My own go: 3DS console review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by chris888222, May 29, 2011.

May 29, 2011
  1. chris888222
    OP

    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Well, I managed to grab my hands on the Nintendo 3DS 2 weeks back, now a 2nd set... let me try and go with a review on how I find the Nintendo 3DS.
    <div align='center'><img src="http://dsmedia.ign.com/ds/image/article/112/1124177/3ds_inline_2_1285751414.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><img src="http://www.nintendo3dsvideo.org/nintendo-3ds-black.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Common FAQs<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Credits to SoulSnatcher <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

    Just in case you didn't know the <b>3DS technical specifications...</b>

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Credits to Wiki <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

    OKAY! LET'S GET SMOKEY!

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->The Hardware<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    To me, the 3DS has a very solid design. It gives me a better grip as compared to the previous DS Lite/DSi/DSi XL/LL. The 3DS is made of 3 layers or what I always say, tones. The Aqua Blue has a more noticeable color layer transition and it is indeed pretty cool. The 3DS stylus is located next to the card slot (on the left) and it is indeed in a very troublesome position; hence I always take it out before I start playing. The 3DS surface is <i>extremely shiny</i> and <i>doesn't attract too much fingerprints</i>, which is really good considering that the XL/LL attracted a hell lot of them on the surface. The 3DS when opened shows a 3.5" LCD capable of showing 3D without glasses, a 3" resistive touch screen and various controls (which i will explain later). The top portion is black and the downside is that it attracts <b>LOTS of fingerprints</b> when you touch it. Also, the lower panel (the two vertical sides of the touchscreen) will scratch (or sorta smudge) the top portion of the screen as that part is a little taller than the various buttons. A screen protector hence, in my opinion, would be necessary. The 3DS also features 3 cameras (2 outgoing, 1 in-facing) at 0.3 megapixels each, which takes pretty grainy photos and does not work well under low lighting. It also comes with a charging cradle which I just use for show (make my 3DS look fancy) <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

    Battery Life on 3DS? I'm using it at brightness 2, Wi-Fi always on and at power saving mode. Each bar of battery drops only after 2 hours. Pretty neat! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":lol:" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->The Controls<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    The 3DS has a few buttons, A, B, X, Y, L, R and the Plus Pad (or D-Pad) which were in the previous DS consoles, but now, the 3DS offers more controls. It offers an analog stick which is a highly welcoming addition for every Nintendo handheld. Apart from that, it also has a 'home' button, allowing the 3DS to perform <i>limited</i> multitasking (I will explain it under '3DS OS'). 3D also varies for everyone, hence, a 3D depth slider is added allowing the players to adjust the 3D to their desired level or even totally turn down the 3D to form a brighter 2D display. Did I say brighter? Yes. I will explain it in the 3D effect section.

    The touchscreen can also work as controlling the camera angles and perform certain moves, all up to the developer's preference. Oh, and it's also really sensitive; with just a slight touch, the screen responds instantly. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->The 3D Effect<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    Many people have asked me, is the 3D effect real? Is it just some fake 3D to attract kids to buy it? Well, my answer would be, <b>it is true 3D</b>. The 3D on the 3DS, however, is more of a 'sinking-in' or in-depth 3D rather than popping out; which is actually much better as the depth helps in better viewing of certain parts in the game such as the background of the game. Popping out 3D is also there, and I find that the AR games (cuckoo clock - can be bought for 1 play coin, again I will explain later what are they) showing the best popping-out 3D effect. Dead or Alive: Dimensions, if Katsumi wins, the hand which she stretches out really stretches 'out of the screen'. It is really impressive.

    However, the 3D gives a very bad viewing angle. I myself have no problems with the 3D (I move it quite a bit when I'm playing SSFIV and the 3D is still there) however people around me simply see a blurry, double image. The 3D sometimes also cuts the framerate of certain games; SSFIV in 3D runs in 30 frames per second, but in 2D runs in 60. 3D, if you noticed, also cuts the brightness of the 3DS top-screen. Try it yourself, you will see a slight difference.

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Preloaded Software<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    The 3DS runs on a totally new and redesigned OS, and features the 'HOME MENU'. I will explain it in-depth later.

    The 3DS features many preloaded software, in fact it has more compared to the previous handhelds.

