Community Review: The Nintendo 3DS

Game releases are a little light, so I thought we could maybe discuss consoles instead. Last week we talked about the PS Vita so this week I thought we have a rabble about the 3DS. Who is using it? How are you using it? Have you already bought one, thinking about buying one?

It's funny, the 3DS played host to my favourite two games of 2013 — Luigi's Mansion 2 and A Link Between Worlds — but it feels like 2014 has been a year where the 3DS has fallen by the wayside. Sure, games have been released, and good ones at that — but are any of these games close to the quality the platform displayed in 2013? I'd argue no. Yoshi's New Island was a disappointment, Mario Golf World Tour... is a golf game.

There have been plenty of niche JRPGs released on the console, but I don't really have the time to invent 50+ hours into games like that so my 3DS has slowly been gathering dust. Which is so strange considering it was my favourite console just six or seven months ago.

Is this a common thing? Am I going crazy? Let us know in the comments below.


    I'm back on the Monster Hunter bandwagon so I'm playing the 3DS on the train every day.

    I love my 3DS (original), but I haven't really used it much of late. Since Zelda and Bravely Default, nothing has piqued my interest.

    I'm in the same boat as you Mark. I would pick it up in a heartbeat....if only I had something to play.

    It's pretty ballin, but releases have been sparse recently.

      Yeah, but we get NA release privilege.
      I feel like two of the games I've spent the most time with in my 3DS are Shin Megami Tensei IV and Rune Factory 4. If my system was an Aussie one, that's a fair chunk of playtime gone.

      You know what though, more or less for the past 6 months I've been playing my 3DS. Between a mix of the aforementioned 2, Pokemon, Layton 6 and Etrian Odyssey. Played 2 PS3 games, and barely any PC until a few days ago.
      So yeah, it's pretty ballin'.

    Haven't touched mine since I finished Link Between Worlds.

    I'm playing my 3DS on the bus every day and I'm catching up on a bunch of the games I've missed. Currently playing Bravely Default and I still need to play Luigi's Mansion 2, Phoenix Wright, etc etc. There's a lot for me still to do.

    I like the 3DS. The only downside is the battery life but other than that, I'm very happy with it.

    ace attorney dual destinies is great if you don't wanna invest your time into jrpg.

    I love it, but again after i finished Pokemon X/Y and Zelda ALBW i haven't done much with it since then.

    i need to pick up the Professor Layton games methinks.

      grab layton vs ace attorney, it is the best of both worlds. the investigation for cases is done a la layton puzzle solving and navigation while the court cases help break up the long slog that I associate with layton games.

    Still making my way through Bravely Default which has been fun and I'm looking forward to Theatrhythm Curtain Call. I enjoy my time with the 3DS in spite of the 3DS hardware/online infrastructure. I wish ninty could get it together but there are fun games so good times.

    Last edited 19/05/14 11:27 am

      Been playing theatrhythm curtain call on my brothers imported 3ds, it is some 10 times larger than the original game with shit loads more characters to play as and a track list spanning even mystic quest.

    I actually picked mine up for the first time in months on Saturday (@saturday?).

    Reached chapter 3 in Bravely Default, which... I like the combat, but the characters are starting to grate a bit.

    Given that I'm getting less and less time to play at home with increasing work committments, the 3DS is probably my most used and fave form of gaming currently. And I'm pretty happy about it. I get at least 2 hours a day on the train playing games and have put some serious hours into Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and a heap of others. Better yet, it just has that "Nintendo Feel". Everything feels quality and games (well at least first and second party titles) just feel right. Loving the 3DS now. It's really come of age and it looks to have a pretty bright future ahead.

    It's sitting in my bag, I'm burnt out on the 3DS and Bravely default. Thinking I might get Mario Golf world tour as I've always enjoyed the series. And the Layton/Phoenix Wright cross over. I need to play that if only because Maya!

    I've probably played more 3DS this year than I did last year. But that's because mine was broken for half of last year, so I only just played through Pokemon and Link Between Worlds.

    Haven't bought anything since LBW, so I'm with you there. Feels like things have stalled a bit. Not really compelled to pick up Yoshi, nor Kirby. And as much as I loved Toadstool Tour, I don't really feel all that interested in Golf either.

