After almost a week of owning a 3DS and tinkering with its myriad features,I felt it was only right to make a blog with my impressions of the system. I'll sum up each of the features one by one, adding my personal take on that feature and I will give it a grade based on my impressions of it.
Nintendo 3DS Camera - This nifty feature allows you to take pictures of things, saving them to your SD card and allowing you to upload them, just like any old camera. However, working with the prime allure of the 3DS, the camera can take pictures in 3D. If you take a picture with the 3D depth slider up any amount, it'll save the image accordingly. You can view the image in 3D at any time thereafter, and it looks like if you view a picture taken in 3D without the 3D later, you can still notice a difference between foreground and background that the 3DS automatically works out for you. This is a really handy feature, and the best part is with both an inner camera and an outer camera, you can take pictures of anything the 3DS can see! Unfortunately from what I've seen you can't quite morph the faces on the pictures you've taken like the DSi could.Also, the quality of the pics is a little bit iffy in most cases, but if you don't have a camera, or your only camera was the previous DSi camera, the 3DS is a sure shot for taking pictures.
My Grade: B+
Nintendo 3DS Sound - The 3DS, using its built-in microphone (which is the tiny hole under the start button on the right side under the touch screen), can record audio, and on top of that, it can play it back. But that's not all! It can even play music you have saved on the SD card!! Being both a handy audio recording device and an MP3 player is no sweat for the 3DS, and the 3DS can at any point in time display up to 3000 songs, more than enough to jam and rock out to. You can even change the speed the song plays, making it slower or faster, and youcan change the pitch of the song, to higher or lower. You can also switch the backgroundthat displays during that song,which is pretty cool indeed.On top of all that, navigating your music is a pretty easy task.
Unlike the DS mic, the mic on the 3DS seems to be far more sensitive and can sense sound from farther away. You don't need be sitting with your mouth right near the mic in order to record your voice. The sound quality is actually quite high, almost on the level of MP3 playback quality, too, meaning your music's quality probably won't be sacrificed at all when moved onto the SD card going into your 3DS. Overall, this is an awesome feature that takes the PSP's ability to play music and one-ups it.
My Grade: A-
StreetPass Mii Plaza - StreetPass Mii Plaza allows you to encounter other Miis on other 3DSs, which can be ones made in the Mii Maker or even ones imported from the Wii's Mii Channel. The Miis you find can assist you in two light minigames, both of which are neat distraction. If you don't run into any Miis, you can purchase temporary allies for the Find Mii game for 2 coins each, these coins obtained through walking with your 3DS (explained later). While much of StreetPass seems to be reliant on finding others that own a 3DS, it's still a decent distraction and not a bad way to kill some time if you have extra coins saved up. The Find Mii minigame is surprisingly addicting, allow it does lack some depth. Overall I'd say I wish there was more I could find to get into StreetPass, but it's a cool addition nonetheless.
My Grade: B-
AR Games - The 3DS can do a lot of things, and augmented reality is one thing the 3DS taps into. Without the EyeToy's clunky setup, the 3DS uses special cards much like the e-Reader did back during the Advance era, however the 3DS reads these cards using its camera, and special characters and such appear on the thing the card is on, in real time. You can play a few different games with these cards, and 2 special features (which I have yet to unlock) can also be unlocked on top of that. Using the camera of the 3DS and the gyroscope, you can play a couple of different games including an archery game and a pool/mini-golf game. The ? card starts up the feature, while character cards can be used for special functions later. I tried this out the day before the launch of the system at my local GameStop, and while AR Games doesn't provide a lot to do, it's a great tool for showing off what the 3DS can do.
My Grade: B-
Face Raiders - By taking a picture of someone's face, Face Raiders throws you into a game using similar technology that AR Games uses, although without a card and without bending and morphing the world around you on the 3DS screen. Instead, you use the camera and move the 3DS around to aim at enemies that have captured the face in the picture you took. The game is surprisingly smart with reading faces and pretty fun to play, and you can collect the faces you've "saved" in the game. Much like other features pre-installed on the 3DS, it doesn't have too much depth but it's a great way to tinker with what the system is capable of.
My Grade: B-
In addition to all I just went over, the 3DS has an easy-to-manage friends list with a single friend code used universally for all 3DS games, an internet browser, and it can keep track of the steps you've taken with the 3DS with you with and convert them into play coins you can use in different games for the 3DS, including the preinstalled StreetPass Mii Plaza. The 3D effect is really cool but you need to keep the 3DS relatively close and directly in front of you. The battery is actually a lot better than I expected it to be, especially if you're not running the system at full brightness without power-saving mode on, the battery can last at least half the time the DS Lite can last (so roughly 8 hours), while with full brightness, the 3D effect on, no power-saving mode, etc., the batter can be drained in about half that time. Still, the 3DS is a very impressive piece of hardware, and I personally cannot wait to play more games for it. Nintendo, you've done it again. I'm a proud owner of this system and intend to continue being one for the next several years.
Final Grade for 3DS based off impressions and summary: B+
Anyway, I'm glad to have my cosmic black 3DS, and definitely looking forward to all the games I plan to play on it. I'm also excited to get some good games to play over Wi-Fi with it, so people with a 3DS or planning to get one, be sure to add my Friend Code: 2449-4791-3879, and for those of you with Super Street Fighter IV 3D, I'm going to wanna challenge you sometime, I'm getting it soon.
Hope you all enjoyed reading. Happy 3D-ing and peace out!