Nintendo has a funny way of defining ‘launch titles’ for a console, as it said at its recent European 3DS conference in Amsterdam that around of 25 games will be available within the first three months of the handheld’s life. That includes a whole range of first and third party titles - Mario Kart, The Sims 3, Rayman 3D, and Ridge Racer among others (see the whole list here).
I was able to have a go on a good number of the games we should expect to see on store shelves during that launch window, and was quite impressed with a number of them. Here are five of my favourite 3DS games from Amsterdam - with a few worthy mentions besides.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
If I was able to get any game I wanted the second I bought a 3DS, it would be this one. Alas, nobody’s sure if Pit will even grace store shelves in the system’s first six months on sale. It’s not a mind-blowing use of the handheld’s unique new technologies, but what I played was exceptionally good.
For a really basic comparison, Uprising
plays a lot like a Sin & Punishment
game, with on-screen action that would make even Treasure proud. Pit and enemies like Monoeyes and pop out in 3D depending on their movement around the level, and there’s a good mix of flying and ground-based combat. Your trusty bow can be used to target faraway baddies, but if they get too close Pit can use his twin blades (ala Smash Bros Brawl
) and slice them to pieces.
You’ll spend a lot of the time on the ground running for your life throughout loads of explosive events, but there’s the ability to use those angel wings and take flight for limited periods of time. Better yet, if you fancy a touchscreen input the stylus can be used to target foes, with the Circle Pad for firing and the left bumper for a secondary attack. Uprising
really can’t get here soon enough.
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
This game is definitely making it for the 3DS’ launch, and what a cracker it is. Graphically, it holds up well, and the 3D makes quite an impact - not so much on the action, but in the backdrops of each stage. Levels are discretely layered, and the effect is like brawling in a moving pop-up book.
As you would expect, nothing’s changed in terms of gameplay or style, but there are a few new additions to this handheld edition. The most important of these is in an alternative mode called ‘Dynamic View,’ which sets the camera just behind your fighter. Many people were put off by this and switched it straight back to the standard side-on view, but I ended up liking it after a while.
You do have to really get used to it - the controls still work on a 2D level despite the camera change - but it’s a good showcase of the depth perception between you and your opponent. You probably couldn’t win many battles this way though. Along with the already-announced StreetPass support, there will be additional costumes for the 3DS version, along with a downloadable version to send to friends that includes one stage as Ryu.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Ocarina of Time
remains to this day the Greatest Game Ever Made. But even I’m getting a little tired of the re-releases - twice on Gamecube, Virtual Console and even a demo on Smash Bros. Brawl. But those were simple ports: the timeless gameplay buried underneath an aged presentation.
In comparison, the 3DS version - featuring redrawn graphics and a stereoscopic view - strangely feels very fresh. It’s amazing what a lick of paint will do for a classic game. The 3D was impressive in itself - and not too uncomfortable when darting your eyes about - but I could happily smack it in 2D and be happy playing through the whole damn thing again.
Other revamped features involve touchscreen capabilities for inventory and C-button items, which works quite well. You can also aim and look in first-person view by moving the 3DS itself around, which is okay but you’ll quickly decide to use the Circle Pad instead. Unfortunately, Navi’s still there (and there’s an area on the touchscreen specifically for talking to her) but it wouldn’t be the same without her incessant yelping. This game is a must.