Feature: The Biggest 3DS Games of 2014 - Summer Edition
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
We just recently published our updated biggest games coming to the Wii U list, so it's now time to move onto the 3DS. Our Spring edition for the 3DS included plenty of games that have since arrived in stores, and there's also been a significant new reveal following that feature that's hyped fans of pocket monsters.
This time around, then, we have a host of new games to consider. In most cases they're heading to all regions, too, with some pleasing examples courtesy of a change in policy from Atlus, in particular. Two eShop titles make the grade, too, though Siesta Fiesta and Moon Chronicles do drop out in favour of additional retail titles — we're still looking forward to these (episode 2 in the latter case) but there are more confirmed big-hitters now on the way.
Let's get to it, then, our updated list of what we consider to be the biggest games still coming to 3DS in 2014.
With a release date finally pinned down, the portable début for the much-loved franchise will have the task of setting the scene for its HD sibling, in addition to standing up in its own right. It'll have its own unique stages, 60fps performance in 3D, and some unique modes including Smash Run. We'll be bringing you some impressions on this portable iteration soon.
This caused a wave of excitement when it was announced, as it'll bring the 3D remake treatment to what some consider to be two of the best entries in the franchise. It'll utilise the engine and various features seen in Pokémon X & Y, and will surely be one of the hottest releases on any platform this Holiday season.
When the original title was released we hoped that, along with other notable examples, it would start a full-on resurgence of rhythm music games. That hasn't quite transpired, sadly, but this new entry will include new modes, a huge number of songs and more fan-service than can be reasonably expected. Time to dig out a great pair of headphones.
Being developed by Sanzaru Games, this will be an entirely separate experience from the Wii U game and will also introduce new playable character Sticks, a 'jungle badger' that can throw a boomerang. It'll follow the more traditional 2D Sonic formula seen in previous entries on DS and 3DS, though will have character swapping and some tricky puzzles to tackle.
The first Persona Q title on Nintendo hardware, with the surprising recent announcement that it'll be coming to Europe as well as North America this year. It will blend characters from Persona 3 & 4 with gameplay influenced by the Etrian series, with a visual overhaul also accompanying the IP's arrival on 3DS.
This promises to be an evolution in the popular series, and the 3D in the branding doesn't simply refer to the game engine or the fact you can pan the camera around — it actually references a Minecraft-esque ability to adjust landscapes in 3D blocks, so you can raise and lower sections to create hills, dips and various other aspects. We were relatively impressed with this and recently posted some rather thorough first impressions.
This is a slightly odd case as this is a localisation of Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land that was previously released in Japan, but has had to change its name due to Western publisher XSEED not having the rights to use the Harvest Moon name. Nevertheless, it's a promising title that places a great deal of attention on refining the series' formula and implementing various connectivity options between players. Check out our interview with Head of Development Yoshifumi Hashimoto to learn more about this one.
An RPG co-developed by Level-5 and Brownie Brown (the latter now 1-Up Studios), this promises to be a lengthy and charming adventure in which you incorporate some customisation and sim elements with standard role-playing fare. Up to four players will also be able to play together online, and this was given a particularly big push by the Nintendo Treehouse team during E3.
Already available in Japan as a retail title, Capcom is bringing this one to the West as an eShop-only release. It includes the first three games in the series, but with stereoscopic 3D visuals and sharper overall graphics; in that respect it could be a nice trip down memory lane for those familiar with the original games, or a perfect introduction for those jumping in for the first time.
Perhaps a long time coming, but this is now down for a 'late Summer' arrival. WayForward's much anticipated third game in this series is also coming to the Wii U eShop, but our time with the 3DS build has given us an appreciation for how those lovely pixels pop in 3D. This promises to be a sizeable adventure, with new moves and changes to the formula to keep things fresh.
So there you have it, ten games that we think represent some of the best of what's still coming to 3DS this year, all set to arrive before 2015; an honourable mention for European gamers is Shin Megami Tensei IV, and also (updated thanks to reader comments) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which will finally arrive in North America. There are a number of other titles coming, of course, so check out our lengthy guides to some of the best retail and eShop games on the way this year, too.
Let us know what you think of this 3DS list and by all means point out those we've missed, while you can vote for your favourite in the poll below.
What's your most anticipated 3DS game of 2014? (442 votes)
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
Story of Seasons
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Shantae And The Pirate's Curse
My choice isn't on the list
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