News Article

Feature: 3DS Games Worth Buying Before Mario

Posted by James Newton

It's not all plumbing, you know

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.

Cave Story 3D

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.

Star Fox 64 3D


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.

Pokémon Rumble Blast

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.

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked


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?

From the web

User Comments (94)



Detective_TeeJay said:

The first three: Maybe. The rest: No. And I've never even heard of that last one.

Btw, how many articles have a picture of a 3DS? lol



NintyMan said:

All I'll get before Mario is Star Fox, and there's also future eShop games to take into account too.



Wildvine53 said:

What about Gabrielle's Ghostly Grooves? The previews I've read about make it sound charming and fun. There's also James Noir's Hollywood Crimes, and Dr. Lautrec to satisfy my puzzle solving needs.



James said:

@TeeJay most of the ones relevant to the 3DS do :3

@Wildvine53 I played Hollywood Crimes a few weeks ago and I'm really not sure which way it'll go. It'll either be great or... not. We'll see.



Late said:

Bit Trip Saga: No, as the only Bit Trip I'm interested in is Runner

Cave Story 3D: No, until I get it for a low price, I have WiiWare version already

Star Fox 64 3D: Maybe, I don't own any Star Fox game and as I have fallen in love with other Nintendo series, I think it would be such as possible with Star Fox

Pokémon Rumble Blast: Waiting for the EU release date, must buy for me as I'm a Pokémon fan and I really liked Rumble for Wii

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked: Never even heard of this game, I'll get some more information about it and think again after that



J-Forest-Esq said:

I'll pick: Bit. Trip SAGA (although I'm a bit worried it won't be released in Europe), Star Fox 64 3D (looking forward to this in particular, despite the fact they didn't name it "Lylat Wars 3D" for Europe) and Cave Story 3D (although, it's quite a long wait for this one). It's only now that I realise a meagre 2/5 of those are actually confirmed for the UK and Europe . Worrisome.



NassaDane said:

Star Fox and Devil Survivor seem like the only major ones. The others sound just like mini games.



dimi said:

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked is just a DS port. I love the series, specially the Persona titles. I would buy hands down Persona 4 remake or a new exclusive Persona on 3ds but not a DS game with cutscenes with ....voice?? Who cares about that?

Edit: Ah, its on 3d thanks for the reply. Well if i had to buy one of these titles i would go for this one anyway.

Star Fox 64, well another Nintendo 64 classic remake with added 3d effects, why they couldn't make a new game? Still a good one.



Odnetnin said:

BIT.TRIP SAGA: pre-ordering a soon as Amazon gives me my dang refund for a messed-up copy of Sonic Colors and a squirrel book I didn't want.

Cave Story 3D: I can wait until this one is cheaper, because we all know it's gonna happen.

Star Fox 64 3D: Maybe get this for Christmas or never.

Pokémon Rumble Blast & Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked: Not a chance, though it's nothing against the quality of the games.



Monsti said:

Except of the last one (I've never heard about that one ^^) I plan on getting all of them...So I still have no problems with the growth of the 3DS library...I wouldn't be able to buy any more with the money I have.



Despair1087 said:

i'm pretty interested in Devil Survivor Overclocked, because i never played the DS one. however, i heard that Devil Survivor 2 is coming out on DS next year. after playing this new one on 3DS going back to the DS to play the sequel is going to feel like a huge step backward. with no voice acting (i think) and having to play in all tiny on my 3DS to avoid it looking all fuzzy i dont think i'll like it. i hope they plan on porting it to 3DS...



Detective_TeeJay said:

The problem here is that my money is being saved for Luigi's Mansion 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. (I already preordered Mario Kart ) So I have to choose carefully before deciding which additional game I'll purchase (I only have enough money for one more). Therefore, I'm going to have to do a lot of research before I spend the last of my money. (If Super Smash Bros. 3D is announced it'll automatically trump everything though. )



motang said:

I am going to be picking up Star Fox 64 when it comes out as I never owned the N64 so I played it for about 10 minutes at my friends house way back when it did come out and liked it. Also I didn't get this on the VC and I did like the 3D effects of it when I saw the 3D trailer.



thanos316 said:

i don't understand why everyone is complaining about lack of games, cause the 3ds has a decent lineup of games, plus you have the back catalog of the ds games. how long has the 3ds been out for, i feel that we get too spoileed sometimes. for god sakes the n64 dropped with only 2 games. plus you have to factor in the price of the 3ds at launch and the dsi still has life in it. people are still picking up the ps2. so to me the games aren't the reason here, i know that they aren't a lot of triple A titles for the 3ds but nonetheless it has games for everyone right now. plus really how many games can you really play at once.



