Read-a-long with Nintendo Power #265 (March 2011)
It’s in your mailbox with plenty of time to give you the backsweats about your 3DS preorder. Will the store get enough to honor your order? Will Amazon ship it for day-of-release arrival? Will you be the last kid on the block trying to figure out the difference between StreetPass and SpotPass? Mop up and read-a-long!
Issue #265, March 2011
featuring Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (3DS), Ridge Racer 3D (3DS), Dead or Alive Dimensions (3DS), 2010 Nintendo Power Awards
One thing is abundantly clear from the way Nintendo is launching the 3DS: there’s none of that namby-pamby “third pillar” junk we got when the original DS launched. Back in 2004, the DS was the system nobody asked for. The Game Boy Advance was still going strong. So when the DS debuted, it was to a chorus of timid talk about it living right alongside the GameCube and the GBA, because, gee, we’d never abandon the highly successful GBA to test the waters on the crazy dual-screened freak of science.
With the 3DS, there is no question that the DS as we knew it is being retired. The future is in three dimensions.
Here’s what NP pulls out as some key 3DS features.
Mii Maker. Cute and easy, but I know I can make a better Mii manually. I’ll be interested to see how you can save Mii pictures. out to the SD card. Can you pose the Mii? Swap in backgrounds or live camera images?
Face Raiders. Preinstalled minigame. This is stupid fun and is a great way to show off multiple 3DS tech tricks at once.
AR Cards. I think these are hot as heck and can’t wait to see the full assortment. At the 3DS press event, they were only running the dragon-killer seen in the photo. My fingers are crossed that Nintendo will continue to support this concept.
SpotPass/StreetPass. Do we really need two separate camelcased brand names for the concept of downloading data over WiFi? If you’re keeping score, SpotPass automatically hops onto WiFi networks and will download available free stuff. While StreetPass refers to your 3DS sensing my 3DS as we walk past each other at the mall and exchanging data.
Play Coins. The 3DS is sort of a largeish device, but if you stash it in your pocket and put it into Sleep Mode (IE, close the damn thing), it will turn into the worlds most expensive pedometer and track your steps. The steps are turned into Play Coins that can be used to unlock content in games/apps that support it. Think PokeWalker.
3D Photos. Since the mag went to press, Nintendo has announced that the 3DS will be able to shoot 3D video as well as 3D still photos. While 3D video is coming through a future system update, 3D photography will be available out of the box.
eShop/Virtual Console. Something else we have to wait for… the enhanced version of the DSiWare storefront won’t appear until the end of May.
And just to drive home the point of the ascendance of the 3DS: this issue’s Game Forecast lists almost 90 upcoming 3DS games… and only fifteen DS games. Out of those DS games, three are LEGO games and six are crapass movie tie-ins. And not a one is from Nintendo itself.
Quick hits from the 3DS game previews:
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition – First Street Fighter on a Nintendo system since 2002′s Street Fighter Alpha 3 on GBA. Of course, this does not count the six hundred SF variations available on the Wii Virtual Console.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – You can use the 3DS’ gyroscope to change your view while in first-person look mode. I predict we’ll see a bunch of games try this gimmick before everyone realizes it is ridiculously awkward. Gyroscope-look is going to be to the 3DS what waggle-to-jump was to the Wii.
Ridge Racer 3D – I had no interest in this one until I saw two things: one, the inclusion of Namco classics (like Mappy!) as user avatars, and two, the return of virtual spokeswoman Reiko Nagase from 1999′s Ridge Racer Type 4.
Rabbids Travel in Time – You won’t know it from the title, but this is not a port of last year’s Wii minigame collection. It’s a side-scrolling platformer.
nintendogs+cats – Yep, it’s coming in multiple versions. It also uses Miis, who will probably be totally freaked out by the fur texturing.
Dead or Alive Dimensions – We’ve seen the movie showing off a Metroid themed stage and Morph Ball cameo… does anybody really think that Samus is not in this game as a playable character?
Another year of Nintendo Power Awards
Yup, Super Mario Galaxy 2 won both Game of the Year and Wii Game of the Year, in both the public vote and the editorial opinion. Shantae: Risky’s Revenge land DSiWare Game of the Year from both halves, but the vote was split on the other two platforms. NP selected Dragon Quest IX for DS GOTY while the readers backed Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver. And in the category of WiiWare GOTY, the magazine chose Cave Story and the readers went with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.
Say, that reminds me. Has anybody breathed one bloody word about Episode 2 yet? Are these episodes coming once a year now?
All tallied up, Galaxy 2 walked off with five awards on the editorial side and four from the readers. Epic Mickey was granted four reader awards (including Best Adventure Game and Best New Idea, WTF), but only one from NP… Oswald won under Best New Character.
Download Staff Picks: None, again.
Top scoring Wii review: de Blob 2, 8.0 (all scores out of 10)
Top scoring DS review: Pokemon Black/White, Giant Sisters DS 9.0
Lowest rated Wii review: de Blob 2, 8.0
Lowest rated DS review: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, 7.5
Yeah, NP only had one Wii review this month.
Plenty of action on the DS front, however. Aside from the unexpected tie 9.0 from both Pokemon and some crazy side-scroller that nobody ever heard of, and that generous 7.5 for the stubbornly retro DQ6, three other DS games were reviewed at 8.0: de Blob 2, Monster Tale and Okamiden. Radiant Historia was given an 8.5.
So even with the DS game well rapidly drying up, know that you can always go back to the February/March releases and cherry-pick some DS winners!
Back issues available, but not so far back. – If you’re missing some issues in your recent NP collection, Future has you covered. Of course, they only stock issues for the years since they took over the mag, so don’t think you’re going to order up that Virtual Boy Launch Coverage issue.
Watch those eyes. – According to Nintendo Power, Nintendo’s official position on 3D gaming for the younger set is cautious: users under age six should put the 3DS’s depth control slider all the way to the 2D position.
Assume nothing. – Are Wario and Waluigi brothers? Nintendo has never confirmed or denied the relationship between the Mushroom Kingdom’s favorite scoundrels.
Snap into it! – WWE All Stars for Wii will include the first appearance of “Macho Man” Randy Savage in a video game for over fifteen years! Not including Spider-Man games.
RIIIIIIIDGE RACER. – Continuing last issue’s trend of smacking around older games that were previously given reasonably decent review scores, this issue calls Ridge Racer DS “especially bad.” In 2004, Nintendo Power gave the game a 7.0.
Next month in Nintendo Power… More about the 3DS! Because you haven’t bought one yet!
Tags: 3DS, Nintendo, nintendo power, Read-a-Long, street fighter