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

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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

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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

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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.

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Pilotwings Resort

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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

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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

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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.

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