In November 21, 2004, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS. It was supposed to be a third pillar which would coexist with the Wii and the Game Boy lines. The DS became the best selling videogame hardware of all time. Fast forward to the present, the Game Boy line is dead, taken over by the DS line. The newest generation of the DS line is a revolution for portables. It has many new features that make the system arguably more powerful than even the Wii. The following is an in depth review of each and every one of these features.
Body: The 3DS body is very well desgined. Itís a little bit bigger than the DS Lite, but not by much. However, it is small enough to fit into a case designed for the DS Lite. The build quality of the system is amazing. Whereas the original DS looked like it was rushed into production, this one already looks like itís the second iteration of the new generation. The lines are slick and the surface is smooth as the DS Lite. The system just feels extremely solid, overall.
Screens: Just like the DS, the 3DS has two screens. The top screen is a 3D screen 3.53in (90mm) with a resolution of 800x240 allocating 400 pixels to each eye, while the bottom screen is an LCD touchscreen at a resolution of 320x240. Each of these screens is able to display 16.77 million colors. Both the screens looks great. All colors are displayed evenly and the backlit nature of the screen does not make the games looks unevenly or faintly lit like in the original DS. The upper screen is amazing. The 3D effect is real and does not require any special glasses. One thing to note, though, is that people are expecting things to jump out of the screen. Mostly, the 3D effect provides depth inside the game, an effect very evident when playing games like Pilotwings. The menus do seem to subtly pop out from the screen, and some moves in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition do actually seem to come out of the screen, however this is rarely the case. The 3D effect makes it seem like youíre looking through a window into another world of real, but tiny people. Itís a great effect, but one that has to be seen to be appreciated.
Speakers: The 3DS has two speakers located on the sides of the upper screen which can output stereo, mono, or surround sound. They sound well enough, just like the DS speakers. Thereís really not much else to say here.
Circle Pad (C-Pad): The circle pad is a dream to use. It feels magnificent. Itís smooth and extremely responsive. Itís also small and flat enough that it allows the 3DS to keep the clamshell design and not obstruct anything else. You will actually find yourself using the C-Pad in most occasions, even when you can use the D-Pad. Itís great to see that Nintendo nailed this aspect on the first try. The only problem with the C-Pad is that there is only one of them. A second C-Pad would have allowed the system to be able to play host to a lot of games that normally do not control well on portables because of the limited controls, such as First Person Shooters or third person adventure games that rely on manual camera control.
D-Pad: The D-Pad also feels great. Nintendo has learned from the mistakes of the earlier generation and gave us a D-Pad that is a culmination of all of their experimentations. The D-Pad is as responsive as that in the Original DS and in the DSi, yet it feels smother to the touch like in the DS Lite. I have always said that truest test of a D-Pad is how easily you can control a fighting game with it. Because of the fast and precise movements needed for the genre, the D-Pad needs to be both hard and forgiving at the same time. Iím happy to say that the 3DS D-Pad is the best D-Pad I have used since the SNES D-Pad. Itís a bit squishy and itís recessed enough above the surface allowing for perfect control in fighting games like Super Street Fighter IV DS.
Buttons: The L, R, X, Y, B, A, all feel great. Again, Nintendo has pretty much nailed the feel of the buttons. Of course, theyíve had a lot of experience with this particular configuration since the SNES came out. Now, the Select, Home, and Start buttons, thatís where it gets a little troublesome. The good thing about these buttons is that they are flush with the system. The bad thing is also that they are flush with the system. When you are playing a game, it is sometimes hard to gauge where any of these buttons are because you have no tactile feedback.
Sliders: 3D Slider, Wi-Fi Slider, Volume Slider: The 3DS has three sliders, one for the volume, one to toggle the Wi-Fi on and off, and one to adjust the level of the 3D display. The volume slider is self explanatory.
The Wi-Fi slider can be used when in the home screen or when playing a 3DS game to toggle whether the system will receive and send Wireless signals. This also includes signals received in the form of Streetpass and Spotpass notifications. You can toggle the Wi-Fi slider on, put the system on sleep mode and now your system is ready to receive notifications.
