Nintendo's decision to drop the price of 3DS has reignited interest in the console, but many owners blame the machine's fortunes on a lack of quality software available. These gamers won't have been fully reassured by Nintendo's championing of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7: while set to be among the best games on the machine, they're three and four months away respectively. What is there to play before then?
Here are some of our picks of the best 3DS new releases on the way before Mario jumps in this Christmas. As always, bear in mind release dates can change, so don't shout at us if any games are pushed back to make way for Mario.
13th September (North America) / To Be Confirmed (rest of world)
The classic WiiWare series comes alive in 3D with this compilation of all six stellar retro-themed outings for CommanderVideo. It might lack the bonus content of Wii disc release BIT.TRIP COMPLETE, but it's got all the quality and all in 3D. We played the game in June, and our BIT.TRIP SAGA First Impressions are available for all to see.
8th November (North America) / 11th November (Europe)
You might already know the game back-to-front, but the promise of extra content and improvements might entice you to dive into the cave once more. If you haven't played Cave Story before, this should be high up your list. Read our Cave Story 3D preview for more.
9th September (North America) / 9th September (Europe)
Fox McCloud and friends jump back into the Arwing to defend the Lylat system again, this time with enhanced graphics, optional gyrometer controls and local multiplayer too. It might not have quite the same broad appeal as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, but it has a lot more talking animals so it gets a thumbs-up from us. We'll have a review before launch.
24th October (North America) / TBC (rest of world)
A sequel of sorts of WiiWare scrapper Pokémon Rumble, this sees wind-up toys bashing each other to bits. Featuring monsters from the recent Pokémon Black & White this might be your only look at Pokémon for quite a while. StreetPass features also let you communicate, battle and trade with nearby warriors while your 3DS is closed, with local co-op play included too for a different spin on the classic series.
23rd August (North America) / TBC (rest of world)
To say 'there's nothing like Shin Megami Tensei on 3DS' is like saying 'oxygen is quite important'. Demons have crossed over into modern day Tokyo, and it's up to your team to take them down in a blend of strategy and RPG. DS owners may have played the game already, but this 3DS reincarnation adds fully-voiced cutscenes to a game currently sitting pretty on a Metascore of 84. It might be a long wait for another RPG quite so critically acclaimed.
Of course, these are just our picks for the games we think are worth playing before Mario rushes in to steal Christmas from every other 3DS game out there: 3DS has plenty of other releases on the way. We'd also like to remind you that release dates are subject to change and that's not our fault.
What 3DS games are you looking forward to before Mario?