The 3DS area of Nintendo’s booth was a bit surreal. For a system that won’t come out for many, many months, Nintendo had no shortage of trailers and demos to try on the new system– more than the original DS or even Wii got in their respective unveilings in E3s past. That said, there was a lot we didn’t get to see, but there was plenty we did. Here are our quick thoughts on the other noteworthy things we experienced.
3D Camera (Demo)
While I’m sure this is planned to be available from day one on 3DS, the camera worked great, adding depth to every picture taken. One cool feature was the ability to adjust the 3D placement both before and after a picture was taken. While it couldn’t really take a 3D picture vertically, I’m willing to bet that the 3D camera will be a huge selling point when 3DS is released because it just works beautifully.
Animal Crossing 3D (Trailer)
All that Nintendo was able to show at E3 was a tailer of the game engine in action. It appears, from what was shown, to follow the same mold set forth with previous games, adding in 3D for some wow factor. Honestly, the 3D was implemented well as butterflies and trees popped out at me as I watched the character walk around, but the only new addition I encountered in the trailer was the ability to see the fourth wall in any house, something no Animal Crossing title has done yet. Hopefully Nintendo will add more than just a new perspective when this game inevitably ships.
Dead or Alive 3D (Trailer)
Wow, this was definitely one of the nicest looking trailers at the show. Kid Icarus: Uprising and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D I’m sure were even better, but I didn’t see those. What was on display for DOA was definitely GameCube/Wii-ish, though, and it even included a second of the series’ infamous (or loved, depending on your perspective) “boob physics.” Series regulars Hayabusa and Kasumi face off against a demonic adversary in a forest, and at one point tumbled through a wooden bridge that caught on fire. Kid you not, when the flaming pieces of wood flew towards me, I almost had one of those cliche “whoooaa!” dodge reflexes. Yet I’ll be interested to see how deep this fighter’s roster will be, and if it will be a remake of one of the older titles, or be comparable to Dead or Alive 4. Last request: online battles, please.
How to Train Your Dragon 3D (Trailer)
For my full thoughts about this movie trailer playing on 3DS hardware, be sure to check out my editorial on the subject of 3DS playing movies. As for the actual trailer, it was like watching the movie in a 3D theater, only without glasses and on a much smaller screen. This trailer adequately proved that while it may be a handheld, 3DS is capable of giving a perfect recreation of what we’ve had to go the theaters to see before now. It’s that impressive.
Kid Icarus Uprising (Trailer)
The Kid returns in this spectacular teaser, which showcases the winged hero flying through canyons and over cities. The game mechanics appear to be a mixture of Star Fox’s aerial combat and third-person shooting. Sadly, the trailer was a totally hands-off affair, so I could not get a feel for the gameplay. But the trailer did illustrate that this game uses the 3D depth in gorgeous ways, especially when lasers fire from a castle at you as you fly by. The red beams seem to be jumping out of the screen, producing a pretty effect. Finally, I am really excited about the sense of scale seen in the video between Icarus and bosses. I hope there are some epic fights ahead.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Trailer)
This is one of the holy grails of the demos shown– one of the greatest reviewed and loved games of all time getting gussied up for 3D. Not only does it have a crisper resolution, making the game’s textures appear even better, but seeing Link ride Epona around Hyrule Field in 3D makes it all seem even more epic. Unfortunately, that’s all that was shown– the same piano-and-ocarina scored intro title screen you’ve likely watched hundreds of times on your N64. Just in adjustable 3D and at a higher resolution and draw distance. However, there was one other exciting tidbit we learned– there are other gameplay enhancements planned, to include making the equipping of items easier, if I understood what Director Eiji Aonuma said at Nintendo’s developer event. Imagine learning to love the Water Temple.
Mario Kart 3DS (Trailer)
The teaser showcases Mario and Luigi whipping around turns and sharing some intense glances. The polygon count on the models seemed a bit lower than other titles for 3DS, but that is probably because the game is so early in development. The highlight of the trailer was watching pink petals slowly fall from what appear to be cherry blossom trees. The particles jump off the screen in 3D and add a gorgeous touch to the classic racing.
Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater (Trailer)
I really wish everyone was able to check this trailer out. Snake crawls through the jungle, encountering reptiles and critters. Vegetation and vivid greens and brown surround the hero, until the mullet man happens upon a wooden rope bridge. From here, players are able to fully control the camera with the Slide Pad, whipping around Snake and the environment. The depth and scope of the trailer was spectacular, and the 3D effects seem like they could really add to the Metal Gear experience.
Nintendo Classics (Trailer)
Let’s hope this clip of classic games in 3D is foreshadowing for a 3DS Virtual Console. And if so, man, these games really look good with the extra depth. The highlights of the trailer were Tennis, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (Wow!), and, last, Punch-Out!! Yes, the 3D may not change the game mechanics, but the effect makes these gems pop in a whole new way.
No, it wasn’t Nintendogs +Cats but rather a 3D demo based off the DS games many have played since early on in the system’s lifecycle. It was a fun demo, pulling what made the series great on DS and adding in 3D elements that made the virtual pet simulator more immersive if anything. If Nintendogs +Cats is anything like the demo Nintendo showed, expect this to be a huge seller for 3DS early on.
Resident Evil Revelations (Trailer)
Lots of darkness and quick action clips. The graphic fidelity in the teaser was pretty mind-blowing for a handheld, but with no gameplay footage, I remain a bit skeptical. Even so, this short video is a promising start for what could be the ultimate Resident Evil handheld experience.
Ridge Racer 3D (Demo)
Why, oh why, was this game shown at Nintendo’s booth? The demo for Ridge Racer 3D was atrocious. The car was difficult to handle, and the 3D effect was almost nonexistent. The track on display was boring as well, with barely anything memorable. Basically, this game needs a lot of work before it launches.