Ho ho I am wild with the puns! Sorry for the delay guys my internet has been haywire this week.
So this Saturday I had the rather fortunate pleasure of playing a 3DS which was rather exciting. Now before I continue I want to say how impressed I was with the staff there, they seemed genuinely interested in hearing what everyone had to say regarding the console and were very knowledgeable with any questions asked. They looked genuinely upset when they had to tell the four different parents who brought under 18’s with them that they couldn’t come in (it was clearly noted on tickets of this policy) and it was probably the only bad thing of the event. The event itself only lasted 45 minutes, but 30 of that was playing on the 3DS itself, the rest was an intro which I pretty enjoyed.
You walked in and there in glass cases was a history of handheld ranging from the simple Game and watch, through to the classic Gameboy up until the DSiXL this was a great way to start, I obviously know my Nintendo stuff but there were people there who had never heard of Game and Watch and were quite surprised to see it.
Now I took a few pictures of screens etc. of the games but they all came out rubbish and as such I won’t post them. The picture above though is taken from one of the scenes which was a life action version of Ryu v Ken and a rather comical “Time over” before the Hadouken’s could happen! After that we were taken through a live action version of Resident Evil with zombies et al. This I thought was a nice touch to the event, it got you absorbed on a game interaction level and by this it seems Nintendo really are putting their all with 3rd party support.
So we walk through to the room where there are about 30 3DS’ set out with a few different games, we got half an hour on these and I made the most of it to get round all of them (though I didn’t see OOT but apparently it was there).
I started with PES and it was an image of someone taking a corner, here I got used to the slider to see the depth of 3D. The visuals were rather impressive to say the least, but I found out the game itself was frozen as it was a demo version and apparently this was quite common.
Next up I played the two Resident evil games. Here I had a play about with the analogue stick to see if it was true analogue or N64 style (as requested by Adam from gameftw.co.uk). I did find the positioning of the analogue to be very natural (this was a concern of me from seeing the design) and felt more like a PS type analogue than any previous Nintendo attempt. Visually the RES games again were impressive, more so than PES.
The less said about the racing game I played the better, I can’t even remember if it was Ridge Racer or Asphalt but it just didn’t fit being in 3D at all. I briefly played Street Fighter IV (as in a minute if that) but I stopped pretty quickly when I realised Kid Icarus Uprising had come free….
I played on Kid Icarus Uprising more so than any other game and this was easily the best visuals I had saw, the 3D depth worked so well on this and actually added to the game rather than it being a gimmick. Controls were weird (left to shoot, analogue to move and touch screen to point to where you’re aiming) but again after a minute or so it felt natural. The game plays pretty much like a rail shooter which I wasn’t expecting at all, but I am very much looking forward to this (I didn’t like the previous two attempts at Kid Icarus so that’s saying something!).
Then I got to play Pilot Wings resort, I forgot how simple yet fun the Pilot wing games were and, to overuse the word, again it felt natural and the 3D again added to the game rather than just making it look more flashy.
Then we went through another room where we saw Nintendodogs + cats ( Surprisingly everyone wanted to play this so there was a lot of hubbub) which I didn’t play and Ravin Rabbids just didn’t float my boat at all. The rest was mainly to show the features such as the planned Sky visuals which were surprisingly good. There were also videos (on the 3DS) of Paper Mario, Animal Crossing and Star Fox 64. Many have said it but a game that is supposed to be 2D looks so damn good in 3D, I really have to agree with them on that, in addition to the change in Paper Mario Starfox 64 really benefits from crisper graphics as Lylat Wars hasn’t aged well at all!
I also saw the Mii Maker in action, which was pretty spot on from the few I saw of it. For those who don’t know you can take a picture with the 3D camera and it converts that into a Mii, I saw a few being taken and made and they were rather accurate.
Now there are two things that will definitely be with the 3DS on launch, they are Augemented Reality and Face Raiders. These to me are what Wii sports was like for the Wii, it gets people used to the 3D and the gyroscope movement. Take Face Raiders for example, here you take a 3D picture and then your face appears on balloons and you move the 3DS about and shoot the balloons. Sounds simple right? That it is, that it is. What wowed me was when my picture was taken (I was wearing hat, glasses and hadn’t shaved so I was well covered) the facial recognition changed my expressions and all actually looked realistic. I can see this being a fun thing where you show your friends or granny, imagine the fun of shooting granny’s face…exactly!
Wow moment number two was with AR. Now AR is a game where you have a card, you put it in front of the camera and a creature appears but with it being in 3D it jumps out at you (the other games were more going into the screen this was a coming out). I genuinely said wow that’s good and the simple game play of destroying the dragon gave a rather good welcome to the system.
Now sound wise I didn’t get to hear the 3DS in action as there was beats pumping in the background. The telescopic stylus was quite comfortable though this version of the console we demoed didn’t have a slot to put it in and I can only assume there will be space for this on the final design, if not that will be very annoying.
My major complaint was the home, start and select buttons, they were buttons on the frame of the touch screen (the bit that’s not the screen or the main 3DS body) having a look at these buttons on several consoles I noticed that they were quite dented already and just seemed out of place.
After the event a few people mentioned that the 3D hurt their eyes, but to be honest this could be down to one of two things. First is that we were in a rather dark room focusing on a screen which causes a natural strain anyway. Secondly I noticed when I went around the 3D setting on every machine was at the highest setting, this hurt my eyes straight away but it was so easy to get it to a setting that had nice depth and was comfortable for my eyes.
What I remembered was how my eyes hurt the first time I played the GameBoy and how they got used to it, or how if I play DS in the dark after a while it begins to hurt my eyes, so I imagine suitable lighting added with the depth slider and eyes getting used to it will make this a rather comfortable experience and if worse comes to worse you can switch the 3D off.
In conclusion the 3DS felt very easy to hold and the analogue adds so much more to it, the 3D itself was impressive and it was noticeable in difference when you saw a Nintendo game v a non Nintendo game, Nintendo seemed to add to it where non Nintendo was tagged on for gimmick purposes (aside from Street Fighter IV). I hope that the adding to it rather than making it a gimmick becomes the norm as it is a pretty new technology.
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