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First Impressions: 3DS Video Round-Up

Posted by James Newton

Eyes-on with a whole lot of titles

Regrettably not all the best-looking titles at the Discover 3DS event were available to play, with many games only visible in rolling footage. We spent plenty of time touring the cinematic areas of the events in Europe and New York to see how some of the non-playable games were shaping up.

One of the best-looking titles on display was undoubtedly Paper Mario, which made excellent use of the 3D effect to create a number of nicely layered stages. Bizarrely, for a game based on totally flat characters, it benefited tremendously from the transition into three dimensions: levels looked to have real depth, and the crisp resolution kept the detail level high. The video showed Mario making his way through grass, fire and ice levels, with a dash of simple battling in there too, but very little genuinely new was shown. Still, this is definitely one to keep your eye on as it develops.

Next up was video footage of Animal Crossing, which displayed a rather pleasing rounded style with lots of shaders to give the world a glossy look, almost as though the characters were figurines. A short rolling video showed a little of the outside world, with what looked like rose bushes populating the world alongside the usual fruit trees and flowers. A visual step above the Wii outing Animal Crossing: City Folk, player characters look taller, and the 3D effect works exceptionally well, as it does with most slower games – the "rolling log" effect is still in place but less pronounced, letting you see farther into the distance, it seemed. Animal Crossing was already on our most anticipated list for 3DS, and although the series may only make incremental improvements with each release it's still many players' idea of a good way to spend your gaming time.

Mario Kart was present in the same video we saw last year at E3 and the London event, but still looked crisp and clear here, with a fast frame rate and plenty of close-up and far-off detail to catch the eye. This is one title we would have loved to have played, but regrettably not.

Tecmo Koei's Samurai Warriors: Chronicles was only displaying the game's rendered intro, but it looked absolutely fantastic: high-quality compression, over-the-top action and plenty of spectacle. If the game itself can live up to this introduction video, it'll do very well indeed.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was, like Mario Kart, only present in the same video Konami revealed six months ago. It still looks great but we're ready to see something new now, Konami.

Star Fox 64 3D looked good: sharper than the original, it's ideally suited to 3D with its into-the-screen action but the video here was too short to get a good impression for how this N64 classic (known as Lylat Wars in Europe) will fare in the transition to a handheld system.

Lastly we cast our eyes over the Eurosport presentation, which showed a series of clips from various sports in glorious 3D. With the prohibitive cost of 3DTVs and receivers Nintendo is obviously hoping to secure a few sports fans by hooking up with Eurosport to bring major events to the machine via SpotPass. The presentation was excellent – detailed and engaging, though the provider will need to tailor its content to the smaller screen as viewing statistics and tickers on the 3DS's screen could be a little strenuous on the eye. Like the machine's 3D movie capabilities, this is something that Nintendo is cautious to reveal too much about, but could prove to be a real ace up its sleeve.

Like the games available to play, the videos on show were a mixed bag: seeing Paper Mario and Animal Crossing in motion should be enough to stir up the interest of even those gamers who've long since sworn off the series, but some titles were notable by their absence. Two of the world's biggest publishing powers, EA and Ubisoft, didn't have a single video on display between them, though they did have several titles dotted about the play areas.

There were also no 3D movies on display, an odd omission when you consider we saw Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and several specially-shot clips six months ago, though this is more likely to be due to licensing negotiations than any backtracking on Nintendo's part.

Stay tuned for more 3DS impressions in the coming days.

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User Comments (25)

Yasume

#2

Yasume said:

Mario Kart and Paper Mario are the only ones I'm interested in. Not getting a 3DS until one of them comes out.

Cipher

#3

Cipher said:

With the amount that Konami's got on their plate, I'm not surprised there wasn't anything new for Metal Gear Solid. Same goes for Mario Kart, and I very much doubt we'll see either of them launch this year.

DarkLloyd

#4

DarkLloyd said:

this is my chance to get every game since launch before they pile up over the years lol

J-Forest-Esq

#5

J-Forest-Esq said:

Paper Mario, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing (assuming it's brings something new to the table), Metal Gear Solid and Star Fox for me please. So...that's basically everything here apart from the Samurai one.

skywake

#7

skywake said:

I hope the 3DS eShop has trailers of some of these games in 3D fairly soon after launch. As much as these sort of descriptions and the 2D over-the-shoulder videos on youtube help... I really want to see how well these games work in 3D for myself.

