Last Wednesday I took advantage of the early price drop (offered at Wal-mart and Target) on the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. It was most definitely a ‘have your cake and eat it too’ situation. By purchasing the 3DS on Wednesday at Wal-mart for $169.99, before the official Nintendo price drop that Friday, I get both the system and the twenty free games the “3DS Ambassadors” (who paid $249.99 for the system) will receive from Nintendo for their early adoption of the new handheld system. One week with the Nintendo 3DS these are my thoughts:
It hurts my eyes! No matter where I place the 3D slider (minus the off position), my eyes are screaming, “stop looking at that!” It feels like I’m going cross-eyed while playing.
I love the Nintendo eShop! On the Wii, I think Nintendo tries to bleed their fans dry with the cost of virtual console games. In the Nintendo eShop, 3rd party Gameboy titles are available for only $2.99 (first party titles are $3.99). Before this week, I had never heard of “Avenging Spirit”, but I plunked down the $2.99 to try it out (because it was so very inexpensive) and I’ve really enjoyed it. The Nintendo eShop also features 3D video of both downloadable games and upcoming retail releases. The 3D videos are mostly limited to 1st party titles at this point, but I assume the 3D format for game trailers will become the norm in the eShop.
Both AR Games and Face Raiders are fun pack-in titles, but neither is ideal for 3D gaming. If Nintendo’s goal was to show off the 3D capabilities with these two mini-game titles, the company failed. There’s a specific “sweet-spot” you must view the 3D screen from or the 3D effect doesn’t work. Both games required much too much movement for a player to effectively remain in the position where the 3D display works correctly.
The Nintendo Video Channel is a great idea, but it should really offer some Nintendo themed videos. There are four video slots in the channel, and every week new videos replace the old ones. Right now the four videos are a Jason Derulo music video, a College Humor short film, the Glee 3D trailer, and a Nintendo Video trailer explaining the channel. How about some old Nintendo cartoons converted to 3D? Maybe break down some old CAPTAIN N: THE GAME MASTER into 3 or 4 minutes segments? I would eagerly tune in weekly for some classic Captain N.
I’ve yet to Streetpass a single person! Seriously, the Streetpass function is cool idea, but I’ve lugged this thing around with me for a week and no one else apparently has a 3DS! I work at a library, often in the children’s section, so I brought my 3DS to work everyday this past week: no Streetpassing occurring! I walked my local mall, stopping in Gamestop and Target (both of which even have 3DS systems on display to try out), no Streetpassing! I do know I took around 5000 steps walking said mall thanks to the handy 3DS pedometer!
I like the Mii Maker. I was very thankful I could import the Miis from my Wii. I also think the camera function is neat, though, it’s not always that accurate in interpreting a person’s features.
The battery life is a joke. Nintendo encourages the 3DS owner to keep the system in sleep mode whenever it’s not in use, but this leads to the system’s battery needing a recharge once a day or once every other day. I kept the screen brightness set at 2 (out of 5), turned “power saving mode” on, and kept the 3D turned off most of the time, yet I still drained the battery pretty quick. I haven’t even played a retail release yet, so I’m really concerned how quickly this battery will drain when I try to play Ocarina of Time in 3D for an extended period of time.
I’ll admit my initial assessment may seem a bit negative, but I really am enjoying the system. The faults, however, are quite glaring. I’m sure down the road Nintendo will release a stronger battery for the system (there are even instructions on battery removal/installation in the 3DS Owner’s Manual), but right now the battery life is definitely my biggest concern. I also think developer’s really need to think about how to effectively use the systems resources. There are gyroscopic controls, but if you use those controls, the 3D effect is lost because of all that movement.
If you’re a 3DS user, what are your thoughts on the system so far? Feel free to share your friend codes in the comments section.
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