So when my friend Mike told me that there was an event going on to try out the 3DS I thought “well now is Nintendo’s chance to impress me”. When I had first heard about the 3DS I was intrigued but I can’t say I overly excited by the idea and was even less interested when I heard the pricing when I was in Game one day. £230 you must be having a laugh Nintendo!! So I got my ticket for the Manchester event and headed their with Mike to see the “future of gaming”.
So, we enter The Cube Gallery on Portland Street and are greeted by the receptionists who scan our tickets and let us in. We go down some stairs to an area with what is obviously a history lesson in Nintendo hand-helds, starting with the game and watch stretching through the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and finishing with the DS. There was also some strange display that was trying to show 3D but didn’t get a good view of it. Also there was some interactive floor that one of the assistants insisted we had a play on….pointless. It was at this point we noticed that a lot of the assistants appeared to be attractive women with quite obvious “assets”. Any way one of them gave some speech about the 3DS which she read off a clip board…the question being whether she really understood what she was talking about. We were then ushered into the next room. There was a street display with…..a real life Ryu from Street Fighter. When everyone was in the room Ken appeared through a door and the two started fighting, recreating Street Fighter. This was so pointless, and Ken’s wig didn’t even stay on properly. We were then asked if we wanted photos taken with them….no one did as it was just a complete embarrassment. In the next room was Chris Redfield, who proceeded to shout at us about the T virus and having to get us safely through the room, we were then led through a terrible horror set with a couple of zombies by Jill Valentine…. again what was the point? I came to try out the 3DS not experience wooden acting. In the next room we sat on sofa with TV screens around us, and yet more attractive women stood around. The video shown show cased some of the up coming games such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pilot Wings, right through to game such as Asphalt 3D and Raving Rabbids. The video also included Jonathan Ross talking about the 3DS and it’s features, even making a comment about taking 3D pictures of his wife . Out of all the introduction only the video was needed, the rest…totally pointless.
Finally, we got to the room with the 3DS booths, which again had several attractive women roaming around. The games on offer were, from what I gathered:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
PES 2011 Pro Soccer
Rabbids Travel in Time
There were some others but I can’t remember what was mentioned and I also never managed to make it around every game there. We only had around 25-30 mins to sample all of them which is just so short. However I managed to sample 4 of these games. The Legend of Zelda and Kid Icarus were the only games I really wanted to try and the other games I tried was Lego Star Wars and PES 2011.
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
There isn’t anything I really need to say about this game. Considered one of the best games of all time. But what does the 3DS do for this game. Well already the graphics make this the prettiest version of OOT out there. The textures have certainly been improved and is all in all a very pretty game. However what of the 3D effect? Well first and foremost, and this goes for all the games, the 3D effect is not 3D in its strictest sense. When it comes to 3D in the cinema or on TV the effect is to make things jump out at you. However on the 3DS it’s more that the effect goes backwards, so rather than coming out at you, it stretches away from you. It’s hard to explain and to be honest needs to be seen to understand it. Any way in terms of OOT, it is very nice. The section I tried was in the Great Deku tree and to see the inside of the tree spiral away from you by adjusting the level of 3Dness is certainly impressive. The 3D effect worked better in this game than in the other two I played. All in all this was my favourite of the 3 games I tried.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
It’s been a long time since the last and coincidentally the first Kid Icarus game on the NES. The section I played involved an on rails flying shooter, which then went on to running around a city, to then taking on a large boss. The game itself plays really well, and is quite a fun and intense game. However sometimes the controls, especially in the city bit, were a little difficult to get used to and graphically it was really good. The 3D however wasn’t quite as impressive. The enemies didn’t seem to fly around Pit and more seemed to just stay in the background, which did give the impression of distance but doesn’t really impress.
Lego Star Wars 3
This…well…I didn’t like it as a game and the 3D effect really didn’t work. As Mike suggested, “it looked like the background was stuck on box, with the character running around in front of it.” There’s literally nothing else I can say about it.
Erm…I didn’t get long on this game, but the 3D again didn’t seem to work, and in my brief time I couldn’t figure out the controls and so just kept blasting the ball out of bound for throw ins all the time.
There were also a couple of 3DS’s that had videos showing off some of the other games in 3D such as Mario Kart which looked impressive with Gamecube level graphics and even Star Fox 64 3D.
I apologise for not trying out more games but our time limit on them was very short. However it wasn’t completely over as we were taken in to another room where we were showed the other features of the 3DS. These involved the 3D photos, and Augmented Reality. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the 3D pictures in action, but I did try out the Augmented Reality. This…..was really really impressive. What happens is that there is a card that is placed on a flat surface, you then use the camera to play a game. When the camera has picked up the card a box comes of of the card in 3D on the screen, this then turns into a target and you are asked to shoot it, so you do. Next this becomes 3 targets, so you shoot one, and try to move the cursor with the control stick (this is a god send as it works really well and is what the DS needed in the first place) to shoot the others however it doesn’t move. It’s at the point you realise you have to move the 3DS around the card to shoot the targets. This shows of the gyroscopic movement of the 3DS and it is truly impressive. so you shoot them all, however you don’t advance to next the stage meaning there is another target somewhere around the card but you can’t see it. There is a hole where the card is, and you then realise you are to look down the hole to shoot it, so again you move the 3DS directly above the card and you see the target.
And that was my entire experience with the 3DS. But before I give you my overall opinion I’ll just mention about the actual 3DS build itself. Many pictures appear to show that the 3DS is quite fat around the bottom half, however this is hardly further from the truth. It’s a really nice slim feel and actually feels more comfortable than the DS. Also it’s a really good weight and doesn’t feel heavy at all. It’s a very impressive build. As mentioned before there is now a control stick which helps so much, when Mario 64 DS came out on the DS it was a bit of a pain to control with the D pad being a 3D game rather than 2D but the control stick fixes this problem. The switch to control the level of 3Dness is next to the top screen, which is bigger than the lower screen and also not touch screen so as not to mess up the 3D. It’s possible that this will prove to be an awkward place for the switch, but only time will tell, and probably depends on how much you want to change the 3D (probably a lot considering the battery life Nintendo have suggested is 3-4 hours with 3D in full!!!) Also movement of the console can cause the 3D to go a bit weird so use of the stylus could cause some problems.
SO, that is all I have to say on my time with the 3DS, as short as it was. The final question is this, has it changed my mind about shelling out upwards of £200 on. Unfortunately no (even with all the very attractive women with assets trying to convince me), but that’s not to say I wasn’t impressed, but funnily enough the 3D isn’t even the most impressive thing about it. I mean it is certainly impressive, but it’s not what impressed me the most. It was actually the features, such as the Augmented Reality which really showed a revolution on playing a game, it was almost virtual reality like. The games will certainly be a selling point, but it appears that the 3D effect will suit some games more than others, TLOZ being the stand out, but it also appears that driving games will benefit from them as Mike told me. So my advice is this, keep a close eye on it, it will be awesome at some point, but the price isn’t justified at the moment. Perhaps wait 6 months or so for a possible price drop and games that will make better use of the 3D. Nintendo though are really pushing the boundaries of gaming, and this is why we love them.