Two Weeks of Owning a Nintendo 3DS

I’ve been trying to post more for a few weeks now, but between being unable to get myself to finish my previous Banjo-Tooie article (so, in exactly the same way it was difficult to fucking finish the game in the first place) and what I’m writing about today, it’s pretty understandable. I’ve had a lot of random ideas for articles the past few weeks and a couple rough drafts out there, but this one couldn’t wait.

James Dean re-enacting how I felt after beating BT.
James Dean re-enacting how I felt after beating BT.

Ever try writing about something, and you have so much to say about it that your first draft turns into a pile of word vomit? Eventually you re-read it and entire sentences trail off and new ones start, and you realize you might actually be insane. This is how every attempt has gone at writing about my favorite new thing – my Nintendo 3DS.

I impulse bought the thing 2 weeks ago [at the time of this writing], and when I say I impulse bought it, I mean that on some random Tuesday morning I said “maybe I should look into buying a 3DS,” and then around 6pm I was riding my motorcycle with a backpack filled with old games and controllers to trade-in for a used 3DS. Got me about $40 towards store credit which essentially got me a used copy of Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D for free. I was pleased.

And here she is!
And here she is!

I decided upon an original 3dS as the XL seemed insanely huge to carry around with me. As I spend a decent amount of time out of my week sitting on a transit bus getting to and from the office, I felt carrying something that’s larger than my pocket would not be practical, and although my larger hands seem to straddle the thing a little awkwardly at times, but I’m very happy with my decision.

This thing has become so prominent in my day-to-day that I needed to get this article written at some point just to get this all out there. So here are some thoughts on my experience so far!

General Usage and Comfort

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a grown-ass man with grown-ass hands and this thing was made for kids – that much I realized. But I must say, a little trial and error and I think I like the original size just swell. No regrets on the size – if I ever decide to upgrade to the New Nintendo 3DS, maybe I’ll go XL, but that’s far off in the horizon.

I owned a Nintendo DS Lite and I was a big fan of the size and shape, and the 3DS doesn’t stray far from those dimensions. Packaged with an extendable baton-style stylus and you’re all set. The screens are a great size in my opinion and just person for on-the-go gaming.

The eShop

I’ll be honest – I think Nintendo needs to work on its storefronts. They just seem a little.. fluffy. That’s definitely not the right word. But they seem to have a lot of overhead, load slowly, and do not present information in a way that anyone over 12 wants to look at. Again, this is just personal opinion but I think the slowness of loading the store is still on par with loading the store on the Wii. What’s up with that?

And Nintendo, when I download a demo, I don’t mind seeing fancy things like download speeds, estimated time remaining, etc. You know, all those convenient things that everyone likes to see. Watching an animation of presents falling into a square doesn’t really convey good information about, say, how long I’m supposed to expect to sit still while things happen.

That being said, the game prices on the eShop are a little higher, but then again the prices for 3DS games seem to be all over the place. Some games are $20 used, and Tomodachi Life is $40 everywhere you look, but $35 on the eShop. For the life of me I can’t figure out what’s going on with the prices but learning when to buy is part of owning a new console.

The 3D Mode (that you can TOGGLE!)

I gotta say, a few weeks back I wrote a “friendly rant” about Nintendo and how all of their consoles have some gimmick attached to them. Well I think we finally hit a goldmine here, Nintendo, and while you have the sales record to prove it, the Wii also sold well, and we both know how I can’t stand using that thing for certain types of games.

The first time I tried playing in 3D, I got a little dizzy, but here’s the trick I learned – you need to treat the screen as if it goes out the back of the device, as if you are an audience member who is looking through the fourth wall. Make sense? Probably not, but this allowed me to finally get my eyes to settle right.

I’ll come right out and say that when 3D TVs and 3D movie remakes and all that sensationalist shit was everywhere, I was staunchly anti-3D. I truly hated hearing about it because let’s be honest, anything trendy is a money grab, sucking the life out of what used to be cool. This is basically how I felt about the 3DS initially.

Pictured: Things that aren't necessary.
Pictured: Things that aren’t necessary.

All that being said, on the 3DS, games look terrific in 3D and I was very surprised and beyond excited when my expectations on the 3D mode were blown out of the water, and now I spend probably 85% of the time in 3D mode. It’s just too cool not to use, with the other 15% being only for the purpose of conserving battery life. The way that some games use it on 2D levels (I think they call it 2D-3D in the ‘biz) is beautiful and innovative. The motion controls work extremely well together with it. Just so many huge points here, Nintendo. Fuckin’ bravo.

Now I’m hearing more about the New 3DS and how it has retinal tracking so the 3D adjusts automatically? Jesus H. Christ people, the future isn’t all dog shit!

StreetPass

This has got to be one of my favorite things ever. I don’t know if another handheld has tried this before, but I absolutely love how well Nintendo seems to have harnessed this. First of all, it works so well, and I love how it integrates differently into each game, depending on what you have installed, of course.

And I'll be damned, it actually works like that.
And I’ll be damned, it actually works like that.

A few days after I picked up the 3DS I went to the Nintendo Store, not having found a single StreetPass, and feeling let out. I came out of there with 25 new connections and I was STOKED. What does it mean? Who knows! Why is it insisting I play games with these people? Who cares! There was a whole other world to explore within the Mii Plaza and the more I play around with it, the more I love it.

The Games

I want to save talk about specific games for a future article, especially since my experience is a little limited only having owned the thing for 2 weeks, but I feel this weird pressure to play every single game on this console. Or at least know about which ones I want, and to prioritize them accordingly. I research them all the damn time for some reason; it’s become a weird secret obsession where I need to suck up all the data I can about it, or risk missing out. I mean, shit, it’s not like they’re going anywhere. If anything, they’re just getting cheaper anyway!

I’ve had a blast with the games I’ve played so far, which include Super Mario 3D Land, Majora’s Mask 3D, and a bunch more including some Indie games downloaded off the eShop. But we’ll save that for another day – the game selection for this system though is just terrific and I can’t wait to see what else is in the pipeline.

Although let me just say, if they announce a first-person Metroid game I might quit my job and just work on building a time machine to get it sooner. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Anyway, if you’re an easily-nostalgia-triggered male in his late 20s who enjoys a good gaming session and has a keen taste for retro stuff, I think you will absolutely love this system. There is something for everyone, whether you’re a third person shooter kind of person, into platformers, or you need RPGs that take the average life span of a small mammal to beat. Like fuckin’ Nike: Just do it.

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