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    Entries in nintendo 3ds (9)


    Shinobi: 3D is Poppin' My Ninja!

    Every once in a while a console exclusive comes along that makes me want to drop a hot wad of cash on the console in question. This year it may be Shinobi for Nintendo 3DS, a nifty little ninja side-scrolling action title that really impressed me when I got to katana-swinging and kunai-tossing. It's just as I remember Shinobi; fast, stylish, versatile, and difficult as fuck! The first stage was your typical Shinobi fare, classic ninja treading through the burning pagoda and fighting off scores of other ninja. You only have around 10 or so kunai, so you have to be conservative with your throws. Either that, or blow them all on the double-jumping, screen-clearing spread-kunai shot, a staple from the days of Shinobi III, one of my favorite games ever.

    After clearing that first stage, I was treated to a section on horseback, where you have to avoid incoming obstacles as well as fend off ninja assailants. There's no sugar coating it, I died a lot during this segment. Maybe it was a weird mixture of the three-quarter behind view coupled with my lack of 3D viewing experience. Or maybe it was because I suck. The point is, no matter how many times I died, I wanted to keep going at it, and pass the damned challenge. When you continually die and persevere as opposed to slamming the control down in frustration, you most likely have a decent game on your hands.

    The mix of nostalgia, slick brush-stroke inspired art, and the healthy challenge has me thinking that Shinobi will end up being a bit better than decent. Now I must ask, does anyone have a 3DS they'd like to let me borrow?


    REVIEW: Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

    It's easy to doubt Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. Longtime veterans of this series know what to expect when a home console game gets ported to handheld. Such titles are normally fraught with all kinds of problems and limitations; there are fewer characters, the control layouts aren't conducive to the gameplay, there aren't enough buttons to map all of the commands, and the overall presentations are watered down at best. The more you play those half-assed renditions, the lower your expectations become. But if you go into 3D Edition assuming that you'll be in for another disappointment, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This game not only works amazingly well for a handheld fighter, but it gives its predecessors a run for their money.

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    REVIEW: Nintendo 3DS

    If there's one thing Nintendo is near untouchable at, it's portable gaming. Since 1989, Nintendo has virtually owned the portable handheld market, beginning with Game Boy. Technically superior competitors, such as the Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear, could not overcome it. Nintendo followed up the original Game Boy with the Game Boy Color, later the Game Boy Advance and then finally the DS. Every time, these handheld devices stood in the face of the competition and prevailed. Does the 3DS continue Nintendo's streak of handheld dominance? 

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    Hands On with Nintendo 3DS, Advil Not Included

    Have I been critical with the Nintendo 3DS? Of course, how could I not be? While Nintendo is usually on the forefront of innovation (see: motion control) throwing their hat into the 3D suck-o-sphere caused me to rub my chin and wonder why. Why is facial hair so rough? Why can't I grow a full beard? Why is Nintendo jumping on the 3D bandwagon?

    Let me get this out of the way; 3D hurts my head. Though I am notorious for drawing headaches from simple things such as bright light (acute Vampirism doc tells me), this is different. Raise your hand if 3D screws with your head too.

    Of the 3DS games I played at Nintendo's PAX East booth, I took the lowest expectations over to Steel Diver. Surprisingly, the game itself was better than I expected. Shiggy Miyamoto has that type of effect on games, I guess. The primary actions of the mode we played included diving, surfacing, and adjusting the periscope by scanning the console. The controls were simple and felt natural. Unfortunately, 3D and sea motion don't play nice together. How does one play this game for more than 30 minutes without feeling utterly nauseus?

    3DS gameplay cannot be captured over photo or video, so here is a picture of a kitten doing kung fu in its place

    The 3DS title that I most wanted to play was Kid Icarus: Uprising. A popular figure for Nintendo finally gets some much overdue love by way of a new title. After playing the game, I couldn't help but ponder if Nintendo secretly hates Kid Icarus, and has been plotting its failure since development on Uprising began. Why, you ask? Terrible controls. You have to work the joystick and trigger with your left hand, while maneuvering the stylus with your right. I hope your left-handed grip is immaculate, or you game over a mattress, because your new $250 investment could go plummeting to the floor if you're not careful.

