These are exciting times for Nintendo fans. Not only can we look out for the new console, the only recently released 3DS is getting a lot of fantastic releases in 2011. Mario Kart, Kid Icarus, Star Fox, a new 3D Mario built from scratch; fan service at its best! And there’s much more in store for the 3DS user.
This week the long-awaited 3DS update has brought us the eShop and the internet browser. Firstly, the eShop offers the new Virtual Console as well as the regular DSiWare service. On the Virtual Console, classic GameBoy and GameBoy Color games can be downloaded, among which are classics like Super Mario Land and the must-have Link’s Awakening DX. The eShop will also offer WiiWare-like software, specially built for the 3DS. The first example of software is the Pokédex 3D, which allow you to collect Pokémon via Spotpass and by trading them with other users. Another example is 3D Classics Excitebike, a 3D rendition of the classic NES game Excitebike. What’s great is that both games are available for free for a limited time only.
Nintendo have a lot of fantastic first party retail games in store for us. In 2011, Nintendo will release a new game for pretty much all of their major franchises. This holiday season we will get a new Mario Kart, in eye-popping 3D of course. On first glance it will be a traditional Mario Kart game, however --alongside the 3D -- there will be more new features. This time around, racing is not just limited to the road. Karts are fitted with a hang glider this time, allowing for long stretches of flight. Also, parts of tracks go underwater, which is no problem for the karts, because they can transform into submarines as well. Who needs realism when it comes to Mario Kart, right? Another new feature is the ability to pimp your kart. You can choose your body work and tyres before the start of the race. The coins (from Super Mario Kart) are also back, but their purpose wasn’t clarified.
Star Fox is back as well, but not in an original title. Star Fox 64 3D is, as you can tell from the title, a remake of the N64 classic. The game will have sharper graphics, in 3D of course, which will add to the sense of flight. Additionally, the aircraft in the game can be controlled by tilting the 3DS utilising the system’s gyroscope. The game’s multiplayer mode will be back and this time around, the camera in the 3DS will let players see the look on their opponents’ faces as they are shot down. The game will be released this September.
One of the first games announced for the 3DS was Kid Icarus: Uprising. What would have been an excellent launch game for the 3DS, Nintendo have now announced that the game will be released “before the year is over”. The game features ground combat as well as Star Fox-like flying stages. New announcements for the game include a 3-on-3 multiplayer mode and the inclusion of augmented reality cards. One of the more surprising announcements was Luigi’s Mansion 2. After 10 years, Luigi is back to engage ghosts and other ghastly creatures with his vacuum cleaner. And this time he will be doing so in several mansions.
What’s an E3 without a new Mario platformer? Certainly, New Super Mario Bros. Mii was teased for Wii U, but how about a new handheld 3D adventure for Mario? At the end of the year, the first ever portable 3D Mario game created from scratch will hit the stores. It will incorporate a lot of features from previous Mario games. It has a hint of Super Mario Bros. 3 and a touch of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy and that can’t be bad. The usual power-ups are back as well as the flagpole at the end of the level. Again, Nintendo have pleased the fans, this time by adding a classic power-up: the Tanooki suit. The game was teased as Super Mario 3D and will likely be another winner for Mario.
But that’s not all. Other first party titles include Paper Mario and Animal Crossing, two new instalments that build on their predecessors’ success and are guaranteed to deliver great brand new 3D experiences. A new first party adventure game is Heroes of Ruin. You take control of one of four warriors to take on the quest at hand. The warriors each have distinct qualities and can be upgraded and evolved extensively. There will be an online cooperative mode and well as various challenges you can receive on your 3DS every day. Heroes of Ruin seems to be another title to look out for.
Available from the eShop will be Picture Lives! , a game that feeds off the player’s creativity and works something like this: the players can use basic shapes to create a weird object or creature and then the game brings that to life. The player can then use his or her creation to explore a crazy game world. It’s an interesting concept to say the least. Another interesting title that will be available for the eShop is The Rolling Western. The first footage shows some kind of strange mix between tower defence, RPG and Sonic the Hedgehog knock-off. It’s interesting to see how this game will turn out.
Nintendo puts great value in third party support for the 3DS and it shows. When the system was first announced, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater was one of the title showcased and this on year’s E3, new footage was show and the game seems to be near completion. From SEGA, Mario and Sonic return to the Olympics, this time in London in 2012. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will feature new regular and Dream events, making up for a total of over 50 to be played alone or with friends.
Other games to look out for are Resident Evil: Revelations, Ace Combat 3D, Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions, Cave Story 3D, Driver Renegade, Tekken 3D, FIFA 12 and a new online Tetris. We can also look out for BIT.TRIP SAGA, a collection of BIT.TRIP games that have been available for WiiWare. One of E3’s no-shows was Mega Man Legends 3. The game saw little exposure on the showroom floor while it’s supposed to be released some time this year. Still, we can conclude that, after a slow start, 3DS is really picking up the slack and the second half of 2011 will be very exciting for 3DS owners.