Nintendo’s new handheld platform, the 3DS, is heralded by some as a revolution for video games. Others call it a gimmick. What matters with the platform isn’t its technology, but the games it offers. Here are ten of the best games to look forward to on the Nintendo 3DS.
#10 Resident Evil: The Mercenaries
The basic premise of the game is simple: kill as many hostiles as possible within a set time to earn the highest score. With Wi-Fi connectivity and co-op play, players can get together to kill hordes of Plagas-infected humans while customizing their characters and abilities.
“Resident Evil: The Mercenaries” is more or less the Resident Evil franchise’s version of “Final Fantasy: Dissidia.” Built on minigames in the fourth and fifth Resident Evil titles with new stages, characters and modes, “The Mercenaries” is designed for casual players.
#9 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D
It couldn’t be a better time for “Metal Gear Solid 3” to get a remake. With the latest technology, the new game is said to utilize the Nintendo 3DS’s gyroscope, motion-sensor and 3D–the last of which is pretty much a given for any 3DS title.
Hideo Kojima is keeping the game under wraps for now, but there is little doubt that gamers are going to be in store for something special with this one.
#8 Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Playing “Super Street Fighter IV” might be all the rage on the PS3 or Xbox 360 because of its great visual style and equally good gameplay, but the lack of 3D means that the game doesn’t pop out as much as it could.
This version for the Nintendo 3DS is an attempt to remedy this slight shortcoming by putting you closer to the action. While the game can be played in the usual view, a new camera mode offers a over-the-shoulder angle for even more intense gameplay. More than just a port, players can also perform special moves by tapping icons on the touch screen.
Like many other 3DS titles, SSFIV will make full use of the StreetPass feature so you can have impromptu battles with other players in the real world, collecting figurines as you defeat them.
#7 Paper Mario
“Paper Mario” may share the same name as the original “Paper Mario,” but make no mistake: it’s a completely new game. This turn-based RPG is expected to take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS by bringing its papercraft visual style into the third dimension.
Following the papercraft theme, Mario must collect stickers found throughout the world to stick them onto the environment. It’s not too dissimilar from the stamp system in “Costume Quest.”
Announced in June last year, “Paper Mario” is said to be very far along in its development despite not having a release date as of yet.
#6 Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
There’s fewer games more addicting than the Professor Layton series of puzzle games. Packed with brain teasers and puzzles of all sorts, the Professor Layton games have been a staple on the DS platform ever since the first title was released years ago.
New to the Nintendo 3DS is “Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle,” the fifth game in the series but the third story chronologically. It serves as a sequel to “Professor Layton and the Specter’s Flute,” for those of you who care about the game’s storyline outside its puzzles.
The game will receive a visual overhaul thanks to the 3DS’ three-dimensional graphics engine, replacing the hand-drawn 2D sprites with new, high resolution 3D models. Players can also examine areas in 3D and many new puzzles will take advantage of the platform’s technologies, including the motion sensor.
It’s safe to say that there’s no other puzzle game like it, so it’s definitely one to look forward to.
#5 Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars
If the previous LEGO titles are any indication, “LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars” will undoubtedly be better than the movie it is based on. Criticism of the movie aside, the game is a follow up to the previous LEGO Star Wars games, in which up to two players can play cooperatively. Players can switch between various characters collected throughout the game as they advance through the movie’s storyline and complete multi-part objectives from solving puzzles to fighting large bosses.
Although the game is being released for every (recent) gaming platform in existence, the 3DS version of “Lego Star Wars 3” will be the first game in the series to feature full three dimensional graphics. You’ll be seeing plastic bricks like you’ve never seen them before.
#4 Rayman 3D
Not to be confused with the as-yet-unannounced “Rayman 3,” Rayman 3D is a full fledged port of the platform game “Rayman 2: The Great Escape” to the 3DS. Although the game was previously ported to the PSP and the iOS, this new port is said to be based on the Dreamcast version–arguably it’s best–with a complete overhaul of its user interface, progression and learning curve to make the game more accessible for newcomers.
The game takes in the Glade of Dreams where robot pirates from outer space–yes, you read that correct–invade the world and disrupt the order of things. Rayman must go on a journey to collect a thousand pieces of the world’s core–Lums–and awaken four magical masks to summon the world’s spirit to repair the world. It’s a fantastic setting and one that escapes description, thanks to Michel Ancel’s (best known for his work on Beyond Good & Evil) propensity for designing beautiful and strange worlds.
Played through the first person perspective, the player controls the floaty-limbed Rayman as he runs, jumps, climbs and punches his way through alien robot pirates while collecting Lums. Doing so even unlocks new details about the game world and its myriad of mysteries.
Unlike the previous ports, which were based on the Nintendo 64 version of the game, “Rayman 3D” is expected to look and feel its finest on the new 3DS platform.
#3 Kid Icarus: Uprising
“Kid Icarus: Uprising” is a return of the Kid Icarus franchise and the third in the series, and offers a blend of both ground and air combat. Pit, the game’s protagonist, battles the forces of a reborn Medusa (from the earlier game in the series) who isn’t as dead as she seems. Built for the 3DS, “Uprising” will feature Pit as he is depicted in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
This nineteen-year wait had well be worth it.
#2 Resident Evil: Revelations
“Resident Evil: Revelations” is the first exclusive title for the 3DS in the RE series. Not a reboot or a continuation of the Resident Evil saga, “Revelations” takes place between episodes four and five, with Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine serving as the game’s protagonists. The two characters find themselves onboard a haunted cruise ship and various parts of Europe.
“Revelations” is said to be a throwback to the survival-horror gameplay of the original Resident Evil titles and a departure from the action-heavy gameplay of the newer games, with a strong focus on exploration and puzzle-solving. However, unlike the early RE games, “Revelations” will be set in a third person, over-the-shoulder perspective with an option for FPS aiming that makes full use of the Nintendo 3DS’ capabilities.
#1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” is without a doubt the most wanted game on the Nintendo 3DS. With game director Eiji Aonuma himself at the helm, “Ocarina of Time 3D” is promised to not only look as good as games today, but also improve upon every single aspect of the game–from its user interface down to its core mechanics. Thanks to technology in the Nintendo 3DS, you can also expect to aim with the motion sensor.
We can expect that it’ll no longer take hours to get through the Deku Tree and the famously difficult Water Temple–the source of the majority of the game’s complaints–will hopefully be as polished as the rest of the game.
If there’s any game to look forward to on the 3DS, it’s this one.