Friday, April 15, 2011

3DS- My Journey So Far

So I've had the 3DS for almost a good 3 weeks now and I feel like I can finally summarize my feelings on it.

Right off the bat, the 3D effect is awesome. I'm sure you've heard this enough but yes, it really just works and it works magnificently. Every little detail just feels cool to look at. What time is it? Oh, I'll just check the time since it's popping out at my face. I feel like playing Pilotwings but I'll just stare at the plane that's popping out of the screen before I start the game. I miss my room. Let me just stare at 3D photos of my bed and pretend like it's closer than it really is. It's all really cool and is totally complementary to every facet of the system. I have yet to experience any headaches or cross-eyd issues from playing with the 3D on for extended amounts of time and I play with 3D at full blast until my battery is dead. Really, the only side-effect I have experienced- if you can even call it that- is that after playing for a while, immediately moving onto my computer makes text on web pages appear as if it's popping off the screen. So really the 3DS has just given me super-vision. Who can complain about that?

The only time I ever turn down the 3D is while playing Pilotwings. Sometimes there is just so much shit going on at once that I begin to see double-vision of items that appear closer to the screen. This has been the only game that this has happened with and it's probably due to the amount of disparity between stuff in the background and foreground. That's my guess at least. And as far as Pilotwings goes, I actually had a lot more fun with it than I had anticipated. It took me like 20+ hours to get 3 stars on every challenge and collect everything in Free-Flight Mode. I could have gone the extra mile and tried to get a perfect score for every mission but I am nowhere near masochistic enough to put myself through that. The title is still a bit shallow in the amount of content but if you want something that is great technical showcase for the 3D and a game that's easy to pick up and put down then Pilotwings definitely warrants a purchase.

Once I had my fill with Pilotwings I needed something to fill the void and hold me over for Zelda, Cave Story and the like. So per recommendation of some of my fellow forum members I went ahead and bought Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. Bad move on my part. Yeah, it's a good game but I just found it to be incredibly bland. It had great gameplay mechanics and moving around my soldiers like little pieces on a board game was pretty cool but nothing else in the game kept me engaged. It had some cliché war conflict tale with Russian terrorists, the characters kept having annoying conversations and it just felt like a DS game. The graphics were incredibly sub-par for what we should expect of 3DS games. Sure, it's a launch title and I suppose that's excusable but take some of the other titles that are already doing things that the DS could never even come close to emulating.

So I sold that. Then I bought Street Fighter! This is the game I should've gotten from the start. I always had a yearning for it but I was too timid to dive into the SF community in fear of getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis but I finally took the plunge! I played against a fellow 3DS owner from the forums earlier today and to my complete and utter shock I did not completely suck! It was an actual fight with both of us having a number of wins and losses and it was fun as hell! The game ports perfectly over to the 3DS and just feels good to play. The addition of the analog nub is perfect for pulling off combos and the 3D gives the game a great look, like looking onto a little stage. I'm glad I never bought SFIV for the PS3 when I had wanted some time ago. This experience is very new for me and it's exciting to finally be a apart of the brawler genre which I had personally excluded myself from.

Aside from these launch titles, the 3DS is packed with software and it's all just real nifty stuff. The AR Cards are really impressive to see the first time. However, like any software like it, it's hard to find the right amount of brightness to play smoothly and the 3D is actually pretty irritating for the AR games. I've taken some 3D pics and sometimes they come out looking amazing and sometimes they just look blurry. Then there's StreetPass which I am totally hooked on. I collect my 10 coins and make sure my friends with 3DS's have wireless enabled so I can abuse their friendship for puzzle pieces. They give me something to do every day and I get to put cute little hats on my Mii. I don't really use the 3DS Sound because I already use my phone as an MP3 player. The music visualizers are really cool though. Activity Log is also pretty sweet but only if you like to track your own habits like I do. It's not really needed but it's a nice feature.

The 3DS itself is a really nice size considering how much power they packed into it, even if the battery life did have to suffer for it. It has a great weight to it and is fun to walk around with. At this point I can seamlessly move into and out of 3D without any issues focusing but the 3D never stops being incredible to look at. The whole thing is built pretty well except for one thing... the top and bottom screen come into contact when the 3DS is closed which leaves marks on the top screen from the bottom border. It hasn't been a huge problem for me but I recently discovered 3 legitimate scratches on my bottom screen. I have no idea where they came from or how but it is driving me crazy. I need some screen protectors post-haste!

So yeah that pretty much covers it. There is a big update coming for the system in May, which adds a web browser, 3DS store, Virtual Console and other online implementations. It'll be like the system being released in full for the first time. It's probably how Nintendo wanted to release the system but for whatever reason had to get it out before they could pack everything in. Oh well, I would have gone crazy if I had to wait this long for the system.

Lots to look forward to.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hold it!

So maybe you've heard of the popular Ace Attorney series and maybe you haven't. It started off a series of very popular Japanese GBA titles and would eventually find a home amongst DS/gaming enthusiasts here in the United States. In it you assume the role of one Phoenix Wright and more recently one of his many cohorts. These characters move on from court case to crime scene to court case wrapping up murders and all the while discovering the true meaning of nobility and honest. None of this really matters anymore because the latest installment in the series Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Miles Edgeworth is not getting a US localization. Shit. 

I am a huge fan of the Ace Attorney series. I first discovered it in the form of a flash animation parodying the games by matching up the sprite animations with different bits of audio. Even though I had never even heard of the series I found it freaking hilarious and in an odd way quickly fell in love with the series. I did some research and after a while I actually sought the games out- I don't really remember how long it took between learning about and playing the series- they were like 10 bucks for each title so I just took em all down in rapid succession. The first 3 were already released with the 4th title, Apollo Justice soon to be available.

I couldn't put them down. It's like reading a really good book and you just have to find out what will happen the next chapter. Which makes sense because the series takes the form of interactive novels. Seriously if you want to break it down the games are just reading and every now and again you select an item to move the story along. Not really for everyone but I really dig it. The stories are funny, the locations are cool, the characters are (mostly) lovable. It's a nice little story with a lot of heart. Sure it can be a little cheesy but its charms makes it worthwhile. You should check it out.

So here I am saying goodbye to a treasured series and some beloved characters. But hey, it's not completely over! We've still got a Professor Layton + Ace Attorney crossover in the works and I assume a stateside release hasn't been scrapped... not yet at least. And I could always read the manga...

*sigh* oh well. We had good run, guys. Gives me something to build upon if I ever decide to take up Criminal Justice as a hobby.

See you guys in that big court in the sky.