How do you feel when you throw money down on a game that you just don't end up playing? Crap, right? Well, take the cost of that one new release title, then multiply by six. Now you have the approximate investment I made into 3DS consoles between launch and the end of 2011, the same consoles that I didn't use until August just gone. What started as a gigantic waste of money has now turned into a mini obsession with the 3DS and the games it has to offer.
The 3DS launch and the following months kind of sucked for those who waited in line for Nintendo’s handheld. Outside of a relatively meagre selection of launch titles, the later announced price drop was a sting to those devoted to those who grabbed it at launch. Though Nintendo smoothed things over with free games from the Ambassador program for early adopters, the 3DS quickly lost momentum in sales with it’s lack of interesting titles and Japan-only exclusives that wouldn’t see Western retailers for months. Only now, 3DS titles are starting to make their way onto top listings for Japanese sales charts, while only clawing to decent positions in Western and global charts.
From my own purchase I enjoyed short bursts of playing Super Street Fighter IV, my chosen launch title. I should note that I’m quite terrible at Street Fighter, so frustration levels rose quickly, hence the short bursts of play. Despite this, and my small collection of older Nintendo DS titles, my 3DS was rarely used. Then, gaming retailer EB Games announced more money down the drain: Nintendo was releasing a Limited Edition Zelda 25th Anniversary 3DS console. I couldn't curb my excitement, and as soon as I heard the news, I called my local store and put my money down. Pre-orders weren't even open yet, but they knew who I was; the annoying girl who always preorders everything, never actually just buys games in-store. They wove their order system magic and put my name down. I was irrationally ecstatic!
When the console finally arrived, I brought my new baby home hoping that I would find a renewed joy for this 3DS and it’s delightful theme. A few hours after hitting the Water Temple in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time port, I gave up. I powered down the shiny new 3DS and put it away.
I now had two 3DS consoles collecting dust.
With it coming close to a year since the regretful purchase of the Zelda Anniversary console, I’m finally finding that renewed spark of enjoyment in the 3DS. It served me well overseas when I had little to do and nowhere to go, even though I only managed five StreetPasses over the course of the whole two week trip. I’ve since begun carrying around my 3DS regularly, hoping that I’ll have a chance non-meeting with another 3DS user. There’s just something exciting and rewarding about that little green light saying, “hey! Listen! You passed another Nintendo fan!”
Currently, my copy of Mario Kart 7 keeps me thoroughly occupied when I can’t be bothered sitting upright in front of my PC, while Square Enix’s Theatrhythm has challenged me more than I ever expected from a music-rhythm game. Its steep differences in difficulty levels and its nostalgic Final Fantasy songs have frustrated me more than Street Fighter ever did, and I enjoy it so much!
In addition, my short list of 3DS titles I would like to own is getting larger, with a mix of both released and soon to be released titles making it into the mix:
Monster Hunter 4 - TBA
One of the games I’ve been jumping up and down about for a while now, Monster Hunter is one of my all-time favourite gaming grinds. It’s a love/hate/don’t understand kind of scenario with this one, but if you love it like I do, you’ll be pleased to know that all this epic monster hunting goodness will have crazy connectivity with the Wii U -- shared save games, joining in as players in the Wii U version, the happiness goes on!
Animal Crossing 3DS - TBA 2012
This is probably the first title I was really obsessed with on the Nintendo DS. At the time, I ignored everything to fish, collect bugs, and make sure that the nice neighbours stayed. The new 3DS version looks great -- all the gorgeousness of Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) in the convenience of a handheld. Plus now you can swim! Love it!
Paper Mario: Sticker Star - TBA 2012
I loved Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64, and played it’s colourful turn-based storyline through to the end a number of times. After being severely disappointed with Super Paper Mario on the Wii, the first game I ever returned out of disappointment I might add, I’m hoping to see a return to the fun gameplay reminiscent of the Nintendo 64 version.
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy - Currently available in Japan Only
It’s Final Fantasy, so who can say no? Despite the very odd title, Bravely Default evolved from Final Fantasy: the 4 Heroes of Light. More interestingly, it uses the 3DS’s cameras to enhance gameplay using augmented reality features, tied into an role-playing experience. It sounds like a must-have, and many Western gamers are begging Square Enix to release it outside of Japan already!
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - Released July 2012
While I have never played a Kingdom Hearts game, I played the Nintendo eShop’s downloadable demo for this game and enjoyed the gameplay. Though I’ve been told that it’s best to start with the original PS2 game for the story, I’m always for good gameplay and from what I’ve tried Dream Drop Distance meets the requirements. Unfortunately the demo didn't showcase enough of the story for me to make up my mind.
This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the must-get games on my list, and as I look through 3DS and DS news, I see more things that I feel that I should have played, or know that I will need to play. It’s endless and, like my current game list, shameful.
While before I worried that both my 3DSs were the worst things I could have spent my money on, I have since learned to love my 3DS. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and has a longer list of titles I’d like to grab in the future than my Playstation Vita. I’ve accepted that the investment I made in my handhelds was worth it in the end, and I’m looking forward to the future investments in more fun, portable gaming.