Review by willmoua
"A Great Sense of Depth, But Lacks Any Reason for Exploring"
The 3DS is somewhat of a gimmick as of now. It looks amazing (Cosmo Black) as if Nintendo finished it off with some sort of black marble. Lots of gamers are saying that only time will tell if the 3DS will be successful or not. For what it's worth - it is best to hold off on the 3DS. No online support, no "Virtual Console" network, and a weak lineup of launch titles. The effects of the 3DS are very "neat", but nothing close to amazing.
In Pilot Wings resort, you'll notice 3D effects during the opening scene, but during gameplay, it basically seems like the HUD, and your Mii is stuck on one layer, while the background and everything else is moving - creating the "scope" of 3D.
In Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, the 3D effect is very limited. Cutscenes, and environmental depth is all you'll get besides the standard HUD effect. Although the game itself is very good as a strategy RPG, purchasing a 3DS for it's supposed 3D effects doesn't merit the purchase of both.
All other items available out of the box isn't worth the purchase either. The battery life is terrible, and you'll eventually have to carry the dock where ever you go. I wouldn't be surprsied if they soon release a portable charging dock for the 3DS.
The other features such as the Mii creator isn't different from what's been offered before besides the new option of taking a picture and having the system create a Mii with it according to the features currently available on the system.
StreetPass and the Plaza is actually a great idea. An answer to Nintendo's lack of an online community. The only issue is that it was done before somewhat on the DS. In Japan, the majority of the population uses public transportation, and handhelds are more popular there. So it makes sense to incorporate such a feature into the system. Here in America, if you don't live in a area with a large population (or even one that mostly uses public transportation), you'll more than likely only have a small number of Miis in your Plaza, if not the same ones.
I've found myself playing more with the Augmented Reality cards than anything. The only issue, same with (auto)stereoscopic 3D, is it requiring you to be at a certain distance and/or angle to get the effect. While playing with the cards, I constantly got the notification of "Move Closer" or even "Can not detect AR card".
I purchased the 3DS to also use it as my 3D digital camera, but due to poor quality of each picture, I quickly decided that I'd have to purchase such a thing separately.
After playing with the 3DS with it's 3D features on - I did feel sick and have a headache throughout the day. Similar to that of wearing my strong-prescription glasses - even at the 3DS's lowest 3D setting. I was even told to just turn it off completely, but that would defeat the purpose of purchasing the system in the first place.
All in all - a fun distraction with the purchase of the system itself. But with the lack of online support during launch, it is quite understandable why this system can still be found on store shelves. The games don't offer anything surprisingly new besides the 3D effect. And the lineup as of now isn't that great.
I would suggest waiting on a purchase like many other gamers have done. Although many are saying it will soon take off, the system itself doesn't have enough fuel to do so. By the time anything interesting is released, I'm sure Nintendo will release an upgraded version of the 3DS with a better camera, better battery life, and of course by then - better/more games.
My verdict - wait for the upgraded (possibly cheaper) version.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 04/18/11
Game Release: Nintendo 3DS (US, 03/27/11)
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