Nintendo 3DS review

By Chris Sarvadi
March 28, 2011

Nintendo’s newest installment of their beloved Gameboy handheld system is finally here in the form of the Nintendo 3DS.  The 3DS features a brand new 3D screen, which you do not have to wear glasses to see the 3D effect.

In the same form factor as the whole Dual Screen family, it has a familiar shape and feel but that is where the common places end.  A whole new operating system really sets this system apart from its predecessors.  The OS looks and feels like the Wii’s but less complete, some of the functions such as the internet browser are not there yet but have a shortcut for it on the home screen.  Seems like Nintendo would have been better off just releasing a system update and feature that as a new feature.

The screens resolutions both have been upgraded from previous models (400 x 240 on top, 320 x 240 on bottom, versus the Nintendo DS‘s 256 x 192 screens).  The higher resolution screen is a nice upgrade to the original models.  The top screen features a glasses free 3D technology that you are able to toggle on and off with a slider on the right hand side.  The effect is neat but does seem to tire your eyes much faster than an ordinary screen.

The 3DS plays all the original DS games but unlike its predecessors, it takes away the Gameboy Advance game slot, making the GBA a piece of gaming history.  The 3DS’s performance with the original DS games is great, but the load times are a bit longer and the higher resolution screen does stretch out the games a bit.  But with a slight trick holding down start and select while loading the game, the 3DS plays the games in their native resolution.

But with any new system, the specs are nice but it is all about the games.  Bundled with the system are a few games that show off the technology of the system and ones to make friends.

Augmented Reality games utilize the AR cards that came with the system and it’s a really cool way of showing off the 3D effect that the system can do.

Street Pass Mii Plaza allows you to find people around you with a 3DS. Once you find people you can share your mii and play a simple adventure game to resuce them.  You are also able to solve puzzles with them as well.

Although the launch titles are underwhelming at best, there are a few stand out games.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the standout among the launch titles.  Supplying you with an array of your favorite fighters to some you did not even know existed in the Street Fighter universe.  With the lack of buttons on the 3DS versus a game pad for a Xbox or Playstation, Capcom uses the touch screen as a short cut for combos in pro mode and special attacks in lite mode giving you the ability to pull off those combos with a touch of a button.  The 3D effect is used partiality well, with an over the shoulder view gives a nice depth to the game but purists will not like this and play in the original arcade view.  This could be the best handheld port I have ever played.

Pilotwings Resort, the latest installment of Nintendo’s adored series Pilotwings is set in a familiar place on Wuhu Island, where Wii Sports resort is set.  Pilotwings is  a flight sim where you fly planes, rocketbelts and hang gliders in a series of challenges from flying through rings to shooting targets.  Some who have played Wii Sports Resort my find the reuse of Wuhu a bore but I found it a nice place to explore all over again.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars is a turn-based game like the highly popular Advance Wars series.  Although under the Clancy name, the game is not a shooter and has nothing to do with any of the other Ghost Recon series games.  Although a little repetitive this is an entertaining game for those looking for a 3DS launch title.

The 3DS is a nice refresh of the very popular DS family and will likely be king of handhelds for quite some time.  This system is for someone who owns a lot of DS titles and does not need the GBA slot as well as the early adopters.  Although the launch titles are few and far between the future line up looks compelling with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D and the beloved Legend of Zelda: Ocarnia of Time 3D.  The Nintendo 3DS gets a 4 out of 5 stars.


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Chris Sarvadi

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