Seeing is believing with the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is truly a captivating system that must be seen to be believed.  That is the basic summary of this revolutionary new system that was released just last week.
At first glance, it does not appear much different than the current line of the DS systems. It has the same basic rectangular shape with a flip-up screen. The left and right buttons are now less of in-line buttons and resemble what you would expect to see on a console controller. The basic buttons have been moved around and the power button is now stowed safely on the inside to prevent any grief caused by putting the slider on the outside as it was on the DS lite. The set of three cameras for outside 3D pictures along with the internal self camera are also quite interesting and fun to toy around with.

Upon opening it up, assuming the 3D slider is on, players are suddenly immersed in a world of 3D. At first, it is shocking and unexpected. How such a little system could pack such a punch is beyond imagination. Still, the 3D is a slight gimmick meant to draw players in. What captures the attention is slightly more subliminal. The graphics have received an extensive overhaul that is easily observed when players switch back to an older system. The menu system is much better and the home menu allows for a variety of multitasking unheard of from a Nintendo handheld console, and the sound is literally something that must be heard to be believed.

While the launch title list lacks the luster of other systems, it promises to grow very quickly to include some favorites such as Legend of Zelda and Star Fox, along with some brand new games like Steel Diver and continuations of the Wii Sports themed titles. Also within the actual system are a few preloaded games that will be sure to capture the attention of fans awaiting Zelda. The AR games feature makes use of card which players place in place world and which represent objects in the augmented reality universe. The games associated with this feature are quite fun and will have players taking a second look at their counter top to make sure dragons will not be flying out in the future.
Among the current release titles, there are a few gems. Super Street Fighter IV is catching and extremely reminiscent of the arcade consoles of yesteryear. The 3D for the game is by far the best of those tested and the system is responsive. On the other hand is Steel Diver. It is an interesting concept comprised of several types of games that bring out the system’s features, including the amazingly receptive gyroscopic sensors, but it is not brought together in the best manner. After a few games, it might become catching, but at this time, it is a weak point in the titles. Somewhere in between lies Pilotwings, which brings out some of the better aspects of the Wii Sports Resort flying games and can be extremely addicting for those looking for mindless fun. Lego Stars Wars II is also stunning in its 3D and it retains the humor that has been present in the series up to this point.

Another feature that sets this system apart from its predecessors is the streetpass function. For the Mii Plaza, along with a few other games, which will include the Street Fighter game and the Dead or Alive series, there is the ability for players to trade or battle using figures as they pass. When the system is opened later, encounters can be viewed and generally help the players out. Awaiting release is a dedicated Internet browser and the option to watch 3D movies, but those will be brought along in future updates.

On the negative side, the battery life is a severe detriment. The start, select, and home buttons are also lacking their much needed feel, though that will quickly take the backseat in players’ minds as they get into a game. The setup can be lengthy and the sheer volume of literature included with the packaging can be daunting for those that wish to read through all the features. Also to the negative side is the minimum age warning associated with the system, though with the 3D turned off, the system is still incredibly powerful.

Overall the system is a great platform and holds significant future potential. To sum it up, the system is shocking in the best way possible and for those with the resources to buy one, it comes highly recommended. Just be sure to keep it charged and keep the streetpass on.

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