July 2, 2011
Charcoal’s Late Review of the 3DS: Part 2- The Games
I know that this is even later, but humor me: I’ve just not been able to put my 3DS down. This little thing is truly amazing. I currently only own three games for it, but they’re varied enough for me to give an accurate review.
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is a hell of a game with a hell of a name. As you might expect by reading the name, it’s Super Street Fighter IV, only on the 3DS and in 3D. However, it fits the little 3DS incredibly well. The button controls are very solid and responsive, and there are also four “buttons” on the touch screen. These can be mapped to do different things depending on what “mode” your control setting is in. For all the newcomers to the series or the 3DS, there is the LITE control scheme, which allows you to map your more difficult special moves, as well as Super and Ultra combos, to the touch screen buttons. This makes the game a lot more accessible to people like me, who aren’t Combo Gods. However, there is also the PRO control scheme for those high level players who frown upon pressing one single button for the Bloody High Claw. In PRO mode, you cannot map special moves to the touch screen buttons, and instead use them for specifics that might not register properly at high speeds on the regular buttons, such as your force/charge attack, throws, and dodges (all of which are usually activated by pressing multiple buttons at once). The 3DS control is brilliant.
Graphics on the 3DS are, well, 3D. If you play the game normally, it isn’t too bold unless you pull off an attack that changes the camera angle. However, you can also play in an over-the-shoulder Dynamic View mode, which is absolutely gorgeous on the 3DS. Granted, I’ve seen Super Street Fighter IV with better graphics on other consoles, but they weren’t in 3D, or handheld.
Online support for Super Street Fighter IV is also very good. You can match up with random online opponents in Arcade mode, or go straight for them in Versus and 3D Versus. There’s a skill ranking system that will match you of people with your skill level, but you’ll have to lose a few matches to get there. One thing that amazes me is simply how good some people are at Street Fighter. I’ve played many a game of Street Fighter on the 3DS (which, mind you, hasn’t been out for too long) where I’ve gotten off fewer than three attacks before I was toast. I guess they already have experience from other games in the series, but this is a Starcraft-level skill gap nonetheless. This isn’t a flaw with the game so much as it’s a flaw with me, so the best advice I can give you is to practice a lot and stay informed. There are plenty of guides online.
Super Street Fighter IV also has an almost Pokemon-esque trophy-collecting system in StreetPass mode. You have a number of little figurines that you form in to teams to fight. When you pass by someone else in StreetPass mode who also owns SSFIV, your figurines will fight. You get new figurines by spending Figure Points, which are earned by playing the game in any mode, in a slot machine that reminds me of Super Smash Bros. Melee. You can also trade figurines with others. I don’t know too much about this section of the game because I’ve never Streetpassed anyone. Sad Face.
Overall, Super Street Fighter IV 3D is a very solid title, and one of the best the 3DS currently has to offer. If you’re planning on getting a 3DS, put this game at the top of your shopping list.
Take a look at that cover. Take a good, hard look at the name, Splinter Cell 3D. What does that mean to you? It’s obviously a Splinter Cell game. It could be an entirely new Splinter Cell that just so happens to be in 3D, or it could be a remake of the original Splinter Cell for the 3DS. That’s what I’m getting from the cover, the only thing most purchasers of this game will see before they buy it. So, which is it? A new game or the original?
Neither. It’s Chaos Theory.
When I put this game in, I was fairly excited. Chaos Theory was the only other Splinter Cell I had ever played, and I thought it was pretty good. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but it was a decent experience. However, when I heard the first mission briefing and thought the words sounded a bit familiar, I started to worry. I looked at IGN, and found that it “told the same story as Chaos Theory.” It does more than tell the same story. It’s an only slightly remade port. Now, if they were going to do that, why would they not just call it “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 3D”? Why delude me into thinking I’m buying something new or different? Frankly, it was hard to get over that initial rage, but I managed to keep playing through a little ways.
The graphics just don’t work. It was kind of hard to see what was going on in Chaos Theory, but it’s incredibly hard to see what’s going on in this title. The only things that are really obviously 3D are the floating tips and instructions in the first level. Everything else is too dark to see in 3D without your night vision goggles, and redundantly 3D with them on. Sam Fisher handles fairly well, but there’s still a lot of “clunk” with the AI. Really and truly, this game probably isn’t bad if you’ve never played Chaos Theory. If you have, just stay far, far away. You’ll get even angrier than you did the first time you played. I’d go more in depth, but this review is tainted and biased; I get so mad whenever I try to play this game that I’ve still not cleared the first level.
THE UGLY AWESOME
Come on. You had to have seen this one coming. I’m a hopeless Nintendo fan, and an even bigger fan of the Legend of Zelda. I’ll admit that I used to point out flaws with this particular title, and name some Zelda games that I thought may have been better. But after playing again, I retract all of those statements. This is easily the best Zelda title ever. It’s not far of a stretch to say it’s the best game Nintendo has ever made. I might even go so far as to say that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the greatest video game ever. I know I’ll probably get a lot of flak from non-Nintendo fans for that statement, but I can honestly not think of a better game I’ve played. Once again, this review is probably a little biased. I plugged hours upon hours into the original Ocarina of Time when I was a kid, so it holds a lot of meaning to me. When I first heard the music on the title screen, I nearly cried. It’s that powerful of a memory. Anyway, before I get carried away down memory lane and get all weepy on you, let’s look at some specifics.
The game isn’t too terribly different, but there are some notable upgrades. For one, the graphics have obviously been ramped up. I was worried that this would actually detract from the nostalgic experience, but it’s perfect. It’s just some 3D, shine, and polish on the same models I remember. Unless I’m just improving things with my ears, I think the audio has gotten a slight upgrade as well. In lieu of the C-Buttons, the game utilizes X and Y, as well as two touch screen buttons, I and II. It works pretty well. The menus have been redone to perfection. The Item screen is organizable, your gear is easily accessible, and the Ocarina has its own touch screen button and submenu. Everything works even better than it used to. You can also aim your view, bow, boomerang, hookshot, and slingshot with tilt controls. The only problem I’ve found is that it’s actually a little TOO solid. The challenges in the shooting galleries are quite easy with tilt controls.
As far as actual gameplay, the only change I’ve noticed is the addition of “Sheikah Stones”. These look kind of like Gossip Stones, only they’re larger and colorful. The only ones in the game are in the Temple of Time, and outside Link’s house. There’s a small hole that can be crawled into to access a number of Visions, which are hints as to puzzle solutions, enemy weaknesses, and item locations. They make the game a tad easier, which is fine by me. I don’t use them, but I know a lot of kids may have to.
To counterbalance the easiness (as well as the fact that it’s almost expected at this point), Master Quest was included on the chip. Master Quest is a sort of “Hard Mode” for Ocarina of Time that first appeared on the 64DD in Japan. It was also included on the Ocarina of Time bonus disc that came with Wind Waker. The game is virtually the same geometrically, but there are a lot more enemies who hit a lot harder, and the dungeons have to be solved in different orders. Knowledge of the original title makes Master Quest even harder. I’m thinking of doing a “Let’s Play” video of Master Quest once I’m done with the original game.
So, there you have it! The good, the bad, and the ugly weeping mess of nostalgic gamer on the 3DS. If there’s anything more you want to know about these three games, or the 3DS in general, drop me a comment below!