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Our 3DS Impressions - Dual Strike Article

What’s up everyone? We’re back with an exciting second installment of our Dual Strike Article series that feature our real time discussions on a particular subject. If you couldn't tell by the Miis riding the hype train, we’re discussion the Nintendo 3DS. Amado and I both rode this train all the way to Nintendotown and bought the system on day one. Now that we’ve had some time to play around and ponder the amount of money we spent on the device. We discuss what we like, what we hate, and where Nintendo should improve our 3D snuggle bunny.

I’ll go first and start of the discussion to get things rolling. I’ll start by saying why I wanted to get a 3DS in the first place. I usually don’t adopt handheld systems on day one. I didn’t even get an original DS until a full two years after its release. But the DS made me a believer in handhelds and from what I was seeing in terms of the 3DS hardware and software, I felt like the 3DS was a safe bet for me. Plus I don’t think I could have waited two years to get my hands on it, because I have a feeling these things are going to sell pretty dang well. Do I feel like I got burned by the hefty $250 tag? Nope.

Amado why did you pick up the 3DS?

Because I’m portable gaming system whore. No seriously I am. I don’t know what it is about portable systems. It must have something to do with some kind of residual survival instinct of mine to want to carry awesome sauce stuff with me at all times.

Secondly probably just because I actually got to check it out at E3. I’ve always liked the idea of 3D video games. I just never wanted to use glasses, so the glasses free really caught me by surprise.

If all they did was upgrade the DSI’s CPU and add all the features the 3DS has minus the 3D I would have bought it anyway. After all it is Nintendo and it will have good games on it.

That’s right you got to play the 3DS last June during E3 and I remember you were sold after about 2 minutes of watching a video in 3D... without playing any games! It was similar experience for me as well, once I got to play it in San Francisco I felt like it was a worthy upgrade to the DS. The 3D screen does work really well and the graphics are pretty slick. Although the window to see the 3D is small, it hasn’t bothered me with my play style. It does make my eyes tired though if I’m playing late at night, but I also stare at screens all day for a living so I’m sure my eyes want to murder me with a rusty spoon by now.

Hey now! I did actually play Battle of Giants or whatever that stupid Dinosaur game was. Some of those videos were pretty awesome too; like the Resident Evil one and the Metal Gear Solid 3 one omg. That’s what I’m really waiting for, some of those great games that usually come to PSP and in 3D WOAHOAHOAH! Man at that time I didn’t even have a chance to really check out anything about it, but it does come with a ton of preloaded stuff doesn’t it?

It sure does! It’s definitely enough to keep you busy for awhile if you couldn’t stomach the admittedly mediocre launch lineup of games. There are things like the 3D Camera, Mii Maker, and the Nintendo 3DS Sound that are fun to tinker with, but the built in AR games and Face Raiders are the real show pieces of the system that I’ve spent the most time with. I love taking pictures of things and applying them in Face Raiders. I’ve always wanted to import my face into a game ever since I read that they scanned faces into Goldeneye 007 on N64. Now the dream has come true for me!

I was really surprised about the Mii Plaza where you can collect Miis via the StreetPass and use them to play two mini games, Puzzle Swap and Find Mii. But I haven’t had time to dive into them too much yet. Wherever you look on the system there are little surprises and touches of Nintendo, both good and bad. LOL.

Like the Ninendo Music application :O! As you know I’m an audio dork, so I pay a lot of attention to audio details. First I want to note this: Since the 3D is so finicky, and they basically know right where your head is going to be, that knowledge isn’t gone to waste. If you’ve ever owned a decent TV and messed with the audio settings you might have noticed the that you can switch them from “Mono”, “Stereo”, and sometimes “Expanded”. Expanded always sounds somewhat surround and that’s exactly what the audio features is called on the 3DS “Expanded” I first noticed it while playing face raiders, but it’s a nice touch.

Second thing is the awesome Music application itself. It’s a game all on it’s own. You can add songs to your “Top 10” or just your “Street Pass” playlist. Yes I said street pass playlist. So when it’s active it’ll seek other 3DS and exchange info about other peoples street pass music info eventually developing a “top street pass” music area where you can check out what is most popular by other 3DS owners in your area. You can check your compatibility with other 3DS owners too... assuming of course people in your area own 3DS’ and you pass them sometimes :(.

Best of all though are the “Visualizations” :D. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Visualizations? Oh your talking about the all the different music visualizations as your mp3 plays. The Excite Bike and the plane flying one are pretty great. I really like recording sounds and messing with them in the sound editor. I made a recording using my catch phrase “Fuck Your Face” especially for you, but I realized that even though your on my friends list I can’t share or send you anything at all from the system. It seems the 3DS still has some online growing pains to work out. I love the design of the user interface of the Home menu and Streetpass is a good/interesting way to share with random people (if you can find them). But if I can’t even share an 3D photo, a Mii, or even Pictochat with my friend over WIFI, then why have a friends list in the first place! It seems currently it's easier to share with strangers with spotpass. WTF Mate?