    These are the software preloaded on the 3DS:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Most of them, IMO, are really short. 3D videos isn't available yet and the only video which comes with the firmware update is 'OK GO by White Knuckles'. Many are also 'ports' of the previous DSi console, such as Download Play, Camera, Sound, only with certain improvements such as more file formats being accepted etc. The activity log is pretty boring and you will only go there for once, unless you really want to track how much you have traveled with your 3DS for the past few days/weeks/months or even years. Like the DSi/XL/LL, the 3DS camera is also quite horrible (in image quality) and does not work well in low lighting.

    The 3DS is the first nintendo handheld to feature Miis. A Mii Maker is available for you to create your Miis from scratch or from photo. The photo way seems to work for me and only a few tweaks are needed for me. However, many people have been stating that the photo creator doesn't work for them. The only problem I face is when the camera can't pick up a face under low lighting, which can be extremely troublesome. Once your Mii is created, you can now get your Friend Code, participate in the Mii Plaza, use it in some games and many other features such as StreetPass.

    AR (Augmented Reality) is new in a nintendo handheld and it is also a very welcoming addition. AR Games requires you to make use a few of those 6 AR cards provided with the system and you can play games (mostly killing a boss dragon) and Mii Shots/Character Shots. With play coins (I will explain it under the StreetPass/SpotPass section), you can 'purchase' additional AR games such as enhanced archery, free fishing and cuckoo clock. Face Raiders, on the other hand, works without AR cards; and requires you to take a photo of your (whoever's) face and shoot them as they fly by. The only problem I face with AR is again, lighting; which causes the 3DS cameras to be unable to track the AR cards down (the exception being Face Raiders).

    StreetPass Mii Plaza - I will explain it in the StreetPass/SpotPass section.


    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->3DS OS<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    The 3DS uses a brand new operating software, and the main feature is the HOME MENU, which you'll be spending quite a lot of time at. It has an interface pretty similar to the DSi Menu, however now you can resize the icons to any size you wish. Brightness settings can also be set straight at the top left corner of the bottom screen.

    Now, multitasking... A great feature of the 3DS, or is it not? Sad to say, multitasking on the 3DS is limited. <i>Meaning you can only access the top row of mini apps when a main app is running on the background. If you would like to switch to another main app, the opened one must be closed (there is a warning though).</i> The mini apps are friend list (see if your friends are online for short message chats etc.), game notes (doodle anything you want or make notes about the game), notifications (notes from Nintendo and game devs) and finally the yet-to-come internet browser (yes, from June 6/7 onwards, you can access the browser even when you're playing a game!)

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->StreetPass/SpotPass<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    This is the answer to Nintendo's call of enhanced wireless communications. Basically, these features are wireless features which can happen even when in sleep mode.

    The 3DS's motto to me, is 'get out and get going', as the StreetPass feature encourages you to head out to collect StreetPass tags for your Mii Plaza and for your games as some games have StreetPass features like battle/view etc. Walking with your 3DS in sleep mode also activates the built-in pedometer, which tracks the number of steps you have walked and will add it to the activity log. Now, play coins... Every 100 steps walked will give you 1 play coin and you can collect to a maximum of 300. Play coins let you purchase some neat stuff in your games such as extra clothes in DOA and bonus features in AR Games. The Mii Plaza will let you view your collected Miis and you can play minigames with those which you've collected such as puzzle pieces and the dungeon game. This is indeed pretty cool, however I find it really tedious and it might take forever to complete the minigame (unless you live in Japan).

    SpotPass is when the 3DS is in sleep mode and the gaming devs/nintendo themselves send notifications via the internet. Yes, the 3DS can communicate to the internet in sleep mode! However, this feature is pretty dull for now... Not really much notifications.

    and NO... the 3DS won't automatically update your firmware, so don't ask.

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->...and finally, the games<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    The 3DS has a bright future ahead, although now it is considered lackluster. It lacks many numerous anticipated 3DS titles such as Legend of Zelda, Mario kart, Resident Evil etc. for now and 3DS owners feel really bored playing SSFIV and PES all of the time. There's also no internet browser for you to surf the web for now.

    To me, the best games to get for now would be Ridge Racer, DOA, SSFIV (if you prefer classic) and PES.

