The Rise of the Nintendo 3DS
Back when the Nintendo 3DS was first announced, few were sceptical of its awe-inspiring abilities. In fact, the latest handheld completely bowled audiences of all interests over with amazing graphics, apparently smooth online gameplay and a vast library of first party and third party support. To this day, I consider the Nintendo 3DS to be the greatest console on the market at the moment. There, I said it. It was not always this way however as Nintendo’s mind-boggling machine started its lifespan rather roughly.
I’m sure you all don’t need a history lesson but damn it you’re getting one anyway. We all know that the Nintendo 3DS was massively anticipated. It rocked E3 and blew everyone away with the frankly futuristic idea of ‘glasses-free 3D’. It certainly impressed me and I was desperate to get my hands on one. Then, they unveiled the price. It was a ridiculous surprise on Nintendo’s part. This is the company that released their seventh generation console at a bargain cost of £180 back in December 2006! Why on earth were they selling their newest handheld at a price even more expensive than that? Stupidly, I shelled out for a full price one and the cut came moments afterwards. Needless to say though, poor marketing and high prices set the 3DS back a long way.
However, I had already paid full whack for my console so I had hoped to hell it would live up to my expectations. Now prepare for a slew of reasons as to why I love my 3DS to bits as well as why I think it is the greatest console on the market at the moment. Here we go then, onto the reasoning. Even though the debacle that was the release somewhat tarnished the machine’s image, a consequent price cut of almost half took the console down to £150 and it began to sell by the bucketload. Honestly speaking, why shouldn’t it? The games library is momentous and only promises to expand even greater. I actually don’t have that many games for the season but each one I do have I have played thoroughly through to the bitter and usually glorious end.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know. I had never completed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time before getting it on the 3DS. Hey don’t get snappy, a friend of mine has been doing that for years trust me. However, I felt the game, no matter how good it was on the Nintendo 64 had been breathed a new lease of life. The 3D aspect worked beautifully and the updated graphics and music really brought forth a vision that the game deserved. I think I read somewhere that the developers said this was how they wanted the original game to look. Thanks to the sheer power of Nintendo’s little handheld, they could achieve that and the game was even more enjoyable for it.
Nintendo hit a potential goldmine by releasing classics such as Ocarina and one of my all time favourites, Starfox 64, otherwise known as Lylatwars to us Europeans. Again with the graphics but they were fantastic. Also, with an on rails flight simulator, shooter, kind of thing, the 3D added an extra element to the game that was a real feeling of depth. The Arwing would hover backwards out of the screen whilst the recesses of the universe spanned out before your very eyes with every star twinkling in wondrous HD. So, here, even the old games are just brilliant. Of course though, you don’t just buy a new console for old games. You may as well throw your money away. No, another brilliant thing about the 3DS was the simple fact that Nintendo listened.
As the Wii slowly suffocated beneath an ever growing pile of shovel ware, games such as ‘Imagine Gamer’ took hold (not actually a real game…at least I really, really hope not). Nintendo finally heard the cries and have begun establishing real third party support on the 3DS. Such is evident by the masses of great games for the system, such as the brilliant Resident Evil: Revelations and Rayman Origins (which, if you’re new to my features is possibly my favourite game of 2011). Not only this but Nintendo themselves are also pumping some awesome first party games into the system, including Super Mario 3D Land, which is one of the prettiest Mario adventures in a long time, Mario Kart 7, a game that takes Nintendo’s online to a new level but I’ll get onto that, Luigi’s Mansion 2 and the eventual Super Smash Bros 3DS.
On the topic then of the online, which will be my final point, let me introduce you to Nintendo Network. Replacing the haggard, tired old Nintendo Wi-Fi, Network is a true step forward. Akin to Xbox LIVE and PSN, Network allows you to have downloadable content (not always a good thing I know), as well as demos (always a good thing) for games before you buy them and seamless online matchmaking. Mario Kart 7 even uses a variant of the TrueSkill system used by games such as Halo. I for one cannot wait to see how popular multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros utilise the online capabilities of both the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U, finally allowing us to bask in the glory of a functioning online system. ?
All that’s missing is a ten year old barking profanities at me down a headset. Until next time folks.