The 3D Slider is another very important aspect of the system. It helps you adjust the intensity of the 3D effect. This is an absolute necessity for the system. The 3D effect is perceived differently by different people. Some people are comfortable with the effect at full blast and while others need the effect turned down a little. Some people canít even see the 3D effect, so they need to turn down the 3D completely and play the 3DS in 2D. Turning down the 3D effect also helps conserve battery life. It is a great move by Nintendo because, in addition, there are some games for the system that use motion control and using the 3D effect in conjunction with the motion control makes the game really hard to play.
Motion Sensor & Gyro Sensor: Speaking of motion, the motion and gyro sensors allow the system to detect any kind of movement. It is used to control games, and it is also used to detect steps taken in order to collect coins (discussed below). The sensors are very sensitive to movement and allow you to control certain games by just moving or tilting the system in a certain direction. The best current example of its use is in the form of Face Raiders, one of the games included within the system. The movement in the game is fully controlled by using the motion and gyro sensors. The controls are fluid and extremely responsive. It makes me hopeful for future titles such as Pac-Man & Galaga, and even Ocarina of Time (camera controls).
Stylus: The stylus has been redesigned. Instead of a normal stylus, we get a telescopic stylus. It has a metal center which extends and retracts and a plastic tip used to interact with the touchscreen. Because it is retractable, it takes up less space inside the system than the previous stylus. Itís also light and easy to grip, as long as you donít have big hands. The only drawback of the stylus is not the stylus itself but the placement. Itís placed in the back of the system, making it hard to reach if you need to take it out quickly.
AC Out/ Connector: Itís the same connector as the DSi. Nothing else to see here.
Mic: Same as the previous mics, except itís placed on the lower half on the system.
SD Card Slot: The SD card slot is located in the lower left corner of the lower part of the system. It accepts SD cards up to 32GB. You can use the SD Card to store pictures, music, games, etc. It has been reported that you will also be able to play 3DS Ware games from the SD card, but not DSi Ware games. Nintendo already included a 2GB SD card in the system, and given the size of music and game files, it should take a while to fill up. Given that the system can take up to 32GB cards (at the moment), there should be no problem with storing your ever increasing game library.
LED Lights: The 3DS has a couple of LED indicators: Power, Recharge, Wireless, 3D, Notification, and Camera. The power, recharge, and wireless LED are self explanatory. The 3D LED lets you know whether the upper screen is ABLE to display 3D images, not whether they are being displayed. The Camera LED lights up when the outer camera is in use. The best LED is the Notification LED: Blue (Spotpass Notification), Green (Streetpass Notification), Orange (Friend is online), and Red (Battery is running low).
Under the hood: The 3DS has 128MB of RAM inside that has a data rate of 3.2GB per second. It also has an internal storage capacity of 2GB. The CPU is powered by an ARM processor and the graphics are powered by a PICA 2000 GPU. So what does all this mean for us laymen? It means you get the most powerful portable system currently in the market capable of displaying graphics amazing graphics in 3D while allowing for wireless input and motion control, without taking a hit.
Head Phone Jack: Same as usual except it is placed in front of the system instead of on the side.
Charging Cradle: The charging cradle is an extra piece of hardware packed with the system that allows you to just put your system on it and it charges automatically. It connects to the back of the system and charges it. I think itís a great little addition to the package that gives you more bang for your buck, even though it probably costs very little to make. Itís also very convenient. Instead of having some wires dangling from your desk or your nightstand, you have a nice looking cradle you can just plop your system on.
Battery: One of the weakest areas of the 3DS is battery life. The 3DS comes with a 1300 mAh lithium ion battery. Battery life depends on usage. If you have everything running at full blast (3D, speaker volume, screen brightness, and Wi-Fi) your battery life could be 3 hours. If you have everything running at the lowest setting with Wi-Fi off and using headphones, battery life will be closer to 5 hours. Battery life is supposedly better if you are just playing DS games. In my experience however, I use everything at full blast and battery lasts about 4 hours. So if I use it outside, I take my ac adapter just in case. I have also played DS games exclusively in my 3DS at full blast and my battery life has been a little over 5 hours. So the estimates are mostly correct if a little conservative.
