Despite the 3DS not selling as well as Nintendo, or really anyone expected, the 3DS section of Nintendo’s booth was packed all through E3. It wasn’t until 4PM on Thursday, an hour before the show closed, that I was able to get up there and see any games. I didn’t get a booth tour this year, so wandering Nintendo’s booth was my only recourse for seeing 3DS games.
Joystiq recently spent some time on Nintendo’s press site and came away with a release schedule for a whole mess of Wii and 3DS games currently in development. Rather than list all of them here, which would be a waste of space given how much shovelware is still yet to be shoveled, I figured I’d point out the highlights, as well as my thoughts on them. The bottom line is that while the 3DS will get some good content soon, it’s still not enough to warrant a purchase for anyone in the near future. I still don’t understand why they didn’t launch this fall and just hammer people with good games. You can argue that there’s nothing to lose by launching early and getting that sweet, early adopter money, but at the same time, the system now has a reputation of not being worth it due to the anemic library. Maybe that reputation will dissipate once the good games start coming in, but maybe not. Come fall, I think people are going to be all about the Vita so the 3DS is going to have its hands full. Of course, Sony’s mutant power seems to be colossally messing up their hardware launches, so maybe all the 3DS has to do is sit back and let Sony screw itself.
Let’s take a look at that calendar, shall we?
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – June 19
Try as I might, I just can’t get excited for this one. I loved the original game, and it still stands as one of my all time favorites, but I’m not sure that means I want to play it again. Especially for 40 bucks. I can watch beloved movies and tv shows over and over, read favorite books more than once, listen to favorite albums multiple times in the same day, but once I’m done with a game, I’m done with it. Plus, I just don’t like the idea that the only thing Nintendo thinks the 3DS is good for is remaking Nintendo 64 games. It’s lazy and seems like a cash-in, regardless of how good the source material is.
Resident Evil Mercenaries – June 28
Also somewhat of remake, as this is basically taking a game mode from a previous RE game (5, I think) and making it a full game. Still, shooting zombies is always a hoot and 3D in conjunction with the over the shoulder view will probably make for some pretty visuals. Still, even with this, at best this is a rental for me.
Dr. Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights
When I played this at E3, Konami was saying September, however the demo was pretty lengthy, so lengthy that it made me think this wasn’t a demo but the actual game, so maybe Konami took a look at the anemic summer 3DS release schedule and moved it up. That would be awesome if it were true because this game is much more than a Professor Layton clone. On that note, we’ve been told that a Prof. Layton game is coming for the 3DS, but other than that, we know bupkus. Konami should fill that void while they can, because once the Prof. Layton game drops, I think there will be too many comparisons for Dr. Lautrec to get a fair shake. Then again, these dates are what Nintendo thinks, not the publishers, so who knows.
Cave Story 3D – Aug. 9
Danielle is real big on this one, but I don’t know much about it. It looks like they’re completely redoing the game’s world for 3D, so maybe the story is different too, but if I never played the original, does it matter? To me as a player, no, but to me as someone who doesn’t want the 3DS lineup to consist completely of remakes, yes it does.
Shin Megami Tensei :Devil Survivor Overclocked – Aug. 23
Devil Survivor is supposed to be one of the best SMT games and I’m sure the SMT fans will gobble this one up, but again, it’s not a new game, just a DS game made prettier and given more stuff. Still, as 3DS games go, it will certainly stand out among the 3DS offerings, so maybe that’s worth supporting.
James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes – Aug. 30
It’s a puzzle based murder mystery set in a 60′s game show. Yes please! I imagine Card Sharks, but with murder. No, wait, with murrrrrrderrrrrrr.
Star Fox 64: Sept 11
I’d say this is just another remake, but I don’t know as all Nintendo would talk about in their booth was that it has 4 player local multiplayer. No mention of non-local multiplayer, or the story, or really anything other than what I just said. In fact, despite having played it at E3, I left it out of the GShark feature, because really, what is there to say about it? Besides, I’m not going to do Nintendo’s job for them. If they don’t want to talk about it, fine, I won’t talk about it. I never played Star Fox 64, so maybe I’ll pick this one up. Then again, Slippy is damn annoying.
I didn’t get a chance to play this one at E3, but I watched people play it and yeah, ninjas!
NCIS Oct. 25
I love NCIS. I can not wait to play this game in 3D, and to stare into Gibbs’ horribly rendered, soulless, dead eyes as his ghostly hand comes out of the screen to slap me in the back of the head. The only thing that could make it better is if they made an NCIS: LA game where I could take LL Cool J with me via the built in pedometer, and he’d randomly drop rap rhymes when I hit predetermined step goals. Cool J cookies indeed.
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Holiday
All of these say “Holiday” which I’m taking to mean November. Finally, a new game! Hopefully it will be good. It looks nice, but that doesn’t mean much. I have never played a Kid Icarus game, so I have no ties to the franchise at all. I just want to fly around and shoot stuff.
Mario Kart – Holiday
I cared about Mario Kart for about ten minutes before I went online and saw that I had no business playing this game. Carry on.
Super Mario – Holiday
Mario is, to me, the Beatles of video games. I understand and respect Mario games’ influence on the industry and medium, but do not want to spend my free time playing them. They just don’t do it for me.
Sonic Generations – November
I also could give a crap about Sonic, but this Sonic game appears to be decent, which is more than you can say about most Sonic games of late.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
The LEGO games lost their appeal to me some time ago, however I am interested in seeing how they handle the darker tone of these movies. Probably not at all, but maybe I’ll get to see a jokey scene of Nagini eating dead Hogwart’s instructors. I played this on at E3 and while it looked good, I had no idea what I was doing, which is why I didn’t write it up for GShark. Wouldn’t exactly make for a compelling entry.
Metal Gear Solid Snake 3D Snake Eater – Winter
Konami isn’t stupid. They’re not going to let all of that sweet remake money pass them by when they’re sitting on a metric ton of Metal Gear Solid titles. Like all Metal Gear Solid games, I will safely ignore this one. It’s not a condemnation of the series, these games just aren’t my thing.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
Can’t wait for this one. Sure it’s a sequel, but I don’t care. It’s been too long since I’ve played Luigi’s Mansion. From what I saw at E3, the game sure looks pretty.
Heroes of Ruin
I’m also looking forward to this one. The feature set, including daily support with items, quests and challenges for a year after release is intriguing. I’m interested in getting more story details though as right now, I have no idea what the game is actually about other than killing monsters.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Set between RE 4 and RE 5, it has Jill Valentine searching for Chris in a mansion built atop a boat. No, I don’t know why you wouldn’t just call it a houseboat. Do they make mansionboats? I don’t know. Any way, I played this one. It looks like Resident Evil. Do with that what you must.
I guess every 3D fighting game is going to make it to the 3DS at some point. Soul Caliber seems like the only one left. All I know about Tekken is someone has a cheetah head. Or maybe it’s a leopard. Guess I don’t know as much about Tekken as I thought.
You had to know this one was coming. I would imagine Nintendo will go nine sorts of crazy with the StreetPass and SpotPass one with this game. Hell, the whole game will probably just be trading furniture by walking around. Fun!
Despite not liking Mario games, I do love Paper Mario, so I’m excited for this one, but I think it’s just a remake. I hope I’m wrong because if it is a remake, I won’t be buying it. Stupid Nintendo and their stupid remakes.
So there you go. I still don’t see enough compelling content to make people run out and get the system, but maybe there’s more coming we don’t know about. Even so, there would have to be some seriously badass games coming. I’m not saying the 3DS won’t eventually be worth it, but for the next six months or so, not so much.