MIA: 3DS Launch Games

Where were these huge Nintendo games at the 3DS launch?

By James Stank. Posted 03/31/2011 14:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

GDC 2011 Iwata and 3DS
I can’t believe the wait is finally over. It seems as though I’ve been waiting forever for the 3DS to come out. I finally got mine, opened it up, and turned the 3D as high as it could go. Was I blown away by what I saw? Yes. The 3D effect is just as good as I’ve heard, but something just isn’t right. I have this amazingly sleek 3DS in front of me but have no games to go with it. Where are these games Nintendo? Keep in mind that this article focuses solely on 3DS games, which means I am not going to take into account Black and White. Those are some great first party DS games, but what we need are some great first party 3DS games.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising

When 3DS was first unveiled at E3 2010, it was done so with an angel. Pit’s return had many Nintendo fans excited, and Uprising looked as though it was the title that would show the world that 3D did indeed improve gaming. After all, Pit was doing flips and twists, avoiding enemy fire, all in glorious 3D. It was even slated to be a launch title, but then something happened… it vanished. All of a sudden, Uprising was no longer a launch game or even part of the launch window. What happened, Nintendo? I’m sure the game will be outstanding when it ultimately releases, but is there a reason it wasn’t at launch? Were you afraid that the shadow of Pokémon would be too great for Pit to handle? At any rate, it’s disappointing to see what was to be the star of 3DS pushed back to some unknown place in time. Ultimately, the Kid Icarus franchise isn’t a system seller though. Hardcore fans would have bought it, but it wouldn’t have swayed nearly as many gamers as the next two titles on the list.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Screenshot

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

If the launch of Wii and Twilight Princess taught us anything, it’s that gamers go crazy for Zelda. Three out of every four people who bought a Wii also purchased Link’s latest console adventure. That is an insane attach rate, and I doubt any game has had one higher than that. Here we are with 3DS, and Zelda had another golden opportunity to steal the show but didn’t. Ocarina of Time 3D was a no-show. Was it a little too much to hope for it at launch? I don’t think so, seeing as how it is an upgraded port of an older game. I guess I can understand Uprising missing the launch, but how can you not finish a 3D port in time? Zelda helped turn Wii’s launch into one that will be remembered for a long time. The absence of Zelda with 3DS’ launch would have that launch remembered for different reasons. You can’t count on Nintendogs, Street Fighter, and Ridge Racer alone to carry your system early.

GDC 2011 Photo - Satoru Iwata Super Mario 3DS Logo

Super Mario

Now we come to what is probably the biggest title that we know of for 3DS, though we don’t know much about it. It was revealed at GDC, and from the screenshots we can tell that it features graphics akin to those of the Galaxy games, and also that it may be closer to Super Mario 64 and earlier Mario games. The logo even includes a tail, which hasn’t been seen since Super Mario Bros. 3, and the images seem to also suggest that there may be a two hit system in place, as in the older games. Get hit while super, and shrink. Get hit again and die. Since we know so little about the game, why put it on this list? Because it’s Mario and there really doesn’t need to be another reason. Mario is Nintendo’s biggest weapon. Historically, Mario has been the one to show off what a system can really do. It was Mario who pioneered 3D games on Nintendo 64, and also Mario who showed us that touch controls could work with Super Mario 64 DS. Let’s face it: the best possible launch game that Nintendo could have given us would have been a Mario title.

Nintendo probably felt that it didn’t need a big 3DS game. And that’d be correct. People are going to buy 3DS systems no matter what games are available for the time being, and if we compare the 3DS launch lineup to that of DS’, we really can’t complain. Still, it would have been nice to see what Pit, Link or Mario are capable of in 3D, but I guess that will have to wait for another time.

5 Responses to “MIA: 3DS Launch Games”

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    Although, I just realized, that in all this, there’s one franchise Nintendo hasn’t even mentioned WORK on for the 3DS. At E3 last year or at GDC. It even helped the launch or the original DS with a beta demo, if you’ll remember, but…

    Where’s Samus in all this?

    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      Oh, I didn’t forget about Metroid. It’s not on the list because as good as it is, it can’t compete with Mario and Zelda from a consumer perspective. Metroid Prime was the best game on the GameCube, yet it was easily outsold by Sunshine, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Fans want Mario and Zelda more than anything, though I didn’t think that Hunters was that great.

  • 9 points
    Soulofjazzman says...

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  • 3 points
    jfeuerst says...

    I disagree completely on Metroid Prime being the best GameCube game. Nothing against Metroid Prime but it was a piggyback game. It was GameCube’s resolution to the FPS craze at the time except that it lacked what made FPS so attractive; LAN multiplayer/online multiplayer. No one plays a FPS solely for the single player mode. It was a game that many people felt could fill the FPS void on the GameCube. In my opinion Eternal Darkness was the best GameCube game but I would also argue for Super Smash Brothers Melee.

    I am interested to hear how the new pokemon game for DS did in sales with the 3DS being released. I feel that is why Nintendo didnt release any other launch titles. Especially given that there is only a handful of 3DS titles and even less that are appealing enough to buy. Not to mention the list of upcoming games is scarce until Ocarina comes out. I find myself painstakingly trying to make any reasonable excuse to buy another 3DS game with no avail. I picked up Street Fighter just because I wanted a game that would support 3D. If not for Street Fighter I probably would have bought the new Pokemon just to have a game to play on. I feel that Nintendo is banking on this. Since their is nothing remotely close to a quality game coming out for months I have been driven to place a reservation on Ocarina of Time. I havent placed a reservation on a video game system or console or anything video game related since the Wii came out in 2006.

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