SyFyTy said:

For those of you not familiar with Shin Megami Tensi Digital Devil SUvivor Overclocked , IMO, think Final Fantasy Tactics with a better story line and a much deeper game, greater variety, nice intertface etc..., just better all the way around. It's in my top 10 of the DS games....for the DSi it was titled; SMT Devil Suvivor, but I probably won't get it as I'm still playing it on the DSi, until the price drops... Over time I'll probably get 'em all.



Odnetnin said:

@TeeJay Smash Bros. 3D has been announced, but it isn't coming out for years at least, since they're aiming for a simultaneous Wii U/3DS release.



ianmage1 said:

Kid Icarus: Uprising? Oh, nevermind. We still don't have a solid release date for that one.



SonicMaster said:

I'm asking for a 3DS for Christmas. And tbh, the two possibilities for my first game are Cave Story and Pokemon Rumble Blast.



Weskerb said:

The only one I think I'll probably be tempted by in that list is Star Fox. It's a great game, but I've played it many times and it's hard to part with £30 for a game I already own, albeit sans 3D and portability.

Until the Mario games come out I'll mostly stick to what I've got. Luckily I'm still not bored with DOA, RR, SSF4 or Zelda. I'm a bit bored with PWR and SMB, but hopefully I'll find something to do with those too. Plus, there are also the free NES and GBA games for us early adopters. So I'm not desperate just yet.



warioswoods said:


Is Devil Survivor: Overclocked in 3D? Go to the official site and check out the screenshots — they've placed all the primary game action on the lower, 2D screen. It looks like only some menus and stats ever display on the larger, 3D screen... which seems like a terrible design decision and missed opportunity, if true.




shonenjump86 said:

I never really got into Bit Trip, I have Cave Story for WiiWare, never really liked Star Fox, I only like RPG Pokemon games, and Shin Megami is not my type of game. The games I really want are Tekken 3D, Kid Icarus, Metal Gear Snake Eater, and Resident Evil Revations. I take it those are not gonna come out anytime soon though. Oh well, the 4th Professor Layton game for DS and the the two Mario games will have to do.




Just Star Fox 3D for me. Sounds like a good selection there. When is Dr Lautrec out? I'm interested in that. May also get Pac Man and Galaga Dimensions when it cheapens



OldBoy said:

And in this list lies the current problem of the 3DS.All these games have already been released before (cep't for some s***ty Pokemon thang).OK some have new graphics and/or 3D but all are basically the same games as before. I don't know about anyone else but I really need something new.I'm basically gonna retire my 3DS till xmas by which time I'll have Skyrim in my hands so its gonna struggle to get a look in.
The 3DS needs some RPG's and some serious action games announcing soon!!



TheGreenSpiny said:

Star Fox all the way. That game was made for 3D. Plus the wiiware version had gimped controls. I own the rest, though I'm probably gonna get bit.trip complete for Wii. Still haven't bought the final game in that series, so I'm just gonna wait for the compilation.



JimmyWhale said:

I want to snatch up all these! Well, I might just give Starfox 64 a rental though. Not enough content to make me give a full purchase.



FonistofCruxis said:

The only one of these I'm definitely getting is Cave story 3D as I'm not sure if Bit. trip saga is getting a European release (I hope it does) and I was thinking of selling my unfinished copy of the original SMT: Devil survivor for the 3DS version if it got a European release because of the 8th day and difficulty settings but the voice acting sounds pretty bad and if all of it is that bad then I might not want to get it. Also, where was Tales of the abyss? Super Mario 3D land may be coming out in NA on 4th November and the EU release may be close as thats been the case with most first party 3DS games if Cave story 3D can get on the list with release dates of 8th and 11th November for NA and EU respectively then Tales of the abyss should be on there too.



JayArr said:

@ #15 - They added more than just voices and 3D to Overclocked. They added 20 new demons plus an addition day to the end of the game.

Overclocked is going to be awesome. Less than 2 weeks away as well. n_n



SunnySnivy said:

Buying all of these except for the last one. I can't wait for new games on my 3DS! Since I beat Zelda I have barely been playing except for Donkey Kong on Virtual Console...



LordAndrew said:

It's the same setup as the original DS version. I'm not sure why though; you can't even use the touch screen.



LordAndrew said:

I'll pass on Devil Survivor for now. I still haven't beaten it on the DS. Day six branching point.

Bit.Tip Saga is a likely purchase, unless I can be persuaded to buy the Wii version instead. Cave Story 3D and Star Fox 64 3D are potential purchases, but not guaranteed.



moomoo said:

The only ones I see as necessities are Bit Trip and Devil Survivor, but only if you haven't played them before. Starfox 3D is too expensive, cave story is $10 dollars on DSiware, which is available to every single 3DS owner (as well as free on the computer), and Pokemon Rumble got repetitive after awhile.
Still, all of them look fun.



