The Nintendo 3DS hit the other half of the world this past weekend, and feverish gamers and non-gamers alike are getting up-close and personal to Nintendo's newest portable gaming device. Now the built-in software can last you for eons on its own, but perhaps you're interested in something outside the box. That's where this buyer's guide comes in. Out of the multiple launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS, I've picked five of the best that you should look into.
Nintendogs + Cats
No matter which of the three editions of Nintendogs + Cats you choose, you're bound to say "D'awww" more times than you're willing to admit. The game makes of almost every use of the Nintendo 3DS' impressive hardware features including the microphone for less-problematic voice commands, the 3D camera for when your face comes closer to the screen, your virtual pets will lick your face, and the augmented reality card to literally have your kitty or puppy in the palm of your hand. Add in competitions and toys to collect, and you have one launch title to look out for.
Many in the media have breezed through this game, citing that it lasts but a few hours. However, Pilotwings Resort contains much more bang for your buck than that. The game includes five difficulties or classes of challenges, the aim of the game to perfect your high scores to earn three red stars on all of the classes and challenges, some of the most impressive 3D yet on the 3DS, free flight mode to collect dioramas that are in-your-face, and the familiar Wuhu Island as your backdrop. Players on NeoGAF and GameFAQs have been reporting playtime lengths of over ten hours. What appears to be light on content is anything but when you fly the friendly skies of Pilotwings Resort.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
A mouthful of a title and one expansive amount of gaming content in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. The premier title to use the 3DS' online functionality, the online play is fast, frenetic, and flawless. Players can opt for traditional analog controls or use the brand-new touch-screen controls for beginners to hadouken with the best of them. All the characters and stages from the console versions are present in this handheld port, and there's even an exclusive Streetpass trophy-collecting mode where passersby can duel their trophies. The side with the best trophy stats wins. There's over 500 of these special trophy characters to collect making for some great fun for completionists.
Ridge Racer 3D
You've entered slipstream! Race on one of two dozen courses in the newest installment of the Ridge Racer franchise. This game is like a greatest hits collection of tracks and music from past Ridge Racer games. Not everything is recycled, however. There's new content to be had. From the extensive campaign mode to Streetpass ghost mode functionality and three new tracks made exclusively for the 3DS installment, Ridge Racer 3DS is a beast in 3D mode. Add in some lightning fast speed with cars whizzing in and out of view and you have one meaty and excellent racing experience. What lacks in online play is made up for by the beefy single-player modes.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
This turn-based strategy game was originally a Nintendo DS title, but Ubisoft wanted something of greater substance for the 3DS' launch. Yes, Ubisoft is not known for their quality handheld titles, but Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars just happens to be one of them. Sharing gameplay ideas from X-Com, Advance Wars, and Fire Emblem, you're tasked with taking down a Russian dictator using drones to seize power and the will of his countrymen. The simple visuals show that this title was up-ported from the DS to the 3DS, but that doesn't make this a phoned-in effort. With enough tactical gameplay to make army generals giddy, Shadow Wars is indeed of greater substance, and one of the 3DS launch's surprise hits.
The new smell of a new gaming system is always fun. Did you purchase a Nintendo 3DS? If so and even if not, which launch titles appeal to you? There's still Steel Diver, Rayman 3D, Super Monkey Ball 3D and more to choose from.