Hands-On Impressions Of The Nintendo 3DS

Hands-On Impressions Of The Nintendo 3DS

Feature

We give you an inside look at the 3DS from Nintendo's exclusive pre-launch event held last weekend in Bristol. Is the 3DS all that it's cracked up to be? Does 3D give you headaches? Read on and find out.

Focus
This past weekend, Nintendo held an exclusive preview event for their next big hardware release, the 3DS. I was eager to play with the handheld device and am happy to share some conclusions that you will undoubtedly be just as eager to hear. Nintendo set out to amaze their guests, making it somewhat of a struggle to attend the event from a neutral standpoint and it wasnít easy ignoring the delights of the slender females herding us around like cattle. Focus, Priest, FocusÖ

If you would like to hear about the event itself, check out my blog post titled How Does Nintendo Immerse You In Their Brand? If you are here for the lowdown on the hardware, read on.

Hands-On Impressions Of The Nintendo 3DS
Once Nintendo had us all settled in, the first thing they showed us was the 3DSí Street Pass feature. This new feature allows you to swap pretty much any data and play with any other nearby 3DS. With Street Pass activated, the 3DS will automatically swap data and does so without you even knowing it. Say you have been playing Super Street Fighter IV 3D and have been traveling with Street Pass switched on. Arriving home, the 3DS will show you with whom you have been swapping data and can then charge into a battle with them online. Itís a pretty cool gimmick if you want to crown yourself the champion of your local area. The best thing about this though is that it showcases how simple it is to connect with several people in a certain area. Playing against your friends should be a complete breeze to set up.

Playtime
Amongst the podiums holding the playable 3DSí I saw a number of exciting titles. Not being picky, I ran to the first available one. Pilotwings Resort is a flight simulation game that introduces Mii characters on the portable device. As soon as I started playing I gasped at the 3D image that was already visible in the main menu. The first task I was presented with in the game was to fly a plane through a number of hoops. As you can imagine, the 3D gave the appearance that these hoops were ready to jump out of the screen. The 3DSí Circle Pad gave me very precise control of the plane and this felt very pleasant indeed.

Hands-On Impressions Of The Nintendo 3DS
The Circle Pad appears to be the default control system for the majority of the games coming out on the 3DS which is a good thing; it offers a very smooth and in-control feel that cannot be had with the original D-pad. Just how well it works became clear when I got to play Kid Icarus: Uprising. In that game, you move your character with the Circle Pad, aim with the touch screen and fire with the left bumper. Without the Circle Pad this control scheme would certainly be much more awkward and I really canít see anyone being able to shoot enemies at such a fast pace with a more traditional control scheme.

Double Vision
One thing I found while playing was that the combination of the 3D images and bright graphics caused me to do a lot of blinking. Furthermore, as you are holding the device in your hands it is easy to lose your fixture on the screen when the action gets to be a little frantic. When that happens, your eyes have to adjust to the new angle and it can cause you to see the game in double vision. I spent so much time trying to focus my eyes on grasping the 3D image that it slowed down my reactions and distracted me from the actual game itself. This problem happened across all games and the only solution seemed to be staying perfectly perpendicular to the screen.

Consequently, playing games like Dead Or Alive Dimensions in 3D just seemed unnecessary. The same can be said with Super Street Fight IV 3D Edition and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011. I enjoyed playing the games much better when I tried out the 3D slider to see how the device handled switching to 2D during a game. To my delight it worked really well and I gave it a real workout by switching back-and-forth with no problems. Although this was the case with the Ďcoreí games, a more casual game like Nintendogs & Cats definitely improved with the introduction of 3D. Having the animals jump on to the touch screen was very effective in 3D, so much so that it gave the impression of an actual dog or cat living within the device.