Nintendo 3DS: 3D Impressions

The GameSpot editorial teams weighs in on the quality of the 3D effects for some of the Nintendo 3DS launch games.

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Nintendo launches the 3DS on March 27 in the United States. The key feature driving the new console is, of course, glasses-less 3D. The top screen of the Nintendo 3DS outputs 3D visuals without the need for any sort of headgear. HDTVs and theaters with 3D systems based around glasses have received mixed reviews. Some think it's the best thing since the toasted sandwich. Others cannot stand the flickering or the need to wear something to watch a movie. The glasses-less 3D technology that the Nintendo 3DS uses solves some of these issues but brings up others. In removing the glasses from the equation, Nintendo added the constraint of a small sweet spot. And, outside of technological constraints, is the 3D useful, or even fun, when it comes to the Nintendo 3DS launch lineup? We asked numerous editors at GameSpot how they felt about each game, and considering the contention 3D technology has received before, it's not too surprising that opinions varied wildly.

Nintendogs + Cats

Sophia Tong | Editor

With the 3D on, you can really get a sense of depth when you're tossing a tennis ball around with your playful friend. The updated graphics are more impressive to me than the 3D, but it's a nice touch, and it makes you feel like you're peering into the world of your puppy or kitty. I am a fan of how the new fur looks on the pets, either in 3D or 2D.

Giancarlo Varanini | Editor-at-Large

Out of all the 3DS games I've played, I've had the most trouble with the 3D effect in Nintendogs. Its sweet spot seems much more finicky, and even in optimal viewing mode, the 3D effect isn't that pronounced.

Carolyn Petit | Associate Editor

Much of the time in Nintendogs, the impact of the 3D effect is minor. It creates the illusion of three-dimensional space when your pets are hanging out at home or you're playing in the park with your dog, but it doesn't enhance the experience in a significant way. The effect is at its most noticeable when you're walking your dog and you see the path ahead of you stretching away into the distance.

Ridge Racer 3D

Giancarlo Varanini | Editor-at-Large

I'm really impressed with the 3D in Ridge Racer, which may or may not have to do with the fact that it's a racing game and, therefore, lends itself better to the technology. It's also one of the few games that tends to make me a little nauseous after playing.

Carolyn Petit | Associate Editor

Racing is certainly one of the genres that stands to benefit most from 3D, and in Ridge Racer, the enhanced depth as you speed down the track is a cool effect. Zooming past buildings and other racers in three dimensions makes for an unusual but effective sense of speed. If you want a sense of what 3D can bring to 3DS games, Ridge Racer is one of the titles that will showcase it.

Brendan Sinclair | Associate News Editor

The 3D works well and makes sense; it's probably the best use of the tech in the 3DS launch titles I've played.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Brendan Sinclair | Associate News Editor

It's just a gimmick in this one. It works, but it's not going to make the game any more fun, so you may as well turn it off and save the battery life.

Giancarlo Varanini | Editor-at-Large

I really like the 3D effect in Street Fighter's standard camera mode because it produces a cool diorama-like effect. Still, I prefer the original view to the seemingly more 3D friendly over-the-shoulder perspective.

Pilotwings Resort

Chris Watters | Associate Editor

Soaring, gliding, and rocketing through the skies around Wuhu Island offers some serene appeal, and playing in 3D is a treat. It's a shame that there's only one location and a fairly limited array of challenges, but simply cruising around and enjoying the scenery is still a hoot.

Justin Calvert | Section Editor, Reviews

Pushing the 3D slider up while flying over Wuhu Island definitely makes the visuals pop, but the effect isn't so good that it makes judging the distance between you and the rings that you need to fly through any easier. The 3D in Pilotwings Resorts is most impressive with its unlockable dioramas. If you rotate them so that you're looking across the full length of the plane's wingspan, for example, the effect is very convincing.

