3DS LEGO Star Wars Makes The Case Against 3D

3DS LEGO Star Wars Makes The Case Against 3D

Playing through a healthy chunk of LEGO Star Wars III on Nintendo’s 3DS left me impressed. It also left me with a question: Should Nintendo require 3D on all 3DS games?

I don’t really know the answer to that, but this LEGO games leaves me hoping they wont.

Don’t get me wrong. LEGO Star Wars III is a wonderful little game by Travelers’ Tales. It is packed with all of the humor, characters, wonderful little animation touches and LEGO explosions that make these games so much fun to play. But its use of 3D is right up there with the shockingly unnecessary 3D found in movies like The Green Hornet. It comes off feeling like they used 3D because they had to.

I had at least hoped that Travelers’ Tales would have used the extra dimension to tinker with one of the short-comings of nearly all of their games: The platforming. I almost always struggle in their LEGO games when it comes to extended platforming sections, because I can’t quite tell how far back I am in the game. I figured it anything could solve that problem having another dimension to play with most certainly would. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Beyond that the 3D is there to occasionally cross your eyes when a targeting reticule sticks too far out of the screen, or to show the very occasional bit of debris flying toward you. Even the space battles, which by the way are spectacular, really don’t benefit from the 3D. In fact I noticed that when ships fly too fast, too close to my in space in 3D they look almost abnormally flat.

The irony here is that all of these little problems are instantly solved when you slide the 3D slider to off. Played in 2D, LEGO Star Wars III seems like a worthy title for any platform or platform launch. This is a game I’m going to enjoy playing through to the end and then digging back into to find secret treasures and hidden bricks. I can even, apparently, use the Street Pass to grab extra pegs to my collection.


  • Current 3D tech on systems like the 3DS has the issue that it’s made for mass-market purposes. 3D CAN help with platforming, at least somewhat, but not if it’s down to 1/4th scale depth representation.

    The games we’re seeing on the 3DS are too shallow at maximum settings to have any skill benefits, instead we’re just seeing how hard it is to focus on a HUD when the enemies are off in the distance, and you’re watching them.

    We really don’t have any good muscle tension representation in 3D platformers, though. Devs need to implement some way to judge momentum. The 2D cross section style in Super Mario Bros really does it, but it has distance cues via its repeating tile sizes. Most 3D games lack distance cues nowadays, though, which throws us off kilter. We can’t unconsciously register a “jump from the third brick” mechanism in a 3D platformer if there is no recognisable brick size and location.

  • I think this is a good thing. 3D is a gimmick, so they’ve refrained from overusing it.

    Resident Evil, Pilot Wings and Ridge Racer appear to be doing the same thing. Give it a few months: overusing 3D will be just like overusing the Wii Remote.

    **reflects on first discovering Mario can only jump by waggling the remote**

  • Precisely why they included the slider. Nintendo knew some games would not use 3d the right way, so the slider eliminates that problem. I know everyone thinks 3d is the big feature in the 3ds, and it probably is, but people also have to remember it’s the next gen nintendo console, and it has much more then just pretty 3d graphics.

  • i see it as being a double edged sword. Make 3D not compulsory, it may be cheaper to develop, though might come to a stage where it dies off and only big titles will utilise it. Make 3D compulsory then developers may result to making it a tack on which really doesnt deliver or is necessary. an example of this is the Sly cooper collection, with the PS Move minigames. All it is is a tack on, that doesnt really make it feel necessary to be in the game, heck you can use a normal controller if you wanted to.

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