    I'm using it every day on the way to work, but yeah, I could use something more substantial for it. A Link Between Worlds was the last game that really sucked me in. The biggest draw for me with the DS range was that I'd play it at home when I could be playing 'real' consoles and lately it hasn't been hitting that mark.
    Still, like I say with my Wii U, I'm past the point where I need to justify the investment. I could not buy a single new 3DS game for the rest of the handhelds life and still be satisfied with the purchase. If there's absolutely nothing new until the Pokemon remakes that'd be a shame I'm still coming out on top.

    Fan of the DS but don't really like the 3DS. The biggest killer for me is the region locking. Games like Shin Megami Tensei IV came out last year and I really doubt I'm gonna see it come this way.

    I'm not sure what to play on my 3DS as well. Last game I played was Pokemon Y, Bravely Default and Attack of the Friday Monster. I'm actually looking forward to play Fire Emblem but the price is stopping me. Fire Emblem need a good sale

    Just picked up Mario Golf, Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover (yay Maya) and Legend of Zelda: ALBW as part of the 20% off deal at JB Hi-Fi. It's definitely renewed my interest in the handheld. When I'm not playing, I like to go for walks with it when on my lunch break, and streetpass with people. I'm going to the USA for about 6 weeks on vacation; I'm hoping to get some serious time in with the 3DS, and hoping to get a lot of streetpass hits.

    Edit: What I don't like about it are as follows: Region locking and digital ecosystem.

    Region locking in this day and age is frustrating. I'm a fan of quite a few Japanese franchises that may never see the light of day over here unless the stars align and someone decides to localise them. I lost count of how many virgins I had to sacrifice to get the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover to be localised. I'm DEFINITELY NOT going to spend a couple hundred bucks just to get a Japanese 3DS to play them either. Ninty, you either make it easier for me to enjoy your content, or I'll take my money elsewhere.

    On the subject of that, who the hell doesn't allow you to re-download titles anymore? I don't buy full digital copies of retail games from the eShop because they're hilariously overpriced - I mean I can get a cartridge for $48 at a shop, but the eShop would want $70 for the same content with more restriction? Hell no- but this business of not allowing people to re-download titles if they lose their 3DS or other adverse event were to take place is backward and old fashioned. The Virtual Console titles are a little too expensive for my liking too. Sometimes, looking through that eShop gives me the impression that Nintendo doesn't actually want my money.

    That saddens me greatly.

    Last edited 19/05/14 3:55 pm

    There's such a backlog of awesome to get through that I'm still using mine. Recently finished Chrono Trigger, Ace Attorney 1-5 + Miles Edgeworth, and Link Between Worlds. Still have a range of handheld Mario and Zelda titles to fight my way through before I even think about buying any more.

    I'm not always on my 3DS, but it'd be rare for a month to go by when I don't complete at least one game on it.

    The new Kirby has brought me back to the party. Holy crap that game is good, at least better than the reviews I've seen.

    When I owned it, I was using it on the train anytime I went into the city. On long trips it was a great thing to have. The games library is second to none with a great selection of games available to suit all types of players. The network slowly evolved into something halfway decent and Street Pass is the most awesome feature for games to have.

    However I do have some issues with it too.

    - Prices for games is far too high. Paying $60 for a game is ok at launch, but a year later you would expect the price to drop a bit. You still find launch games on store shelves for $60, and the console is how old again?
    - The virtual console is lacking and the prices suck. Paying $6.50 for Super Mario Land is a bit too much, a $3 price for all GameBoy/GameBoy Colour games sounds much better.
    - The console needs to be tighter. Meaning the casing needs to be tighter connected. I lost the console because a can of Pepsi exploded when I dropped by backpack. The soft drink got in because the back casing on the unit was extremely loose and thus it easily covered the motherboard and fried the circuits.
    - Nintendo REALLY missed a major market by not using the console as a 3D movie player. Tekken took advantage of this by adding their CG movie on the cart and it was amazing to watch it in 3D without needing special glasses or a 3DTV.

      Couldn’t agree more about the pricing.

