Tagged "3DS"

Apr 18
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

Flaming Nora – Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS has been on the receiving end of some incredibly high review scores. The Metacritic currently stands at an impressive 91% from 31 critics, and not one of those reviews is below 80%.

Eurogamer and Pocket Gamer both handed out 10/10s for the turn-based strategy game, while EDGE gave it 9/10.

“This is a special game. The kind that makes you stop and think for a long time about whether it’s ever been done better. You couldn’t call Awakening philosophical, but it has things to say about friendship, loyalty, in its own small way love, and a climax that brings these themes together with masterful elegance,” said Eurogamer.


Worth buying a 3DS for? Nintendo hopes that’s the case – a limited 3DS XL bundle is being released this Friday, complete with a fetching blue motif on the handheld. The game itself comes pre-installed, which seems to be the norm for handheld bundles these days. Both Amazon and GAME are selling it for £189.99.

GAME, incidentally, are currently selling the 3DS XL with either Mario Kart 7 or Mario 3D Land for £159.99 which seems a pretty good deal.

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Mar 25
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

The 3DS was released in Europe two years ago today. If it were a child it would be entering the notorious ‘terrible twos’, sporadically having tantrums in public and throwing bits of mashed up banana at passers by. Right now though the 3DS’s future is looking anything but terrible.

This wasn’t always the way. The 3DS had an incredibly tough first year, due to a combination of poor software support and negativity in the mainstream press regarding the 3D display causing headaches. Nintendo also had themselves to blame – they didn’t make it very clear that the 3DS was a brand new handheld, and thus people assumed it was simply a standard DS with a 3D screen. There were even reports of people buying 3DS games believing they could play them on DS, minus the 3D effect.

“Quality software helped the system to prevail in its darkest hours”

The distinct lack of a certain plumber in the launch line-up arguably didn’t help things either. With no Mario game at hand the 3DS instead made its debut with Street Fighter IV, Ridge Racer 3D, Nintendogs + Cats, the short but occasionally sweet Pilotwings Resort and a handful of half-baked Ubisoft and EA titles. Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars was the exception to this, but even then it could have benefited from a couple more months of spit and polish.

Pilotwings Resort

Over the next few months the quality software trickled through, starting with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – a revamp that proved the N64 classic still holds up today. This was followed by Starfox 64 3D – although Fox McCloud didn’t arrive to quite the same acclaim – and some decent third-party titles such as Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, Dead or Alive: Dimensions and Cave Story 3D.

A price drop helped the handheld massively too. Nintendo took some flak for dropping the price just five months after launch, but they did introduce the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Programme so that early adopters didn’t feel hard done by. This scheme allowed those who purchased a 3DS prior to the price drop to download an array of classic Nintendo titles, including Wario Land 4, Yoshi’s Island and Metroid Fusion. They certainly weren’t titles to be sniffed at.

Mario Kart 7

Then came the double whammy of Mario Kart 7 and Mario Land 3D in time for the 3DS’s first Christmas. 3DS sales increased ten-fold, and ever since it has been smooth sailing for the system. Quality software helped the system to prevail in is darkest hours.

Even the PS Vita hasn’t been too much of a worry for Nintendo, apart from the few weeks here and there where sales have peaked due to big name releases.

Two years on and one new model later (hello, 3DS XL), the 3DS sits proud on a catalogue full of top titles. Rather than dully talk about six of the best, we’re instead going to round-up six titles you may have missed.

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Nov 30
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

There’s always a duff title or two in any launch line-up. The reasons are simple – it’s either down to the developer’s inexperience with the system, or the publisher pushing to get the game out on launch day. Retailers always tend to overstock on launch titles, you see, and that’s very good news for publishers. We’re sure that new copies of likes of Asphalt 3D and Street Fighter IV will still be on shop shelves when the 3DS is on its deathbed.

With the Wii U launching in Europe this week, we’re looking at the worst Nintendo launch titles of all time. Pity the person who took one of these home instead of something plumber-related.

FIFA 64 – Nintendo 64

For the first four or five months of the N64’s life there were only ten games available, and three of those were sports games. FIFA 64 more than likely sold well due to the fact that there were very few other games out for N64 owners to buy, rather than the fact that it was a FIFA game. Rubbish animation, bizarre camera angles, slowdown and repetitive commentary – FIFA 64 was a bit of an embarrassment. A £59.99 embarrassment.

Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure – GameCube

A game featuring segments from Back to the Future, ET, Waterworld, Jurassic Park, Jaws and Backdraft sounds quite the appealing package on paper. Shame Kemco managed to screw it up superbly. Most of your time in Universal Studios was spent aimlessly walking around the crudely rendered theme park picking up litter and talking to Woody Woodpecker – the most annoying cartoon character on earth. Why make players pick up litter when they’re in a place built for fun?

