News Article

Talking Point: How 3DS Can Thrive at E3

Posted by Zach Kaplan

How Nintendo can do it.

Kid Icarus: Uprising bears almost no resemblance to its original formula, a fact that few take fault with as few hold onto it with such fondness as Super Mario or Legend of Zelda. Because of this, it cannot be the next Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time – but it can be something altogether different. Because, more or less, Kid Icarus is a new IP. All we've seen of it since the original NES release and its Game Boy sequel so long ago are Pit's reappearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If Uprising fleshes out his world in the same way that 64 did for Mario, it could be a flagship title for the 3DS, and Pit could become the console's mascot. We've already seen that he'll be welcomed back fondly, and without a major title on another current console, not to mention the inherent connotations of a small thing soaring to great heights, the 3DS could become the Pit system, giving the 3DS a new feel and appeal for gamers new to the table who have yet to draw a dramatic distinction between the platform and its 2D predecessor.

Nintendo should make Kid Icarus: Uprising into the title it deserves to be, and it needs to show this off at E3 to get gamers to associate 3DS with a distinct personality, one that Pit could easily encompass.

Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart, Paper Mario and even Super Mario won't be the next Mario 64 either; we saw in Super Mario Sunshine what messing around with an established good thing can do to a game's reception, and, to varying degrees, these series depend on minor evolutions from game to game. If they follow this formula here, it will be, in some cases more than others, to their detriment. Nintendo has already said that it's planning new elements for Mario Kart 3DS, and hopefully will do the same for the rest. They can't be the next Super Mario 64 because, in gameplay terms, 64 was not the successor to Super Mario World – New Super Mario Bros. was. Instead of adding a water pack or a second driver, these games need to change the formula at its core, but subtly so, enough to keep long-time fans on board and maintain their interest, the way that Mario Kart 64 evolved from Super Mario Kart. Nintendo should make these titles improve upon its franchises in elemental ways that make them feel fresh and inventive. No gimmicks, but instead, something truly special.

There are some franchises for which Nintendo would risk alienating its core audiences by making the drastic and revolutionary changes that a new Super Mario 64 would. For these, Nintendo needs to remember what made them fun and appealing to begin with and build upon it in ways that only the 3DS can.

But Nintendo still needs a Super Mario 64, even if none of the above titles could fit the part. However, there is something that might fit perfectly. It's not unthinkable; it might even be likely, because so few would see it coming.

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User Comments (52)



G-MaxiMillion said:

The 3DS doesn't only need more games to have it improvised, the system itselff needs to get bigger. This includes more updates than contain new and cool features that the users will get blasten away with. I certainly hope Nintendo is planning to show us an example of this for the update 7 June, so that not only the eShop and the Browser will fill your blank parts for the 3DS now, but the features they reffered added that are useful and make the system advanced by itself.



StarDust4Ever said:

I really don't think that a jump of the magnitude of Mario World -> 64 or 2D Zelda -> Ocarina of Time can be achieved currently. The NES, N64, and Wii have all made revolutionary changes to the way we perceive games. For the NES, it was the transition from the blocky rectangles of the Atari 2600 to sprite-based graphics that mimicked arcade machines, as well as the transition from joystick to gamepad.The SNES improved on the NES with basically the same formula. The N64 added 3D realism to games by adding perspective and 3D environments. It also added the analog thumbstick. Game Cube merely improved on this formula. For the Wii, we got a revolutionary new control method that doesn't need explaining. They new what they were doing when they called it "Revolution". Project Cafe or Wii2 or whatever-you call-it will be a Wii improvement like the previous SNES and Game Cube, hopefully with HD this time around.

Likewise for handhelds, the Gameboy was a huge step forward from the handheld LCD games popularised in the 80s. Game boy Color and Gameboy Advance were merely graphical improvements to the original Game Boy. The DS was truly amazing with the additions of the touch screen controls and dual screens, which created a revolution with control schemes. Remember, the DS had a touchscreen long before Apple's iPhone and iPod touch came out. The 3DS is basically a reinvention of the original DS concept, aka an "enhancement" just like the Game Boy Color and Advance were to the Game Boy series. The stereoscopic 3D is a wonderful experience, but it is a non-essential element to the games themselves.Likewise, it's not a deal-breaker if you are one of the few who cannot view 3D images.



JoeDiddley said:

The fact that you can now see depth in a 3d universe isn't going to be as game changing as Mario 64.
Maybe the 3DS's secret weapon is augmented reality. Clever use of this to refresh an old IP or to create a new one could potentially be revolutionary for how we perceive games. I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned & the focus is still only on 3ee Dee.



daznsaz said:

whatever they do some people will love and some wont there the creators at the end of the day im guessing ill be more than happy with whatever is up there sleeves but brand new invention games would be good to boot



Hardy83 said:

I think thriving is not something they should focus on right now.

