Sunday, November 29, 2015

3DS hardware [Updated as of 12/1/2015]

If you've been a Nintendo fan as long as I have, you know they like to try reinventing their products from time to time while they still have shelf life. What you see above is a comparison between the normal 3DS(Left) and the 3DS XL(Right). While I have no experience with the original model, I can say without a doubt that the XL has served me well. In fact - I have since upgraded to a New Nintendo 3DS XL (Hyrule Edition!) and am entirely pleased with the improvement in hardware.

Here is an image:

As you can see, they have added colors to the buttons (in reference to the famicom/super famicom systems) and a much-requested second control stick for moving the camera. From personal experience I can say it works quite well but it does take some time getting used to. There is not much space around the small pad unlike the big circle pad and when you put your finger on it you may think you aren't having any input at all. Fortunately, this isn't true and when you get to experience it in-game you know your thumb is actually having an effect.

This new c-stick is especially effective in games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate where moving the camera is essential to gameplay. A slight movement of the camera could mean the difference between you and victory. Which is why it makes all the more sense that at the time of release it was bundled with the game to make more sales.

The design is nice and silver but very simplistic. I feel as though it could have done with some more representation of it's series although "blue dragon with a circle body" is nice too. Now, with the advent of the new 3DS, there wasn't just one bundle. You can also get the New Nintendo 3DS XL bundled with Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and even though it isn't a bundle there is even a Yoshi version of the new handheld.

I personally own the Hyrule Edition and have been loving it since I got it. There is increased performance in games - which means faster loading times - and the 3D face tracking recognition has been beyond improved. If you thought the previous XL had good 3D effects at time... just wait until you try this one. I am happy to say that this is a worthwhile investment for any Nintendo 3DS fan if you are considering upgrading or trading in your old 3DS for a new one.

Love it!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Louvre 3DS Guide

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Louvre Museum in France but tonight I have something big to show to all of you. At €5 per rental, you can have an audio guide pre-loaded onto a 3DS accompany you through the museum. This is a truly phenomenal use of video game technology in this age. Not only does the built-in application give you a tour of the museum but also tracks your location using GPS and offers a map so you will never get lost. This is the advent of something truly remarkable in gaming technology - we have proven that not can we just use this hardware for playing games out of pure enjoyment - but for educative reasons that can take us to higher learning too.

If more places start incorporating these type of features into their buildings, I believe it will not only be a fun distraction but help us in our educational pursuits as well. I would love to see more and hope gaming companies like Nintendo continue this trend.

Super Mario 3D Land

Let's start with Super Mario 3D Land. This was one of the first titles for the 3DS and an excellent one at that. Not to be confused with 3D World for the Wii U, 3D Land is a solely single-player experience. In the vein of 64 or Galaxy it is a completely open map with standard Mario series enemies and power-ups galore. The difference this time is that you aren't collecting stars - your goal is to make it to the end of the level and grab the flagpole ala Super Mario Bros. for the NES. That doesn't mean there aren't collectibles to be found along the way. Each level consists of 3 hidden star coins for an added extra challenge. In total, there are 329 star coins tucked away for you to hunt down and gather. In classic Mario style there are 8 worlds for you to jump your way through to find Bowser and rescue the princess. Joining Bowser this time are his 7 Koopa Kids from Super Mario Brothers 3, fan favorites that make boss battles for each world unique and refreshing. Of course - Bowser himself is in this too waiting for you at the very end to give you a fierce showdown.

As well as the 8 normal worlds - there are 8 Special worlds for you to work your way through that are incredibly challenging and Mario experts or veterans will consider a welcome challenge. As an added bonus, once you complete the requirement for it, a secret will be unlocked. Speaking of secrets - there are a TON of them. Little throwbacks here and there to past Mario games (The timing of the flagpole, the warpzone, and so on). Longtime fans of the games in the Super Mario series will be pleased.

One last thing - the 3D feature in this game is excellent. Depending on your hardware you may experience otherwise (I've tried it with a 3DS XL and New 3DS XL) but the game looks amazing and the levels truly come to life in 3D mode. It's something that has to be seen for yourself to truly appreciate - but take my word for it... the 3D in 3D Land (How appropriate) is better than most games on the handheld.

If you're going to get one Mario game or even just one game for the 3DS - this should be it. It has everything a fan wants - Excellent platforming, secrets, nostalgia, varied bossfights, every power-up you could want and collectibles for added challenge. I highly recommend this for any first time 3DS owner and 3DS owner in general. If you don't have this yet, get it now. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Who am I?

 I'm a guy with a passionate love for the 3DS (especially the XL). One who happens to love the 3DS as a handheld more than anything. ....Almost anything. If there is a National Streetpass Weekend, I'm there. If there is a price drop on any games I want in the eShop, I'm sold.

On my 3DS I go by my Mii's name for StreetPassing and Spotpassing events. If you ever run into a a Mii that has all the puzzle pieces and holds high records in all the Streetpass Plaza games... that is most likely me. I am an addict. An unashamed puzzle piece collecting virtual fish loving addict.

My favorite genre is... anything as long as it's exceptional. I tend to frequent traditional console RPGs more than anything and count action games as a close second.  Although it wouldn't stop me from playing pretty much anything. I like variety.

I have a small background in computer programming and writing freelance reviews. My hobbies include getting exercise, fishing, and watching good TV shows/movies.

I'm hoping to have fun with this project and spread that enjoyment to anyone I encounter along the way. Thanks for stopping by to read the writing of a humble man.

I hope you can find something you like!

Friday, November 27, 2015

What is this blog about?

This is going to be a blog all about the experiences with the 3DS I would like to share with you. I'm going to be covering all things Nintendo 3DS and every genre for the system. That's right: Any news, interesting facts, amazing new and old games alike... RPGs, Platformers, Puzzles, even StreetPass. EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. I'll be doing my best to post here daily and keep you informed about the latest happenings in Nintendo's latest handheld craze.