A few years ago I excitedly bought a Nintendo DS Lite, of the pink coral variety that my mom thought was a makeup compact the first time I showed her. Along with it, Animal Crossing, because despite being a high-schooler, I still loved that game. I took that pink DS everywhere and anywhere I knew I would be stuck for a few hours. I loved it. A few years later I no longer had that pink DS, so I bought another one after realizing how much I loved the system, this time the pink metallic one, mainly because it was the only color the store had at the time. I loved this one equally as much as its predecessor. Playing Final Fantasy 3 till I got so angry at the last level that I threw it across the room effectively loosing the game for three years. Good times.
In all those years I owned it, I never upgraded to the DSi or the DSi XL despite wanting. I stubbornly stuck with my pink DS. The new systems definitely had some features I wanted but I never upgrades because of one feature they took away. The ability to play Gameboy Advance Games. Many young ones might now even care (or depending on age even remember the tiny cartridges of fun) but Gameboy Advance games are what got me into gaming to begin with. My favorite video game was a Gameboy advance game, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. A game I returned to every so often to replay. Always laying the cities in the same pattern and never recruiting more than 12 characters for Clan Awesome. I couldn’t justify having two DS systems (one Lite and the new 3DS) and I didn’t want to upgrade and not be able to play this game again, lest I bought a Gameboy Advance (which, I am not going to lie, I considered.) I just could not bring myself to change something I loved.
This little cartridge has brought me so much joy.
So when the 3DS arrived on the market, I stuck once again with my pink DS telling myself, it was good enough for me. So for over a year, I went into GameStops looking for Xbox games, and PS3 games, all the while contemplating the 3DS. I couldn’t afford full price, and I couldn’t bear trading in my DS lite, so it continually eluded me.
But to be fair, other than my reluctance to upgrade, I also had my own set of worries regarding the new system. I worried that the 3D aspect would hurt my eyes as a glasses wearer, that I would never use the capabilities and therefore it wasn’t worth my time. I also couldn’t see why I would want my favorite games (such as The Legend of Zelda) to be in 3D in the first place. I had some serious doubts. That is until I realized that if I ever wanted a new game to play on the handheld system, I needed to upgrade.
The amazing people over at Nintendo listened to my plight and graciously sent me a 3DS to review and see for myself how awesome it was. I judged the system on how user friendly it was, how the 3D affected using it and during games, as well as the overall quality of the system.
When I first got the 3DS I didn’t have a game for it yet, which was fine with me because I was still debating on which game I wanted to be the first I tested. So I spent the first two – three hours of having the system, playing with the settings. The 3DS is very easy to set up, all the initial settings are right there when you start up. However, the real fun lies in the customization. While there are certain parts of the 3DS I wish were customizable, I believe it gives you a wide enough range to satisfy users.
The home screen on the 3DS is also very nicely laid out. It is very similar to the Wii home screen in that you have “cells” that you put your apps on. Depending on preference you can also decide how big the cells are and how they are laid out which is nice especially if you plan to download several apps onto the device.
I love the telescoping stylus. As an adult who has slightly bigger hands than a child playing the system, it is very nice to have the ability to make the stylus longer for ease of use.
Something I didn’t like about the system, however, is that there aren’t very many options for downloads. The app selection is slim as well as the game download selection. I am sure they plan to add more as time goes on, but at the moment it seems that I wont be downloading much on it.
The 3D system
As a glasses wearer, I have some limited abilities in my life, and 3D is generally one of them. I can’t see 3D movies (can’t wear the glasses over my glasses, cant see with my glasses off) so when the 3DS was introduced and you didn’t need to wear special glasses I was excited and uncertain.
I initially found it very difficult to find the right range for the 3D to look good on the system. However, once you get the hang of it, it is not too bad. The 3D looks good, and I love that you can take 3D pictures with the camera as well. (And yes I have taken 3D pictures of my cats for the Internet.)
The first game I bought for the system was Kid Icarus, because I thought “Hey who doesn’t love being an Archer? And with this game I can be an Archer in 3D!” Although the game on the 3DS was little more difficult then I had anticipated. It is a bit of a sensory overload. Between the 3D, and having to hold the system AWKWARDLY to aim the shots and click the L button at the same time as watching/reading/listening to narration, it was a little overwhelming. But my issues with Kid Icarus are for another time.
Overall, I will admit the 3D looked really awesome within the context of a game and I can see its appeal.
So as a whole, I definitely see the merit of the 3DS. I love that for this first time I can truly enjoy 3D sans glasses. I am very hopeful for the selection of games in the future. And the system is sleek, cool, and beautifully made. The screen is crisp and the shell colors are gorgeous. While the system may not before everyone, I find it enjoyable and relaxing and a nice upgrade from my pink DS Lite (though I still will not give that up). My next game will definitely Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time though, because c’mon, who wouldn’t want to replay that story?
I only have one wish. Please Nintendo, please bring some Final Fantasy games to the 3DS in a full game format or as a download.