While developer Nicalis was originally intending to release Ikachan as a DSiWare title, they decided to produce two versions of the game; one for DSiWare and one for the 3DS eShop.
Why, you may ask? Well, it's all about the user experience, Nicalis explains:
Wait, is it a different game? Why two versions? No, it’s no a different game and not really two versions.
I need to rewind a bit and given some background. When the eShop was launched, players could (and still can) purchase DSiWare games on their 3DS. This is pretty cool, but there’s a big issue for me, personally. The DSi has a resolution of 256×192 (top screen) while the 3DS has a resolution of 400×240(let’s say 320×240 for this discussion). If you divide 320 by 256, you get 1.25–basically, the length is about 25-percent more on the 3DS (talking QVGA resolution here). What that means is that if we want DSi games to run full-screen on a 3DS, they need to be stretched by an additional 25-percent over the maximum.
For me, however, it seems like a damn shame to play a 2D pixel-art game with a blurry screen. Sure, you can hold the Start button or whatever the method is to boot in native resolution, but then you end up with a tiny screen on the 3DS and particularly on the 3DS XL.
This is literally the only reason I decided to port Cave Story to the 3DS. Mainly, I wanted to play it in the proper resolution; remember Cave Story’s original resolution is 320×240 and we had to crop the field of view for the DSi. So after seeing how Cave Story turned out with pixel-perfect art AND the 3D stereo effect, I thought we should do the same for Ikachan. That way, both DSi player and 3DS players can both enjoy a native experience.
At least for now, I think we’re the only developers doing this and it’s probably because it’s a lot more work, but definitely worth it.
In order to provide a better graphical experience, Nicalis plans to release two separate versions of the game, that will both feature the same content, just running at different resolutions. What do you think of this plan?