10) Dead or Alive Dimensions (5:14)
The fifteenth anniversary of the versatile franchise kicked off with a bang with Dead or Alive Dimension's debut on the dual screened Nintendo 3DS. Kick, punch, combo, juggle, and throw your opponent, and knock them off multi-tier stages such as a cruise liner, arctic wasteland, rope bridge situated by a waterfall, or ninja village to show them who's boss. Download DLC in the form of costumes and take on challenging throwdown assailants to earn rare character figurines. Or opt to take the fight online against the world or with friends! I breezed through the discombobulated story mode showcasing the story of past DoA games, and downloaded a new costume daily for approximately thirty days.
9) The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (5:25)
I didn't get to experience the original Four Swords that came with the Game Boy Advance port of A Link to the Past as I didn't have any friends with a copy of the game, a GBA, and a link cable. Talk about a hassle. That all changed with the Anniversary Edition that enabled players to take two Links solo through the game's four main areas followed by several retro areas accompanied by an even more difficult dungeon. While the last dungeon handed my fanny on a silver platter, I feel I got the most out of the game, and I truly enjoyed this free (until February 2012) download. Hop on the eShop and get this game while you can, 3DS owners!
8) Pilotwings Resort (7:06)
Ah, clear blue skies, azure waters, and a series of islands to explore in Pilotwings Resort... Just how I like it. This launch title was reviewed far after the fact, but I happened to love the content offered unlike some critics. Some said that the game could be beaten quickly. While that is certainly true, it takes some serious time to get perfect scores on all missions, discover every hidden item in the Free Flight modes, and get a grasp on handling all six unique vehicles. Wuhu Island may be familiar to most Wii owners, but it was like returning to an old friend for me. I assume it'll be the same feeling when I rev up and burn rubber on the course in Mario Kart 7 later this year.
7) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (8:31)
One of Link's greatest handheld adventures, Link's Awakening DX features an all-new photo side quest as well as a color dungeon. The prize for finishing this is either an upgrade to the Hylian's offense or a boost to his defense. The main game is comprised of eight dungeons full of keys to collect, treasures to nab, bosses to battle, and Wind Fish instruments to acquire. To wake up the Wind Fish is Link's goal, but in doing this the island he is on and all the people he met in his journey will disappear. Quite the conundrum, wouldn't you say? For the longest time this game was the highest in average time played. I must have gone through the game in two or three sittings. No life during the summer much?
6) Star Fox 64 3D (9:42)
Fox and friends soar onto the 3DS with impressive 3D effects, improved visuals, and three difficulties to plow through. The choice is yours as to what path of seven planets and areas Team Star Fox pass through, blowing up Andross' facilities, satellites, fighters, and ugly mug. Sure, you always have to save Slippy's rear, listen to Falco's smart ass comments, and take Peppy's advice to heart, but it's all relative anyway, right? I do, however, miss the force feedback especially when the train in Macbeth slams smack dab into the weapons facility. BOOM! KABOOM! BZZZZZZZT! Well, you know... The only thing really missing from this pleasant package was online play which is something I definitely think Nintendo lazily skimped out on.
5) Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (12:17)
Ganado, Majini, and mad maniacs with chainsaws, gatling guns, and hammers-- all in a day's work for the mercenaries. The game is set up as a high score fest. You try to keep a combo going by killing enemies within ten seconds or less of each other. Slaying a foe with a melee attack is good for bonus time as is attacking hourglass statues. Unlockable medals, skills, and characters further adds to the longevity of the game as does the excellent online play with friends or total strangers. Sometimes you get stuck with a fool who runs off and gets killed, but oftentimes you and your partner will play in sync with one another. Resident Evil fans should certainly not pass up on this tremendous arcade-like experience.
4) Kirby Mass Attack (15:27)
A brigade of cute, cuddly Kirbys march onto the field, ready to clobber anyone and everyone that gets in their way. With five worlds (the fifth being open after every rainbow medal is collected) and multiple mini-games ranging from an RPG to a shmup to a memory game to a whack-a-mole game, Kirby Mass Attack is one of Kirby's best handheld outings. There's just so much content jam-packed into a thirty dollar game. Occasionally your army of Kirbys will get lost via the camera not catching up to them, but this is so rare that it's not too vexing of a problem. Even if you lack a 3DS, DS owners without an insecurity complex towards things pink and puffy should look into this second-to-last swan song of the system.
3) Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (16:25)
With multiple job classes, abilities, races, maps, tactics, spells, summons, and strategies to gloss over, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (I swear they keep making these titles longer and longer) is a candidate for one of the best tactical RPGs period. It has everything. The visuals are charming, the soundtrack is splendid, and the story-- while wet behind the ears-- is engaging enough for players to see it through. I didn't have the time to see my own personal journey through the world of Ivalice through myself to the finish, but what time I did have with the game was tremendous and memorable. Luso may dress weird, have bad fashion sense, and carry a grossly huge pizza cutter for a weapon, but his story is one to behold.
2) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (16:38)
One of, if not my favorite game of all time was updated with greater graphics, awesome 3D effects, and bonus content such as a more challenging Master Quest, boss rush mode, and special orchestrated ending theme. Exploring the land of Hyrule once again was a breath of fresh air, riding Epona in the sunset, beating down Bongo Bongo, being scared to death of Redeads, and collecting heart containers, bottles, Poes, and other items were all wonderful experiences. The game surprisingly still holds up well to this day. It's just ingenious game design through and through. If you don't like the series, this game won't change your mind, but if you do, Ocarina of Time will remind you what you love so much about this fabled franchise.
1) Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (25:01)
The third Golden Sun in Dark Dawn is my most played game. I have an average playtime of over three hours making it my highest average playtime by far. The quest to save Weyard from certain destruction with Leonard and friends was not as memorable as past games, but that's a high benchmark to achieve anyway. What I took away from the game was that points of no returns in games should be abolished. That's just sloppy design. I did love gathering Djinn, summons, and rare items. Sure, the game was pretty easy save for the final as well as optional bosses, but it's the journey not the destination, and this journey was surely an entertaining one for sure.
Do you own a Nintendo 3DS? If so, what games have you most played on your blue, black, or red system? Give me a heads up in the comments section.