Wi-Fi: The 3DS supports 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi protocols. 3DS games are able to connect to WPA and WPA2. If youíre playing DS game and wish to connect to the internet you have to connect through WEP, unless the game supports WPA & WPA2 like Pokemon Black/White. I would have wished that the 3DS was able to connect DS games through WPA through some sort of emulation process but this was not to be, unfortunately. Playing games through the internet is very smooth. Iíve been able to play Super Street Fighter IV with several other people for weeks and rarely have I experienced any lag.
IR Port: The 3DS has an infra red port on the back of the system. There are no actual uses for the infrared port reported. Interestingly enough, Nintendo doesnít even list the port in the official hardware specs for the system. We will have to wait to see what Nintendo has in store.
Cameras: The 3DS has two outward facing cameras and one inward facing camera. They are all 0.3MP so you wonít be using the 3DS to take professionals photos any time soon. The outward facing cameras can take photos in 3D, however. You can view these pictures in 3D by using the Camera App (more on that later). The inward facing camera can be used to take pictures of yourself. There are more uses for these cameras which will be discussed in the appropriate sections of the software part of the review.
Home Screen: The upper screen is where the action will focus on more of your games. When in the home screen, the upper screen displays the following information: the software currently selected, whether the system is connected to the internet, steps taken during the day with the system/how many coins you have in your system, date/time, battery life, and quick camera buttons (L/R). All the information is displayed cleanly and it doesnít look cluttered. Most of the information seems to not have any 3D effect except for the actual software being displayed.
The lower screen looks like a modified version of the Wiiís home screen. From the lower screen, you can access control all of your software. You can also change the brightness settings. There are 5 settings and a power saving mode. I like my system as bright as possible so I keep it at the highest setting. The power saving mode uses a technology called ďactive backlightĒ that adjusts the brightness of the backlight according to the brightness of the screen being displayed. The darker the image the darker the backlight, and vice versa.
The other setting you can control from the lower home screen is the amount of full software tiles that are displayed in the lower screen. You can display them in the following way: 3/6/15/24/40/60 tiles per screen. I keep mine at 15 tiles. They look big enough and I can see enough of them at the same time so that I can keep whatís important to me on the first page.
Gamenotes: From the home screen you can press the pencil icon and go into the Game Notes section. You can even do this while a 3DS game is suspended and write some notes on the game. Right now, Iíve been using these notes to keep a list of the Street Fighter Characters I have already finished the game with. I know this section will come in very handy with other games such as the Zelda series or RPGs.
Friend List: The new friend list is an improvement over the previous friend list on the Wii. You can register up to 100 friends through Wi-Fi by exchanging Friend Codes. You just have one friend code per 3DS system, FINALLY, and this will work with all your games that use Wi-Fi or local wireless. This is a HUGE improvement over previous Nintendo systems where you had to input a friend code per game.
Getting back to the Friend List, you can see whoís online, a little message that they put over their Mii, their favorite title (if they are offline), what they are playing (if they are online), their Friend Code, their User Name, and the last time they were online. Overall the system is much improved and I like it a lot. I have a few complaints, though. I would like: for the Online chime to be optional, to change the order of my friends, to be able to invite friends to a game from the here (you have to set up rooms right now), and I would like to put DS titles as my favorite titles (not just 3DS software). Most importantly though, I would like to be able to send and receive messages to and from my friends (supposedly hinted to come in an update). Other than that, great job Nintendo.
Notifications: The notifications channel is pretty straightforward. You can get either Streetpass notifications or Spotpass notifications. Whenever you get a notification, a light on the right hinge of the 3DS lights up so you can see if you got one without opening the system. Streetpass notifications allow you to send and receive information wirelessly to and from other 3DS units while the system is in sleep mode. There are certain games that use this feature right now such as Super Street Fighter IV and Nintendogs + Cats. In SSFIV, for example, you can set up a group of 5 figurines to fight automatically with other figurines other players have set up. This allows you to obtain battlepoints and to level up your figurines. Streetpass can also be used to exchange Miis with other players. A copy of your primary Mii will be sent to him and a copy of his Primary Mii will be sent to you. These Miis can be used to obtain puzzle pieces or as playable charaters in Find Mii (more on both later). Spotpass allows you to receive system updates and messages from Nintendo and other publishers that you have given permission to. For example, Nintendo might tell you that there is an update waiting to be downloaded or Capcom can send you a code for unlocking special figurines.