Jane Douglas | Section Editor

The 3D in Pilotwings Resort is among the best I've seen on the 3DS. It's crisp, easy on the eye, and genuinely useful. Judging the distance to landing platforms, hoops, and the like is easier with the "depth" added by stereoscopic 3D.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

Guy Cocker | Editor

While games such as Pilotwings Resort seem to benefit from 3D viewing, the 3D in Pro Evo is pointless, to be honest. The default over-the-shoulder camera hinders your view of the action, and while the 3D effects look nice, they add nothing to the game. Thankfully, the Pro Evo gameplay has made it to the 3DS intact, so even if you're playing in 2D, it's still one of the best portable versions of the game so far.

Super Monkey Ball 3D

Chris Watters | Associate Editor

The classic roll-a-monkey-in-a-ball-around-a-maze action is a lot of fun in Super Monkey Ball 3D, and viewing the action in 3D adds a nice sense of depth. The good motion controls allow you to tilt your monkey's world, though the constant motion means that 3D visuals are a no-go (stick to the circle pad). This is one of only three modes, however, and the other two are poor attempts to ape Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. While zooming into the 3D race track adds some appeal, the racing just doesn't feel right, and simplistic fighting in 3D is still just simplistic fighting.

Discussion

164 comments
cowkiller321
cowkiller321

will we see wii latest games ported to 3ds? I'd really love to see some Xenoblade port, or games like monster hunter tri for 3ds. Is it technically possible at least?

erikthepoes
erikthepoes

does anyone know how the camera will be controlled in metal gear solid? The lack Of a second analogue leads me to believe that the touch screen will have to be used like metroid prime hunters

doriot
doriot

can leave you speachless!

gbrltro
gbrltro

Ehh. I still think the 3DS is pretty amazing. I don't know, maybe even revolutionary? Probably not, but I see it becoming one of the best video game consoles on the market in the next year or so. Once the good games hit off, watch out. Nintendo is gonna tear up the gaming market IMO. Though it may seem REALLY biased, it may be true. Also, if your eyes begin to hurt when looking at the 3D effect, your eyes are just NOT adjusted to it yet. I played 6 hours on end when I got the 3DS on launch. No side-effects whatsoever. Doctors have also said that it may even be BENEFICIAL. There are countless articles supporting this theory, so just Google them.

doriot
doriot

i agrre but a 3d tv basicaly oly let's you watch tv the 3Ds ets you play games

pokecharm
pokecharm

I had hoped there would be something definitive about this, but the more I read, like the 3D TV, the less I'm convinced I want to sink money into it...good information nonetheless!

snake63
snake63

I just got the 3DS and I am not impressed with the 3D yet. With that said I believe That Nintendo dropped the ball on the launch by not releasing Zelda or Kid Icarus since those are the games we want to play at 3D. If it wasn't for Super Street Fighter IV and the Japan earthquake and tsunami the 3DS would have bombed.

Draxargh
Draxargh

Well, I bought the 3DS, and I'm not 100% sure why. I'm in the USCG and underway for 3 months, so I guess I needed something to tie me over... I had it in my head that Z:OOT would have been out by now for some reason, and I bought the N3DS with a couple DS games and Ridge Racer/Street Fighter... I've only played Street Fighter once, Ridge Racer one, and spend most of my time playing Dragon Quest. I've managed to show a bunch of people the AR games like FaceRaiders and Archery on the ? card, and everyone's like OMGAD. But, in retrospect, I think I might have jumped the gun... since nothing even worthwhile is coming out any time soon (nor would I be able to buy it from South America because I'm sure there's region locking and I don't feel like playing games in Spanish) As for the 3D effects, they're pretty cool, I'm not sure what kind of gameplay mechanics will change with the added depth, but here's to hoping something can be done with the 3D tech. Even still, the AR games are just as fun with the slider turned down. It's more about the cameras and motionsense. Unless they pull something awesome out, though, after I'm through with MGS and OOT, I might trade it in towards the PSP2... assuming MGS isn't as good as Peace Walker.

