Review by SatoshiMutou

"It's boring, gets tiring fast and weak. Unexcusable."

Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the Nintendo DS and DSi. When Nintendo DS came out, it really changed the way we played our handhelds. The Gameboy Advance that came before it didn't have any 64 bit games and the system was dependent on batteries. DS was a huge improvement since we no longer had to stock pile on batteries and the graphics of our games have improved drastically. So here we have the 3DS and what exactly makes it any better than DS?

Well for starters, to generalize it, there are hardly any improvements in the handheld itself. The battery life is very weak (3 hours I notice on most games) which means that it's designed for short term games. Playing Zelda 3D was tedious because you end up charging the 3DS at least 10 times during gameplay (maybe longer if you play it longer) and you can't really play it on the go without worrying about the 3DS dying. If you expected to pop a game into the 3DS on a long airplane flight you will be very disappointed. I can't imagine future titles like Pokemon or Mario being played since the battery will became an annoyance.

It's called Nintendo 3DS, which you can guess that it has some 3D feature. Well yes that is correct. This 3D feature is a total gimmick. First off, it depletes your battery even faster (like the 3 hours wasn't short enough) and makes your screen look very fuzzy. Some people can see the 3D and not have a headache, but most others will not use it most of the time. The feature is so weak that they have to include a health hazard warning on the 3Ds games screen to warn people of how much it sucks.

The best part of the 3DS are the graphics. The graphics are good but in some games they aren't being maxed out to their full potential. Since the DS had 64 bit graphic games, I take it that the 3DS is capable of at least 128 bits. Some games look like they are using this potential, but some game designers are lazy and like to make DS like games for the 3DS.

The features of the 3DS are very limited. Streetpass has to be one of the worst ideas ever. Streetpass is this game that is pre-installed on the 3DS and if you pass someone else with a 3DS, you can exchange data and get some mini-games. I am not sure that a lot of people want to be walking around in a public area staring at their DS's hoping to pass someone else. This seems really awkward. and yeah while the whole idea is to create a community of gaming, they could have just focused on making online play better instead.

Besides Streetpass, you have Mii maker which allows you to make people, Face Raiders this other mini game where you take a picture of yourself and blast your own face (I really don't know where Nintendo got these ideas or found this fun), a really weak camera (my terrible at&t phone has a better one), a weak internet browser (really difficult to navigate), and these things called AR games. The AR games are kind of neat because they make you take this card that comes with the 3DS and put it in sunlight (which is a problem because the sunlight has to be REALLY bright) and you use your camera to take a picture of the card which allows you to start a game. The AR games was the only good idea Nintendo had going for the 3DS and I must say that it was impressive. The AR games however are difficult to play and do not last very long.

I found it disappointing how the 3DS does not have any sort of App system or any other features that you can use in every day real life sides the internet. No facebook app, no mp3 player, no webcam, etc. The system does not really go into depth and you can't do a whole lot on it besides what has been already installed and add 3DS games.

The design of the 3DS is not that bad either. It comes in the colors Black and Blue. The stylus is a lot nicer than the older one. The controls are slightly different this time there is now a gray circle that is used in gameplay now. The top screen is wider which is nice as well.

The most disappointing feature of the 3DS is their Nintendo store. The Nintendo Store is similar to what the Wii had and it is this virtual store that allows you to use Nintendo Points (ones for 3DS only which is terrible considering the ones in stores that say Nintndo points as well are only good on Wii) in order to buy games. The games however are weak. It has been 4 months since the 3DS has been released and the titles are very poor. We have seen Zelda Links Awakening, Donkey Kong 94, Kirby's Dreamland and everything else is irrelevant. I am sure that there is somebody that would find these games entertaining, but for the prices the Nintendo store charges, it's a total ripoff. These games are very old and many gamers have played through these titles quite a few times. Some of these games cost anywhere from 4-8 dollars. To some it's not a lot, but compared to iPod Apps that aren't roms of old games that cost only 99 cents, it's not really a fair deal.

So the best part of the 3DS besides the design, the graphics, and the AR games, is it's future game library. We will see various Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, etc. titles being released, but as the past has told us about a lot of these franchises, Nintendo just likes to keep rehashing their old heroes and making stale games. While there are some new fresh faces such as Kid Icarus and sequels to Luigi's Mansion and a new Super Smash Bros game, it's just not really worth it.

Unless Nintendo was to completely update the 3DS with a lot of new features, more exciting and promising games, update the virtual console, and do a lot more than focus on the 3D gimmick and make a big deal about Streetpass, the system has failed before it even started. In the year 2011, there is a lot more potential out there to make something way better than the 3DS. Just looking at smartphones, tablets, any apple product, etc. technology that is being put out today is very advanced. The 3DS would have been acceptable when PSP came out, since the PSP is very similar to the 3DS in it's features. Being released 5 years later, it's just a PSP for Nintendo.

Overall, the 3DS is very limited on what it can do and the games aren't really that fun. The system doesn't have a strong battery life and becomes more of a home console that you can play on your bed if you have a wall outlet near by or on the go for a very short period of time. Game Boy changed the way we played games. Game Boy Advance changed the way we looked at games. Nintendo DS changed the way we played handheld games. But now Nintendo 3DS makes us not even want to play handheld games anymore since it does a really sloppy and lazy presentation of handheld games.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/11, Updated 07/14/11

Game Release: Nintendo 3DS (US, 03/27/11)


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