Internet Browser: The 3DS Internet Browser is not available yet. The 3DS will receive and update in late May that will allow you to use the browser.
Home Screen Apps:
Game App: The Game App allows you to play 3DS or DS games on your 3DS when you insert a cartridge. You can insert and take out a cartridge in the 3DS without having to turn off the unit. The 3DS accepts all 3DS cartridges and is fully compatible with all DS games (as long as they donít require any external devices to be used in the GBA slot).
3DS games: You can play 3DS games in 3D or 2D mode, and they can use all features of the system as allowed by the system and the developer. When playing a 3DS game, you can suspend the game by pressing the Home button and go back to the home screen without ending the game. The upper screen will display an information screen letting you know which game is suspended. Behind that, in one of the most impressive uses of the 3D effect, you can see the current screen displayed in the game. On the lower screen, under the icons you will have the option of closing or resuming the game. Note: 3DS games are region locked. For Negative World 3DS game review, click here.
DS games: The 3DS will also allow you to play DS games. There are two methods of playing DS Games, either blown up so they fill both screens top to bottom, or in 1:1 mode where the display is smaller but crisper. In order to activate 1:1 mode you have to press select and start as you press the Game App.
I find DS graphic quality on the 3DS to be mixed. I did an in depth analysis of my entire DS Collection which you can find here. You can also add your own findings.
Nintendo 3DS Sound: This app allows you to play music contained in the SD card. The app accepts MP3 or AAC format. You can change the audio output of the music to Stereo, Mono, or Surround. You can also create playlists within the app and you can create a Streetpass playlist that can share the information of the music you are listening to. You can also modify alter how the music sounds in various ways. You can also use visualizers while playing your music. Some of these visualizers include: Excitebike, Star Fox clone, Stair Case Jump, and even your own 3D Pictures. In addition, you can use the L and R buttons to play instruments over the music; itís very basic though. In addition to listening to music, you can also record sounds and give the sounds different effects. While the app has a lot of features, it is one App I donít see myself using very much. First of all, it doesnít have certain features such as equalizers and randomizing. You cannot have albums, just playlists. And worse of all, the headphone jack is in a very uncomfortable place for listening to music. You actually risk bending the connection jack of your headphones. Still, itís a good to have.
Download Play: The DS Download Play App allows you to download demos or really small chunks of games from other DS and 3DS systems, demo stations, and the Wii. When using it for SSFIV, for example, the player with the game can share a stage and Ryu so they can play with other people. Even if the player with the game leaves, the other player can still play battles with other people using Ryu and that stage. For the DS, once you open the app and choose DS mode, the 3DS goes into the DS Download Play screen and you can download information from other DS systems or the Wii. I chose to use the Wii and downloaded the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective demo. It took about a minute. After that, you can go ahead and play the demo. When youíre done just press the home button to return to the homescreen. You will lose the ability to play the game you just downloaded.
Download play is a great feature in that it allows developers to give players game demos or without even having an online infrastructure. You just need to know someone with the game, or go to a demo kiosk at is set up to provide these demos.
AR Games: The Augmented Reality games are a fun little diversion. The 3DS comes packaged with 6 AR cards. The ? card triggers the others. When you activated the ? card you you choose from a couple of different activities: Archery, Fishing, AR Shot, Mii Pictures, Star Pictures, and Drawing. The first three are mini games. In Archery, you shoot little targets in different arenas generated by the 3DS in your real environment. Eventually, you will get to battle a dragon. AR Shot is a mix between mini golf and billiards. You have to shoot a ball in a mini golf type of environment onto a goal. Eventually, you will have to use these balls to square off against the dragon again. In Fishing, the 3DS makes shadows appear in the real environment as if they were the shadows of fish from Animal Crossing, you then have to fish them out using the motion sensors and buttons. Mii Pictures allows you to take pictures of your Miis in different poses and sizes against a real environment. Star Pictures uses the remaining character cards to allow you to take pictures of Mario, Kirby, Pikmins, Link, and Samus in different poses and sizes. Drawing allows you to draw something on the bottom screen and it will appear on the top screen superimposed on the real environment.
