The New 3DS: One Week On

One week of ownership after purchase and I’m still finding that I enjoy the new 3DS even more everyday. Before purchase I didn’t know what the advantage of owning this version of the 3DS range was over the older 2011 model, but now I don’t think I could ever go back, and this article is where I’ll discuss why.

After owning the original 3DS, 2DS and 3DS XL I was familiar with what the 3DS could achieve, what I didn’t expect though was how blown away I’d be by the new edition. A few negatives I had about the 3DS over the years had all left my mind the first time I started up the newest 3DS.

3D View: The 3D has been vastly improved upon, with the camera actually doing very well to track where the 3DS was in proportion to my sight. Achieved via the use of the inner camera I found it always matching my head movements, even when walking around (although it can’t correct distances) that it would try to get me that sweet spot that looks oh so impressive.

Button Layout: The start and select next to the home button on the bottom screen has been placed in a more logical, comfortable, Nintendo nostalgic position to where your right thumb can reach them comfortably now. Sitting just underneath the A, B, X, Y buttons the buttons seem much easier to hit when you can’t look away from the game your playing. I haven’t had need yet to use the C stick, and can’t imagine I will for a while, and in my opinion isn’t the most comfortable nor useful addition to the 3DS. The LZ and RZ buttons are a similar issue but they are positioned well on the shoulders and are easy enough to push in and reach even with my medium sized hands.
I also found the new location of the volume slider to be nice, mirroring the location of the 3D slider, making it easier to access at times. Although sound doesn’t really seem to change until about 40% movement above mute which is a little odd, a little more even spacing of the sound function would have been nice.

Wi-Fi Speed: Testing against my 2DS the new 3DS blitzed the older device, downloading the newest pokemon update it was easily noticeable and play Super Smash Bros online is now slightly more enjoyable with a more constant faster connection.

New Hardware: Playing Super Smash Bros I noticed it runs a little smoother, with what appeared to be a more constant frame rate, Pokemon on the other hand still suffers from the drop of frame rate during battles which I thought Nintendo and Game Freak would of patched by now.

Auto- Brightness: What a great feature, it does well to match the lighting condition no matter where I am in the house, save for in direct sunlight, but I wouldn’t expect the screen to ever produce enough light for that.

Face Plates: Another great feature, although at current I’m still using my white faceplate that came with the console I will purchase a new one when I next see them. With something like over 40 different types there is sure to be a design for everybody.

That for now is what I’ve taken notice of after the first week and I might yet post up after two weeks what else I’ve found to be impressive.

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The New 3DS: One Week On

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty.

It’s everywhere these days and I’m the first to admit that I myself am partial to it, and I suppose in this day and age it pays to as everything can connect with each other in one way or another.

Take for example when I was a Microsoft fanatic, everything just had to be Microsoft, my computer Windows, consoles (Xbox 360 and Xbox One) had to be Microsoft, hell I even had two Windows Phones, because I just had to be able to earn Gamer score when I was away from my TV.  Everything was just so much more simple, One Drive really did make life wonderful, I could sync all my photos and videos up, even my documents. This is all incredible of course until I started to notice Microsoft lacked in one spot, the Xbox.

Why do I believe the Xbox was lacking? Well it’s not the actual Xbox itself (although I was a little disappointed with the Xbox One) but rather the Windows Phone and Xbox integration which really annoyed me. I bought my Windows Phone after converting from IPhone 4 and being informed that Windows Phone will be the only one to feature any sort of Xbox integration. What a load of shit.

Sure you can play Xbox live arcade games on the phone, but that is the only thing that sets it apart from Android and iOS. In fact, the same Xbox live App on my IPad and IPhone 6 actually work better than what they did on the Windows Phones (yes plural, I had a Lumia 820 and the 1520). The app is better laid out on iOS, loads quicker, crashes less, and has more updates. I don’t understand why Microsoft does this to their loyal Windows Phone users, whom might I add are a dying breed.

I understand that they have other customers as well but seriously? Why sell the phone as this integration device when you support other devices over your own?

It’s safe to say I won’t be going Microsoft for a while, I renewed my phone contract and went with the iPhone 6, which is incredible, it made me think as to why I left Apple in the first place. The first time I saw the iPhone 4 it was the sexiest phone I had ever seen, and everything just seemed to work flawlessly. So now I’ve decided to jump the Windows Wagon and spread my Brand loyalty elsewhere, to Apple.

I sold my custom gaming PC, my Xbox One and soon my Xbox 360, and will be purchasing a Mac Book of some description.

