Nintendojo Holiday Buyer’s Guide 2015: 3DS

It was another strong year for 3DS. Here are some of the best new releases for the handheld!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/08/2015 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

As ever, Nintendo’s handheld delivered the goods over the past 12 months, but deciding which games to buy for 3DS this holiday season can become an overwhelming task very quickly. Leave it to Nintendojo to help you select the games that will make you the ultimate gift-giver this year!

Note: All prices were accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Price: $39.99

From our review:

“[Monser Hunter 4 Ultimate] is a milestone achievement for Capcom’s unique series. It looks, sounds, and plays better than ever, belying the fact that it’s running on a handheld and not a home console. With a seemingly endless assortment of quests to play through either individually or through the game’s solid online options, and more on the way in the form of DLC, MH4U won’t be leaving anyone’s 3DS any time soon. MH4U‘s depth and challenge might not be the taste of every gamer, but with Capcom’s emphasis on accessibility and new player conscientiousness, anyone who was put off by previous entries or has been curious about the series in the past can give it a try without hesitation. MH4U is the best Monster Hunter yet, and it’s not to be missed.”

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Price: $39.99
From our review:

Majora’s Mask 3D comes a scant two months into 2015, and it’s already a forerunner for my favorite 3DS games this year. With plenty more on the way, including games that haven’t even been revealed yet, I’m stoked for what’s to come. Majora’s Mask 3D is a testament to the ingenuity of the game from which it’s based. New fans will be experiencing a game that will feel as fresh as anything else that’s come out in the past couple of years, and old fans will be seeing a favorite in an all new way. Like Ocarina of Time 3DMajora’s Mask 3D is a must-play. It’s ironic that a game about time travel would prove to be so irresistibly timeless.”

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy masthead

Price: $19.99
From our review:

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ is somewhat odd. Rather than being a brand new entry in the venerable combat flight sim franchise, it is a moderately tweaked version of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy meant to take advantage of the New 3DS’s enhanced feature set. …The core game, while not particularly exceptional, remains a solid, enjoyable experience that benefits from the simple fact that there really isn’t anything else like it on 3DS.”

Fossil Fighter Frontier

Price: $24.99-$29.99
From our review:

“Fossil Fighters is about collecting and battling with resurrected dinosaurs called Vivosaurs. Traveling around Fossil Parks in Bone Buggies (more on those in a bit), players guide their character on the path to becoming a Warden, someone who protects the parks with their Vivosaurs. The game has some fun character designs, and the world itself feels wild and open. … Frontier is not bad by any stretch, and those wanting to collect something other than Pocket Monsters should consider giving the game a whirl.”

Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Price: Sights & Sounds of Mystery Edition $39.99
From our review:

“Now, I have a confession; I have never played a single Etrian Odyssey or Mystery Dungeon game and actually went into this game expecting to find an imposingly dense and challenging experience. After putting many, many hours into it, though, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is dense, and it’s most certainly challenging, but the pace with which it introduces its mechanics results in a very approachable game that constantly rewards you for taking the time to master those mechanics. …For those willing to invest the effort and time, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a phenomenal game that will challenge and reward you in equal measure.”

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition

Price: $29.99
From our review:

“Gung Ho has done a truly admirable job introducing Puzzle & Dragons to non-mobile players. …I can honestly say that Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition perfectly replicate and evolve the core concept into something bigger and better. Removing the micro transactions [of the mobile original] and letting players focus on the pure, unadulterated fun of P&D’s unique play mechanics makes this 3DS iteration the only way to go. Though P&D Z feels disjointed in some ways, it and Mario Bros. Edition are both wonderful titles that easily could be their own separate games; having both on a single cartridge is a real gift.”

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Farnir Knight

Price: Collectors Edition $49.99
From our review:

“Ultimately, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is another satisfying dungeon crawler from Atlus… [I]f you’ve been put off by the series’ lack of narrative, the Story mode in Fafnir Knight does a nice job of pushing the adventure forward without diluting the experience. It’s true the Etrian Odyssey series may still be an acquired taste for most gamers, but thanks to Fafnir Knight’s stronger tale and adjustable difficulty, Atlus has done an admirable job of making it more palatable to a wider audience.”

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

Price: $39.99
From our review:

“At first glance, Hatsune Miku: Project Miku DX might look like “just” a fanservice game. And, let’s be honest, it is a fanservice game– but in more ways than one. There’s Hatsune Miku singing songs. There’s taking care of Hatsune Miku. And then there’s playing Puyo Pop with Hatsune Miku. Project Miku DX demands your attention even when you’d like to play something other than rhythm games, because there’s more than just rhythm here. That’s not just incredible for a licensed game. It’s inspiration for all the other ones.”

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

Price: Bundle with NFC Reader $49.99 | Standard $39.99
From our review:

Happy Home Designer is a different kind of Animal Crossing. From its pacing to its objectives, the game will delight fans with its new take on the series’ longstanding gameplay. It’s not the life-sim of years past, but Happy Home Designer‘s successful re-imagining of what makes Animal Crossing tick is a lovely departure that I sincerely hope Nintendo explores again in the future. Go and snag yourself a copy today!”

The Legend of Legacy

Price: $39.99
From our review:

“What do you get when you bring the composer of Final Fantasy XIII, the gameplay designer and illustrator from the SaGa series, and the writer of Chrono Trigger under the same roof? You get The Legend of Legacy, a spiritual successor to the SaGa series created by some of the most talented individuals in the industry. …The Legend of Legacy may not have the intricate story line, deep characters, or the standard turn-based combat that one might expect from an RPG, but it has its own unique style with gameplay that rewards players for making smart tactical decisions. The game’s flaws may prevent it from being perfect, but The Legend of Legacy is still an excellent RPG that fans of the genre will love.”

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Price: Bundle with Amiibo $39.99 | Standard $29.99
From our review:

“The game is a 2D platformer, which is a first for the series, and I was pleased by how many Chibi staples were able to make the transition. Picking up trash, plugging in and recharging Chibi’s batteries, and even his lovable sidekick Telly are along for the ride… It’s a light platformer that’s just clever enough to warrant a look, and Amiibo collectors will certainly want to snag the bundle that comes with a Chibi-Robo figure.”

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

Price: $39.99
From our review:

“The game has a brilliant presentation, making wonderful use of the engine that powered A Link Between Worlds to offer a gorgeous, vivid take on the overhead perspective of classic Zelda titles coupled with a catchy (though somewhat standard) soundtrack. The addition of costumes is another pleasure of Tri Force Heroes; I loved dressing Link up in both practical and outlandish digs, and they imbued a feeling of customization that I’d be welcome to see more of in future Zelda games. …For the best time with Tri Force Heroes, I strongly recommend gathering two buddies in the same room.”

Stella Glow

Price: Launch Edition $49.99
From our review:

“Succinctly summarizing Stella Glow has proven surprisingly difficult. In many ways it feels like your average JRPG strategy game, and in some places it even stumbles over itself with attempts at being cute or sexy. However, there are also enough strong points that really shine through and make the game stand out from the crowd, even if its best features are reminiscent of ideas from more noteworthy titles. Regardless, the sum of Stella Glow‘s parts is a game that is easy to recommend to dedicated fans of the genre and is worth a consideration from those of you looking for a JRPG or strategy game at the moment. Yes, you might come across a few bumps, but the road eventually does even out and lead to what is ultimately a satisfying game.”

Which 3DS games did you purchase this year that you think should be added to our list? Share in the comments!

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