The AR cards are really cool and show you the power of the system. Whatís most impressive however are the possibilities of what can be done in the future with similar cards. For example, imagine new Pokemon cards that the system can read and allow us to obtain or battle new Pokemon.
FaceRaider: Face Raiders is a great game included within the system. I believe it is the best way to show off the system to other people. For an in depth review of Face Raiders please refer to Zeroís review.
Camera: The Camera App allows you to take 3D pictures of your environment. All cameras in the 3DS, one inner and two outer cameras, are .3MP with a resolution of 640 x 480. Not a lot, but enough to let you have a little fun. You can add effects such as sparkles and haze, or you can even set a timer to include yourself in the photo. You can switch from the outer to the inner camera at any time. You have a few settings preferences such as where to save (system/SD card) or info display, but itís nothing extravagant. You can also view the photos youíve taken of course, in 3D or in 2D mode. And you can set a slideshow. Overall, the Camera App is not very robust, but, just like the Sound App, itís a nice to have.
Movie Channel: The Movie channel allows you to view movies in 3D and 2D. Right now, there is only one movie which is the OK Go video from the White Knuckles that was included in the last system update. It looks like it was processed in 3D after it was made so the 3D effect isnít that great. Weíll have to wait and see what new videos Nintendo provide.
Mii Maker: The Mii Maker App is much like the Mii Maker Channel from the Wii. Here you can create Miis manually, just like in the Wii and you can also view your created Miis. Thatís where the similarities end, however. First of all, you have more features to choose from in the Mii Maker. You can receive Miis from other 3DS systems or from Wii systems. You can take pictures of people, input a few basic features and have the system create a Mii for you (I didnít like how mine ended up, so I ended up using my original Mii). You can also scan Mii QR Codesand get new Miis this way. You can also save your Mii as a QR code or an image for sharing. I am very impressed with what Nintendo did with their Mii Creation App. I can only imagine that it will get better and better with future systems. Note: you can have a total of 100 Miis in your system.
Street Pass Mii Plaza: The Mii Plaza App consists of three areas, Mii Plaza, Puzzle Swap, and Find Mii. The Mii Plaza is where all of the Miis from people you have tagged in Street Pass show up. You can view their information like where they are from and if they like dogs or cats. When you find someone you get a notification. When you open up the app you greet your new Miis in the gate to your Plaza and they start talking about stuff they play, etc. Note: if you want to use these Miss for Puzzle Quest or Find Mii, you have to do so immediately after opening the app, if not you cannot use them later.
In Puzzle Swap, you can get puzzle pieces from tagged Miis or you can buy them for coins obtained by walking. Once you complete one of these puzzles you unlock an animated picture. Find Mii is a really fun addition to the system. In the game, your primary Mii is captured and you have to use tagged Miis or heroes contracted with coins (dogs or cats) to save him. You face off against ghosts and you can obtain hats that your Mii can wear in the Mii Plaza. Since you have to use your coins or tagged Miss to do this, and both are usually in short supply, this game can be pretty long. Iím still halfway through, and itís been almost a month since the system came out. This game is fun and pretty complex for a game included with the system. I hope future updates can provide us more games like this, or maybe Nintendo can just sell them through the eShop.
Activity Log: The Activity Log App is quite an interesting one. Once you open it you are given two options, Daily Records and Software Library. Daily Records shows you, in graph form, how many steps you have taken and how much youíve used certain your apps and games. You can choose to view these in Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly form. The Software Library shows you all of the software you have used. This includes each and every game youíve played on your system. For each game, you can see: Total Playtime, Times Played, Average Play Time, First Played and Last Played. It also includes DS games in this tally. According to this, I really need to lay off SSFIV. The App shows you the apps you have used in journal format, each page holds 8 apps and you have a total of 16 pages, so you can have a total history for up to 128 games. This App is actually pretty awesome. For someone who likes to keep things organized and who loves analysis like me, this app is a godsend. Itís far more robust than those little notifications that your Wii sent to your Wii Mail letting you know how much time you played today.
eShop: The Nintendo eShop will feature DSi Ware, 3DS Ware, Virtual Console, And Classic Console games. The eShop will go live in late May.