I think in many peoples eyes, Nintendo needs to prove the 3DS is a viable platform to own. Right now many people see it as a waste of time aside from the AR stuff.

Prove to people a reason to buy the system first, then work on letting it thrive.
This is usually done at LAUNCH but I guess Nintendo screwed that up.

I have faith that they will prove the 3DS worth, but unfortunately it seems that worth won't be until this holiday.



Slapshot said:

Great article Zach, and you and I think very much alike. As much as I love replaying old Nintendo titles, in many ways after playing basically the same games with small changes over and over for over 20 years, it is just starting to get a bit stale. Nintendo does need to drop a fresh IP on the market, and relive old franchises too.

Mario 64 is my favorite Mario title in the entire franchise. It is just so perfect in nearly every way. It honestly captured everything that made the 2D games so endlessly fun, but somehow put them into a 3D environment and was still able to retain the perfect platforming feel. I still play through the game once a year, and it holds up so well, even to todays tough standards.

I think 3DS is the perfect system for Nintendo to recapture gamers hearts, old and new alike. Bringing back Pilotwings was a real treat, and WaveRace and 1080 both need to follow suite. Punch-Out! for Wii is great, but the gameplay would be much better suited for a handheld and a 3D iteration would be a guaranteed success. Just as a handheld version of the Super Smash Bros franchise, which fans have been screaming for years for.

DSiWare should be more than what it is! Why didn't Nintendo bring what fans wanted to the service boggles my mind? Where is our new 2D Nintendo games in all their 8-bit glory that we dreamed about? It doesn't exist! Hopefully 3DSWare will change that, and we will get our new old-school platformers in 3D.

Revamping classics is a great thing in my opinion. Sony has had great success with doing just this with God of War, Sly Cooper, etc., and it gives gamers a chance to relive these timeless classics, but with better visuals and a few tweaks here and there to make them perform better. Updating Ocarina of Time and Starfox is fantastic, and hopefully Majoras Mask and a few other updated classics make the jump to 3DS as well. I do have one issue with this though, and that is the price. Sony prices their collections at $40 instead of the $60 norm for retail titles, so why isn't Nintendo bringing these games out for $30 instead of the $40 for new titles? They aren't spending years building a new game for us, so why should we pay full price for the games like they are?



TKOWL said:

I wanna see more than a bunch of remakes, I wanna see good new franchises.



Bass_X0 said:

I wanna see more than a bunch of remakes

Good new games take time to develop. Remakes take considerably less time.



NintyMan said:

This was a great read, and I completely agree with all it said. Nintendo does need to let its creative juices flow, and it certainly gives you a good feeling of imagination of how Nintendo would do just that. Although I was only a little kid back in the 90's, I know that the leap between the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 was dramatic. I'm sure that if I was a little older when Mario 64 came out, I would've been even more amazed about the new technology of the time then when I was younger.

I'm confidant that Kid Icarus: Uprising will be everything we hope for it to be. Right now it might look like only a hybrid of on-rail shooting and ground levels, but it must be deeper than that. If there's full voice-acting and beautiful visuals, it has to be something special. I agree that this game is somewhat like a new IP since Kid Icarus hasn't been around for many years, so it'll be like a comeback for the new generation to experience. I have been a little disappointed about it not being a launch title or even being close to launch, but I realize that it's likely because Sakurai and his Project Sora team is trying to make it as best as it can possibly be, and I'm all for that. You have to take into account too that we've only seen the tip of the iceberg of all Kid Icarus: Uprising has in store. We only know about the game from a few brief trailers after all. Pit is absolutely the mascot of the Nintendo 3DS in my eyes.

Now, as far as Mario Kart 3DS, it does need to be something new other than a redone Mario Kart Wii. That game introduced bikes and tricks, but they need to do something else this time that wouldn't make the new game unfair to players. E3 will have to show us what it'll be.

But even with this 3DS discussion, I think the revealing of the Wii's Successor will make the most thunder. The 3DS will likely have a whole bunch of new games announced for it like it was last year, but the biggest talk around here will be the successor. That's the real question, will the 3DS have just as big a show as Project Cafe?



JumpmanZ said:

The games I'm most excited for are Kid Icarus: Uprising (which definitely should've been a launch title), Paper Mario 3D (because I love the series (plus chomp and pokey partners have been rumored)), and a Super Mario Bros. title that lets you take a 3D picture, and makes it into a level. You then platform across your desk and try to reach the flag (my personal idea that I've had since the 3DS came out).



zionich said:

Monster Hunter 3DS =) As im sure everyone knows, it all comes down to good games.



