The 3DS Appreciation Thread

Nintendo has recently announced that after nearly a decade the 3DS hardware is no longer being produced, although the EShop will remain operational for the time being. Hell of a run for a platform! The hardware evolution of the 3DS was also incredibly interesting to me. You started with the diminutive 3DS, and then the 2DS wedge. The 3DS-XL (which I have and is a wonderful machine) and the other subvariants. This is probably the last of the Nintendo portables too, since with the advent of the switch and switch light, there‘s no real need for a separate portable in the future. (However, Nintendo’s new Game and Watch portable could be a sign of things to come, and they could be gearing up to release portable consoles, which would be kind of dope for specific fans)

So this is a thread to talk about the platform! I will be making a separate post about my current obsession: Dillon's Dead Heat Breakers, itself an Eshop only game in America, which got me to dust off my system and dig into it.

Stray observations: from me
1) NDS emulation/playing seemed to be slightly slower, to me, did it for anyone else?
2) Was the NewNDS worth getting for that second analog stick that a few games used?
3) Streetpass: what a concept. Going to cons and meeting so many other folks through it was great and I wish they kept it going for the Switch
4) Every time I held the 3DS-XL I thought "my god, Nintendo knows how to make hardware" (I have never owned a switch or experienced the recent joycon drift)

I took the 3DS with me on a family funeral trip in January to another country. It‘s a trip I’ve had to make since the Gameboy so I really enjoyed that I was able to hack my 3DS and just dump a bunch of cartridges to the SD card inside for the in transit portions. But what was really a life saver about it was that Youtube still worked on the built in web browser. A feature I had never used before suddenly became a real life raft by which to watch dumb wrestling videos while sending emails through my phone.

I bought my 3DS-XL right before I moved to Seattle, and as I was driving across country with it on I would get streetpassed by other cars going through Montana and Idaho. I, unfortunately, had the habit of buying so many games that I never completed! I think there was a major lack of 3rd party games I was interested in, and very few racing games aside from maybe Mario kart. I think this is the first portable console I had that saw the least amount of road use, since the previous systems I had (the NDS and PSP) were high school era purchases and I was still going on family road trips around then.

However, when I started a job in Redmond the commute to and from Seattle was so grueling I started taking my 3DS along, along with a copy of Chrono Trigger for the NDS. An hour and a half each way, with 3 busses. There was nothing like beating a boss while curled up on a Microsoft shuttle bus seat, or just getting a seat to cross the 405. I'd also be listening to a podcast on the way there on my used iPod. It was a fantastic setup despite losing 3 hours everyday to commuting.

Portable gaming being what it is, it's hard to find an excuse to sit down and play for me. Perhaps if I have a commute again it'll see more use. I find that it's hard to get into it when I have a *real* console sitting right there next to me at home.

3DS rules. I‘ve only owned the XL and it’s pretty perfect, but I might try to get a New XL some time soon as I might be more inclined to use the 3D on it.

The 2DS models always looked a bit awkward to me, but nice that they made lots of different models for different budgets.

Portable gaming is so tied to my adult life because of commuting. But I always use and junky older portable so that if I drop it it is not the end of the world. Also so no one hassles me on the train. So many long train rides playing GBA and DS. Now that 3DS is “old” if I ever start commuting again I will probably bring it along to play indie games.

The 3DS might be my favourite console ever. It just hit at the perfect time in my life, and got me enthusiastic about video games when I was on the verge of maybe walking away from them. I ended up buying way, way too many iterations of the 3DS, and found out that there was a network of people online who collect 3DS models (because of course there was).

What's funny to think about now is how the 3DS was considered a huge failure out of the gate. Remember that? How Nintendo had to issue an official apology, drastically cut the price of the hardware, and offer all those "Ambassador" games to people?

When I first moved to Japan, in 2010, I'd go to Book Offs, and there would be entire glass display cases full of 3DSs that people had sold off. It looked grim there for a while. Still, I got one, because I was a big fan of the DS, and had disposable income for the first time in my life.

A year or two later... The day of the 3DS XL's release was a beautiful, sunny day, and I was driving around town. I happened to pass by one of the larger game stores in the city where I lived at the time, and impulse-purchased a sleek, white model. Played the heck out of that thing, too. Etrian Odyssey IV, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Animal Crossing New Leaf. Oh yeah. Gave my old 3DS to a friend of mine, along with Mario Kart 7. She unlocked everything there was to unlock in that Mario Kart, and never bought another game for the 3DS, which I thought was fun.

A year or two after that, I was living in Fukuoka for a brief spell. I swore I wouldn't buy the New 3DS, because I didn't need it. Nobody needed it! And yet, I found myself at the Yodobashi Camera on launch day, just curiously snooping around. When I inquired, the staff guy I spoke to told me that all of the XLs had been preordered, and that only the small ones were in stock. Well, those interchangeable faceplates sure did seem cute (two were designed by Kyary Pamyu-Pamyu, in a true sign of the times), so I ended up getting a lil' New 3DS. Later that day, when I visited a net cafe to do the system transfer (sending all my data and downloaded games from my 3DS XL to the new guy), I lost my Animal Crossing village in the process, and that taught me to become comfortable with the transient nature of media ownership. No, @marlfuchs2, the second analog stick is terrible. It feels like a trackpad mouse nub. But! The lil' New 3DS is extremely comfortable to hold, and has those colourful buttons, so I like it.

These days, I own a New 3DS XL (galaxy purple edition) and that small, white New 3DS (with KK Slider faceplates). The big guy is for official eShop purchases (Atlus RPGs, and Alliance Alive, all of which I still want to finish someday), while the small guy has been hacked, and loaded up with hundreds of games. I still play both of them regularly, and always have an enjoyable time. I can see the 3DS being the one console I still play ten, twenty years from now.

