Nintendo 3DS 2011/2012 Line-Up Preview – Part 1


With Nintendo announcing a massive price drop for the 3DS last month, if you didn’t purchase the handheld on launch then chances are you’re probably very interested now. However, before you take that plunge, you probably want to know if there any decent titles to look forward to. After all, Ocarina of Time 3D aside, lack of high quality titles is one the main reasons behind Nintendo having to drastically reduce the price of the 3DS. Well, fear not, last month we got hands-on with several upcoming 3DS titles. Read on to see what we thought.

Luigi’s Mansion 2

Luigi’s Mansion 2 captures the essence of the Gamecube original perfectly, a fact that is sure to delight many. Guided by the eccentric Professor E. Gadd, Luigi is (once again) tasked with capturing ghosts using the Poltergust 5000. This, of course, means the simple but effective flash, stun and suck mechanic makes a return. It’s definitely more of the same, rather than a rehash or remake.

Whilst most home console based titles struggle to make the transition to handhelds in terms of controls, it seems like that won’t be an issue for Luigi’s Mansion 2. During our time with the game, navigating Luigi through the mansion as he tried to suck up a ghost or two didn’t pose any problem at all.


Visually, the original game had a certain charm, and the same can be said about this sequel as well. Whether you decide to play the game in 3D or 2D, you’ll be impressed by the way it looks and runs. Character and environmental models aside, even the cloth looks startlingly realistic as it is being sucked up by the Poltergust 5000. With the 3D on, mansion halls gain depth and vacuuming ghosts becomes a bit more challenging, but for the most part the effect is subtle and never too intrusive.

Usually his brother, Mario, is the one snatching all the headlines in terms of new game announcements, but this year the chap with the green hat managed to upstage him. Rightly so too, as Luigi’s Mansion 2 is shaping up to be an excellent addition to the 3DS library.


Kid Icarus: Uprising

Since it was announced back in 2010, Kid Icarus: Uprising is a title we were eager to get hands-on with, mainly to see if it looked and played as good as the trailers suggested. Well, after playing it, we can tell you it looks good enough, but it doesn’t really play that well.

The main reason for this is the control scheme, which is extremely awkward. When you’re flying through the air with Pit, you move with the analogue stick, shoot with the left trigger and cycle through targets using the stylus. If you have a 3DS (or even a DS for that matter), try to mimic that control scheme now and you’ll soon realise it’s not very intuitive or comfortable. We played the game for 5 minutes (it was timed demo) and got tired, we’d hate to imagine how your hands would feel during or after a longer session. To add to that, the ground controls are even worse, as you use the stylus on the touch screen to move the camera around.


When you couple the awkward controls with the fast moving action, it makes the game very hard to enjoy. It also makes it very hard to appreciate or take in the lush 3D visuals. In fact, after a minute or so, we turned the 3D effect off completely, so that our eyes could take in the on-screen action properly.

It’s certainly possible that some people will take to the control scheme on offer in Kid Icarus: Uprising and truly enjoy the game, but we can see many being put off by it. That would be a bit of a shame though, as the core gameplay is actually very good. However, unless the game adapts or offers a more intuitive and comfortable control scheme, Kid Icarus: Uprising could end up being a love it or hate it title.


Super Mario 3D Land

No new Nintendo handheld console is complete without a Super Mario title, that’s why it was a major surprise when the 3DS launched without one. With the impending release of Super Mario 3D Land, Nintendo are looking to rectify that.

The demo we got hands-on with consisted of four levels, showing off the different tricks the game will have up its virtual sleeves. Most of the levels seemed to mix together classic Mario gameplay with newer ideas seen in the Super Mario Galaxy titles on the Wii, which is no bad thing at all.


As you’d expect, Super Mario 3D Land looks great, both in 2D and 3D. However, unlike most titles on the handheld, the 3D effect plays quite a big part when it comes to the gameplay. The added depth means you will have to take that extra bit of care when jumping from platform to platform or bopping on the head of a Goomba.

If what we saw is representative of the level design and gameplay ideas that will feature in the full game, then Super Mario 3D Land is set to be a must own 3DS title when it launches in November.


Part 2 of our Nintendo 3DS 2011/2012 line-up preview will be hitting the website next week, be sure to keep an eye out. We will be sharing our thoughts regarding Mario Kart 7, Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

Joint Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful place. Over 10 years of games industry experience on all sides of the fence and more! Huge Metal Gear fan and all-round geek.


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