Glade said:

When I first saw info on the 3ds it was quite a while, probably about 9-11 months ago. then after watching the trailer for KIU on david's blog I was like, this is what we need. A fresh coat of paint on an old series. I dunno, maybe it was the fact that I played as Pit so much in SSBB but he really grew on me.. Then When I heard that he was in the launch line up I was elated but when that time period came around there was noKI Nevertheless we know it is coming out this year and the official site has been set up just yestarday. OH and yeah MH3DS. that would be a smash hit. Like the page for it on FB



TrainerOrange said:

The "recapture the magic of the Nintendo 64 era" part is interesting because I always thought of N64 as the beginning of the dark times for Nintendo. They missed the boat on disc based storage and PlayStation took over.



armoredghor said:

I know what you mean. Another Super Mario 64 would be amazing but I doubt that we'll ever reach that viewpoint of a whole new world again. They brought real world movement into a game. And now motion control. Now they can only bring scents, sights(graphics as always), 3D sound, and possibly simulated textures. Anything further will be abstract and many people will go for that but it won't move the whole market to a new position.



Ichiban said:

If Smash Bros. 3D isnt announced (with online play) then I'll be fully convinced that Nintendo are smoking crack



FonistofCruxis said:

I doubt nintendo will be able to creat the same sort of impact they made with Ocarina of time or Super Mario 64 but it would be interesting to see what new IPs they could bring. Also, I think nintendo should be giving their new wii IP, Pandora's tower more attention.
@Meowgravy A new smash bros. would be a much better announcement for the wii successor, IMO as smash bros. games are some of the best for local multi-player and that would be easier on a home console.



Hokori said:

I dont want Remake after Remake, but I would like remakes of Sony only or sony/microsoft only games on a Nintendo platform sometime



FonistofCruxis said:

@Otak I agree, I think that most of the remakes should be of games that either weren't originally on nintendo consoles or weren't originally localised in all reigons.



Marvelousmoo said:

They focused too much on the technology and not enough on what people would be playing on it.



Raptor78 said:

I dont mind remakes that have been built from the ground up with the new hardware in mind but not too bothered about ports that have just been tweeked for the 3DS.
Sometimes going back to play some classic games in their original format can sometimes be plain ugly or the controls dont work how they used to be because we have moved on and are used to better controls/presentation. This can make great classic games seem terrible by todays standards, but a ground up reworking can give people a chance to play that never played it before without judging it by todays standards. Hopefully OOT will prove this as Nintendo seem to have put a lot of effort into restoring this classic. I have it on VC but when you look at it at the side of Twilight Princess it makes you a little sad inside.



default12345 said:

I want to see a Super Mario 64 esque title for Project Cafe but with an incredible level of detail realism. Water that reacts like water. Rivers, shores with waves, massive lakes. Grass with individual flowing blades. Massive trees, hundreds of branches with thousands of leaves. I want to spend my time staring at the beauty of the world, playing with the physics an sliding down lush green hills in the sun before I even realise that there is an objective. When SM64 launched I could spend hours outside of Peach's castle before even thinking about completing a level.



Radixxs said:

Nice read. I believe the 3D technology of the 3DS is something that can be used to quite literally add another dimension to gaming. The possibilities for the 3DS are one of the few things that still excites me about the video game industry, what with the constant production of stale, lifeless sequels and FPS's. I look to Metal Gear Solid as a game to really look forward to, and I hope the technology will be utilized to its full potential. I can imagine peaking around a wall, a tree, whatever it may be, using the gyroscope and feeling as if the world never ends, a sense only given by the 3DS's 3D. I truly believe that Nintendo will produce a game that shows not only the potential of the 3DS, but shows what the 3DS and the 3D technology can do in terms of gameplay and a completely new experience.



k8sMum said:

the best thing nintendo can do to promote the 3DS, is to attract adult buyers. in today's economy, that means a price drop. i know a number of people who would love to get on board (myself included) but who cannot justify paying $250 when we have DS Lites/DSi's.



shinobi88 said:

Here's my list of how 3DS can rock E3:

  1. Two words: Metroid Prime 3DS...ok, 3 words
  2. 3DS virtual console support we really want: GBA, SNES, and Genesis
  3. A huge list of 3DSWare games that aren't just clocks or puzzles
  4. 1st gameplay videos and details of Batman, Contra, and Ninja Gaiden

