Sunday, January 5, 2014

Blatant Nintendo Advertising

This is the Nintendo 3DS. I got one (the XL version) from my wife for Christmas. It is the single greatest device a new parent gamer can own. Let me tell you why.

The 3DS is small, but not too small, and the XL version is a solid size without being too large. You can carry them both in your pocket easily, and you can hold one up and play it well enough even if you have, say, an infant sleeping on your chest.

The 3DS flips closed, which makes it durable. Cracking the screen is a mean feat. Odds are good your infant will not sneeze, spit or vomit on your 3DS screen, and he can gum it with relative impunity.

The 3DS is one of the cheapest game systems on the market, even the high end versions. The games are all cheaper than console games, by at least $20. Even game downloads can be had cheaply if you catch the right sale.

The 3DS was built from the ground up to deal with interruptions. For any game, you can flip the 3DS closed and it will pause. Flip it open and you can start playing again - easy as that. If you don't get back to it for a few days, the battery will probably still be fine. Standby mode is awesome and needs to be a thing on every system possible.

The 3DS has a switch to turn the 3D effect off. If you like 3D, more power to you.

The 3DS has a ton of games in all genres. If you don't like them, it also plays all the old DS games. If you don't like those, you can download classic Nintendo games. You will not lack for games to play.

So needless to say, I'm enamored with my new game system. Having a handheld lets me take advantage of Ben's naps to game without booting my wife off the television when she's trying to wind down after a work night. And the games are pretty sweet. Here's what I've played so far:

Super Mario 3D Land: I'm not sure I really have to explain why a main Mario game is awesome, but imagine Super Mario 64, updated and improved in every way, and set up for classic Mario levels, and you'll get a pretty good idea why I'm already in World 7 on this one.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The classic A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo was one of my favorite Zelda games. This one has all the same charm and gameplay, and adds in challenging  puzzles and dungeons for a completely new experience. I'm already in the "Dark" world, and I can't even describe the twists they've put in there without spoiling things.

Shin Megami Tensei: I honestly downloaded this because A. it's supposedly one of the best RPGs on the 3DS, and B. it was $20 off the list price (and still is until tomorrow), even compared to Amazon. Hard to pass that sort of deal up. I've been too busy with Mario and Zelda to get very far into it, but it's looking good so far. Update: Oh my God this really is Atlus hard!

Bravely Default (demo): I'm not sure how to Brave or Default yet, but Square put a hell of a lot of effort into the demo, making an entirely separate quest line from the main game that gives you some advantages when it comes out. I'll be exploring this demo in more depth over the next couple of weeks to decide if I'll play the actual game.

Fire Emblem: Awakening (demo): This actually seems like a pretty sweet strategy game, based on the demo. The controls and actions aren't overcomplicated, but the relationship function between your units promises loads of complicated strategy trickery. On my list to pick up later.

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies: Pretty sweet game, with a strong sense of humor and an interesting (if completely unrealistic) legal mechanic. I'll be picking this up when I have a free slot.

That's the good stuff. There are a few other demos I've tried, but they haven't been great:

Super Mario Dream Team (demo): I immediately glom onto Mario RPGs, and never finish them. The demo for this one demonstrated funky controls involving controlling Mario and Luigi at the same time, so no thanks. I might try out the Paper Mario game later if the price is right.

Resident Evil Revelations (demo): I tried the demo for this on the XBox 360 and the 3DS, and gave it a pass both times. The weird squid monster enemies (no zombies!) and tacked on gimmicks threw me off. I watched a video playthrough of the game and I'm satisfied with that.

Project X Zone (demo): The total opposite of Fire Emblem. It should be crazy awesome and full of Capcom characters I love, but the actual gameplay in the demo makes no sense and doesn't interest me and the Capcom characters I either don't recognize or don't care about, except Ken and Ryu. Kind of disappointing. Also why is the demo limited to only five plays?

2 Fast 4 Gnomez (demo): A running game. Go right, collect socks. I could download 50 versions of this same game on my phone. No thanks.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (demo): Apparently an attempt to make a 2D Castlevania game with the 3D engine, characters, and requirement to hit enemies way too many times to kill them. I outright hated playing this well before I found out a Belmont can take fall damage so no, I won't be picking this up.

And there are other games I'd like to play, but I'm determined to keep myself in check until I've finished the ones I have. Which includes a playthrough of the Final Fantasy IV remake for the DS.

So if I say on this blog this year that I don't have time to write? Blatant lies.

*runs off to scribble down notes on a little girl's spooky best friend*

*and play Zelda*