Saturday, 26 March 2011

3DS Day

Hurrah, I just picked up my Nintendo 3DS. That's a whole day later than most of the other eager beavers/day one purchase saps. I'm slacking - a situation most likely down to the weak launch software. I can't complain too much, as I had stated in my last post, Street Fighter is very good and there are a lot of good titles on the way, it’s just the lack of a new Mario or Zelda is a bit of a downer… but it's still new hardware! WOOP!

I picked it up in "Aqua Blue". The finish looks and feels expensive and the colour is varied and interesting (fucking finger print magnet, though). If only I could get a similar finish on my iPhone... but red, it would have to be red. With each iteration of the hardware, Nintendo are taking their handhelds a step away from “children’s toy” to respectable hardware in the same space as the iPod or iPhone. But I digress...

First thing I did was make a Mii using the camera. Results were amusing, depending on facial expression I'd look like either Admiral Ackbar (a character I actually have as a Wii Mii) or a fat Asian man. It's useful to be able line up a photograph alongside the Mii character creator. From Me to MiiShortly after on settling on a rough approximation of my facial features I connected to my Wii and picked up some of my previously created characters - the obligatory Kurt Cobain and Barry Burton (they're obligatory, right)?

Kurt CobainBarry Burton

It’s pretty cool how you can create these QR codes to share your Mii’s – just go to the Mii Maker > QR Code/Image Options > Scan QR Code and point the 3DS camera at the above images to get them in your game. I’ve found a pretty good website with a few sets of existing one’s here. Of note are Nintendo characters, Phoenix Wright and the cast of Evangelion.

KirbyNext I tried the augmented reality card games. I can't stress enough how awesome these are - more so coming from somebody who hadn't experienced eye toy, kinect or indeed anything of that ilk previously. They're pretty simple; toss a card on a surface and watch a multitude of games unfold from the card through the 3D screen. CockSome of these games allow you to draw a 3D penis, project it into the real world (as displayed on the 3D screen) and then take a picture of said 3D penis and overlay it on somebodies forehead. M for Mature.

Shortly after I was presented with a warning to go outside. There's a lot of health warnings scattered throughout the 3DS hardware and its companion booklets, most likely down to the eye/nose/ear bleeding caused by Nintendo's previous 3D effort, the Virtual Boy. Nice of Nintendo to think of my health, but I was yet to try Face Raiders.

Unfortunately, Face Raiders is not Nintendo's efforts to bundle porn with the system, it is, however, an augmented reality game where you shoot disembodied heads/space crafts that appear around you, Andross style. The cute gimmick is that the crafts ate composed of pictures of your friends/family/enemies or indeed yourself. Oddly when using myself as the enemy, the face recognition software detected me as a "Young Lady". Sigh. That blip aside, it's a good bit of bite sized fun, but as with the AR card games, most likely something tried once or twice to show off in front of people/make yourself look stupid.

I picked up “Ghost Recon: Shadow of something or other” because @lochnesssnowman informed me that it was supposedly similar to X-Com. Quite true, and it's genuinely decent, but ultimately a pointless purchase to test the 3D-ness of the hardware. I'll be picking up Street Fighter and Pilotwings later in the week.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Nintendo 3DS

Last weekend I sampled a couple of games running on Nintendo's new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. Here are my slightly delayed thoughts (no Internet in new flat - sad face).


Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D
It's pretty much just the bonus "kill a bunch of bastards mode" that was used to unlock extras in resident evil 3 onwards but using the mechanics established in Resident Evil 4 (later refined in Resident Evil 5).
Kill bastards. Break open hour glasses to get more time to kill more bastards. Pick up more ammo to kill bastards. It's a classic tale. Pretty simple. Pretty fun.
Resident-Evil-The-Mercenaries-3D-Gameplay-4Visually it appeared to be a slightly rough approximation of Resident Evil 4/5 (the spanish environment I sampled was ported from Resident Evil 4). The 3D added a nice layer of depth and helped with suspense/urgency as larger waves closed in.
The controls were tight and intuitive, though forgetting Nintendo's arrangement of A, B, X, Y didn't help with the "kick him in the puss" quick time events - a problem I used to suffer from in the Mario and Luigi games for DS.
I'd buy this.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions
Gone are the days of "lol handheld version with 4 characters", this iteration has a ridiculously large roster - there's a metric fuck tonne of jigglesome characters to choose from. nintendo-3ds-oppaiBeing a DOA2 fan I picked Helena who was rendered perfectly on the 3DS's ickle, but crisp screen. The 3D character select and stylish loading screens are welcome, yet as soon as I drop into game - "argh my eyes"! Dead or Alive offers a good looking but noisy experience. Its hard to say if it was just the 3D effect causing it, or the frame rate issues - either way as soon as I slid the slider to "off" the frame rate improved to a silky smooth 60 frames per second and the eye noise had gone.
This felt like value for money, a huge roster, tight controls and good visuals. It's a real shame the 3D is more of a hindrance here. I'd probably pick it up if I knew other people were interested on playing multiplayer.

Kid Icarus: Uprising
Its not very Kid Icarus, is it? Sure its got Pit and those Eggplant things, but its a lot more like Panzer Dragoon or Sin and Punishment than its platforming namesake. My time on this was short, but the instantly impressive visuals and again the alluring depth in the visuals made this a definite purchase for me.


Rabbids: Travel in Time 3D
A rather uninspired platformer with a shoe horned 3d parallax scrolling effect. Possibly a future bargain bucket purchase, but only because the Rabbid characters are awesome.


Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Pretty pretty zelda. Its Ocarina of Time, so it's obviously awesome. Updated character models, improved textures and quite possibly more responsive controls. zelda-ocarina-of-time-3d-34ca301822742eThe depth effects were quite jarring in this, I felt that I had to start playing with the 3D slider set to off/2D and slowly slide it back to full/3D to get my eyes to adjust - this is something I had to do every time I looked away from the screen. Troubling, but not disastrous, certainly nothing that will get in the way of me picking up a third copy of Ocarina of Time.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Sup, Street Fighter, the 80's want their title back. Much like Dead or Alive offered a large character selection (with more customisation out of the gate) but without the noisy 3d visuals. ssf43d728There's an added 3D friendly camera angle that accentuates the depth without hampering gameplay. I imagine this will be pretty popular around the Ruffian studio, so I'm probably gonna pick it up. It's just a shame I ran into a couple of control issues due to the shape of the system I kept pressing diagonal down-left rather than just left due to the angle my thumb was placed. This is a problem I had on this first iterations of the PSP.

A few other things I saw...

Asphalt 3D

Ridge Racer 3D
I hate Ridge Racer.

Steel Diver
What is this game? Dull.

Nintendogs + Cats

Augmented reality games. Cool, but will rest in the "play it once then never again" category.

A look at the home screen - coerced my friend into drawing a cock and saving it alongside all the children's drawings. Mature.

A demo of Mario Kart (though not playable). It was rather pretty, but bland - then I'm not the biggest Mario Kart fan, give me Street Racer, Diddy Kong Racing or Crash Team Racing any day.

Oh, and I didn't get to play Pilotwings or Monkey Ball. Gutted.