By Jonathan Higgins / July 10th, 2012
These are exciting times for Nintendo fans. American audiences are getting closer to experiencing The Last Story, and there are several high profile releases making their way onto the 3DS this month. The greatness soon to arrive is what ultimately inspired me to speak my piece about my torrid affair with the handheld juggernaut thus far, with some additional input from one of our writers who shares my frustration, Kyle Emch.
This article certainly does not represent the views of Operation Rainfall collectively. As a matter of fact, I believe Kyle and I amount to a stark contrast amongst the staff that, as a whole, have completely enjoyed what the 3DS has to offer. Before I begin: I’ve played a sizable 116 different titles on my 3DS. My number one most-played game is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked with over 200 hours of play, and my top ten most-played rounds out with Kirby: Mass Attack at 24:39.
This is to say, I’ve poured a lot of my soul into my 3DS, and everything you’re about to read comes from a “hardcore handheld gamer” —I thoroughly enjoy the console experience, but I much prefer gaming on the go. My ideal system is a fully realized hand-held console like the Nintendo DS has proven itself to be, time and time again.
Its successor hasn’t proven itself just yet.
But there is one entity the 3DS has over every single handheld out there, even mobile devices or the Playstation Vita—the Nintendo eShop. I’ve mentioned it at least once before, but the best experiences to be had on the 3DS are not its retail offerings. Games like Mutant Mudds, Mighty Switch Force, and Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword offer experiences comparable to some of the best-selling retail titles at roughly a third of the price (or less). I am thoroughly impressed with how much it’s grown in so little time.
Kyle takes some issue with the eShop: there are a lot of problems with how it’s designed. “Most of the stuff shown on the interface is just strewn out there with no rhyme or reason. When you click on a category, it’s all in a single horizontal row in order of release date. Why they didn’t give us other options for organizing them or giving us the option to arrange them in a vertical list of some kind is…beyond me.”
In comparison, the eShop content makes the 3DS Virtual Console service look like a complete joke. It didn’t take Nintendo of America long to validate the cynics who insisted that the 3DS VC would become as desolate as the Wii VC. Despite the hundreds of games that came out on the Gameboy and Game Gear, we’re lucky to see one Virtual Console game a month from Nintendo. Sometimes, weeks would go by, then all Nintendo would offer are games the 3DS Ambassadors have been playing for months.
When you release an update of a 3DS Ambassador game, you should release something cool to go with it, like—you know, last week. It seems Nintendo is finally getting the ball rolling with this “8 Bit Summer” promotion by…giving us games that Europe has had available for months on end throughout July. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 was not amongst the announced games. I suppose Nintendo of America will wait just about a week before the Kirby’s Dream Collection hits store shelves, then slip it right in as “part of the celebration”.
I’m sure The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Seasons has been ready for a long time, but it’s release is going to wait until…just about a week before the next “big” Zelda game for Wii U or 3DS. I understand what Nintendo is trying to do with moves like these, but I can’t be the only one who’s frustrated.
“And then there are the demos. It’s good that Nintendo has allowed demos to become available for the eShop. Sadly, they are few and far between. Some of the demos aren’t even made available for certain titles until long after the game has launched. And, most baffling of all, why would you put a use limit on your demos!? You didn’t need to do that on the Wii, so why do it here?”
I hope you continue to hear us out on Page 2.
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