“Sorry I’m late!” I exclaimed to the rest of the Gamer Horizon crew as I frantically assembled everyone’s responses to this week’s Top 5. I’ve been so busy with work that somehow, Wednesday and Thursday rolled around without me realizing that the Top 5 was supposed to be posted Thursday! Still, I made it this week, and this week’s responses are as interesting as it goes thanks to the diversity of the Gamer Horizon crew! And since this is a Nintendo related Top 5, Sean will be sitting this one out.
And without any further delay, here’s our reasons why we got a 3DS!
I’m a realist. Ever since it was announced that a section of the population can’t perceive artificially created 3D images, I had completely struck 3D off of the “technologies that will survive” list. Still, the novelty of being able to show someone a 3D screen from a small device in your pocket isn’t lost on the 3DS. However, as Pokemon X/Y proved, 3D is something Nintendo might not require in the future.
I didn’t think that this feature would be such a prominent reason why I’d gotten the system, but it’s certainly crept up from nothing into being my 4th reason why I got the system. Through the past few years, Nintendo has been adding reasons why it’s important for you to take your 3DS everywhere and StreetPass is certainly what helps make that happen. Whether it’s getting hats and rescuing your Mii in a lite RPG or getting puzzle tiles from other people, StreetPass is one of those features that simply can’t be found on other mobile/portable devices. Yes, the Vita has something similar with near, but it’s certainly not up to the same level.
3. Tons of RPGs on the go
Combine all the RPGs that came out on the DS with everything that’s arriving or is already out on the 3DS and you have a platform that has tons of hours of gameplay and story that is perfect for the working gamer. I’ve spoken to Anthony about this many times before, but I feel that portables are the perfect place to play a lengthy RPG. These days, it’s difficult for me to devote a lot of time in front of the TV to play a 40 hour RPG. But if it were, say, on a handheld, then I can pop open my 3DS, spend a few minutes grinding by getting into a battle or two, and close it and continue with my day to day activities. And with new titles like Bravely Default and Persona Q, this idea is just further proven.
Not only do you have the library of the 3DS at your fingertips, but also the regular DS’ as well. I can name several games off the top of my head that I still own that I’m able to play on my 3DS thanks to its backwards compatibility and legacy: Contra 4, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Radiant Historia, New Super Mario Bros. (sorry Anthony!), 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, the entire Phoenix Wright DS series, and the entire Professor Layton DS series. I’m sure I’m missing a ton more, but these are the games that have stood the test of time for me, and certainly ones that you’ll enjoy yourself should you decide to get a 3DS of your own (assuming you don’t already).
1. Super Mario 3D Land
If I was only able to pick one reason why I got a 3DS, it would be this game. Super Mario 3D Land alone is a great reason to buy a 3DS, and this isn’t something that I usually say often. Normally, I’d name several titles and say, “Yep, these are the reasons why you should own X system.” But nope. Not the 3DS. Super Mario 3D Land basically does away with every single 3D Mario game idea and creates an experience so similar to the older 2D Mario games that they could’ve simply have named it Super Mario 3.5 and we would’ve gotten it. Also, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that much of Super Mario 3D Land’s inspiration did come from Super Mario Bros. 3. If, for some reason, you don’t even have this game yet, get it. Now.
Yes, believe it or not, there are people out there that actually like 3D technology and I happen to be one of them. I love watching movies in 3D and I love playing games in 3D. The 3DS is the only video game platform out there that supports 3D gameplay without the need for any additional peripheral. Unfortunately, the 3DS XL that I “upgraded” to is far more affected by crosstalk than the smaller 3DS model, which is really a disappointment. Still, I’m a fan of 3D in general, and I hope that its current lack of popularity doesn’t discourage content creators from continuing to produce products in 3D, and I applaud Nintendo for making it an inherent feature in their 3DS lineup of systems. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll be off in a corner pretending the 2DS doesn’t exist.
