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.
Visually 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. Being 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. The 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. There'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...
Ridge Racer 3D
I hate Ridge Racer.
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.