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

My impressions...ah unless you hold this perfect, your heads gonna hurt. I tried it at walmart. If you don't hold it perfectly it is very uncomfortable to look at. Disappointed

doriot
doriot

it's good you don't have epilepsy! :D

AkuScorn
AkuScorn

@braedo_the_stud: Ooo, thanks for the information. I seriously wonder though how that will handle well with video games though. @mellowtrauma: Oh no, I don't have epilepsy.... But what does that have to do with 3D effects-? Can epilepsy be caused by 3D effects? I read it up and it seems like 3D doesn't really cause seizures...

doriot
doriot

So your not goin with the offer gamestop has?

VPBartilucci
VPBartilucci

Right now, don't see enough new stuff to make the jump to the 3DS warranted. Adding to that that I've gotten really use to the bigger screen on the XL, I see the screen on the 3DS a step backward, 3-D effect or no. Even with the widescreen view, it's still smaller. In a year or so when they come out with the 3DSXL, I'll probably go for that. I was disappointed the XL never got supported as a separate product, with games designed for its larger screen as opposed to just scaled up.

doriot
doriot

by the way u have to click on the 3ds add on home page to get to see offer. Ps: im 11 :D

doriot
doriot

To Everyone, guys go to game stops website. You'll see that there's a special offer that you can be one of the grand prize winners if you go to game stop try the 3DS out then go home type about how you like it or how it can improve (send to game stop) and have a chance to be one of the 60 people to win a free 3DS! Not Kidding! Go to the site yourself! Ps: I know your probably like I know i'm not gonna win but try anyway Maybe YOU WILL!!!

egivensjr
egivensjr

Add Me! Nintendo 3DS Eddie: 0860-3240-9637

powerfulone1987
powerfulone1987

@Wooden Sword This version of the Nintendo DS wasn't out this Christmas so my mommy couldn't get it for me. I won't bother with next Christmas though because she's already bought me this same handheld 2 times. Won't be asking again. By the way, I +1 uped you for giving my mom a shout out. Good looking out bro. ;) Now go get lost in some "Super Monkey Ball 3D"; money well spent. Nintendo has your balls, you might as well go play with the ones they provide you in that game. Mmmkay?

doriot
doriot

GodSlayer66 im glad i opened your eyes :D

WoodenSword
WoodenSword

@powerfulone1987 You lack basic reading comprehension. It's an entire new handheld, not a rehash, not a "repurchase." There aren't any worthwhile launch games, but in the coming year there will be plenty of great ones coming out. For all intents and purposes, the 3DS is Nintendo's next generation handheld console. You can quit trying to trash the console now, just because mommy won't buy you one this Christmas. I'm done trying to reason with you. Mmmkay?

powerfulone1987
powerfulone1987

@WoodenSword I don't see any worthwhile "New" 3DS games worth playing frankly. So don't worry. I won't be attempting to play "Pilot Wings" or that Submarine crap. And as for "Nintendogs"....well I've been playing that game on a little well known handheld for years now....it's called the Nintendo DS. ;) You know? The thing you just RE-purchased for near 300 bucks because they added an unnecessary and SUPERFICIAL (I know how much you like that word) update. As for your analogy......well it would make sense if the Nintendo 3DS was an actual next Gen gaming device like Playstation 3 was when it came out and not an Nintendo DS with yet another added miniscule gimmick that brings nothing to the table but more blind fanboys. Mmmkay?

WoodenSword
WoodenSword

@powerfulone1987 You're misunderstanding what the 3DS is. It's not a "meager upgrade" of the DS like the DSi or DSi XL were. It is the successor to the DS in every way - the resemblance to the old DS line is superficial; they are entirely different consoles. Best of luck to you playing new games on your obsolete DS Lite. While you're at it, why don't you try playing PS3 games on your PS2? You'll get similar results.

