My shiny new 3DS arrived today. I had some thoughts to share on the device, but some of them would just be echoing the conventional wisdom, especially since I’m getting it two days after launch. So just a few quick thoughts, before I go back to my feverish reviewing.
The 3D effect works. I tend to keep it a little on the lower side, since I found long periods of play on the higher angles hurts my eyes. It’s also a bit more extreme in some games than others. Steel Diver, one of the games I’m reviewing, is extremely subtle even on the highest settings.
The dock might be my favorite unexpected surprise. I didn’t really think I’d use it, but it’s found a comfortable place on my office desk. It’s just really convenient to drop it into the dock and forget about it, rather than dig up the plug from a pile of chargers and fit it into the back. As such, I haven’t run into battery life problems. When I’m not using it, it nestles snugly in the dock. Problem solved.
The out-of-the-box software is pretty impressive. Face Raiders has that “wow” factor that I can see being a hit, and the AR games are definitely something I’m curious to explore more. I did the initial one (target practice with the question mark), and it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I need to play the AR Games in my kitchen, since it’s the room with the best lighting thanks to the halogen bulbs. But in general, what I’m saying is that if you don’t get any games, you can still impress people with this thing.
The Mii creator is apparently hit-or-miss. It did great for me, though. After I added a beard and moved my mouth a little bit, it looked a lot better than the one I tried to create on the Wii.
The Friend Code thing is still a bit of a dinosaur, but having one unified Friends List is at least a big step up. I’ve been enjoying looking at my friends’ Miis. By the way, has anyone noticed that all the fields for personal messages are extremely small?
The StreetPass and Coins features are pretty brilliant ways to encourage you to take it out and about with you. I haven’t run into any StreetPasses, but I took it with me on a walk. I logged 3,000 steps, which was more than enough for my 10 daily coins. Now I just need to find a game that actually accepts the virtual currency. Still, great idea Nintendo.
I popped in Pokemon White to check how it handled original DS games, and it wasn’t too bad. A little on the blurry side, but no where near the pug-ugly mess people kept talking about. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to consolidate my DS and 3DS games into one pouch and put the DS Lite aside, or just keep them both available for their own native games.
Onto the games. I’ve played some Steel Diver and Ridge Racer, but I’m going to save my impressions of both for the Shack reviews that I’ll be putting up next week. Ghost Recon and Lego Star Wars are on the way as well, so hopefully I’ll carve out some time to try them.
Nintendogs+cats – Yep, that’s Nintendogs alright. I haven’t gotten a cat yet, but so far I can say this is pretty much exactly what you’d expect if you played the original. A few new activities for your pet, much improved graphics, but otherwise it’s more or less the same. The 3D-ness is a nice showpiece here, and the puppies are especially cute. So far I have a welsh corgi named Belle, who is pretty good at catching frisbees but terrible at bringing them back to me.
Super Street Fighter 4 – I’ve only played a tiny bit of this, and I’m renting it. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it, since I already have two versions of this game available to me, and they’re prettier. But it does as advertised, and it looks pretty doing it. Some might complain about the shortcut buttons, but c’mon… no one is playing the portable version competitively. It only bothers me a tiny bit because it gets fingerprints. But heck, the whole system is a fingerprint magnet.
Onto the stories. Lots of good ones today, oddly:
- I actually wrote this Mortal Kombat story yesterday, but some back-end hitches forced us to sit on it for a little while. Nothing wrong with the story, just working out the kinks of the new Shack site. I think it’s funny that people said it’s a spoiler. Come on, guys. I’m no Mortal Kombat expert, but is it really a spoiler that Scorpion is in this one?
- No PlayStation Rewards after all. I kind of wonder why it got canned, really. We’ll probably never know.
- Sometimes you stumble on a story totally by accident. I was looking at this statement from Nintendo as a non-reply to my inquiry, but my editor was like “the sales are the story, get it asap.”
- Holy crap. I’m looking forward to LA Noire. I know there was probably some exchange of whatever rich people exchange — money, trinkets, virile Portuguese men — but I have to think Tribeca has some level of standards and wouldn’t let in, say, Bulletstorm. Where’s your god now, Ebert?
- I already own Halo Reach, and trying new things scares me, but if you don’t fit into either of those categories: hey, free Halo Reach!