    3DS features full backwards compatibility, and it really works. DS games would have their upper top to be trimmed to a 3" fullscreen, same as the lower. I find the backwards compatibility very solid, however it appears a little blurry thanks to the higher resolutions of the 3DS screen. There is a way to make them the same as the DS (256 X 192) however it will make the upper screen appear <i>really small</i>, hence, I won't go for that.

    The eShop and virtual console plus internet browser will come by June 6/7 via a firmware update.

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->OVERALL<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    The 3DS seems really dull for now, however starting June expect some awesome stuff coming for the 3DS. With Resident Evil and the Browser/eShop kicking off, expect much more later this year.

    <i><b>So overall,</b></i>

    <b>Hardware design</b>: The 3DS feels solid, however the lower screen design flaw is considered really bad; with no screen protectors your upper screen would be scratched. Hence, I would give it a 6.5/10

    <b>Controls and screen resolutions + 3D</b>: The controls are excellent; the analog stick is smooth, fluid and comfortable (there's a thumb nest), the buttons are clicky and responsive, and the L & R buttons are now more jutting out; making them easier to press. The resolutions are excellent and much better than the DS family, and the 3D effect is sharp and impressive; only with a small viewing angle and with a few people suffering from headaches. Hence, I would give it a 8.5/10

    <b>Software</b>: The 3DS OS is fresh and impressive, with customizable icon sizes and easier access to screen brightness settings. It just lacks in games and certain software is really plain. As games are coming over the year and with backwards compatibility, I will give a rating of 8/10

    <b>Others (Price, battery etc.)</b>: $250 is by now the <i>most expensive handheld ever by Nintendo</i> and many people are complaining about it. However I find US$250 to be 'affordable' as compared to my own country, Singapore. Battery Life is better than I've expected, with each bar dropping after 2 hours of gameplay at full 3D, brightness 2, power saving on, wireless on. StreetPass and SpotPass are also very welcoming features. Rating: 7.5/10

    So, overall, <b>I would give the Nintendo 3DS a 7.5/10 rating.</b> The hardware is impressive but again with flaws, limited 3DS software for now are the main reasons why it didn't get at least a 8. The 3DS is really fun, don't get me wrong! It is really an impressive piece of work and I expect a bright future ahead for the Nintendo 3DS. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
    Wikipedia for the Specs
    SoulSnatcher for the FAQ
    nintendo3dsvideo for the Cosmo Black image
    IGN for the Aqua Blue image

    Thank you all!
     
  2. Zorua

    Zorua Newbie

    That's a good and concise review!
    I suggest you format it with:
    Code:
    [h][/h]
    tags for the headings and with
    Code:
    [p= ][/p]
    for the paragraphs.
    Oh and you can also use
    Code:
    [list]
    [*]Item
    [*]Item
    [/list]
    tags for making lists. They look neat but they can't be coupled with the paragraph tags.
    For the images, you can use
    Code:
    [center][/center]
    tags. They'll make 'em look neater IMHO.
    Also, you should try and eliminate the spoilers.
    Stuff looks neater without them IMO. [​IMG]
    Good review nonetheless! [​IMG]
     
  3. chris888222
    OP

    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Well, this is my first attempt on such a big 'project'...

    I will edit it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip! [​IMG]

    Spoilers are for those who haven't actually bought the 3DS... [​IMG]

    Oh, and also thanks for the compliments [​IMG]

    EDIT: edited review!
     
  4. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    Do you mean tones and left side of 3DS for the stylus?

    I have yet to get screen protectors... and have no starches. Anyone else?

    What did Ign give it again?
     
  5. chris888222
    OP

    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Oh!!! Oops... had a headache just now. let me correct it.

    Mine has scratches though, can be seen on the protector film.
     
  6. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    (Hardware design) I do feel that too low for one flaw.
     
  7. chris888222
    OP

    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    It scratches some screens (it smudges mine)... why isn't it a design flaw?
     
  8. ediskywalker

    Newcomer ediskywalker Newbie

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    It's a very nice console indeed, i've already got mine, and the only game i got to play is Ridge Racer 3D, is a very nice game, also I've pre-ordered Zelda from play-asia, I can't wait to get it. [​IMG]
     

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