The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
First off, I'd like to point out I am one of the most conservative gamers out there. I am extremely slow when it comes to adopting new technologies, and usually wait a couple of years before getting into any console generation. And yet I am now the proud owner of a 3DS. Why would I purchase this, loaded to gills with what I see as gimmicky new technologies? Let's delve into my reasoning and see if I can get you to understand my new stance on handheld gaming and the 3DS.
1. The Games
Simply put for me, the main reason for me buying something less than a year old is the high caliber of games coming out for the machine. I never really warmed up to the Wii, for the blantant motion-control they force upon you for most of the titles. The 3DS is of a different breed, it doesn't force much upon you. You can turn off the 3D, you can turn off the gyroscope, and the touch-screen is relegated more to an inventory management system. This hearkens back to the nostalgic games of yesteryear, reminding me of the happiness one could feel with a Gameboy in hand simply playing a game without tacked on cheap-feeling marketing ploys. But I ramble a bit, let me move on to the actual software.
SUPER MARIO 3D LAND
While I have yet to get much hands-on time with this title, the time I did spend so far I've held in high regard. It manages to go back and forth between side-scrolling and 3D platforming, and does it fluidly. I haven't been this enamored with a Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine. You get the best of Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 wrapped up in one amazing package. My first must-buy for the system.
MARIO KART 7
While not a huge update over previous Mario games, this is the one game I've had the most time with, and it's incredibly enjoyable. I actually use the 3D on this game, it doesn't feel tacked-on or cheesy, you can tell the game was specially crafted for the effect. It creates a stunning sense where it looks like you're looking through a window at the race. Another one of its strong suits is the multiplayer. I hooked my 3DS and Mario Kart 7 up to the internet and within a minute I was engaged in an all-out fierce game with players from Japan. This is an experience I never really had on a handheld and it is absolutely wonderful to marvel at.
LUIGI'S MANSION 2
A sequel to one of the Gamecube's launch titles (in its own right a magnificently unique experience and one of Gamecube's finer games) this is one of the trio of games I'm looking forward to that haven't been released yet. I've put the graphical power of the 3DS and its quality is finer than the Wiis, so you can already allay any fears and misconceptions you may have had about such a complicated game on the 3DS. This project is a Miyamoto brainchild, so it's definitely worth a purchase. There's gonna be more of the gameplay of the first, and that can only be good.
SUPER SMASH BROS 3DS
While still a speck on the horizon, a few details have managed to escape about it, mostly concerning interactivity with the Wii U. This doesn't interest me in the slightest. What does intrigue me is the online for the 3DS. As any Super Smash Bros. Brawl player on the Wii could tell you, the online was a laggy mess. From my experience on Mario Kart 7, the online flows almost flawlessly. I'm excited for this to move to one of the most fun multiplayer franchises ever created.
PAPER MARIO 3DS
And now the game I'm most excited about, for the simple reason I have been a ravenous fan of every game released in this series. The gameplay is going back to the turn-based system last used in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (one of my top picks for Gamecube) and while much else is not known about this game right now, I'm completely confident I'll spend many happy hours absorbed in this game with my 3DS.
There is also a Zelda game coming out, but it is so undefined right now I won't even think about it.
So I need to segue into the next section that turned me, the tech.
2. The Tech
I won't lie, the 3DS is one sexy piece of machinery. It's packed with some amazing stuff, which while I haven't had as much time with as I would like, I can at least summarize in brief.
The main focus of marketing the 3DS (it's in the name!) the stereoscopic glasses 3D is suprisingly enjoyable. Like I pointed out earlier, it makes you feel like you're looking through a window into another world. Distances are gauged with much more ease, Things pop out of the screen at you. It's a powerful tool which in the right hands only helps to add to the immersiveness of game worlds.
Suprisingly, I have never owned a touch-screen device before now. My favorite functionality of this unique feature is the sheer intuitiveness it lends to inventory management. Swapping items is no longer going through an endless list of menus. Once again, in the right hands it adds so much more control and ease to games.
A different breed of motion controls than on the Wii, it's a tech I most often experienced on the GBA game Wario Ware: Twisted before now. It's s feature that is sort of a mixed bag. It's always cool to have the option, but just make sure it is not a requirement and let it be used at will for stationary gaming.
Some of the other features are a web browser, cameras, and a music player. These aren't major draws as far as I'm concerned, merely features inserted in any piece of mobile technology anymore. But there is one cool piece of software on this beyond any other, and that would be...
3. Virtual Console
That's right, the virtual console. The marketplace currently featured on the Wii that lets you purchase some of gaming's all-time greatest classics at reasonable prices. There's not much else to it, it's just simply access to a huge handheld library of games that has even started adding older console classics. One of the major draws (Link's Awakening DX is the best on there right now in my opinion). And last point I'd like to make...
With the high quality of this technology (more offered than the Wii in my opinion) there's an added bonus thrown into the mix, however short the battery life may be, this machine has games similar in scope and size to some of the offerings on the console market today in a machine you can take with you. Technology has become so refined you no longer need to be tethered to a television to have immersive experiences equivalent to console gaming. Thus, one of the most obvious draws of the 3DS continues to be the one which keeps bringing people back.
(Obligatory pony picture)
So to end this blog, I hope you now understand my reasoning behing adopting this piece of modern technology. This is packed with all the bells and whistles you could ask for while still being at the core an amazing solid gaming machine built for the sole purpose of entertainment. From my earliest experiences of playing Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, to today. Nintendo has made a few missteps (cartridges for N64, marketing the Wii at casual gamers, lack of quality control) and yet the 3DS is not one of these. If you have stuck with me to the end of this train of thought, I happily thank you for reading, and urge you to keep this in your memory next time you want to understand why the 3DS already has so many fans, me now counted among them.
~ Stranger 2012