Biased review of Nintendo 3DS

And by bias I mean I really wanted to like the 3DS. It is the next generation of the hand-held SNES; the Nintendo DS. Oh boy…

I have little doubt that people are already familiar what the 3DS can offer; 3D output with dual screens, D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and a slide pad. Plus Start, Select and HOME buttons and a bad battery life. From software side it offers built-in games, and lately a 3DS Ware store.

First of all, the 3DS promises to bring something very different and new. The difference being the slide pad for controls and 3D view without the need for glasses. PSP did the slide pad earlier, and it works just as badly as here. The slide pad never had a proper feeling to it, and this applies here as well. The 3DS’ slide pad is a bit better, but still bad. Personally I prefer the D-Pad, and what I’ve heard, so do many other people as well. Sadly, the D-Pad is rather lacking in its function as a directory control. It’s place is rather poor and the overall feel is worse than in GameCube controller. I think the last actually good D-Pad from Nintendo is found in N64. It’s a sad thing to see Nintendo forcefully pushing the D-Pad away while opting for a control method that doesn’t really work. Now they have a machine with two control methods that do not really work. There’s always the touch screen, but I doubt many games will use it. Puzzle games will be notable exception here. I’m very pleased to see that PlayStation Vita, PSP’s successor, will be using full sized control stick rather than slide pads… even if it makes the machine rather clumsy.

The battery life is completely horse crap. It’s either worse or as worse as the PSP had. It’s abysmal. The MINIMUM of battery life nowadays should be at least 20 hours. Anything less is just unacceptable. There’s not excuses for this. The Wonder Swan could go for 22 hours with a single AA battery. Why can’t the 3DS? There’s no excuses in its insides.

Now, the main dish; the 3D screen. It works. You do see things in 3D and it looks rather good when you find that optimum position. The 3D slider is a good idea that adds to the personal optimization. Personal optimization is always a good thing.
But here’s the thing; the goddamn thing makes your eyes and head hurt after plying in 3D for some time, and it’s cumulative for each hour you play. This is something I personally feel extremely disappointed about. The 3D is the main aspect. It disregards the gameplay, the controls, the function of the machine itself. To Nintendo all that matters is that every game is shown in 3D. It doesn’t matter if it makes people’s head hurt or that games don’t actually need to use it, they just want everything in 3D.
I doubt people are willing to take those upcoming lacklustre 3D games over decent 2D games. I’d take any 2D Castlevania over any 3D Castlevania game.
The value of ‘true’ 3D is lower than the value of good entertainment. If a form of good entertainment is displayed in 3D, people are guessing whether or not it will be any good. 3D’s a gimmick that people really doesn’t trust or like at all. Some people can’t enjoy 3D at all due to a missing depth perception, or generally due to colour blindness. It’s stupid to do a machine to general public that prevents certain people from enjoying it. It not only makes the company doing the machine look bad, but it makes loss rather than profit.

The 3DS has games, but the value the games is rather poor. The only system seller the 3DS is Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. Personally I find it tasteless that Nintendo didn’t release any proper Mario game at 3DS’ launch. Fighting games do sell, but the controls aren’t meant for it and not many people are that into tournament fighters. The built-in games are, according to Nintendo, high-school projects that couldn’t be released as standalone games. Good for them, using tech demos as the flagship entertainment.

If the 3DS would’ve been the DS2, the portable SNES, it would have succeeded. Now they’re selling it as a portable N64/GameCube hybrid. And it isn’t working. I’ll buy the 3Ds simply because it gets Mega Man Legends 3. I have no other reason or wish to get this console. If you don’t want to use 340€ to buy a lacking handheld console and one game for it, then stay the hell away from it. Nobody should be forced to pay 250€-+ for this console. PS Vita on the other hand has different values, values that meet the consumers’ wish from a handheld console, and ARE willing to pay the same sum for it.

Don’t be a fool and don’t spend your cash on 3DS until it gets price cuts below the 200€ margin. It’s not worth it at all.

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