GodSlayer66
GodSlayer66

Nintendo made another version of their handheld console to make more money? what a shocker i would have never guessed. doriot you opened my eyes.

doriot
doriot

you might already know this but i think maybe that Nintendo just made the DSi XL to make more money to be able to make the 3DS or they just wanted money! And srry if i stated the obvious or afended anyone.

powerfulone1987
powerfulone1987

@FlamingFury Well the NGP isn't even on my radar so you may have a point. I do however think that when the DS and Wii came out they were Next Gen. Now they're current gen. @Sgt_Crow You assume too much based on a screen name. But let's say that is my birth year. We are only 4 months into the year. I could still be 23. Let's assume I'm 24 for your pitiful sake. Well........my family doesn't believe in not celebrating Christmas or giving gifts once you've reached a certain age. We're traditional like that. And we have money to do so and aren't poor. *COUGH* My mom still receives gifts. My grandma still receives gifts. My great great grandma still receives gifts. Think they're 24? Perhaps your mom doesn't get you gifts anymore. Maybe because you suck. Maybe because she's poor. Maybe this is why you seem bitter that MY mom STILL gives me gifts. Perhaps if you were a better person, you wouldn't have to buy yourself your own gifts on Christmas and your mother would love you. Excuse me. Gotta go get ready for work now. Lulz.

Sgt_Crow
Sgt_Crow

@ powerfulone1987: You are 24 and you still ask your mommy for christmas presents? Get a job maybe?

Clive-Owen
Clive-Owen

you dont really PLAY with 3DS, you just pass the time, and thats why it sells like crazy.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

@powerfulone1987 Have you seen the graphics? DS wasn't next-gen and it has heaps and heaps of good games on it, and the 3DS has far superior graphics to that of the DS, it's a big step up. NGP may be kicking it into overdrive, but 3DS is still a huge update to graphics and processing power. Nintendo isn't ever gonna do next-gen again. There's too much money in cheaply produced consoles like the Wii and 3DS. But 3DS is looking promising so far, and it already has better titles on the horizon than NGP (Namely Layton Vs Phoenix, the best idea for a game ever, and Devil Survivor Overclocked), and there's even rumours of a Monster Hunter coming.

powerfulone1987
powerfulone1987

I can't. Over Priced Over Hyped Over IT. A meager UPGRADE of a CURRENT gen system, not NEXT gen, which a lot of ignorant fools seem to have been tricked into believing, is not worth my time. I already overdid it when I got my mom to get me the Lite for Christmas after she had bought me the original for Christmas when it first came out. I will not be getting another Nintendo Handheld until a an actual NEXT GEN Nintendo Handheld arrives. Mmmkay? Who do they think they are? Freakin' APPLE? Pfft! Mmmkay?

mellowtrauma
mellowtrauma

@akuscorn: YOu might want to be careful, apparently suburbancactus thinks you might have epilepsy. You should see a doctor. What a joke.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@WolfGrey: You're argument about Nintendo always being outclassed by other systems is completely irrelevant and quite frankly wrong. Just because something has superior capabilities does not mean it is going to hold or carry the market. The Wii has still sold more units than any other console this generation (I am personally not saying it is the best console by any means), and the Super Nintendo was the absolute clear winner of that generation of consoles. Oh, and your comment about the PS2 having superior capabilties over the Gamecube is also wrong. The Gamecube had far better graphical effects than the PS2, not to mention better internal hardware. Small discs don't mean squat, either, as many games were released on multiple discs. Sony had a huge install base on the PS2, and the third party developers chose to develop more games for it. It's easy to see why Sony won that generation. You need to get your facts straight, but you obviously don't care because all you are doing is spouting off Sony fanboyism.

Geisn
Geisn

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

braedo_the_stud
braedo_the_stud

@AkuScorn The 3DS has a Circle Pad (basically an analog stick), so no worries about controls.