But hang on, what about gaming wise? Back to Nintendo for me, the only Company I can think of who has never screwed the pooch. I regretfully admit that while I loved my WiiU I thought I would love an Xbox One more and traded it in towards one. I kick myself everyday over that decision, and I’ve missed some great title launches because of it. Not to worry though as soon I will be the owner of one again and will buy the titles I missed out on, and will enjoy them all until the next Nintendo product is launched.

Brand Loyalty

The replay value of games

The early years of gaming in my childhood consisted of countless completions of Donkey Kong 64, Konker’s Bad Fur Day, Legend of Zelda: OoT and Golden Eye. I didn’t have many games but back then it didn’t seem to matter, I just remember the games had so much to do, exploring every nook and cranny to find something you and your friends hadn’t discovered yet. These days it just feels as if games have a max of 2-3 play throughs, if that.

I’ll admit when I still had my Xbox One account I was a bit of an “ achievement whore”, tallying up over 100,000 on the accounts I had accumulated over the years, and once I finished a game 100% I wouldn’t give it a second look, why would I need too? I had collected all the points I could earn, I had collected every point of intel, every poster had been burned, all outposts captured etc etc. In saying this that is just single player, the addition of multiplayer to almost every game these days really changes the dynamic to video games and what constitutes completing a game. I know people online who say you haven’t finished a game until you finish the multiplayer aspect also.

This multiplayer aspect is what could be the difference between the content offered between games of old and today, there seems to be more emphasis on the multiplayer which is fine for a majority of games but there are some single player games that I think should cut out any form of multiplayer as they don’t really need it, which would allow for the team/ developers to focus on the story, hidden secrets and bonus missions for example.

Sure if you haven’t played a great game for a lengthy period you may want to pick it up and give it a run, but a majority of the time I’ll find myself straight down to the local electronics dealer buying the newest game. Now this is where this discussion could be seen as the pivotal point between my childhood and adulthood, the ability to spend money.

I would be lucky to get 2 games a year as a 10 year old, whereas being an adult I can comfortably afford to spend $100 a week on a new game, hell I can even complete it, return it within 7 days and exchange it for another if I desire.

People will say that expansion and DLC keep a game fresh, but today with expansions announced before a game is even released (EA I’m looking at you) I feel robbed, include that content in the game. I love DLC that is released months or years after a game was initially released as I will load the game back up and be happy to purchase it if it promises a good amount of gameplay. Dead Rising 3 was good for this, adding numerous side stories of different characters which kept the game fresh after finishing.

Companies have a habit of releasing a game yearly now, shooting games in general will do this regularly, where others will deposit large amounts of money to produce a polished game, with content that’ll keep even the most avid players interested for years.

When all has been said and done though if you love a game you will play it again, and who knows, you might just find a new secret on top of that mountain in the distance.

The replay value of games

A Generic Video Game Post: Definitive Edition

Have you noticed numerous games lately that have come out that seem familiar, even more strangely, the same games we had not long ago?

Well chances are it’s because they ARE the same game.Video game companies have been terrible with this in recent times.

Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto 5 are just to name a few that use the “HD” or “Definitive Edition” line to want us to buy them again, sure it seems ok, but when you consider you are paying $100 Aus/ $60 Us dollars for the same game, just with better graphics, sound and hopefully some extra game play for your hard earned money it seems pretty ridiculous. These listed games are no older than 3 years between their originals and the re-releases, is it just another form of money grabbing, the new way to rob us of money now that we seem to have taken notice of In-Game purchases? The answer for me is a definite yes.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favourite game of all time, bar none. To see it was getting a remaster on the 3DS console got me excited like a school kid in a candy shop. Who wouldn’t want to gallop across Hyrule on Epona in 3D? This game for example I see as an appropriate use of the remaster title, because it quite literally has been remasted in the time since it was originally released, and with Nintendo planning on releasing the next game in the series The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask it is also deserving of the remaster title.

Releasing a game a year later after initial release because of “next gen consoles” is absurd. This is just trying to exploit every source of revenue possible, let the game live a bit first, let it stretch its legs, hell I’m still waiting for a re-release of Golden eye.

I’ve found some companies do remakes incredibly, Nintendo for example (trying not to bias here but other companies are making hard for me) really do try their hardest to deliver that excitement you felt the first time you jumped out of the plumping pipe in Super Mario 64. Or as another example the Halo: Master Chief Collection which saw the bundling of Halo 1,2,3 and 4 with 1 and 2 being their anniversary edition, the extra detail to graphics, sound, even extremely fun achievements added to the love I had to the Halo games of old.

