 3DS just yet. The regular old DS has plenty of strong games on it this year, especially if you're a fan of strategy and role-playing, and the 3DS has yet to hit its stride with consistent, quality releases, despite it having been out for over a year. The upgrades that the 3DS makes to the original DS are mostly marginal and don't really impact the experience of playing games on the system. The future of the system does look bright, though, thanks to titles like Fire Emblem and Professor Layton, and it's worth mentioning that the 3DS XL is a tangible step up from its predecessor. For these reasons, I recommend that you either get the 3DS XL on sale on Cyber Monday, or wait until the system gets a price drop. Good things are coming for the Nintendo faithful, but we will have to wait a while to get our hands on them.
The opinions expressed in the above article are the author's alone, and do not represent the opinions of GameShampoo as a whole