I also wanted to tell y'all about a neat and easy to navigate new site I found called 3DS Focus. It doesn't go into a lot of detail in the articles, but it does get 3DS news out quicker than any other site I've found. I use it to compliment this site. Go there to check for news and then come here to get more meat to the story and read a lot of comments



Picola said:

Hey all, i'm new here. Just wanted to add my twopenneth. I love my 3DS, and there are a couple of really fantastic games (SFIV is amazing, Pilotwings very enjoyable while it lasted and Ghost Recon is recommended), but there really isn't a killer app yet. I remember in the months prior to the 3DS being released there were so many good games announced, and it is a real shame Ocarina, Star Fox, Resi Merc and Rev, Kid Icarus, Metal Gear etc are taking so long to join the line up. The slowish sales so far are simply due to the fact that there are not enough good games yet to get people to want to buy one. As for E3 - more details (and release date!!!) for the new Mario 3D platformer.



komicturtle said:

Rather have a remake of a game now than to wait for a new one later without a remake to tide me over.

Just sayin'.

I'd like to see Kirby make a jump to a full 3D world in the same way Mario did. So much potential. So much...

Kirby AirRide gave me a very tiny small taste of it but I know it could be SO much better (obviously) and much more ambitious.



daznsaz said:

hello picola yea ghost recon was smart id recommend doa if you dont have it not usually heavily into fighters but that ones good



triforceofcourage said:

I'm all for the remakes and continuations of great games, but it's definately true. There needs to be a new IP, on that can truely be called a must have game. Something that can bring the system the entertainment it deserves. Something we've never ever seen before.

btw, @komicturtle YES! The kirby series should and totaly could make that jump. (but we still need something entirely new.)



Wisconsin1 said:

Resident Evil fan here, just give me the 2 RE games within the first year along with some Tom Clancy games and I will be happy with picking up a few remakes...



motang said:

3DS is an awesome system, it might not have much to offer at the moment, but it has great potential and I am not even for a minute regretting picking it up on launch day.



Skotski said:

Actually, if you looked into the history of disc gaming: They WERE developing disc gaming with Sony, but Sony had done several fineprint tricks in their contract with Nintendo that actually gave them full rights to the disc-technology... that contract had given them full rights to the tech, and the Sony Playstation was born.
;D Just a little background info for ya~



BattleBorn said:

Yeah... Nintendo has a ton of work to do if they want the 3DS to be a respectable console. The launch lineup wasn't arguable anything, it was a complete embarrassment.

Also, someone brought up Sony's HD collections to justify Nintendo's incessant rehashing of nostalgia; except Sony's collections actually create some value. Two/three classic games with revamped HD graphics for $30-$40 dollars... versus one classic game with hardly any graphical improvement and shoddy 3D effects for $40 dollars?



grumblebuzzz said:

I feel like the only way Nintendo can truly change the face of gaming as they did with Nintendo 64 is through augmented reality; everything else has been done.



shinobi88 said:

3D will be pretty mind blowing in Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid. But augmented reality has the most potential. I don't even know if this is possible: A game set in a lush alien environment like the movie Avatar. And when u held the system to the right of you, the camera moved w/ you and it showed you the plants to the side. And when you held the system above your head the camera moved w/ you and you saw a giant bird beast flying high above you. Anywhere you moved the 3DS, the camera would show you the game world from that perspective. You would truly be inside the game world. And then a 20 foot tiger jumps out at you from behind a bush in 3D. Now THAT would blow everyone's mind. Even more than Super Mario 64.



darklinkinfinite said:

Honestly, for all its faults, and trust me, I realize the 3DS has many, I don't think the launch lineup was any better or worse than Nintendo's prior launches.

No the launch games weren't amazing but people say that if the DS' launch lineup was glowing. Hell, the DS' launch lineup in North America consisted of Asphalt Urban GT, Feel the Magic, Madden 2005, Ping Pals, Ridge Racer, Spider-Man 2, Sprung, Mario 64 DS, Urbz, and Tiger Woods. How many of those are worth buying?

The 3DS had 5 must-have games according to NintendoLife's buyer's guide. That alone is over half of the DS' launch lineup. NintendoLife goes on to name another 6 games as Worth Playing. That's more games worth playing on the console than the entire launch lineup of the DS.

Sure the DS also included the Metroid Prime Hunters demo but the 3DS also includes Face Raiders, Find Mii, and the AR Games. Yes the 3DS' launch could have been better. Every system launch can be better but how many system launches can you remember having 11 games worth playing?



MeloMan said:

@3 Man, spot on as that's EXACTLY how Nintendo evolves.