Raylax said:

I like how only 2 of them have non-US release dates. Which probably means they'll arrive long after Super Mario 3DS.



WolfRamHeart said:

The games that I am most interested in from this list are Cave Story and Star Fox. Maybe SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked but since I already own it on DS I'm not sure if I would be willing to purchase it again even with the extra features. Oh and if I didn't already own all the Bit. Trip games on WiiWare I would have picked that one up too.



Shadow100 said:

I'll probably be getting all of them except the last one. Not sure about Bit Trip since I only really like Runner.



Meta-Rift said:

Cave Story 3D - Maybe eventually.
Star Fox 64 3D - No.
Pokemon Rumble Blast - Yes, but only after generation six disappoints me.
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked - Not now.

Nintendo can take their time with Mario, because I won't need a second 3DS game any time soon.



Token_Girl said:

Bit.Trip: If I get it, it will be on the Wii
Cave Story 3D: Already enjoy the DSiWare version. Haven't heard of anything new besides graphics.
Star Fox 64: No difference from VC version except graphics.
Pokemon Rumble: I spend too much time playing the main games to bother with spinoffs.
Shin Megami Tensei: Maybe, though I have a pile of DS RPG's to get through still. I'll keep my eye on it.



ReddLionz said:

Hehe, haven't been on this site in a while. I really want a 3DS now, $169.99 sounds delicious. And wut up with these bit trip collections? EPIC 'cause I only have one of them (runner).


How is cave story gonna be in 3D? Isn't it a 2D platformer with retro graphics? Or are they completely re-doing the graphics?



Samholy said:

bittrip ? not a fan of beat games... ill pass.
starfox? already pre-ordered form my local shop ! cant misss a nintendo branded title anyway.
pokemons can go in my bu... can see where the sun dont shines.
Cave story. well. i got the eshop version. magical time. memorable times. i feel i wanna keep it that way. the 2d was top notch for the kind of game it was. im half decided to get it or not. maybe used, some day...
Digital Devil: isnt the ds version going on the lower screen ? so...we will get stats and 3d??? what the hell. ill wait for this one. its a strange choice of remake... could be a great title when release times will be slower, or if i have a urge for an RPG.
which, by the way, Tales of the Abyss might do the job with class.
Icarus will follow soon enough, then Square promised Heroes of ruins...



WertyYertrew said:

Bit.Trip Saga: Somehow I missed the whole Bit.Trip boat, so I have this neat little compilation for me to see what it's all about.
Starfox 64 IN 3D!!!: No. The only reason I got Ocarina of Time 3D was the lack of games for the 3DS at the time. If I want a remake of another 64 game on my 3DS, I'll get a used copy of Mario 64 DS (which I hear goes great with the circle pad).
Cave Story 3D: I thought I already had this on my 3DS? O_o;
Pokemon Rumble Blast: I got bored with it when it was a smaller WiiWare game a couple of hours long; why get a retail sequel when the gameplay I got bored with is unchanged?
SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked Remix: Missed it the first time, so might grab this.



siavm said:

Maybe some eshop games but nothing else before the double shot of mario. Some HD games and zelda have most of my holiday dollar.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Bit.Trip Saga: No, I hate the Bit.Trip games. I've tried the demos, but they're boring and way too hard.

Cave Story 3D: No, the extra features aren't worth the money, especially on a smaller screen and with graphics that make the playable environment (walls, floors, etc.) harder to visually detect. I'll eventually get it on WiiWare.

Star Fox 64 3D: Yes, improved and stereoscopic 3D graphics in an N64 sci-fi space shooter, an extra gyroscope motion control scheme, a design that works well in portable form, extra multiplayer functions, and a somewhat better classic control scheme over its VC counterpart = worth the money.

Pokémon Rumble Blast: Yes, a greatly expanded sequel to one of my favorite WiiWare games including several new gameplay modes.

SMT: DDSO: No, not my kind of game.



grumblebuzzz said:

I'm tired of all the rehashes of Cave Story. Yes, it's a fun game but enough already! Do a sequel or call it a day!



C-Olimar said:

@James thats exactly how I feel about Hollywood Crimes. I saw gameplay footage which had some decent voice acting and a cool effect where it uses the camera to make it seem like your looking into a mirror(why has noone done this before? cue god awful dsiware release from kaasa solution or korner entertainment). However the few puzzles I've seen don't seem near Layton quality and it is a Ubisoft game, so I'll have to wait for a review. They have had a lot of time to get this game right though...

At any rate, Doctor Lautrec should be good, Famitsu rated it highly and it does look fun.



