The 3D: I remember being vaguely worried that it would not work for me, just like any other dork out there amidst scary reports, as I’ve been pretty psyched about this little device since its unveiling. However, it works. Really well. Sometimes, too well; the little 3D slider is there for a reason, and I for the life of me can not have it on full blast. Too much depth or something.
Pilotwings Resort: For Pilotwings, one of two games I purchased, the depth is incredible. It goes and goes. As I’m swooping around mountainsides in a hang glider, the rugged edges of the rock seem much more real and dangerous than in 2D. The ocean lives and breathes. Everything feels alive and more “real,” even though it looks like a Wii cartoon. The immersion is something that can’t be underestimated; never in my whole life have I felt like I was actually “in” a game.
One thing I haven’t noticed is any sign of other Miis walking around, which is weird. There is a dude flying his plane everywhere, Miguel, but that’s it. Oh, and some girl lady person at the “office,” where she dispatches you to go fly a plane through loops and almost kill yourself continuously. There is THAT. Still, it’s a little odd feeling like you’re the only one on this huge, awesome, apparently abandoned island.
It does reuse assets, in an obvious attempt to get a game out for launch: the entire island is from Wii Sports Resort, which also had a free flying plane option. Unless you’re a high score junkie, I pretty much advise you to not get this game if you played WSR because you’ll be flying around the same exact place. I was one of the few nerds who didn’t play that game, so it’s all new to me, and all of it absolutely lovely.
Ridge Racer 3D: The other game I got was Ridge Racer, which is a fine enough game but nothing special (so far). There are about four hundred race events (exaggeration), which realistically is just an okay amount of tracks used over and over in various ways (NOW RACE AT NIGHT!!! NOW RACE IN THE MORNING!! NOW THE TRACK IS BACKWARDS!!), a total Ridge Racer staple.
One odd, unexpected moment happened when I was playing on launch day. Racing on the track that is featured in the very first Ridge Racer, I was completely awestruck. For the first time in almost …15 years? How?? Uh, for the first time in almost 15 years, I actually felt like I was in the world of Ridge Racer, thanks to the great 3D the game possesses. It was amazing. I was actually driving down that dumb road with the bridge and everything.
Now whether that’s sad or not is something I’m not going to really dwell on (IT’S DEFINITELY SAD) but it surely reaffirms my nerdiness.
Other stuff: The OS (the system menu) on the 3DS is fantastic, the best Nintendo ever has been. Wii has always been kinda ugly, a bunch of dorky looking “channels” to choose from. The DSi was a little better, but still relatively plain and barren.
It’s all different now, though. It looks wonderful. When you press the Home button to go back into the OS, it looks like Nintendo went the way of PS3 and 360 with a really attractive menu.
There are a bunch of other things to do with the system, like FaceRaiders and AR Cards, both of which are fun and interesting but more like mini games, and the 3D photo option which is both nice and kinda not (it’s moving to see a memory captured in 3D/very low resolution, pretty ugly quality).
Still, for those completely broke after buying the system itself, there ARE things to do and it’s nice to have some games to play in 3D. FaceRaiders gets better as it goes along, and the AR Cards are really awesome and insane but hard to play with the 3D (you will be moving the system a lot, which is not good considering the very weak viewing angle).
UGH BATTERY!!!: The battery life blows, but I mainly play mine at home so I don’t care too much.
In other words: So, after 700 words, what I really mean is OMG I LOVE MY 3DS!!!!!!!!!!