4. Dual Screen Gameplay
I suppose this is old news already, considering we’ve been enjoying two screens on Nintendo’s handhelds since 2004, but I still think having two screens to play on is a cool feature. Considering how many games use mini-maps, it’s great to have a second screen serving that individual purpose, and the countless talented developers making games for the DS and 3DS have come up with all sorts of interesting uses for the second screen.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
It was not hard for Nintendo to sell me on the 3DS when they revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would be released for the platform with updated visuals, complete with 3D effects. The original on Nintendo 64 was one of my favorite games of all time, and certainly among my favorites of that generation, so I had no problem with paying for it twice. But like so many rereleases of old games lately, I never got through it; my persistent backlog of new and old titles simply won’t allow me the time.
2. Pokemon Black
So this is going to sound weird… Pokemon Black is a DS game, not a 3DS game. And yet it was still a major factor in my decision to by the 3DS system. I had been using my launch model DS from 2004 for years. While my friends enjoyed their fancy DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL systems, I was using “old blue,” with its muddier visuals and smaller screens. When Pokemon Black came out, I had had enough. I wanted to play my new DS game on a clear pair of screens, and I wasn’t about to spend a bunch of money on a new DS when the 3DS was out, so I took the plunge. My first 100 hours of gameplay on my 3DS system was spent on a DS game. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that the 3DS would not look quite as good playing DS games as the DSi models, but it was still a great improvement over my original DS.
1. First Party Titles
Nintendo’s first party lineup of franchises is a compelling reason to own any console or handheld platform they release, and the 3DS is no exception. I just can’t argue with Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Pokemon, Animal Crossing and the others. I grew up with them, stubbornly insisting to anyone that asked that I would play video games for the rest of my life, and as an adult, I am just as stubborn. I don’t care if the games are childish, cartoony and colorful, nothing will stop me from playing the next big game in a big Nintendo franchise.
Because Sean refuses to own any modern Nintendo platform, he is sitting out on today’s Top 5. Instead, here’s a screenshot of Kevin Spacey in the newly announced Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which is what he’s most likely looking forward to this year. I can’t blame him – it looks so good that I’m thinking of getting it myself!
5. 3D Media
The promise of watching 3D media without needing a 3DTV was really promising. 3D was really taking off. Of course, it died just as quickly. 3DTV is essentially dead as a medium, especially with ESPN 3D shutting down. But we got some things in the eShop from Dreamworks, and Nintendo Video was good for a while (Nintendo Video now shows many things in 2D only). What could have been.
It didn’t even LAUNCH with this, but Nintendo promised a much greater digital future, and we got it. Every game that launches is digital, and Nintendo even offers a tool to transfer save data from physical copies to digital copies. You use standard SD cards, and trading up to a larger size card is a very simple process. There’s actually a decent lineup of digital only titles, and Nintendo isn’t shy about putting more experimental stuff out there. Look at Rusty Slugger’s Real Deal Baseball, that’s just weird.
3. The DS was dominant
The DS sold about as well as the PlayStation 2. That is to say it absolutely murdered it out there. Before the advent of mobile gaming, the DS was the “blue ocean” device that everyone had. It had an amazing library. The 3DS was backwards compatible with DS titles, and we were sure to get a really sweet game library. We did get one, eventually, but at the start it was really rough.
2. Super Street Fighter 4 3D
Yoshinori Ono put it best – “Don’t you want to practice Street Fighter wherever?” It was a simple argument, and to me it worked. The game was the standout launch title in a very weak lineup, and it offered all 35 (at the time) characters, all their costumes, and smooth online play. The original Nintendo DS had some spotty online play, but the 3DS was super smooth. Playing in 3D was a nice touch but slowed down the framerate.
1. Oh my god it was in 3D
I passed by a 3DS demo station at Best Buy in 2011 and it was showing Pilotwings. I hadn’t really paid too much attention to the 3DS up to this point, but I walked up to it and turned the 3D on.
WOOOOOOAH OH MAN it was in 3D. I could see into it and stuff. Woah, and it was so deep. Oh my god this is so cool. I had to have it. I preordered shortly after. Just the sensation of 3D was what sold me on this thing. Funny how we have it turned off for the most part these days.
So yea, for the most part, the Gamer Horizon crew loves the 3DS (as well as 3DS emulators)! Do you have any games that you’d say you wanted on the 3DS that helped persuade you to get the system? Or do you have other reasons that we didn’t list here that we forgot? Sound off in the comments below!