10 February 2011

Does the 3DS bring a new dimension to the gaming experience? - by Xander Markham

      Posted 02/06/11 05:57:00 pm   UPDATE: I realised that I had forgotten to include Steel Diver in my write-up, so have added a paragraph beneath the appropriate screenshot.

I attended one of Nintendo's 3DS events in London on Saturday evening and had the chance to spend just over an hour playing through several of the handheld's most anticipated games. Unfortunately Zelda and Pilotwings didn't seem to be among them as there were no signs indicating which games were playing on each system, so it was a case of having to check each available screen before starting, but I did get time with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, Street Fighter, Pro Evolution Soccer, Kid Icarus, Steel Diver, AR Games, Ridge Racer and others, including 3D-ified trailers for Metal Gear Solid, Animal Crossing and Mario Kart.

Holding the 3DS feels effectively identical to holding a DS Lite, sturdy and a nice weight with the buttons and new analogue nub naturally finding their way under your thumbs. The nub itself is a superb addition, feeling slightly more springy and resistant than a console's analogue stick but just right for its more compact nature. The start and select buttons, located beneath the bottom screen, were less convenient to get to (the Home button is also there, but had been disabled) although these are hardly the most vital. The upper screen is now widescreen, though the touchscreen is the same ratio as the original DS'. It's a nicely designed piece of kit, instantly familiar to everyone who owns a DS but with improvements in key areas, of which the new analogue nub is the biggest and best step. Don't be surprised if a 3DS XL turns up by Christmas though.

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