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Community Review

grey walrus

Nintendo 3DS & SSFIV 3D edition

By: grey walrus Apr 1, 2011 | 10 Comments

I bought mine on launch day, and here's what I think.

Nintendo's new 3DS. We've all been wondering and speculating as to how this was going to turn out, but now it's here and I've got mine. As you all know by now the 3DS is essentially a DS with a 3D top screen. It's graphics have been upddated, and the control layout has been changed slightly. We've now got an analog thumbstick and a "home" button. 

Much like the Wii the 3DS has a home menu with different "channels" as pictured above. You've got a 3 built in cameras. Two on the outside, and one on the inside that can be used to take pictures in either 2D or 3D. The 3D slider on the top screen of the console can be used to adjust the 3D effect from only slightly 3D to "WHOAH HOLY CRAP THIS IS BUGGING OUT MY EYES!" 3D, or if you don't like it all, it can be turned off entirely. 

Enough with all of the boring specs. You wanna know what you get with this thing. As pictured above you can see the 6 altered reality cards that you get with your console. The five character cards all pretty much do the same thing. The character depicted on the card will pop out of it and you can then move them around in your house or wherever you are, and it looks like the charcters chillin with you. It's really cool. You can change their size and poze with a few pre rendered selections. It's fun taking pictures of you and your friends hanging out with Link or Kirby. The "?" block card is a little different though. You place it on your table or whatever and it actually starts up a target shooting minigame that takes place wherever you are. 

The 3DS also comes built in with a sound studio where you can record your voice and edit it. Doing things like making it play backwards, putting filters on it, messing with the speed, and altering the pitch. It's a cool thing to mess with. You also get the game called face raiders. In face raiders you take a picture of either your face, or a picture of somebodies face around you and shoot it. You look through your 3DS screen into your house or room and attack little flying faces. Also a lot more fun that it sounds. 

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Community Blog

jalexbrown

Opinion: Are RPGs Fit for Handheld Systems?

By: jalexbrown Oct 16, 2009 | 1 Comments

My opinion on RPGs on handheld systems.

So I've been playing Star Ocean: First Departure on the PSP.  It's a good game - you can find my first impressions on here somewhere - but as I was playing it, I started thinking about RPGs on handhelds.  Are RPGs really fit to be on handheld systems?  I remember back when I was playing Pokemon on the Gameboy Color,   It was great fun, and a huge part of the reason it was fun was because you could save anywhere, at any time, and pick the game up any time later and continue.  Anyone who's an RPG gamer can probably relate to this frustration: Well, I stopped playing X for a couple of weeks, and now I have to start all over; I can't remember what was happening.  It can be the most frustrating thing in the world, and the frustration increases tenfold on a system that you may only pick up twice a month.

RPGs are story-driven, and they require a high level of commitment in order to beat them.  From my experience with people who play handhelds, they can't or won't give that sort of commitment to a handheld system.  They want their DS or PSP for short spurts of fun while they're waiting for something else.  If I look back to Pokemon, I remember being able to play that for a mere five minutes and turning it off; good times indeed.  Then I look at First Departure, and I see a problem.  I was in a dungeon, and I spent forty minutes in this one dungeon.  The dungeon had exactly two save points throughout, and ironically both were placed near the tail end of the dungeon.  Had I gotten halfway through the dungeon and then that something happened and I had to turn the PSP off, I would have been screwed.  And if I was going to go a couple weeks before I turned my PSP back on, I'd be even more screwed.

This isn't a problem that plauges First Departure exclusively, either.  I went a whopping two weeks without playing Crisis Core, and I suddenly realized it was time to start over.  Needless to say, in my frustration I decided to play something else instead.  I really, really wanted to play Crisis Core, but the idea of starting over was revolting at best.

I hope game designers can take a lesson from all of this.  RPGs can be great on handheld systems so long as they're designed from the ground up as a handheld experience.  Designers need to consider things such as distance between save points and lengths of time spend absent from the game.  Once these two things are considered, maybe we'll end going full circle and getting a great handheld RPG that plays like Pokemon.

 

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