GT Pro Series – Wii

One of Ubisoft’s Wii shovelware games, GT Pro Series was not an entirely new game but a vague remake of a GameCube racer with some tacked on motion controls. We’d imagine that a fair few gamers were duped into buying it simply because it came with a free steering wheel. Fellow launch game Monster 4X4 World Circuit was also a conversion of an older game (originally on Xbox) but it didn’t fail on every level like GT Pro Series did.

Far Cry Vengeance – Wii

Here’s another wonky effort from Ubisoft. NGamer put this on their front cover – something which they no doubt regretted once they had the full game in their own hands. Their review is still up online – a resounding 23%. “Turns your living room into some kind of talent vacuum,” was their final verdict. Perhaps Ubisoft purposely made it poor to make Red Steel look good? We joke, of course.

Super Fruit Fall – Wii

There’s a little bit of history behind this 2D rotating maze puzzler – it started out as a £9.99 budget PlayStation 2 game from the purveyors of filth, Phoenix Games. It was then snapped up by System 3 for a Wii release… as a £19.99 budget game. Seeing as it eventually ended up on DS and PSP with bad scores all round, it’s clear to us that they thought they could make a quick buck on it rather than develop it into something great.

Army Men Advance – Game Boy Advance

Contrary to popular belief, not all of the Army Men games were bad. Army Men RTS was a more than sufficient real-time strategy game. There’s a reason for this though: it wasn’t made by 3DO – a company that released so many bad games in such a short space of time that their reputation was the punch line of many jokes back in the day. You would have had more fun putting plastic Army Men in a microwave then playing this shoddy shooter.

Asphalt Urban GT – Nintendo DS

The 1/5 from NGC Magazine that Asphalt Urban GT received was perhaps a little harsh but there’s no doubting it was a bad game – launch your vehicle off a ramp and it would often bounce back off an invisible ceiling. It was painfully apparent that it had a rushed development, making little use of the DS’s then-fancy touch-screen.

Ping Pals – Nintendo DS

If Ping Pals had more than a couple of weeks of development time, we’d be very surprised. It wasn’t even a game as such – more like a glorified version of Pictochat, the DS’s built-in (and free) chat software. “With PictoChat coming as standard, this is a bit like paying money to breathe air,” said the Official Nintendo Magazine. Off it trotted with a 9% review score.

Sprung! The Dating Game – Nintendo DS

Known as Crush during its development period, you can’t deny that Ubisoft didn’t understand the Nintendo DS’s demographic right from the start. It seemed odd at the time that Ubisoft were releasing a dating game, but nowadays we wouldn’t even bat an eyelid – stuff like this is the DS’s bread and butter. “The game is essentially just a bunch of conversations that take place during two characters’ stay at the Ski Lodge, so anyone actually expecting to hit the slopes for some skiing will be very, very disappointed,” said IGN.

Asphalt 3D – 3DS

Proving that history does repeat itself, Asphalt 3D suffered from all the faults of the DS original – glitches, slowdown and horrid visuals. Vehicles appear to be merely floating on top of the track, and when crashing into an opponent the screen simply judders and shakes, almost as if the crash animations were cut at the last minute. Ass-felt, is more like it.

The Sims 3 – 3DS

“It’s almost an achievement that EA has made a 3DS version of a game that’s not only worse than the Wii version, but the DS version too,” began the Official Nintendo Magazine’s review. “For some reason, the 3DS version of The Sims 3 has removed the mood bars that tell you how hungry, clean, tired and so forth your Sim is. No big deal, you know, it’s only the WHOLE POINT of the entire game,” they continued. Score? A miserable 20%.

Half of the games on this list are from Ubisoft but they do thankfully seemed to have bucked their ideas up for the Wii U – none of their games look truly awful. They even passed the buck on Funky Barn, a game which they published on 3DS but are letting 505 Games instead publish on Wii U. It must be flipping terrible.

Feb 16
By Jake In Mobile Games No Comments

GAME British Academy Video Games Awards

The nominations for March’s BAFTA Games Awards were announced yesterday, and the portable category makes interesting reading. What was previously referred to as the Handheld award is now Mobile & Handheld, which neatly reflects the shift that seems to have occurred.

In 2009 and 2010 it was all PSP and DS. In 2011, one mobile game – Cut the Rope – sneaked in there, and only went and bloody won.

The Nightjar

The 2012 nominations are striking: other than Super Mario 3D Land, it’s all mobile games – Dead Space iOS, Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, Peggle, Quarrel and The Nightjar. Okay, Peggle is on DS too, but the only format it was released on in the last year was Android.

It’s to the BAFTA panel’s credit that they’ve not given more nods to the 3DS, simply because it was released in the last twelve months. They have – bravely, you could argue – recognised that, actually, 3D hasn’t in and of itself really added much to the portable gaming mix; that more interesting stuff has been happening for a fraction of the (software) price on mobile platforms.

