New Nintendo 3DS Review
I’ve been out of the handheld gaming scene for a long, long time. The last time I seriously gamed on one was during the Gameboy Advance era and things have come a long, long way since then.
Somehow I had completely skipped the entirety of the DS line, though I would occasionally get lucky enough to tinker with one from time to time. At the time I had somehow become exclusive to console gaming, and the era was largely dominated by heavy 360 and Wii usage.
And once smart devices hit? Forget it. It was a wrap. Dedicated handhelds were becoming a thing of the past, despite the PSP Vita and 3DS’s powerful (for a handheld) hardware. I was a part of this unsettling trend, buying into the idea that quality gaming somehow existed on the powerful, yet shallow, games section of the AppStore. iOS or Android, you pick. They’re both woefully simplistic in their offerings.
So when the beautifully dorky 2016 Black Friday Edition was gifted to me by the better half, it scratched this itch I had somehow largely ignored for far too long. Quality, mobile gaming.
And wow. I genuinely have a renewed passion for gaming as a whole for it.
It feels like the culmination of all that Nintendo is known for while still maintaining something fresh. It’s a technically sound and speedy little machine with surprisingly robust online features, tons of excellent games, and the best controls you’ve ever used on a handheld.
And, I know I’m skimming over many of the technical aspects of the console, as this review is more from a reactionary perspective, so I’ll slow down for just a moment and delve into that.
It’s rockin’ the following:
– ARM11 MPCore 4x @ 268MHz
– 4x VFPv2 Co-Processor
– 256MB FCRAM
– 10MB VRAM
There are certainly better performing game consoles out there, but the N3DS is nothing to really scoff at. There are some gorgeous games on display here.
Sonic Generations is a surprisingly competent platformer from the former ’90s hero that looks and sounds phenomenal.
Resident Evil: Revelations is a beautiful, atmospheric game that hearkens back to the series’ roots while maintaining the action of the newer installments.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D may be a remake of the N64 classic, but it looks and plays great and has been remastered for modern audiences. It feels like this is what the game was always trying to achieve anyway.
Sure, the system is six years old at this point (I’d like to make the distinction, however, that the unit in review is the “New Nintendo 3DS”, a redesign and substantial upgrade from the earlier model in terms of performance.) but 2016 feels like the perfect time to really pick one of these up. You have a vast library of games from a wide array of Nintendos back catalogue to new and excellent titles still steadily being released. Some of Nintendo’s strongest offerings actually call this device home- if you’re like me, that is, and Mario and Zelda are basically religion.
I truly feel like this is the best piece of hardware Nintendo has ever put out and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s not their most powerful, but certainly their most confident and finely tuned.
Games I played for this review:
Kirby’s Dreamland (VC)
Super Mario Land (VC)
Resident Evil Revelations