System Settings: In the System Settings App you can change the system settings following settings. Pretty standard stuff.
Health and Safety Information: The Health and Safety App just gives you warnings for using the system.
Coins: Not an app, but still in need of an explanation. If you put the 3DS in sleep mode, you can earn coins when you walk. Every 100 steps earns you a coin. You can earn 10/day and you can have up to 300 coins at a time. You use these coins in the Find Mii game to hire heroes and in Puzzle Swap to buy puzzle pieces. You can also use it in other games if the game supports it like in SSFIV, where you can use it to get figurines.
Manuals: All system apps have eManuals. To access them, press the home button and press the manual botton on the lower screen. Unfortunately, games do not come with eManuals, yet.
Conclusion: The Nintendo 3DS is a magnificent system. The graphics are amazing, the glasses free 3D effect works perfectly, the system is fully backwards compatible with DS games, and the eShop will provide access to new and old gems. Nintendo has done an excellent job with this one. Much better than with the DS or the Wii. With all of its new unique features, a head start on the NGP, and the DS brand it is sure to gain a strong foothold on the portable market.
Huh. Odd. Well, I'll give it a solid read when I have some free time tonight!
You're going to need a lot of free time. . I actually had to cut a lot of stuff about the future potential of the device to get it under the 30,000 character limit. That just means I can write an editorial later.
A very thorough look at all the features of the 3DS , and I enjoyed reading your own take and experience, one-by-one, including some of the details such as how good you found the battery life to be on different settings (so DS games use less power it seems, I didnít realize that) compared to the estimates from Nintendo. I didnít know the power saving mode actually used ďactive backlightĒ technology. Nintendo really covered many bases with this iteration.
An extra C-Pad would be great, but I wonder how Nintendo could have designed it given thereís not much room to work with.
And I keep forgetting about Game Notes! I wish I had gone and used it to keep track of which characters Iíve used to beat Arcade mode in SSFIV. I will have to remember that.
I do have to disagree just a little about the 3D screen, as itís not quite perfect, simply because it does require a very specific viewing angle. As long as you are in this Ďsweet spotí the 3D looks fantastic, but you lose the effect and instead see double images if your viewing angle moves away from the Ďsweet spot.í I personally have no problem maintaining this Ďsweet spot,í but there was a bit of a learning curve from the time I first played 3DS in order to consistently maintain the 3D effect. I will say it was a very quick learning curve to overcome. This is another reason the 3D slider becomes necessary, it seems. But considering this is the first time we've had glasses-free true 3D, I definitely can't complain!
I agree with you regarding how awesome the AR cards are and the potential for future use, but one thing Iíve had problems with using the Cards is I find the 3DS has some trouble reading the cards if you donít have ideal lighting conditions, meaning you really need a substantially bright room.
You covered quite a lot of ground and I can appreciate all the details, especially considering you had to cut some stuff out due to the length of the review! The 3DS is an excellent gaming machine. Itís unfortunate that the not all of 3DSí features are yet Ďunlocked,í but given the 3DSí many great qualities overall already, the addition of e-shop, web browser, possible friend messaging, potential use of the IR port, means it can only get better going forward. Itís an exciting time to be a Nintendo gamer.
Good job. Perhaps a little higher a score than I would have given since so many functionalities are missing until May.
The gyroscope is kind of a concern to me. During a game of Steel Diver, it went and "got stuck" on me, in the periscope minigame the view would constantly turn to the right, no matter what, and no "recalibration" option in the game OR in the system menu. WM+ allows recalibration, how could they forget for this system?