TrueWiiMaster

#8

TrueWiiMaster said:

I can't wait for a real, new Paper Mario. The Wii game was okay, but it didn't live up to the high Paper Mario standards, in my opinion (plus, I want turn-based battles back, and it looks like my wish has been granted).
Animal Crossing looks great! I just hope they take advantage of the many lost opportunities the Wii game missed. With 3D on its side, it has so much potential to be the best Animal Crossing yet.

Punny

#9

Punny said:

I'm surprised that there isn't more Mario Kart information, or any Mario information for the 3DS for that matter! Nintendo usually gives Mario the star treatment! Perhaps they're planning something big for Mario's 3DS debut...

These games are looking as good as ever. Hopefully, they will be as amazing as they look right now. :)

SuperLink

#11

SuperLink said:

I agree with PunnyGuy fully. Mario is sure to get some kind of spectacular.........something.....for this revolutionary system!

warioswoods

#12

warioswoods said:

RE: Paper Mario

Bizarrely, for a game based on totally flat characters, it benefited tremendously from the transition into three dimensions...

Not surprising at all; Paper Mario may have 2D characters, but it has always based its visual style around the look of a diorama in a shoebox, forwhich 3D depth will be a perfect match. I only wish it were a day 1 launch title, because I expect it to show off the beauty of 3D better than any other currently announced title.

komicturtle

#14

komicturtle said:

I hope they bring Kirby's Adventure to 3DS.. Y'know, the one that was supposed to come out on Gamecube. It's been 5-6 years since I've waited for new information. They won't say it's officially canceled, so I wonder if they moved it to the 3DS this time (It went from GCN, to Wii).

And I wonder if they're going to change the name completely since there's already a Kirby's Adventure for NES- yeah, they will :P

Anyhow, I really want Paper Mario. Need more information on Animal Crossing. Love the series, but there are so many things they can do with it. Like, that creating your own furniture feature that was SUPPOSED to be on Wii.

Xiao_Pai

#15

Xiao_Pai said:

Paper Mario and Mario Kart for me...but then again since my sister may get Nintendogs, I might give that game another chance for me...dunno, maybe this one will be more fun.

eddypikachu

#16

eddypikachu said:

I have some Ideas for some 3DS games like new super mario bros 3DS shake the system to use the propeller suit, kirby tilt n tumble for the 3DS great use of the gyroscope, Ill put write down some more if I can think of anymore

LuWiiGi

#17

LuWiiGi said:

From the videos I've seen, Paper Mario looks incredible. Can't wait to play it. Thanks for the impressions James. :)

LunarJade

#20

LunarJade said:

Out of the titles mentioned above I'm looking forward to Mario Kart, Paper Mario, and Animal Crossing.
Mario Kart has always been a fun game. This will also be the first time I'll end up owning a system that can play a Paper Mario game so I'm pretty excited about that one.
I enjoyed Animal Crossing on the DS but I'm looking forward to it (I'm assuming it would use it) using the streetpass feature.
I know for some people that streetpass might not be a great feature but I go to about five anime conventions a year and bringing along your handhelds for the lineups and the handheld gaming lounges are something a lot of people do.

Jonisme

#21

Jonisme said:

Can't wait for the next 3D mario game (Super Mario Galaxy) on the 3DS playing with actual 3D will make things so much easier! (Such as hitting that stupid question mark block)

Arcanum

#23

Arcanum said:

Exactly what @Drewciffer said!
Super Mario Galaxy 3DS <--would be hawt.
But I'm still wishing that luigi's mansion 3DS will come before any Mario game.....Luigi needs some attention!!

Froggievilleus

#24

Froggievilleus said:

Animal Crossing is the reason why I have preordered my 3DS. I am a big fan of the series (save for the Wii version). I loved the Cube version and bought the DS version on day 1 and have only missed 2 days of visiting my town. When the official date is announced, my preorder will be placed. :)

Robo-goose

#25

Robo-goose said:

Oh, man. That Animal Crossing 3DS is looking good.
If that game isn't bundled with the 3DS by next year, then I will be greatly disappointed.

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