The 3DS Preview Event

The box sat in Liverpool on Thursday and it remains till Sunday. I got up early and fresh ready to enter and have my eyes experience the power of glasses less 3D.

Inside was a dark corridor showing the history of portable Nintendo systems, Game and Watch to the shiny 3DS and around the corner sat a huge amount of systems guarded by incredibly attractive ladies. It was certainly hard to investigate the 3D at this stage and it seemed far more interesting to start asking the girls about Cola and uni. Of course I checked the 3D out during this time though, of course.

The 3DS is very nice, black and blue ones sat side by side and despite hosting smaller screens than the DSi XL I’m used to, were perfectly fine for my viewing. I think after seeing the two side by side I will go for the more exciting blue, as black looks a little normal. Of course I like the odd with huge rectangle headphones and a Creative Zen. The hardware seems impressive though with good quality screens, a comfy slider nub and the comfortable to hold shape. The stylus is cool too, a small silver pen which extends for bigger hands. I can see myself opening and shutting it as I play out of habit, though I don’t need to see as I actually did this when playing Kid Icarus. Which leads me into the games. I played 16 different ones and here is what I thought in super brief mode.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

The first game I ended up at was Street Fighter as it was the first empty unit I saw. I have this game on the Xbox 360 and it’s a great game though causes anger problems when you face the cheating computer Seth. This seems the same as the 360 version which is impressive for a handheld though the controls are a touch awkward, but that maybe because I’m not used to it on the 3DS. 3D looks amazing in the special dynamic over the shoulder mode, I was sold on the device and the 3D already.

Super Monkey Ball 3D

The 3D is so strong in this game, I felt my eyes were about to melt. The objective of the game is to roll the ball containing a monkey to the goal. Too easy with the slider but the 3D effect doesn’t quite work with the fun slider mode, it has you twisted and turning the console to get that monkey through the finish line. Also includes a tame racing mode and a poor fighting mode which I was bored of within ten seconds. The ball rolling is very fun though hopefully it becomes challenging as it goes on.

Steel Diver

Submarine time. I only gave this a brief go, playing the first person mode which has you moving the DS around to aim at ships and blow them up. Was a cool idea though feels a touch novel. Maybe the side on mode I saw my friend play is a little better. A fun minigame though.

Kid Icarus Uprising

This is really cool. Flying through the sky on rails shooting strange eyeball enemies is a visual treat and the 3D impressive as you hurtle through tunnels.  While it feels like an epic title with great visuals and thrilling gameplay, I felt the controls to be a tad awkward. Stylus to move camera and button to shoot. Reminded me of Star Fox Command in a way. And I hated that game.

Asphalt 3D

This was one of the poorer games I played at the event. A racing game by the numbers with an alright 3D effect stuck on. Felt slow and was devoid of any excitement. I was flying off ramps on buildings yet I still yawned and walked away. Needed more speed and smoother handling.

Lego Star Wars III The Clone Wars

This didn’t impress me too much either. A hack n slash game which is the usual Lego game idea of wandering around collecting studs and fighting robots. I got lost in the hub and noticed how slow it moved and how lacking the 3D was. Think the console versions would be the better choice so you can play with a friend. I reckon you’d need two 3DS owners with a copy of the game to get that mode working here.

Rabbids 3D

I like the Rabbids but I don’t like this. A side scrolling adventure which feels flat till you die and the bunny flies out and hits the screen. Seems overly simple, like a pre-school version of Mario. For shame you zany Rabbids, for shame.

Ridge Racer 3D

This was much better than Asphalt with sharp drifting and decent speeds. The 3d effects weren’t the best going for a more subtle approach, but the sheer thrill and fun from playing it made for a game I highly anticipate on launch. Plays much like you’d expect from Ridge Racer and isn’t the best looking game on the console, but it feels reassuringly solid.

Pro Evo 2011

I don’t like football and I didn’t get along with this, losing badly and shooting blindly rather than playing with any tactics. But the 3D is the best in the whole place. It draws you in and it feels like you can be part of the world as it does so, players move around as if their in some strange box living inside your console. You have to see it to believe it and I think this was the game which converted my friends over. If only I was into the sport.

Dead Or Alive Dimensions

3D boobs is on display here. I have to say 3D boobs is the main reason to buy into all this 3D business and I walked away thinking about… you know. A perv-em-up disguised as a pretty decent fighter though you wouldn’t be able to see that from the demo. A fury of A button presses will make you a winner. The full game will most likely offer the full depth and challenge, plus I noticed there is a viewer mode…

Resident Evil Mercenaries

Mercenaries mode in Resident Evil 4 and 5 was great. With a limited selection of guns the object was to off as many zombies in the time allowed. You could collect time by smashing glowing orange things and it made for fast frantic action as you looked for the best way to kill as many as quick as possible while avoiding being murdered by the chainsaw man. It was tense and addictive though ultimately an extra feature to the main game. Selling it on its own feels a little dubious but if there is plenty of content and multiplayer it should be ok. This plays just as well as the big console versions though the controls were a little confusing initially.

The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time

This was the star of the show for me. Ocarina of Time is on of the best games I’ve ever played, a grand N64 adventure through time, and the 3DS remake knocked me over. It is the same game word for word as the original, but with newer visuals and a stunning 3D effect. Seeing the Great Deku Tree looming large on the upper screen made him look a true Great even more so than before, and plunging from the top of the tree through the web inside him was another wow moment. Another smart feature is the ability to move the 3DS around when in first person to look around. Small changes seem to be making this incredibly game unbelievably even better.

Nintendogs and Cats

Aww, the furry puppies and kittens look so adorable! The way they stick out of the 3DS is just too cute! But those eyes are a little creepy… just a little. I stroke a cat before it turned around ignored me and the dog did the same, maybe I just don’t have the touch. I threw a ball at the dog and dressed the cat up as a cowboy. Then I couldn’t find anything else to do and walked away.

Pilotwings Resort

Flying through the skies feels so relaxing and refreshing. A plane, jet pack and hanglider are on offer which you must fly through hoops or balloons, or you can just explore the island however you wish under a time limit. The 3D felt a little strange on this, I felt I was seeing double sometimes, but fiddling with the slider sorted that out. It seems a little easy in the demo and the island is straight out of Wii Sports Resort but it seems like a fun game to show off the 3DS to people. Sailing through bright blue skies brought a smile to my face.

AR Target

This was weird. You place a card (which comes with the system) onto a flat surface and watch through the 3DS as the card comes alive and moves and shifts the surface. This AR game had me shooting targets which appeared on the table and it was so surreal moving around shooting them, then glancing over to see if they were actually there. What trickery is this? Ends on a giant dragon boss which likes to lunge at the screen. A novelty game but it blows the mind. I need re-circuiting like my DSi XL does.

Face Raiders

Another pack-in game and this one has you snapping a photo of yourself, or someone else, then proceeding to shoot their face as they come through a dimensional rift to kiss you. This is another novelty experience as you move around blasting those faces but it is also great fun as you watch the face laugh, wink and kiss. Also you can collect faces which is nice and creepy. How we like it.

The 16 games offered a great variety of experiences and I can safely say the 3D really is something special. While junk like Rabbids will emerge onto the shelves in the future, it is reassuring to see 14 out of 16 games were half-decent to great. 20 days to go.

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