It’s been a full year since the 3DS made its North American debut. The first few months of ownership was a bit rough as games were scarce and few and far in between. Thankfully once the Fall season kicked in and we were seeing alot more quality games come out for the spunky little device.
As a gamer, I go to where the games are and the 3DS is sure as hell is delivering, especially in the last four to six months with top notch titles both on the eShop and full cartridge games like Pushmo, StarFox 64 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Kid Icarus: Uprising, VVVVVVV and Mighty Switch Force to name a few. But times were not as favourable for it during the first six months of it’s release. There were only a handful of games that were available at launch and it was slim pickings for many of us who wanted more. I remember picking up Super Street Fighter 4 3D and PilotWings at launch and not picking up another game til Ocarina of Time 3D, and that was a full three months! That’s a long time to wait for to play a fully fleshed out game, albeit a remake of a top notch classic.
The hardware itself has had its quirks for me as I felt that the D-pad positioning was and still is in a really awkward position and the retractable stylus is put in an awful place: the back of the 3DS. I kinda wished they had done a 3DS XL design to begin with to fix some of these problems, like the hideous Circle Pad Pro add-on that’s coming out. Another improvement I can see that should be made is there is almost no grip on the circle pad if you play for extended periods of time and you have sweaty fingers/hands. I feel like the 3DS was rushed out the door as gamers and stockholders were giving Nintendo pressure. I’m not saying the hardware is horrible, but there are improvements to be made. As some of you may know, I had attended the Toronto 3DS Launch Event that took place a day before the North American launch. I was pretty impressed with the overall controls with the games that were available at the time with the ingenious use of AR Cards games and Face Raiders AR game where you shoot invaders by rotating around with the gyros to position yourself. I have used both those games since launch to show people what all the hype 3DS is about and to also have a bit of fun as well. If you want a challenge and a good laugh, set up a friend with Face Raiders in a car and make sure there’s tons of turns. Random outbursts of laughter and frustration can happen!
Execution of the launch was not as good as Nintendo or it’s fans and critics would say is great but Nintendo did make do with what they have and has made a good start for it. StreetPass and SpotPass slowly but surely made itself indispensable and synonymous to the 3DS, even though StreetPass could be more useful for those living in big cities and metropolises to really make full use of it.And one more thing on SpotPass is that you’ll notice that you’d have received either Iwata or Reggie in your StreetPass Plaza in time for the One Year launch anniversary
All in all, if the games and apps that are already here for the 3DS are any indication on the popularity and success of the system, I’ll be happy with where it’s heading for a good while longer. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be returning to my adventures in Kid Icarus: Uprising!