Did you know you can actually play the Mr. Game & Watch visualization?! :D How awesome is that, just keep bouncing the soccer ball off your head. Ehem ok, sorry I’ll stop.

Look man the system has some kinks it needs to work out.

I would say it's a major kink in the ass!

Yeah well it’s not the only kink you’re right. Mine has actually had “error” in judgment 3 or 4 times now.

You mean it got shitfaced and its poor judgment made it knock up a few hookers? :-0 

Yeah something like that. To be honest though this little system has a lot of potential, and I think that’s what I bought into. That’s what I paid for when I decided to buy this system on launch. Nintendo usually isn’t the type of company to release something that is buggy but they did. Maybe they are picking up some bad habits watching the other companies.

Is that the freezing black screen I've heard about? I haven’t had my system fail on me like that yet. It seems maybe the system did get a little rushed out the door to make the year release promise they made at E3.

Did the launch game line-up give that away? One of the main games they teased all the nostalgites with was that Kid Icarus game, and it didn’t even release with the system! Oh oh and let’s not forget Ocarina of Time! And yes... black screen of death “Please hold the power button down to turn off the power, then try again”. Try again?!!! F-U Ninty...

Wow, it almost doesn’t reboot? That’s doesn’t sound like my Nintendo. I hope it doesn't turn ugly. We’ll have to keep an eye out and see if it's a widespread problem.

Yeah, I think Nitnendo thought things would go out smoother. It is funny that they have a ton of games for launch but nothing particularly noteworthy, the games are coming right? Another fact that makes it seemed rushed is the fact that the eShop Channel, Internet browser, and possibly a functional friends list are not even coming until a future firmware upgrade in June. I hope it doesn’t brick systems like the PS3 3.60 Firmware... ziiiiinnnnggg.

Ahahah! Yeah this whole firmware thing actually made me think: Does this mean every update cycle there are going to be bricked 3DS’? I hope not.

About the launch games though. When I was at E3 I met a couple developers. I asked them about the 3DS, and if they had gotten any dev kits or anything like that. Apparently Nintendo hadn’t shown them anything up to that point. So literally most if not all developers didn’t even get a dev kit until after E3. That’s less than 1 year between now and then, of course these games aren’t going to be fully developed! It seems they had a choice. “Should we focus on the systems bells and whistles or should we focus on game play?” Games like Puzzle Bobble could have been much more fun if they had more time, and maybe with more time Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars could have utilized ANY of the 3DS’ features besides the 3D lol.

I think I remember reading that the 3D part of it was also a last minute inclusion in the specs... so maybe they’ve been playing catch up ever since. From the looks of it they spent their time making sure they had something that could sell the concept/system to people by creating Face Raiders, the AR games and the rest was kinda pegged in there. Ouch, did I just say that? :-P

You’re mom gets pegged.

Oh, your a riot! Go get a day job at the local corner why don’t ya. Well my last comment may be a little over dramatic, but really it looks like they are trying to make the 3DS more online focused. It feels like the base is there and they just need to fill it out and make it better. It’s really my only qualm with the system. If they can make it easy for me to communicate with my friends I would be a happy camper.

You’re mom has a night job at the local corner... ahhh ok ok I’ll stop. Honestly man I think we’ve said all there is to be said for now. The system is a good system even without the 3D, but you can’t say it doesn’t add another dimension! Oohhh I’m good.

LOL *throws up a little. Yeah man, it feels like a great system and its got more potential to grow for sure. I have no regrets picking one up at launch even with the issues I brought up, and yes the battery doesn’t last much longer than 3 hrs on max settings. Just use your charging cradle and you should be fine people. Settle down. GET N OR GET OUT!

We’ll be chatting some more about this on the episode 44 of the podcast coming up on Monday.

If you have a 3DS what are your thoughts now that you've had the system for almost a week?


  1. Hype Train! My son's still driving that thing around, glad to see you fellows made it on board safe and sound.
    As you know Brad, I returned my ticket earlier this week. :(

  2. I've been having a time with it, but ultimately games are what make or break a system.

    Although I am enjoying Ghost Recon:Shadow Wars (which feels a lot like advance wars/final fantasy tactics put together) it's not a system seller unless you were a HUGE fan of X-COM.

    I will reiterate however, that the system has a lot of fun built in software, and feels like a great upgrade to the DS in many ways. I can't wait for the great games to come :).

  3. @Coffee, I understand why you canceled your pre-order. At this point in the game the 3DS is a luxury item until the real games are here to support it.

    I bought it because I didn't want to have to hunt it down desperately when the thing is sold out.

    @Amado True dat. More games! I would have totally bought Ghost Recon if it was online play, but as we have seen the online portion is lacking as of yet.

    Where is Mario Kart?


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