    I walked away from Nintendo's booth most impressed with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. Partially because I love score attack modes -- Mercenaries modes in previous Resident Evil titles have always brought me joy -- and partially because, well, they've taken the feel and look of Resident Evil 4 and 5, shrunk it down, and built upon it nicely nicely. Did you know you can enter first person mode when shooting, and also move while aiming? That's right, this is 2011! Maybe in 2020, we'll see something as crazy as shooting while you run. Also, Hunk. No story to be found here, just tons of score attacking, with two-player online co-op and a wide assortment of playable characters. Also, Jack Krauser.

    TL; DR: 3D still sucks. I'm convinced the 3DS is a gimmick. While the sturdy and attractive design of the hardware has somethings going for it, the faith it places in a (foolish) technological trend, as well as the lack of a true software standout caused me to leave Nintendo's booth feeling slightly underwhelmed.

    Though honestly, I said the same thing about the DS, and look how that turned out. If I end up eating crow, I'll be the first to admit it.


    Hands Off with the Nintendo 3DS: Facts and Opinions

    Yesterday, Nintendo was in our stomping grounds of NYC for their big 3DS reveal party, which we were not invited to, despite our polite approaches! So unfortunately, I can't give you any hands on impressions, but I can gloss over the piles of word-work my peers have dedicated to the groundbreaking handheld console, and put a touch of the ol' gangsta on it.

    Fact: For a number of months, there was endless speculation on Nintendo's 3DS release date and price point. Staying non-committal seems to have paid off for Nintendo, as it helped to build up the reveal jam. So after all the rumors and guessing, the hardware and information reveal seemed to spur a collective sigh of relief from us. The 3DS will stand in a whopping $250, releasing domestically on February 27th.

    Opinion: I suppose the price point is fair, considering the price of new technology these days, especially in the 3D area. When Nintendo debuted last generations DSi two years ago, its $170 price tag rebuffed me for some moderate upgrades to the DS model. A $70 bump for cutting edge tech in a neat little package doesn't seem like much to ask, but it's still worrisome.

    Fact: The 3D function is controlled by a slider on the side of the screen. Sliding it all the way down turns 3D off, as you slide it up, it keys different depths of the effect. Different games function at different depths, none of which have any sort of configuration, meaning it's your job to figure out what the proper setting is to get the full effect of 3D. It's being said that with 3D disabled, the angle of viewing on the device is spectacular, but when enabled, you need to be looking at it straight on or else the effect becomes muddled or lost.

    Opinion: If games don't start including a configuration utility, you waste precious minutes of play time and battery life trying to configure 3D correctly for each game you play. Drag. Also, while glasses-free, the tech seems to suffer some of the same drawbacks of most glasses-required 3D tech. Watch at the wrong angle, tilt your head a slight, whatever, and there goes the 3D effect. Arms are going to have to be held very still for each gaming session to make sure you don't phase between 3D and looks-like-ass-D. Also, people who used the device for a good chunk of the morning have reported headaches. 

    Fact: The 3DS will be available in two different colors, North America - like Japan - will receive aqua blue and cosmo black options. Of course more color options will be released every few months, and possibly different markets around the world receiving different colors.

    Opinion: Black is a safe default option these days, but the aqua blue is a bit of a head scratcher. Granted the color is nice, I just can't see any self respecting adult - young or old - playing with a shimmering blue high tech portable. A birdie tells me that red and purple colors will be available in June, with orange and green following in September. A perfect plan for the early adopter to go out and buy a black 3DS at launch, and trade it in for their true desired color when released.