Yea, we know you like to lowball scores...cough...Rayman...cough Seriously, I can understand the point of saying the game is not worth $40 because it is a 12 year old game that has been ported to several platforms. Though, I really disagree with giving the game a 4. I could understand if you rated it a 6-7. I personnally had a great fun time playing it and I still am cause I will get all 999 lums, just as I did 12 years ago. I actually forgot what a great and challenging game Rayman actually was/is. I personnally love the graphical style of the game. Reminds me alot of DK64 and the Banjo Kazooie games. Like I mentioned before I would rate Rayman an 8. I also disagree with most reviews from all the gaming sites as well. If you was someone who was thinking about buying Rayman and changed your mind just cause different gaming sites have reviewed the game low as well as other people on the net, you might think about it again, esp. if you enjoy platformers which are colorful, fun, full of diversity and challenging. I highly recommend the game and will be keeping my copy of the game.
I was never a fan of the handheld scene. I did own a DS, actually 2 of them, both fatties..silver launch DS and the Red Mario kart bundle DS. Pretty much I only used the DS is play Mario Kart and Metroid Pinball. I owned other games like Mario 64, (the control sucked having to use the direction + button), Brain Age and a Castlevania game(I forget which one, I think the label was bluish).
When I heard about the 3DS, I knew I had to have one immediatly cause I love 3D. Before even really seeing the system, I knew I would love it, unless the 3D sucked, which I knew would not. I kindof have this sense about things I know I will really like, esp. games without reading reviews ect. My intuition has never failed me.
I would rate the 3DS a solid 10. The only thing I can pick on is the battery life. But since I have never had it run out of me while I have been away from home, I see no reason for lowering the score just cause of the battery life. It would be nice if there was a longer lasting battery, and I know there is that crappy, bulky add on thing for the bottom of your 3DS. I cannot remember the maker..maybe its nyko, anyways, I want a battery that just fits inside the unit but lasts longer. Plus that battery only add like an hour or so from what I remember, or was it a couple hours. Regardless, I want a battery that makes the unit last like 10 hours.
And it does suck that there are 4 small screws which one needs to remove to get to the battery. Nintendo should just put a batter cover on the bottom that one could just snap off. The screws are so small, I actually have a small screwdriver set and I did take off the bottom, but I had to be really careful as to not let the screwdriver scratch up the bottom as its easy to miss those tiny screws/having the screwdriver dislodge itself from the screws, ect.
Those are my major complaints about the 3DS, but I don't feel they warrant me lowering the score, cause like I said, its not like I have been out playing a game and having to quit cause the battery is running low. Actually, the most the battery has run down is just one little bar and I usually play with the 3DS a couple hours with the light level set at it's highest, which is 5 and I do not use the power saver mode.
And I love the circle pad! Rayman is the first game I played and completed on the 3DS. I had no trouble controlling the character and my hands never cramped up like they did on the DS. Not sure if the circle pad is the reason for making controlling a game less stressful on my hands. I do have pretty large hands, so I am surprised that they have not cramped up yet like they always would on the DS.
To be fair to the DS, it was on Mario Kart they always cramped up, and that game I would play hours on end and all the time I owned a DS which was close to couple years, 90% of all the games I played was Mario Kart. I actually played over 2000 races online and I completed the single player game and got the best rating for each track.
But yea, I rate the 3DS a solid 10. I cannot wait until Zelda, Starfox and the new Mario game is released. And I hope to hell that 3rd parties brings out tons of games for the 3DS just like they did for the DS. Hell, if Nintendo ported Mario 64 over to the 3DS, I would buy it, even if it was just a direct port with no upgrades whatsoever.
One thing the OP mentioned about the 3D effect is like looking into another world, that not awhole lot pops out at you. Well, thats even true of most good 3D movies. The popping out at you is more of a 3D gimmick IMO. And actually, in Rayman I thought there was plenty of times when things seemed to be popping out at me. I was surprised because its not like Rayman was made specifically for the 3DS. And like the short video we got with the dogs, I think the 3D is good enough and I can tell the difference, so I am hoping that alot of movies come to the 3DS, even if they were not originally 3D, cause if its a movie I like alot I would pay to stream it or buy it or however Nintendo ends up setting up the service.
I think it is a pretty fair review. It's definitely a neat piece of hardware that does a lot right, although I think we need to wait and see what some of the software updates do before we fully realize Nintendo's online plans/etc.
And of course, it's going to come down to the games in the end.