Nintendo 3DS Revisited & Reviewed

I recently posted an article here on the site mentioning the release of Nintendo’s glasses-free 3D version of the handheld DS. I finally got my hands on a demo and after a few minutes on the small machine, the verdict is in…

I visited a local Gamestop and had the privilege of trying out Street Fighter IV 3D on an aqua 3DS. While the color of the unit is not bad, I’d prefer an all black version to provide less of a visual distraction when playing a game. The newly added round directional control in the top left of the lower pad is a very smooth addition. There is no comparing how fluid this works when going against something like the obnoxiously small and jerky thumbstick on the PSP as the 3DS counterpart was functional and well-placed.  One set of buttons that are not smartly utilized on the 3DS are that of the left and right buttons just outside the unit’s hinges. Yes, they’ve always been here on any DS version though they’re now smaller and less efficient on the 3DS.

Also, for someone like me who is grossly deficient at street fighting games, the one-touch activation of combos on the bottom screen is a blessing. I began to obliterate my opponent with a few well-placed punches as my handlebar mustache fighter delivered hook after hook until a death-from-above combination sent the enemy to the ground. KO!  Speaking of a KO, nothing will knock out your system faster than full use of the 3D graphics. The slide button on the side of the system allows you to change the intensity of the 3D depth. At its maximum level, a Nintendo 3DS will only last 2 hours after a full battery charge. So much for occupying long airplane rides.

One drawback the system may experience in the near future is a lack of quality games.  I tend to agree with most of the ratings Gamespot applies to its reviewed titles, and believe me, a lot of these titles are not getting impressive scores.  For instance, they use a standard 1 to 10 rating (10 being ‘prime’) and a good portion of the titles have received poor ratings in the realm of 4 to 5.  Street Fighter IV 3D (8.5 score) leads the pack followed by Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (8.0 score), though the upcoming Zelda game has yet to get its day in the sun.  Thankfully, the system isn’t relying on only these two to attract cutting edge gamers as other titles such as Nintendogs + Cats and Ridge Racer 3D are deep into the ‘good’ ratings as well with more games arriving in the near future. 

So what about those much-heralded graphics?  THEY ROCK.  I had to see it to believe it but it is 3D to the core indeed and you do not need any peripheral device on your head to enjoy them. One Gamespot.com editor said it didn’t add much to gameplay. I don’t know if I agree with that as it did add to the overall entertainment factor.  Aside from the massive battery drain, the only other downside to the three-dimensional visuals is the fact that you need to be looking at the top screen straight on.  An observation from the slightest angle of deviation and the objects and backgrounds on the screen will play a little havoc with your eyes.  I would have a headache in less than an hour if I wasn’t looking at the screen from the proper angle.  Yet, that’s not the deterring factor of the 3DS   for me.  I am almost sold on the system, but the $249.00 price tag is just beastly if nothing else, especially when a Wii can be had for $200.00.  Rough tide economy aside, these things are selling faster than Evian in the Sahara. To that degree, I congratulate Nintendo on a job well done.



3 Responses to “Nintendo 3DS Revisited & Reviewed”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Cool. I also played around with one for a bit. At this point, I’m waiting for whatever version comes out that has a longer battery life. As much as I want to play Zelda and Star Fox though…

  2. Gregg

    I hear that, Aaron. It may be a year or two off but I think I can wait. Gamestop has an offer right now to turn in your DS lite for a $50 trade-in value towards a 3DS. The more advanced DS version you have, the more money you get for it when trading in for a 3DS. I’m sorely tempted, but yes, if a Mac laptop can run 9 hours, there’s no reason this can’t go 4 on max 3D usage. I am also eager to see the list of games that will come out althought Street Fighter IV is an instant winner.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah I haven’t had a hand held console since Sega Game Gear.