    Fact: Everyone's favorite social system is held over from the Wii, friend codes! Thankfully, the dreadful system has been reworked a bit for ease of use. Instead of generating game-specific codes, the 3DS will have one code per system, which never changes. One add and you're done. Praise be! And along the lines of ease, playing multiplayer locally will not require friend codes to get involved at all.

    Opinion: Good riddance to the cumbersome and terribly designed Wii friend code system. For $250, I want some ease of use.

    Fact: The system will come bundled with a 2GB SD card as expandable memory for Nintendo eShop downloads and such. All downloads from the DSi are able to be transferred and used on the 3DS. In addition, Nintendo is launching a new 3DS Virtual Console marketplace where you can purchase Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance titles, some which will even be 3D enabled.

    Opinion: For $250, it would've been nice to have a 4GB thrown in, but it's cool. I'm sure the files won't be too large, so stretching the use of the 2GB is totally plausible.

    Fact: Also bundled will be a charging cable, which is the same as the DSi charger. The battery will hold a charge for 3-5 hours with 3D enabled, 5-8 without. 

    Opinion: No matter how you look at it, 3 hours of charge time is bad. You better keep that charger with you wherever you go, because you'll be out of juice before you know it.

    Fact: The 3DS will launch with 12 games out of the gate, with 30 altogether to be released between launch and early June. Bucking the trend of consoles launching with shitty games, the 3DS will have some heavy hitters available on February 27th, assuring fans of all genres are covered. Strong franchises such as Madden NFL, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, Dead or Alive, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries bolster the 3DS' impressive lineup. Add to that your usual kid-friendly Nintendo titles like Nintendogs + Cats, Pilotwings Resort, and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, and you have something for everyone.

    Opinion: The games may be the consoles true strength at this point. You can't argue with the titles, many of them being well established franchises which made the jump to 3D. There are even more quality titles in the pool of 30 to be available before June, such as Kid Icarus: Uprising, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, Star Fox 64 3D, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

    Final Thoughts:
     Similar to the DS and the Wii before, Nintendo in trailblazing in the games industry with a technology that can be considered to be a gimmick. The DS and Wii proved over time that they were any but gimmicks, and now it's the 3DS turn to do the same.

    Glasses or not, the 3DS has not changed my opinion on 3D. It sucks. It's needlessly expensive, the immersion is borderline at best, and prolonged use will give you a splitting headache. Who knows, maybe years of use will require LASIK. It has been said that children under the age of 6 should not play the 3DS, so Nintendo has already alienated a nice share of the market. 

    While the 3DS has the backing of some strong titles, I feel like it is truly held back by some of its more glaring flaws, such as having to adjust the 3D depth for each game, and the steep price. I'm not an early adopter of new technology and hardware unless it's something very special, which I feel the 3DS is unfortunately not. Will I buy it? Probably, when the second coming works out some of its logistical flaws and drops the price. Until then, I'll play with floor samples at department stores, gaming conventions and friends' copies, and I'll try not to walk away with a headache.

    PS. Nintendo, now that the 3D is out of the way, please get started on the REAL next technological advancement: holography. Kthx!


    Dude Steals 3DS, Has Photo Shoot

    Apparently, some dude in China stolen Nintendo's latest high tech portable right off the production line. Like any quick-thinking geek, the factory worker had a nice little photo shoot with his new illegal toy, along with some Nintendo figures and older Gameboy and DS hardware incarnations, which may also possibly be illegal. Chinese factory worker, I salute you on your bravery, but also SMH at your stupidity. Unless of course, this just happens to be a PR stunt of some sort from Nintendo's side, which is a completely possible (and perhaps probable) scenario. 

    I'm surprised at how small and sleek the 3DS looks when compared to it's predecessors. No release date or pricing information from Nintendo yet, but you can bet we'll get some details very soon. Unfortunately, I will not personally be able to deliver first hand impressions to you, good readers, as Nintendo seems to only be dealing with the big outlets when it comes to their prized handheld. You best believe I'll be your top source for stolen, second hand information though. 

