Review by Mageknight
"3D without glasses? It's possible and it is done right!"
3D is starting to become a popular technology among the mainstream, but it is extremely expensive and the glasses add onto the cost. Nintendo has jumped on the 3D bandwagon, but they put their own twist on it by making a hand held console display 3D images without the need for glasses. The Nintendo 3DS is far from perfect, but it does the 3D technology just right without any extra add ons or the heavy cost.
The 3D effects vary from game to game, but for the most part, it is done quite well. Things appear in the foreground and background as they seem to pop out from the screen, but it is more of a show and don't tell type of deal since the effects are more believable when seen rather than told. There has been complaints of the 3D effects causing headaches or how the effects are too strong, but luckily, there is a slider to adjust how strong you want the 3D to be and you can even shut if off if you want to. Some games are actually more difficult to play without the 3D on, showing Nintendo is pushing to perfect 3D. For other games, the 3D effects is nothing but a gimmick. This isn't usually bad if it's done right.
The 3DS takes after the DS in design so anyone who has played on any iteration of the DS will be quick to adapt to the controls. New to the controls is a circle pad to act as an analog stick. It is quite comfortable on the thumb and it moves quite smoothly so it is difficult to actually have your thumb slip off the pad. The L and R buttons feel quite small and cramped compared to the DS' L and R buttons, so it will cramp some peoples' fingers. Another nifty feature is the ability to shut the Wi-Fi on or off on the fly, letting you save battery power when you don't need to access to the internet. Be sure to keep the volume down to reasonable levels since the 3DS' speakers are quite powerful!
The 3DS comes bundled with several applications and games and most of them are fun for the most part. You can create your Miis just like in the Wii and they are mainly used for player profiles or mini-games. Naturally, Miis can be given to friends and you can pick up others as you walk by someone else who has a 3DS, using the street pass feature. AR Games are quirky mini-games that use the 3D effects and AR cards to create various effects and characters you can set in different poses for snapshots. The games range from shooting arrows at targets to fishing and they are quite fun as they use the room you are playing in to bring life into the games; just imagine fishing on your bed or watching shooting targets rising up from your table. Games ranging from new originals to ports of the classic Game Boy games can be bought at Nintendo's shop and unlike the Wii, you don't need "points" to buy anything so figuring out how much you need or how much to spend is more simple. Right now, the selection is slim and Nintendo could have put out better games to buy at launch.
The one major disappointment of the 3DS is its battery life. With the brightness on at the max and the Wi-Fi turned on, the battery lasts only for 2-3 hours. Putting the brightness at the lowest and the internet off will make the battery last around 5 hours. This may be for games you play in short bursts, but for games that require a longer play time, it gets annoying fast to keep recharging the battery. The cameras used for the 3DS are only 0.4 megapixels, which is very bad quality. It will probably be a matter of time until the 3DS gets a new iteration that resolves these problems, similar to the DS Lite.
the 3DS is definitely worth a buy, but it also won't hurt to wait a bit longer until more games are released or if the 3DS gets redesigned.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/12
Game Release: Nintendo 3DS (US, 03/27/11)
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