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Wow. Nintendo's new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, is either going to be really, really big, or a complete and utter disaster. They're either going to have to open their own bank or they're going to have a repeat of the Virtual Boy. For me, I'm leaning toward the latter. But I could be wrong.
People might WANT to advance evolution by a thousand years optically, because for me, the 3D aspect kills my eyes after only about 20 minutes. It seriously left me dizzy and groping for a wall once I put it down, which isn't good. In fact, if anything, it actually reminds me of the Virtual Boy when it first came out, and that's not good at all. At least you have the ability to turn off the 3D if you start to feel uncomfortable, but what's the point of that? The 3D is the sole reason you bought it. It's too bad, then, that it's such an eyesore.
Oh, and the launch titles suck.
The system itself is a sexy beast, basically a snazzier version of the DSi. There's the new analog circle pad for one thing, which was bound to happen eventually. The d-pad worked just fine for me but I grew up with a d-pad so I'm used to it. Those of you who grew up with Halo might find the analog to be a necessity, though. It's definitely appreciated and might work well for future titles, especially the first-person shooters bound to be coming down the pike very soon.
The dual screen is pretty much the same as the DSi's but with one difference. The top screen is now the 3D screen, and the bottom one remains the touch screen. So if you thought that BOTH screens would be in 3D, well, you'd be wrong, as only the top screen supports it. That said, whatever is going on inside the top screen, which is a tad bit bigger than the DSi's, makes these visuals really pop out, even when they're not playing in 3D. Seriously, the graphics for this thing are incredible and look just as good--no lie--as stuff that you might find on the home consoles. And I'm not just talking shitty Wii quality, either, but actual PS3 quality. At least, anyway, for Super Street Fighter, which means that it probably handles cartoon visuals really well. It might not handle realistic looking textures so well, though. There aren't enough titles out there right now to tell.
The motion capture works really well - damn well, in fact. It works much better than motion capture ever has on a handheld device before. So if Nintendo had just added this to the DS, I think that they would have sold like gangbusters. I can see companies taking this a lot of places. It works great.
They've made a few small additions that make the handheld easier to use. There's a new Home button on the console. It's kind of like the Home button on the Wii console, so if you're familiar with that, it's the same damn thing. On the upper right hand corner of the console's face, different colors will show up, like red, blue, green, and orange. Each color indicates something different, like internet connectivity (Orange) or if the battery is running low (red). It certainly makes things simpler.
The game slot on the back allows you to play both 3DS games and regular DS games. That said, there's no uptick on the graphics for the older games, which was expected, but a little disappointing all the same. Still, no complaints with the backward compatibility. That's fine.
The camera returns, but there are three of them this time. One of them is on the front, so you can take your own picture and put it in some of the games, which is cool. There are also two on the outside, which can take 3D photos, which is also cool. I applaud Nintendo for this. They did well here.
But here's the closer, the 3D Depth Slider. Now, if you're like me, then you're going to have this thing on 2D for most of your play time with it. What's "nice, I guess," about it is that you can change the 3D to 2D on the fly. That said, the depth messes with your eyes so much, that you're going to NEED to keep it on 2D just to even play it. In fact, in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, it specifically says that the game should only be played in 3D for about 30 minutes before you put it on 2D mode for about 10 minutes. Honestly, though, if you like to play games in the car, don't. At least, not in 3D mode anyway. It spells instant lunch projection all over your jeans and shoes as this thing will make you sick. Hell, even sitting down in a motionless spot will make you sick while playing it. You can adjust the depth of it, making for less 3D but still keeping it on 3D. But I was getting serious vertigo after awhile in all the different variations of depth, so putting it in 2D mode was necessary. Maybe it's just not for me.
This is a cool little game that comes with the console and is pretty much the equivalent of Wii Sports as it's mainly just there to exhibit the hardware. In it, you take a picture of yourself and then, well, shoot your face with yellow balls. No foolin'. Your face actually comes flying at you and you control your blaster and blow them away until you get to the boss. And according to this video below, if you're in a crowded space, you'll actually collect faces, so if you see some dipshit waving a 3DS at your direction, just know that he's blasting you in the noggin at that point. Prepare to see that a lot in the future if this system is successful.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
And now, the main attraction, what you've all been waiting for, a review of an actual game.
Now, before I start this off, let me just say that the launch line-up for the system is pathetic. I probably would have bought Super SF IV anyway, just because I'm a fiend for Hadoukens. But I pretty much didn't have much of a choice when my other options were games like Pilotwings Resort or Riiiiiidge Racer 3D. I mean, really? This is what you have to offer on launch day? There are other games like a Madden title or The Sims 3D, but you have seriously got to be kidding me that there are no must-have, first-party releases on launch day. Inexcusable.
But onto Super SF IV.
Well, I can say this. The graphics are amazing. I mentioned it up top, but seriously, the graphics for this thing are sick. It's really top notch. Everything looks as you remember on the big boy console releases, so the fact that they made it look this good on a handheld is simply astounding. I've never seen anything like it.
Besides that though, it's just Super Street Fighter IV. It's a little awkward to play at first but you get used to it fast. It is what it is.
But the 3D. Gawd, the 3D makes me sick. Looking at it over somebody's shoulder, it isn't bad, and it's actually kind of a cool effect that induces a bit of vertigo, but in a pleasant sort of way, if you can wrap your head around that. But once you have it in front of your own face, oh, boy, you are going to need a barf bag. Now, I know everybody handles 3D differently, so maybe you won't get as sick as I did. But after I put it down after only 20 minutes, I seriously had to sit back down again as the wall was shifting in front of my very eyes. It took me a good 10 minutes to feel back to normal health. I tried it again, and the same thing happened, so it's not just a first time thing, either, but something that I don't think I can deal with ever. Sure, I dialed the 3D down quite a bit, but it was so low that it was like playing it on 2D, which is fine, but what's the point of owning this if I can't even play it in 3D as advertised? It's just a big gimmick, you know. At least to a certain portion of the population it is. It certainly is to me.
Now, I don't even get sick when I watch 3D movies, so if you're just thinking I'm not built for 3D, you're wrong. At least, anyway, when it comes to conventional 3D. But this, this is something else. What the screen seems to do is suck you inward, so the illusion of 3D fully immerses your eyes. It's really something to see. But when you put it down, you're going to have to deal with the consequences, and I don't think I'm willing to make that sacrifice.
Now, I know that I probably COULD get used to it, conditioning my eyes switching from 3D to 2D in increments. I could definitely do that. But would I want to? I already have some pretty shitty eyes, as I wear contacts. Do I really want to possibly make them worse in the long run just because of something that very well might be a fad? I know some future Smartphones are going to have these same kind of 3D capabilities to capitalize on what Nintendo has done, but this is one instance where I seriously foresee Nintendo falling on its face after the initial crowd picks it up. This very well could be the Virtual Boy: Part 2. We'll have to wait and see.
Overall, I say wait on getting a 3DS. There aren't any truly necessary games to play right now so you should sit it out and wait for a game changer to come along. I might just eat my own words when Ocarina of Time comes out for it, but that's for another day. Another day when I'm willing to sacrifice my eyes for my obsession.