It’s been almost a week since the arrival of my Nintendo 3DS, a handheld which has been generating quite the buzz both positively and negatively. During the course of the week, I have been able to play three releases : Super Monkey Ball 3D, Pilotwings Resort and Steel Diver.
Since I’m lazy, 3DS image grabbing isn’t yet my forte, video quality of the games I see played on Youtube look like shit and this is gonna be a short article anyways, I’ll spare the images this time or throw in a few boxart shots. Like always, I’m going to try to take the middle-ground.
While I won’t entirely call the naysayers full of shit, it’s ridiculous to encourage the necessity of a “killer app” at a system’s launch. Of course the games are going to vary from mediocre to garbage with a couple of gems in between, but hasn’t it been like that for the release of plenty of other consoles? From the negative testimony it seems that reviewers need to pull their head out of their asses and give credit where it’s due : sure we’re not looking at grade A material, nor are they entirely shitty. They do what they have to do and that is to showcase the early power of the 3DS.
On the other hand, a little more material in the games would be more than welcome. Super Monkey Ball 3D, from a series rooted in launch titles (except the 2 gamecube sequels) is pretty bare in imagination and content, unless you’re into the tilting control scheme they implemented.
Pilotwings Resort is a lot like 64’s world except smaller. If you like exploring the scenery while free-flying around the island, and a lot harsher criteria for passing the decent amount of flight challenges, it shouldn’t be a problem. The music retains that jazzy flavor memorable in 64 and while it might not have as many things to pilot, at least it keeps me entertained, and the challenges so far are pretty creative (moreso than Super Monkey Ball)
Steel Diver is the game I spent the most time on so far. It’s strangely addicting once you get used to the controls, which are slightly different among each submarine. There’s 7 missions (two unlockables) all between 5 and 10 minutes to beat, 8 individual courses, a 3D periscope minigame and a multiplayer mode I haven’t been able to check out yet cause nobody I regularly game with has a 3DS yet. The game is set in the year 19XX, which I find hilarious. Back in the day 19XX was all futuristic while here it represents some time long passed.
The 3D seems to be the most debated topic, and yeah, you have to find a sweet spot to get the best vision, and you have to get used to positions that work, but it becomes a lot easier after enough time playing. I’ve been playing my games exclusively 3D and while websites or certain games are starting to look 3D all of a sudden to my eyes, it isn’t that big of a deal.
Wrapping up since I’m going a bit longer than planned, the games aren’t the type that you’re going to sit hours long playing. You’re gonna play a bit, stop and then come back later. The thing is, considering the relatively short battery life, it’s expected that Nintendo would launch with the games that are better enjoyed in short bursts.
Of course I can’t defend the month we have to wait for the 3DS shop and other gripes people have, but I can get over it and encourage other gamers to try doing the same.
Expect full reviews when I finish Pilotwings Resort and Steel Diver. Super Monkey Ball just isn’t worth it for me.