C-Olimar said:

also, I'd like to say to the people who say they wont buy devil survivor: It's people like you who are killing off small developers/ambitious new games. Look at blue tongue, look at CiNG, two prime examples of developers releasing great games, but people unwilling to try anything new don't buy their games and now these developers aren't around any more. I expect the inevitable poor sales of Devil Survivor in the US will dash any hopes of a European release!

OK, rant over...



James said:

@C-Olimar Yeah, the version I played had some nice ideas and decent puzzles but I can't get past the story: game show contestants are getting murdered and the FBI sends in you — the master of puzzles — to track down the killer. I know we live in a world of plumbers and legendary swords and time-travelling musical instruments but come on.



Noire said:

Devil Survivor Overclocked is gonna rooooooock.

Somehow I'm gonna need to get money for that one ... though Persona 2: Innocent Sin on the PSP takes priority over that. D:



alLabouTandroiD said:

Except for Shin Megami Tensei i guess i'll wait for quite a price drop on the games you mentioned, James. If all of them come to Europe that is.

Looking forward to Lautrec, Driver and Shinobi, nearly every announced 3DS Ware game and a lot of the announced / rated VC games. Not yet sold on any of 'em though.



Mahe said:

Ports, ports, ports... oh, and a Pokemon game. This list sucks.

Just look at all that hedging. "It might lack..." "You might already know..." "It might not have..." "DS owners may have played..."

This is absolutely ridiculous. Lacking, offering nothing new, not having broad appeal and featuring games people have already played, that's the 3DS.



DrCruse said:

Shin Megami Tensei and Bit.Trip Saga are the only ones I'm interested in.



scrubbyscum999 said:

Devil Survivor is the only one I care about, I can get CaveStory on Wiiware or DSiware. I wonder why nobody has heard of Devil Survivor.



Yadoking said:

I'd honestly love to play all the games on this list. Cave Story 3D is probably the lowest priority, but I'd like to play it. But, alas, money. I'll probably get Bit.Trip Saga first.



Doma said:

Let see:

Bit Trip- No thanks.
Cave story- The new graphics are a bit rubbish, imo. I'll stick with the PSP port.
Starfox- Loved this on the 64, but there's nothing new to this version besides the visuals, right? Not buying.
Pokemon RB- Seems pretty mindless.
Devil Survivor- Not really worth the update by the looks of things. (i can't wait for the sequel though)

Nothing to see here..



Pokefanmum82 said:

i'm getting star fox 3D with my preorder of the flame red 3DS. I'm getting Pokemon Rumble Blast because i never played the first one and love pokemon. I'm also getting Devil Survivor and Doctor Lautrec. Cave Story i have no interest in and Bit Trip no way. Also getting James Noir's Hollywood Crimes, Mahjong Cu3ed, and Need for Speed: the Run.



caityful said:

Looking forward to BIT.TRIP SAGA, definitely going to look into Starfox 64 3D.



Expa0 said:

Devil Survivor is the only one that's worthwhile, but since it's not coming to europe... wahwah. At least I can play the original DS version.



MetroidMasher17 said:

BIT.TRIP SAGA- Mebbe. One day far from today when I can find it used. Just mebbe.

Cave Story 3D- Unless there is a super cool feature I haven't heard of besides the 3D, no.

Star Fox 64 3D- I have the original N64 game, and I understand that there will be no online. Huuuuuge missed opportunity, so no.

Pokémon Rumble- Same as BIT.TRIP SAGA. If I find it used one day, I might pick it up.

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Survivor Overclocked- Eh... not really interested.

Metroid Prime 3D- YESSSSSSSSS! Wait, what? It's not on the list? Awww.

Also, I find it interesting that NA got three games that the rest of the world didn't. A lot of games skip us [insert Operation... I forgot what it's called, the one that wants Xenoblade and the Last Story and all that].



CanisWolfred said:

Port, Port, Port, sequel to a game I don't care about, port. Ugh, this is so sad. You sure this was the best you could come up with?



bonesy91 said:

Cave story and Star fox(but only when this one drops in price) for me. The others.... nope.



IronMan28 said:

Shin Megami Tensei looks really interesting, I saw an ad for it our BX and now I'm considering buying it.



JGMR said:

I would've bought a 3DS just to play Ridge Racer 3D, as a huge Ridge Racer fan. Other games that interest me are Super Mario 3D Land, Metal Gear Solid 3, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Dead Or Alive and maybe - MAYBEEEE - Resident Evil Revelations.......



wes008 said:

4 rehashes and a sequel to a mediocre downloadable game. at least they're rehashes of good games.



Wilford111 said:

How come no one is talking about Sonic Generations?? I'm way excited about that game. You guys are all fretting about rehashed games while I'm looking forward to the completely new and original ones.

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