In my own thoughts on this article, I definitely agree the big N needs to come up with a new IP and new ways to play old franchises. My only discrepancy is that, 3D in itself is a gimmick-turning-mainstream concept that gives a a new perspective of interaction visually. Applying this to the 3DS, "3D" does nothing for gameplay, but gives us a new way to interact "with" the gameplay, so I think it to be unfair to say this is the lead-up to a-new-way-to-play. I think it's essential to have the "what if this was in 3D?" games come forth to showcase how these REALLY should look in 3D, and hopefully soon, we will get new concepts in 3D that aren't just licks of paint. Time will tell...



Ichiban said:

Smash Bros 3D dammit! Cafe be damned! I wanna be able to play wi-fi battles at work on my 3DS!
Or perhaps a new Smash Bros for both the 3DS & the Cafe with cross game features (like sony's NPG/ps3)
I'd love to see the glorious return of Waverace on the Cafe. (Forget the gag-worthy Gamecube sequel) complete with insane water physics & a more racing focus, not tricks!
Depending of how Pandora's Tower turns out, I wouldnt mind seeing it becoming a fully fledged series on Cafe/3DS. Hopefully PT is the first of a few new IP's from Nintendo:)
Also got a feeling that we could see Pikmin 3 on Cafe with touchscreen controls...



Expa0 said:

Remove those damned region locks! But since that's not going to happen, Konami should announce a new Metroidvania and Nintendo should also announce the third of the 5th gen pokemon games, so I can finally get it. And of course a new F-Zero, (Non-Remake) Fire Emblem and Advance Wars would be nice. I would also appreciate a new non-Square-JRPG. But, really knowing Nintendo of today were not going to get jack****.



TingLz said:

I'm surprised you didn't mention AR in depth. That could be a neat idea if Nintendo totally capitalizes on it



Glade said:

Never regretted getting my 3DS since though I've been annoyed with the delays and the fact that the 'Spacing out of some games to prevent a drought' in fact has created a drought. Sure DOA is coming out and OoT next month but seriously, no games throughout April at all and only about 3 or 4 in May. BIG question. Where is KIU???? I've been waiting since forever. Luckily Face raiders, AR and the 3D photography have been keeping me busy. It's more than Just a game y'know



TheGreenSpiny said:

This was an interesting read, nut it was heavily flawed. There can NEVER be another Mario 64, EVER. While it's still an awesome game that holds up really well (but then again what Nintendo game doesn't?), it was also very much a product of it's time. We can't be wowed like that again, because that was the first 3D game that showed the world what 3D gaming was all about. Most games of that time were 2.5D or simply took an existing genre such as racing, and took it from Mode7 fake 3D, to real 3D. In the same way that we can never be wowed like we were the first time we played GoldenEye. That game was light years ahead of it's time, and it's still better in many respects than most FPS, but the wow factor can never be experienced again. I sometimes see flashes of brilliance in more recent games but either the concepts are never fully utilised of don't catch on with the general gaming public.



CowLaunch said:

Don't try too much at once, like the 3D visuals and gyro controls for Starfox, granted you can turn them off, but the combination still sounds terrible. Nintendo need to focus on new game ideas rather than trying to cram in as maybe gimmicks as possible (3D visuals is a fantastic gimmick, but it still is a gimmick)



Token_Girl said:

Well written article. I really think AR could be the wave of the future, though in these, still formative stages, you need a simple, yet well polished and fleshed out, hook for it to work - think the original SMB back in the day. Also, I'm wondering how useful it AR really be on a portable device. I can't be flailing around with my DS on the subway.

That being said, portables don't need to be "revolutionary." Just give me some solid, fun games (I'd love to see new IPs too), and I'll be happy. The grandest and most revolutionary experiences have been in the home console medium for the most part.

That sort of happened with the DS launch too with every game forced to shoehorn in touch screen controls to demonstrate it was a viable control method. After the initial experimentation phase, devs learned when touch screen controls worked best and how to make intuitive control schemes. At least everything with the 3DS right now is optional, so if an experiment doesn't quite work, you can always fall back on your trusty buttons. You can choose which makes a game more fun for you - 3D or motion controls. Unfortunately, given the nature of portable devices, you can't have both.



GreenInferno said:

They've been trying to install new IPs, but the constant requests for old remakes and resurrections inevitably delays these. I only hope that the people asking for OoT and Pit etc. aren't the ones asking for new IPs as well.



Bass_X0 said:

We've not had a Kid Icarus game for years now. Pit gets a pass because he's been absent so long. I now want some more heroes of the 1980s that haven't gotten modern games?

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