Dead or Alive Dimensions
Another game that took a bit of adjustment before I was comfortable playing it, but my goodness it looks nice. The 3D looks good generally, but really comes into its own when you pull off some of the fancy moves, or throw on opponent up in the air. The Circle Pad is a joy to use, and a streamlined control system means that some of the game’s harder moves can be done by tapping the relevant section of the touchscreen.
Gameplay is classic DOA, so it won’t convert the haters, but it will please the fans. Please don’t ask me about 3D boobies.
Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition
Wow. Woah. Holy moly. I could go on and on, but instead I’ll just say this: Street Fighter 4 3D Edition is mind blowing. Capcom have absolutely nailed it in terms of when and where to use the 3D. Add to that graphics that aren’t a million miles away from its console counterpart, and you have something very special indeed.
As part of the demo I got to try the ‘Dynamic Camera’ mode, which sits the camera slightly behind and above your character’s shoulder. As a demo for how good the 3D is, the Dynamic Camera is excellent, although I’m not sure how many hardcore fighting fans will use it. As with DOA, the Circle Pad works a treat, and Capcom have allowed you to map moves to the touchscreen, meaning ‘Ultras’ and ‘Supers’ are never more than a tap away.
Some may baulk at this idea, but it keeps the flow of the game going. This is the 3DS’ killer app.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Whilst many will remember the Kid Icarus games as a mash up between Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, the 3DS’ entry plays more like something that developer ‘Treasure’ might craft. The section I played had the game’s protagonist ‘Pit’ take to the skies in an on-rail shooting level. It looks gorgeous, with some stunning backdrops as you weave your way through the clouds, before spiralling to the earth below. As with several other games, the depth is what impresses most, and when a giant Medusa bursts from the clouds it really is jaw-dropping.
The on-foot section that I saw lacked that visual sparkle, but I hope that was just a one off. The in-flight control scheme is deliciously simple, as the Circle Pad is used to move, your stylus aims where you want to fire, and pressing down on the left shoulder button will unleash all sorts of projectile hell on your enemies. The on-foot control scheme isn’t as smooth as I would like, and the ‘slide the stylus to dodge’ mechanic will take some adjusting to. All in all I am very excited about the finished product.
Ridge Racer 3D
Ridge Racer on the 3DS is a game of two halves. On one side you have some very well implemented 3D effects (planes flying to the screen being one of them), and some beautiful backdrops, and on the other side are some very lo-res looking car models. This meeting of hi and low res images creates such a clash, it really does look bizarre.
Elsewhere it’s typical Ridge Racer, with drifting being a core element to the way you race. It plays very well (assuming you’ve played a Ridge Racer game before) and within one race I was already vying for pole position. I actually had a lot of fun with Ridge Racer, and I can see it being a bit of a cult hit.
Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D Edition
Resident Evil The Mercenaries is a hard game to call. On the surface it seems very samey, but then again I only played a short snippet before having to move on. The premise of the game is to take control of one of four characters, then kill as many enemies as you can as a timer ticks down. Performing certain tasks, or collecting crystals will see your time increase, so it’s a case of run, shoot, collect, then run some more.
It plays just like Resident Evil 4, and graphically looks just as good as well, although the 3D was barely detectable. My only worry is can it keep your attention?
Combat of Giants Dinosaurs 3D
This is a game that would make TSA’s Kris weep with joy as it has a Triceratops in (although you have to kill it). You take control of one of a handful of dinosaurs with the aim of exploring a map. Occasionally you will come across another dinosaur and engage it in battle, which is a bit like an extended QTE sequence.
I’d like more time with this game, because on the surface it seems a bit boring but there were several options I didn’t get to explore, such as ‘customisation’ (pimp your dinosaur?). The 3D was also very effective, with tails poking out of the screen, and huge chasms that you could almost sense how deep they are.
Each 3DS console comes with its own AR card. Laying this card on a flat surface, and pointing the 3D camera at it initiates an augmented reality game where an on-screen box pops up from the card, and you have to shoot it. Completing that task sees bigger boxes with more targets appear until you end up hatching a dragon which you have to defeat. It looks great (the dragon’s jaws snapping out of the screen is particularly good), but it’s more of a tool to show to your friends/colleagues/parents how cool your new toy is.
Trailers and Eurosports demo
Sadly there were a number of omissions from the 3DS playable games line-up (Starfox, where art thou?), although they were there in trailer form. Mario Kart looks fantastic, and halfway between a PS2 and top end Gamecube game. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater looks phenomenal, and I can’t quite believe it’s running on a handheld.
Eurosports was also showing off some of its upcoming 3D content for the 3DS, but I wasn’t very impressed. The only real thing I could spot in 3D was the tennis scores flashing up, which is disappointing to say the least.
So how do I sum up the Nintendo 3DS? Truth be told I feel a little bit burned by the possibility of a £230 price tag. The console is good, but £230 good? I don’t know. Sub £200 though, that’s a different story…