The question is whether this year is the start of a trend, or a mere blip. Will we see more downloadable and indie games filtering through into the main categories?


This year there are nods for the likes of Bastion, Eufloria, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Monstermind and Minecraft, but mainly in the Debut Game category, with the odd one in Game Innovation and GAME Award of 2011. Most of the categories are dominated by the usual blockbuster releases.

As Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint’s now BAFTA-nominated Ste Pickford argued some time ago, part of the problem is the categories themselves. But the fact that it’s by no means only big name publishers’ mobile games that have been recognised this year, gives hope that BAFTA will continue to broaden their horizons.

That would be welcome for any number of reasons: rewarding indie developers, exposing regular gamers to new and unusual games, and maybe even pushing the majors to try a bit harder.

Jan 30
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Last week Resident Evil: Revelations made the news as eagle-eyed gamers spotted a host of ‘typos’ not only on the box but also during the cut-scenes.

This week it’s making news again – it’s at #6 in this week’s UK chart, making it the first new release of 2012 to make the top 10.

FIFA 12 holds its position at #1 for the fifth week running. It still has a long way to go to beat FIFA Road to the World Cup 98 though which managed 11 weeks in a row at #1. FIFA 12 has however already made more money than any other sports game before it.

There isn’t much else going on in the charts (it is January, after all) but we do spot Tales of Abyss making it into the 3DS chart at #9. After selling for crazy money on eBay (£50+) Namco has confirmed that new stocks are making their way into stores. Amazon and Play are both due a new supply this week according to Namco’s twitter feed.

Jan 26
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

We have Capcom to thank for January’s biggest new release – Resident Evil: Revelations on 3DS. It’s also the only new game out this week. Good timing there, Capcom.

Reviews have been mixed – EDGE gave it 6/10 (“the levels are a mishmash of beauty and blandness”) while Nintendo Gamer magazine dished out 90% and said it sets the standard for all third-party 3DS games. Both agreed though that it’s a bit of a looker.

There’s a demo on the eShop which is available to download so you can make your own mind up. Just before the demo was released the game was knocking around the 30th position on Amazon’s pre-order chart but after the demo launched it was in the top ten.

Are you paying attention, Nintendo? Demos work wonders.

Zavvi is the only place to stock the bundle with the circle pad pro. The existence of the extra analogue stick caused a bit of an uproar, but after hearing that it costs very little and has a battery life of a colossal 480 hours people have calmed down a bit.

Next week: Soul Calibur V, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, NeverDead and Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove 3D.

Jan 23
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

FIFA 12 remains at the top of the chart for the fifth week running but that’s not the most interesting thing to happen in the UK chart this week.

It would seem that word of Rayman Origin’s greatness has finally spread across the United Kingdom – after failing to even enter the top 40 on release, Ubisoft’s pretty platformer this week makes it into the top 10 at #9, up from #17.

Last week rumours were going around that THQ was in a spot of trouble. As if by magic, both WWE ’12 and Saints Row 3 have shot back up – WWE ’12 is at #18 (up from #32) while Saints Row 3 is at now #7 (up from #14). Fortunately the rumours turned out to be bogus, although they did point out that no decision has been made yet about their Games Workshop MMO.

Last week’s two releases – Winter Sports 2012 and Reel Fishing Paradise 3D – haven’t made the 3DS top 10 but it’s fair to say that the 3DS chart looks a whole lot rosier than it did 6 months ago.

Jan 19
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

This week pQube kindly remind us that it’s winter by releasing Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit on Wii, 3DS and PC. The promotional video includes no in-game footage to speak of, which is a little worrying, but one of the events included is ‘ice speedway’ (read: motorbikes on ice) which sounds pleasingly barmy. It’s by 49Games who also worked on the multi-format Winter Stars which we reviewed in November. Wouldn’t be surprised if the developers have recycled more than a few assets, given that the two appear very similar.

pQube are also unleashing Ski-Doo Snowmobile Challenge on PlayStation 3 this week. It’s not a new game – it was released in the US back in 2009 – but reviews were above average including 6.7 from IGN. It has a 12 player online mode but given that currently only 100 people have viewed the video of it on YouTube we can’t imagine that the opponents are going to be easy to find online. Oddly, GAME lists an Xbox 360 version but Play and Amazon have no mention of it. The video only mentions the PlayStation 3 version too.

This week’s only other release is also a sports game. Fishing is classed as a sport, isn’t it? You can view a video of Reel Fishing Paradise 3D here. We quite like the idea of being able to catch fish and put them in customisable tanks but we think we’d rather wait for the next Animal Crossing for our fishing fix.

Next week: Resident Evil: Revelations and the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro accessory.

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