Final Thoughts: 3DS

This is sort of what I thought the 3DS was going to be like.

A few months have passed since the 3DS has been released and I think it’s safe to say the launch goggles effect of ogling over the 3D has finally diminished to a point where it’s possible to critique the system without bias. My take on the standard stuff like the make of the system and the OS: Great, the system itself is very sturdy (minus the wobbly top screen hinge) and the circle pad works wonderfully. The Wii-esque interface is a more advanced version of what we saw on the DSi, with an online store (which has Link’s Awakening, most underappreciated Zelda game ever) and a friend’s list that is a step in the right direction for Nintendo in the online space (Friend Codes are still here but we actually have a friend’s list with usernames on it! We’ll have to wait until a real popular online game comes out like Mario Kart just to see how well it works). Really any problems I had with the interface since launch have either been addressed or just little nitpicks that aren’t too big of a deal. Moving onto the 3D I can say this: It’s annoyingly cool.

That it does.

I had no idea what to expect from glassless 3D. Was the image going to pop out from the screen like a holograph from Star Wars? Of course not silly, that would be too cool. Instead it makes the screen appear deeper as if you’re looking into a world and once in awhile an object will fly toward you and look like it’s actually coming out of the screen. If everything worked perfectly with no consequences then it would be great, but unfortunately we can say that for many things in life and the 3DS is no exception. First off, if you’re not looking STRAIGHT-ON at the 3DS then the image becomes headache inducing, and I mean straight on. This might sound like a silly complaint but don’t forget that we’re talking about a handheld that we hold with our hands and I assume I’m not alone in that my arms don’t remain perfectly still throughout an entire play session. Next, the 3DS’ 3D greatest asset is also its greatest weakness in the 3D slider. Every time I start playing a new title on the system I have to spend thirty minutes figuring out where the optimal spot to put the slider, not the biggest deal but still an annoyance. The 3D also comes at a cost in that many games it takes a toll on the 3DS’ power and becomes the inferior way to play. In Street Fighter 4 the game drops from 60 Frames Per Second to 30 when the 3D is enabled, Ocarina of Time the graphics become jaggy and there’s often a nasty ghosting effect. Still the 3D is a neat addition that sets the system apart from its competition. Like I said before, it’s annoyingly cool.

Pictured: An old man bitching about something.

I know games are somewhat of a separate affair when critiquing a system but it needs to be mention: The 3DS is severely lacking in this department. Two of the best games on the handheld are console ports (Street Fighter, Zelda), and when looking at the upcoming titles one has to worry if the 3DS is going to be a repeat of the Wii with the only worthwhile games being first party while other Developers lazily port their games over while adding a forgettable 3D effect. Unsurprisingly the best use of 3D comes from the new Pilotwings title but unfortunately the game itself is too short and shallow to warrant the $40 admission. In fact I can’t think of a single game that is worth the steep price tag although I have not delved too far into the highly rated Ghost Recon, which lends itself best to the idea of 3D by making the top-down turn based strategy game look like a miniature board game. Still, with nothing on the horizon but a handful of first party Nintendo titles and a minigame on the consoles stretched into a full priced experience that lacks the ability to save (Resident Evil: Mercenaries), 3DS owners have every right to worry if their money may have been spent in haste.

At least he likes it.

I may sound like a hater but I actually like my 3DS. That might be more because I’m absolutely enamored by all video games though and not because anything of quality is being produced here. Unless you’re absolutely stoked at the idea of 3D or really value your Nintendo games, then I can’t recommend picking up the system at its current price. And I’m guessing if you don’t have one yet then you’ve been able to manage holding out just fine. Besides, with the system already out for a few months you’re that much closer to the 3DS lite coming out.

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~ by spruchy on June 29, 2011.

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