AkuScorn
AkuScorn

Hm, 3DS huh... Yeah I know about it, and I've even touch the thing and played a game on it but I don't know. The 3D effects for me personally hurt my eyes, and I'm used to watching 3D movies and all that. I'd kind and like to wait and see what other games come out for it that will make me trade in my DS lite to get it. And personally for me, for Legend of Zelda Orcarina of Time 3D, I'm kind of worried. That's a console game. Would it fair well with the DS mode of movement with the D pad or touch screen? I wonder how it will turn out...

vega13mv
vega13mv

i dunno what the hell sinclair is talking about, i love the new dynamic perspective in SF and the 3D looks amazing, especially when you view the figurines, they look like they're popping right out of the screen

Sgt_Crow
Sgt_Crow

@ WolfGrey: I don't think I've ever saw a cow spewing more ******** than you just did. Congrats.

Pro-N-Gamer
Pro-N-Gamer

Have the black 3DS with SSF4 3D and Ridge Racer 3D.. i really like this portable gaming console! Waiting for Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox, Resident Evil Mercenaries

xwhizkidx
xwhizkidx

When I purchased the 3ds I new I would never touch the 3d effect. I am not a fan of 3d at all it doesnt work well with my eyes. However the console without 3d is amazing and I am really happy I will get to play all the new games with great graphics

DemiNite
DemiNite

just wait till MGS3 gets released then everyones gonna be like whoa whoa whoa

Jakeiiii
Jakeiiii

It's an awesome handheld, but it's launch games are nothing special. It's hard to see the 3DS' full potential at the moment. I only got mine so I can play OOT 3D as soon as it is released; as well as the Mario game and Sonic game! :D

TheIfym20
TheIfym20

I'm waiting for 3DSi/XL/lite version.....

valcrist09
valcrist09

I also got myself a blue 3ds I like it better then the black, the black is too bland.. So far ive been impressed with the 3ds, the 3d is great, the device is very solid and loaded with fun apps. I didnt own a DS and wanted to get something and i rather get the 3ds now then blow 120-150$ on a older ds and end up replacing it at some point in the near future.

doriot
doriot

i meant to say: and I don't get y people think the blue versoin of the 3ds is so bad. Personally i like the blue one better! srry for miss-post

doriot
doriot

and I don't get y people think the blue versoin of the 3ds. Personally i like the blue one better!

doriot
doriot

looks cool but it's alot of money si I'm going to wait for a cheaper price

suburbancactus
suburbancactus

budakm - No studies have shown that 3D is bad for your eyes. It's thought that children under 6 should avoid 3D effects because their eye muscles are still developing, but optometrists in general say that the 3D effect is harmless and might even be good for your eyes. If you experience any sort of dizziness or nausea or you can't see the 3D effect, it's an indication of a greater health problem (for example epilepsy), and you should see a doctor. Otherwise, 3D is not unhealthy. The graphics on the 3DS are a nice upgrade (even without the 3D), as is the improved sound quality (which doesn't seem to have been mentioned anywhere, but it really is better) and the new menu. The camera isn't very impressive but it's kind of cool to take 3D pictures (although at phone-pic quality it's pretty much just a gimmick). It's super convenient to have a circle pad and a charging dock. As for the 3D effect itself, it depends entirely on the game, as this feature is telling you. Personally I really enjoy it, and the only real problem seems to be that the titles that are out right now are generally using the 3D effect as nothing more than a gimmick to sell an otherwise mediocre game. Hopefully that's not the fate of the 3DS! Verdict overall: this is still just an upgrade, and it's going to be worthwhile when there are worthwhile titles.

budakm
budakm

wel what i tought after wachting E3 i was like WOOO COOOL 3D no glasses better graphics but what i read 3d is not even that good, to much 3d is bad for the eye sights,and i readed some where else that dsi games loaded slower on 3ds(tough they said 3ds had better hardware ect) maybe if nintendo tried to make games more on graphichs as wel like ps3(nintendo would rock als hel for another 50 years) they still do but now in a different way note: srry for english

maybock3000
maybock3000

I haven't seen a lot of hype or demand for this thing... Is it even worth the money???

Gothic-360
Gothic-360

it looks like that because the picture was amplified.. it is meant to be played in a small screen, when you take a small pic and make it bigger it will obiously look pixelated..