      I always miss out on a lot of games on Nintendo handhelds (actually Nintendo games generally) because they never lower the prices.
      I’ve been planning on picking up one of the Pokemon games since they launched but I’m yet to see one for under $50 anywhere well over a year later.

      The bullshit thing is that the games are so expensive from the 3DS store. It’s bad enough when they’re the same price as a physical copy which has to shipped and sold – but for cartridge based games it’s worse than ever. The argument from Nintendo has always been that cartridges cost more to produce so there is a higher base cost (hence the prices staying high after long periods), downloading games from the 3DS store should be MUCH cheaper than buying a physical copy.

      Instead it’s the norm for games to be more expensive on the 3DS store than they are at retail. It’s ridiculous.

      The other big complaint is the Virtual Console. There’s barely anything on there and the games are offensively overpriced.

      I wanted to get Sonic 1 on the 3DS, it’s the kind of game that I love and want on a handheld. Do they have the Megadrive version on there? The Master System version? Hell no! You can get the Game Gear version for $6 or something like that. The Game Gear version that runs at a damn near unplayable framerate and is glitchy as hell.

      I can get Sonic 4 on my Samsung for cheaper than I can get the broken Game Gear version of Sonic 1 on my 3DS. That says everything that needs to be said.

      It’s a textbook example of the complete lack of care Nintendo has for its systems (and customers) outside of a handful of core-franchises. They’ll release supremely polished 1st party titles and hope that carries the system while all the other elements (operating system, online accounts, back catalogue) are just haphazardly thrown together so they can say they exist.

    I'm loving my Zelda themed golden bundle of joy.

    My main gripe is that the digital downloads don't tell you how many block/space you need.

      yes it does but you have to go to the final payment screen before u can see it - so to do this u need to have the correct funds in your wallet first. It's no less stupid and certainly gripe-worthy though.

    Handhelds tend to be an offpeak thing for me (eg. Moments when I'm waiting, or bored and don't want to start the consoles up, or on a bus, etc) so while I generally have a game on the go at any point in time, they're usually the longer play games and the pick up/put down nature of the 3DS suits this perfectly. I haven't picked up that many games for the 3DS though, and have actually been playing a lot of DS games recently. I don't know if that's just a lack of games that appeal to me, or whether the 3DS library itself isn't that great in general.

    I miss the ability to task swap like on the Vita, especially when I want to check the store each week which requires me to find a save point and shut down the game I'm playing, and the store isn't as nice as PSN to use. The advantage it does have (and correct me if I'm wrong) is your credit card number is on the device itself so it's less likely to be hacked.

    Been on and off playing Senran Kagura.

    But the presence of region locking is whats really killing this handheld for me. I've got a fair few games that either got DL only or never released in au that i've been wanting to grab (i'm looking at you Rune Factory 4) but I can't because of said region lock.

    On the other hand my Vita which is a mere 3-4 months old has a backlog that has ballooned this past month or so because of all the great stuff coming out overseas =/

      I forgot about the region locking thing! I've been spoiled by Sony and their region free gaming policy.

      I'm a Cardfight Vanguard player, they release a game for the 3DS... In Japan. Will the company release an English version? Nope! So I'd have to get a Japanese 3DS for 1 game... Not gonna happen.

    It's the only console I've touched for a few months now. It's still going strong for me, and the library's getting pretty damn good.

    while I haven't touched my DS in a few weeks I'm still playing bravely default, Fire emblem, Harvest moon, I just keep getting distracted with my PC and games I have on there.

    I haven't touched either of mine (I own a US and an AU one because Nintendo are dicks about regioning) since the crushing disappointment that was Bravely Default last year.

    As a piece of hardware, I really don't like the 3DS. It doesn't fit comfortably in the hands, feels very primitive and clunky. Many compromises in the way its actually built. The bottom of my AU XL is very flimsy and often feels like the back plastic is going to crack or fall off. Additionally Nintendo's willful attempts to pretend that the internet doesn't exist and to exist in a vacuum where you don't need to build proper infrastructure really puts me off. Simple things like not tying your games to the hardware - they're not problems that no one else has encountered. I don't understand how they could be so incredibly backward in this area still, when it takes all of five minutes to look at Sony, Microsoft, Google, Apple or a bunch of other companies to see how digital app distribution should look.

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