In some instances of games I hope that they don’t try to re-release them as they can in a sense make them worse. Fable: Anniversaries for example looked stunning on the original Xbox, and with the release on Xbox 360 not long ago I was eager to purchase. What a mistake, the game was plagued with terrible frame rate, the worst I think I’ve seen on a game ever, think of it as playing Battlefield 4 on Ultra graphics using a computer that’s 5 years old. We were promised an update to fix the issue, but alas, wasn’t meant to be.

Not all games are terrible with their re-releases or definitive titles, but please don’t just “remake” them for more money, make them for the fans.

 

Thanks for the read guys, I now write for Gamespresso as well, so look them up and follow them for awesome news, reviews and more!

A Generic Video Game Post: Definitive Edition

Sorry I’m what?

32 years of age is the average age for Gamers apparently.

I’m sorry but I can’t believe this statistic, purely because 26% of Gamers are over the age of 50. How many 50 year olds do you know playing round after round of Battlefield, headset on, yelling profanities about who slept with whose Mother. Where do they find these people? I’ve never come across them in all my years of gaming online or online forums, “so where are they?” I asked myself.

And then it hit me, mobile gaming.

Looking further into it various articles counted app games and the people who play them regularly as gamers. How do we decide whom to classify as a gamer? Is there a Government body who creates these parameters? What is classified as a game these days?

This is where the line is blurred. The guy who plays WoW for 16 hours a day is considered the same as a 42 year old woman who loads up Candy Crush once a day, or is it the bloke who works at McDonalds, loading up Clash of Clans when he’s on the toilet.

Is it the people on Facebook sending me continuous invitations to play the newest craze game, or the woman still farming on Farmville religiously after all these years?

It’s like calling a man who walks his dog once a day an athlete, it’s just not the same, and frankly it needs to stop.It appears that only the proper gamers (if I can say that, but who are the “proper”?) refer to themselves as the “Gamers” and I guess that’s as good as we’ll get for now.

Thanks for the read guys

Sorry I’m what?

The New 3DS First Impressions

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Checking my phone I had less than 20 minutes to get to my local EB Games (same as Game Stop to you American’s) and the thought of not being able to get a 3DS today was worrying me.

My wife offered to pick me up from the train station, but I told her to get to EB Games and ask for the New 3DS in white.

Thankfully, I also remembered to tell her to buy a charger because Nintendo has decided not to supply one with this edition oddly. Although in Nintendo’s defense the box does actually scream “BUY A CHARGER!” and for the price of $15 I didn’t feel too ripped off, in saying this I would hate to see the disappointment on a young child’s face opening it up on his/her birthday to discover that they will have to wait until the charger is bought.

IMG_0439Another point on the packaging was the emphasis on colour and style plates on Nintendo’s behalf, the box was fun to look at and gave a good idea of the interchangeable plates you can purchase separately. Opening the box I found that the packaging was well protected with the 3DS tucked into a foam envelope of sorts. The usual manual guide and the AR CARDS are still present which is a really nice touch.

The 3DS itself requires you to pop on the top plate the first time you pick it up which is a breeze, just a simple lining up of two teeth into two holes on the console and clicking the other end down. What i found best about this though is how Nintendo have worked around hiding the text that use to grace the bottom of all there devices, just put them on the top so that the plate covers it, very nice

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When I first opened the console I was taken aback by the vibrant colours of the A,B,X and Y. Everything just seems to be so much more organised that my previous 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS. The home button is now much more comfortable to use compared to the 3DS and the 2DS. The volume location has changed to the upper screen, the game slot is now at the front bottom panel and the power button is now a small power button instead of the slide seen on the 2DS.

I found the new styles to be a little painful to use, measuring around 25% shorter than my 2DS stylus, which is harder for me to use, having bigger hands and all. Not only was the styles uncomfortable but the C stick was as well, although I might just have to get use to it. the new LZ and RZ buttons feel comfortable enough.

Powering on and going through the settings they quickly bring to your attention the new head tracking 3D new to this 3DS. Booting up the main screen its evident the device is actually noticeably quicker, it also draws attention to the new feature of setting a screen theme, though only basic colours are available such as red, blue, yellow, pink and black. The addition of the “Theme Shop” to purchase new themes. Expecting around 50c to $1 I was surprised to find that for most themes the cost was $2.60. I believe that Nintendo could offer an amazing chance by letting people use their Nintendo Club redemption points to purchase some of these themes.

The screen brightness is noticeably better, with better auto correcting and straight out brightness.

First impression wise, I believe this to be the best, most fun and most customizable 3DS to date and would recommend it to anybody wanting to get one. A comparison write up with be published tomorrow between the new 3DS and my 2DS just to give people a chance to see if the cheaper 2DS is better suited for them.

Thanks for reading!

Bye!

The New 3DS First Impressions