2012: The year Nintendo 3DS came of age
We’ve all got a soft spot for Nintendo, which is why it pains us to admit that the company’s much-hyped Nintendo 3DS handheld console didn’t exactly have the most encouraging of starts more than 18 months ago. Sales were sluggish and it took a massive price drop from Ninty to kickstart the system’s fortunes. But after a bumpy beginning the handheld is finally hitting its stride. It’s outselling every other item of hardware in Japan right now and enjoying a steady stream of quality software as a result.
And 2012 was arguably the year where Nintendo’s 3D portable came of age: here are five titles from the past twelve months that every self-respecting 3DS owner shouldn’t be without.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Mario is Nintendo’s cash cow, and for good reason – the games in which he stars tend to be brilliant. This handheld offering – which picks up where the Nintendo DS prequel left off – is no exception. It’s a 2D affair, just like the NES entries from the olden days, and boasts lovely visuals and insanely addictive platforming action. It also records how many coins you’ve collected during play, with the aim being to smash through the million marker. Essential stuff.
This is a download-only title, and the fact that we’ve included it in our 2012 top five should tell you just how amazing it is. It comes from the mind of Final Fantasy Tactics creator Yasumi Matsuno and is a curious mixture of table-top wargaming and RPG action. While it’s quite short – seasoned players will take about 10 hours to burn through it – it maintains a high standard throughout, putting many full-price releases to shame. If you’ve never delved into the world of the 3DS eShop then this is unquestionably where you should start.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
This reboot was a risky venture on Nintendo’s part – the original Kid Icarus is a relic from the NES era and protagonist Pit is arguably more famous for starring in the Super Smash Bros. games these days. However, Uprising is as epic as they come, boasting incredible 3D graphics and third-person shooting action. The stylus-based control system can make your arms hurt after a while, but the pain is worth fighting through – this is a grand adventure that we hope will lead to further instalments.
Resident Evil Revelations
Capcom’s famous zombie-slaying franchise shambles to the 3DS, bringing it with it heightened expectation. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint – the visuals are without a doubt some of the best on Nintendo’s handheld, and the typically tense survival horror action is as fresh and exciting as ever. It’s worth picking up the Circle Pad Pro accessory to use with this, as the addition of a second stick really enriches the experience.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series is force to be reckoned with in the world of modern gaming, and many fans rank the third MGS title as the best in the entire franchise. This 3DS update of the PS2 original sneaks in new content and makes excellent use of the console’s autostereoscopic effect. If you haven’t already experienced this amazing instalment then this is well worth picking up – who said the 3DS can’t do mature, AAA gaming?
- Mario Kart 8
- Watch Dogs
- Wolfenstein: The New Order
- Grand Theft Auto V