Top positive review
10 of 10 people found this helpful
on June 6, 2011
Game lineup aside, this is a solid handheld system. The new L/R buttons are much improved from my DS lite. It's not much bigger than the DS lite for that matter. So if you're used to having one of those this won't be much of a change. The slider is great, it moves great and you can use it to play DS games with. Which should make playing games like Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and Super Mario 64 DS easier to play.
The update that will add the eShop, Internet Browser and allow you to transfer your DSi / DSi XL content over to the 3DS comes out later today. If you happen to buy a 3DS before July 7th, then you can download Excitebike for free from the eShop. After July 7th it'll cost you. (edit; It's since come out and while the eShop has issues, they have been improving it since it released. Like adding the ability to store your CC information. So I expect it to improve throughout the 3DS' life)
I'd like to point out to those that may not realize it, that the 3DS isn't a DS with 3D. It's all new hardware in a new generation of handhelds, a lot of people get confused on this. Not everyone, but some do.
The Activity Log is probably my favorite thing added (similar to what the Nintendo Channel does on the Wii). I like to track my playtime and it makes it really easy to do. For some reason though, it will add things like settings and notifications... which seems pointless, but I guess could be neat for some. I wish you could remove them and keep them removed. As it is, I had to shove the things that I would use, but not care about the time on (like notifications and settings) in the back of the 'book' so they're out of the way. Since removing them from the list is only temporary until you use it again, then it'll pop back up on there. xP It also ranks the software, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In total playtime, times played and average play time.
The User Interface is fairly easy to get the hang of, though some options are hidden away. It's a little annoying to have to have the 'Health and Safety Information' thing stuck on my main menu. Sure you can move things around, so you can hide it all the way at the end of the menu, but that should have been hidden away somewhere else. And just pop up when you first power on your 3DS.
The in-game menu is slick looking, especially with 3D enabled. The 3D is neat, but it can strain the eyes and drains the battery in the 3DS faster. The only games I have are the preloaded and Rayman 3D. So far the best part of 3D are the menus, they really pop in 3D. I usually have 3D off, or very low (since otherwise it hurts my eyes) or playing DS games so haven't had any problems yet with the battery but it's something to take into account. The slider for the 3D effect on the side works fairly well though it's hard to keep it near the bottom where I like it.
Now onto some of the included software. AR Games is probably my favorite. The Nintendo site describes it better than I could, "Just place one of the AR Cards on a table or floor, and the Nintendo 3DS camera will read the card and initiate game stages or characters right before your eyes. AR Games features different modes, from a wild shooting gallery to an interactive photo shoot with your Mii characters'plus more."
Face Raiders, you take a picture of your face or anyone's face and then it's "stolen" by these flying things that you have to shoot with yellow balls. It uses Artificial Reality to break away at the room you're in. And then the flying things will fly into the gaps between reality and what looks like space and come at you from somewhere else. You basically just move all around (turning around and such) to aim and then shoot them all down to rescue the face. It's rather neat. Lots of movement involved with that game.
The Mii Plaza is kind of neat. It would be better for me if I encountered more 3DS owners passing by in Street Pass (a mode that allows you to interact without any action on your part with another 3DS in standby mode with Street Pass enabled) The Plaza on my 3DS is still empty and useless because I haven't encountered and Miis that go there.
There's also pictures to fill in the spaces. The problem with this is that you only get one by default. To get pieces you either have to encounter someone in Street Pass, or use 2 coins. You can only earn 10 coins a day by getting the pedometer to 1,000. (1 per 100 steps) Which helps to negate not encountering other 3DS owners for this and Find Mii but prevents you from unlocking new pictures to fill out. Since you only get one by default, the rest you have to 'get' from others to start filling out. Thus it's a problem.
Find Mii is cool. You unlock some hats during it too. Your Mii is 'captured' and you have to hire heroes to go through dungeons to get him. You can, again either find them with Street Pass or use 2 coins. The problem is that it's artificially drawn out, by colored shields and armored enemies. You have no say in what color or level your hero will be. A green shield makes a ghost invisible from physical attacks until you break his shield with a green hero. You can still hit him with magic, but since the heroes are random sometimes you get stuck with useless magic. (and it doesn't really explain what the magic does) Armored enemies don't take damage from level 1 heroes. It could have been a lot cooler if it were more like a regular RPG. The heroes attack 3 times or use their magic, then they run away/get tired and leave. Instead of taking damage like the ghosts.
The Mii Maker is not much different from the one on the Wii, if you've used that. You can try and take a picture of yourself to get an automatically created Mii but that didn't turn out well with me or my boyfriend. The Miis looked nothing like us, but it's interesting to see what will pop up when you take a picture of yourself.
Whether the price is worth it or not is up to the buyer. It was worth it for me, because it's exactly the kind of device I was hoping it would be. I don't think I'll be using the 3D much.