    Here is some ugly ass video of the 3DS being handled by the sticky fingered filcher. And don't forget to check the gallery for more shots of the 3DS' glamour shoot that you don't want to miss.

    Nintendo 3DS Leaked (gallery) via Kotaku via TGBus


    Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney; No Objections!

    Written by contributing author John Rios

    The Professor Layton series on the Nintendo DS is a big deal in Japan, and has been making headway here in the States. The recent release in the popular puzzle adventure series, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, is the third Layton title to make it to the US. Japan has four Layton games in total, and is already working on a fifth entry, for the Nintendo 3DS. Add the animated movie released in 2009, and it seems that developers Level-5 have found pay dirt with this franchise.

    OBJECTION! The catch phrase of everyone’s favorite Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright. This Capcom-bred franchise is also very near to superstar status, selling like hotcakes in gaming markets across the globe. If Gameboy Advance games are being ported to the Nintendo Wii, DS and iPhone, there is a certain charm and profitability to be found in said games. The Ace Attorney series currently has five titles in the books, with more to come in 2011.

    As Capcom seems to have a penchant for co-developing quality crossovers, it was only a matter of time before these two worlds would collide. Last night, the trailer for a collaboration of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 magnitude hit the internet. Level- 5 and Capcom will be crossing popular franchises, under the working title Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. The trailer doesn’t show much aside from some great animation and what platform it’s being developed for, Nintendo 3DS.

    A lot of questions can be raised pertaining to this near perfect mash-up. How did a modern day lawyer end up in medieval England?  Will the gameplay follow the puzzle dynamic of the Layton series, or Ace Attorney’s visual novel and detective format? Will the 3DS’ 3D function play a crucial role?

    As a fan of both series’ I’m intrigued and excited to learn more about Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. Be sure the watch the trailer and formulate your own thoughts. Got any interesting speculation on how this is going down? Share with us in the comments!

    John is a technogeek with a gangsta edge. If it's new and cutting edge he probably already owns it; phones, computers, games, you name it. He is a school teacher by day, but a gamer for life.


    Fractured Soul Puts Dual Screens to Good Use

    When the Nintendo DS debuted way back, I was skeptical. I thought Nintendo was trying to push an unnecessary trend into the handheld console market just to be innovative and different.

    Here we are years later, and I still find myself questioning the dual screens. Though I don't think I can blame Nintendo for my doubt, this one probably lays on the developers. Nintendo offers you not one blank canvas, but two, and yet you refuse to use it to any brow-raising avail. Sure there were some interesting things done with the dual screens. Most of the time though, it felt as if a game was just shoehorning a touch mechanic into the thick of things, sometimes adding a layer of needless complexity. Handheld consoles to me, first and foremost, are about simplicity. 

    That's what caught my eye about Fractured Soul. It's like two side-scrolling platformers in one, with each of the DS' screens acting as it's own stage. If the hazards and enemies on one screen overwhelm you, hit a button and switch to the other screen to duck 'em. Nice! From the looks of things though, both screens will be chock full of difficulty, so don't think screen-switchin' is your easy button. Man up, son. Attack those enemies like you got a pair!

    Enjoy what appears to be the maddening difficulty presented in this trailer. Also, dat music. I'm hoping the whole game has a soundtrack like this. Don't let me down, EndGame.



    E3: Super Scribblenauts

    I wanted to like the original Scribblenauts. I really did. It was a fun, if not silly romp through the English language with the Nintendo DS. What bothered me about it was that you could not control the protagonist with the d-pad, and the missions seemed way too simple. Thus, the great concept of this game was defeated. The sequel, Super Scribblenauts is looking to correct the issues I had with the first. Yes, the developers called me personally, asked me what my beefs were, and fixed them. How's that for customer satisfaction? D-pad control, deeper missions, expanded dictionary with adjectives, and an incredibly cheesy trailer.