James – So, we all took the plunge and joined the 3DS early adopters club. Some were there at midnight; some at a more sedate midday; and others ran out to 24h Tesco as soon as they realised they could see the extra dimension. However, less than a week on, can we all still focus normally when our eyesight is not trained on the device? Are we still happy with our purchases?
Matt – I have to say I’m really loving it.
Manny – It’s turning into my favourite bit of kit I’ve purchased in a very long time.
James – Can’t say better than that, I suppose, but is this just another iteration to go with the DS, DS Lite, DSi and the DSiXL? Has the 3D added much to the portable package?
Manny – To my utter surprise I’m finding the 3D stuff absolutely awesome in games, and more than just a novelty. Yep, it’s a pain having to find the 3D horizon slider ‘sweet spot’ for each one, but once I have it set correctly I don’t want to turn it off in anything. I tried turning it off in Pilotwings last night and actually found it way more difficult to judge distances, so it’s a success on that front for me.
James – Couldn’t agree more on that respect. At first I was taken in with the “wow” factor of flying through forests and towns and seeing the scale zip past me, but as the challenges progressed I found myself less and less concerned with the mini-map displayed on the lower screen and more able to judge the distance from the depth. As soon as that started clicking I actually began feeling more and more confident with my pilot skills, so it’s strange to see what the knock-on effects of this extra dimension are.
James – Having also picked up Pro Evo Soccer, the effect is less beneficial to the actual gameplay, but does add to the sense of immersion. Whether it be the feeling of the players “popping” up from the pitch or the tussle at corners, to seeing the ball fly just high and wide and again not having to rely on the drop-shadow to figure out what margin you missed by.
Manny – To be honest I actually find it quite a problem in Pro Evo, I can’t quite find the sweet spot since the camera is flying around all over the place. In side view it doesn’t really add anything either. That’s the only one that hasn’t impressed me thus far.
James – The close cam, although unplayable, is the one I use to show off the 3D most.
From most accounts, however, it is the built in software that seems to be being received most highly. The AR stuff especially, which I’m still finding absolutely mind blowing; I know exactly how it works and what’s going on but it still doesn’t stop it being as though Paul Daniels has been shrunk down, put in a flimsy plastic casing and is casting magic in front of my very eyes. Seeing your kitchen table open up into a shooting gallery is staggering.
Matt – Obviously the full games are the main draw, but it’s the little fiddly stuff that I really like, like catching random Miis as you walk the street, and then using them in an RPG. They’ll greet you, throw on a hat and then dash into a ghost infected dungeon.
I’ve only dabbled with the AR cards but they seem pretty darn cool.
James – I’m yet to go Mii catching, but the thought of wandering through town at the weekend, earning in-game coins from the pedometer and then finding you’ve picked up a bunch of new friends on the way sounds pretty nifty. If they can build those features into more and more games as they go then I can see the 3DS actually being part of the usual batch of stuff I take out with me, adding to phone, camera and iPod that I stuff in my bag.
Manny – The quality of the packed in software is remarkable strong; Face Raiders is absolutely brilliant, and completely hilarious. A 3D space invaders where you scan in your friends faces as the aliens and then spin around trying to bring them down; it’s one of those magical little apps that expresses exactly what the system is capable of to those people that perhaps wouldn’t normally touch a handheld. More stuff like that in future firmware updates and I’ll be a happy man.
Matt – I have to say though, I’m still, and unsurprisingly, disappointed by the online stuff. Universal friends codes – as opposed to per game codes – is a step forward, but they should have added a little more info to each friend, like game history, the ability to send messages, and so on.
Matt – Also I still think the lack of online store from day one is still a massive oversight, pretty damn sure I would have bought whatever they put on there just for novelty value alone.
Manny – Online is indeed lacking and the store not being there is a bummer, but hopefully that’s all stuff they can patch in down the road. I’m sure they will do more with those friend cards than we’re seeing now; it’s a bit pointless otherwise. The novelty value of even having a friends list on a handheld it fantastic though, and I know it’ll be something that will keep me playing more frequently than the DS or PSP ever did.
James – It’s just a shame that it’s pre-Xbox Live 1.0 standard. Iteration is high on my wish list.
Manny – My wish list would be: cheap virtual console games on there, and also downloadable versions of DS classics. If I could fill up a memory card with those things and keep whatever 3D game I’m playing in there, I can see it becoming a permanent part of my inventory.
James – For me, it’s support. Although I have never regretted the purchase of the original DS, the lack of support for the Wii, in terms of titles and feature supports (Connect 24 says hello), does weigh on my mind a little. I love the AR cards, the pedometer, the friends and the game coins that are all integrated into the hardware from the off, but I want to see products that support them a year, two years, more, down the line.
Although that’s a little negative. To end on a high I’ll say this: grab yourself Face Raiders and an office chair that you can spin about on and you’ll find a marriage made in heaven.