My biggest obsession during the 3DS era was the Etrian Odyssey franchise (including Persona Q!), which is the best answer to @exodus' question about games that need to be played on their original hardware.

The game library was so deep and so full of weird little experiments from big developers. Some other highlights for me:

  • - Bravely Default
  • - Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • - Super Mario 3D Land!!
  • - A Link Between Worlds
  • - All those Fire Emblems they put on there. I played them all.
  • - The list goes on and on... Gosh I love the 3DS. What a joy to play.
  • I’ve had a few different 3dses over the years and have always found them to be really harsh on my hands, I always cramp up when playing 3ds games for longer than like 5 minutes. That said,

    probably my fondest 3ds memory is when I finally played Ghost Trick. I think I played more ds games on 3ds than 3ds games, I’d just go into GameStop and buy really cheap good games. Strange Journey was a big one for me, chrono trigger, dragon quest 5 and 9, DSI cave story… Yeah I think the ds will always feel more special to me than the 3ds, probably mostly because of access to those cheap out of box carts when I was working paycheck to paycheck at trader joes.

    It's a shame they are region locked.

    I bought an aqua blue 3DS for cheap from a Book-Off. My favorite games for it were Super Mario 3D Land and Kokuga.
    I was fond of it but got rid of it with the intent of eventually getting a North American region one, which I eventually did.

    I picked up a black 3DS for a pretty regular price, bordering on high, and a physical copy of Dragon Quest VIII.
    Paying way more to get the second 3DS definitely soured my impression a little, but not too much.

    It's a good system. For the one I have now I have the one cart game (DQVIII) which is always in the system and a bunch of eshop stuff including Dragon Quest VII. I bought this second 3DS before a trip. I ended up playing through most of Dragon Quest VII in Moscow. I can't remember if that is were I finished it or not. Dragon Quest VII was definitely the best time I had with a 3DS.

    Once you could hack away the region lock my opinion of the 3DS definitely became more favorable, and like I only have 3 UK games and 1 JP. But it just really bugged me that there would be games I could not play off a cartridge.

    i love the 3DS so much. it's got a neat catalog of its own but you also get access to the entire NDS catalog as well! (also anything on an R4 cart)

    here's some of my exclusive standouts to me:

    Rusty's Real Deal Baseball:
    cannot begin to describe how weird of a concept this game is. a game that is mostly comprised of DLC gated behind microtransactions... that you are supposed to haggle the price down of with the game's titular character (to the point that he warns you about buying things full price) who has a backstory about why he went into business selling games???

    Pushmo/Pullblox Series:
    Pushmo is great! Stretchmo is neat and cool! Crashmo is INCREDIBLY difficult, but still owns. i 100%'d these all slowly over the course of like 7 years by just picking up my 3DS every once and a while, so it's weird to think of them as this thing that's just been in my life for that long.

    Shin Megami Tensei IV:
    the first SMT game i ever played and i feel like i didn't start with the best one lol, but i still had a good time. can't believe this game is still a 3DS exclusive, but it probably won't be for long.

    Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    a neat game with some interesting game design that shows what a developer could do if they weren't shackled to making Smash Bros!

    Link Between Worlds and Mario 3D Land are probably my favorite games on the system. I really liked when they used the 3D effect to make it look like you were peering into a tiny, diorama-like, room.

    The 3DS also had some great RPGs like Etrian Odyssey V and the Dragon Quest ports, although I don't think the 3D really added much to those games (I still prefer EO III on the DS).

    I have discussed Dillon‘s Dead Heat Breakers once, but I think even with my short time with the game It’s become my favorite 3DS game. It‘s a lot of genres at once. There’s tower defense but there‘s also action brawling, but there’s also combat racing? It also has multiple protagonists (your character, and Dillon) that you play as under different context.

    It also does one of my favorite things I wish more videogames did and have a town that you hang out in between big missions. Here you can
    1) Work at a store, which includes deciding what to stock, organizing the merchandise, and ringing up orders, it's really fleshed out!
    2) Play an approximation of Pachinko, including the part where you're rewarded useless things that you then sell off to another NPC who is right next to the Pachinko games. This is actually kind of satisfying to play
    3) A top down score attack shooter in the towns...VR Arcade?
    4) And much more

    The game itself has a Post Apocalyptic setting, but it isn't like Mad Max or anything where "People are the real monsters" . you're mainly fighting rock monsters from outer space and defending small towns and settlements outside the big city. Your character, a group of hired mercenaries, and Dylan, form a rag tag for hire defense team.


    (I feel like now is a good time to mention that you, and every Mii you get in streetpass, gets turned into animals, which make up all the characters. This was a selling point, for me)

    It also does another thing I wish more games did, where it abstracts what would normally be menu actions with physical actions in the game. You don't have a turret "buy" phase before the mission, instead you walk around to other NPCs in a hotel bar and "hire" them based on the money you have. You don't "end" the day, you walk up to your hotel room and go to bed. You return your haul after each mission to another shopkeeper. I think these actions really make you feel like you're inhabiting the game world as your character. Azure Dreams also does this (I think) and so does Mega Man Legends.

    The missions themselves have a lot going on, since you're helping to defend towers by rolling around as Dylan, and addressing targets based on priority and position, but also maintaining power levels of the turrets. It can be overwhelming, it feels like they threw in the kitchen sink with this game, system wise. but it's so unconventional that I really do enjoy it.

    Sadly this game is Eshop only in the US, being released right next to the Switch in 2018, so it was criminally overlooked. This feels like the 3DS's Ristar in terms of being a really good late-console title. I highly recommend getting it.

    It's *weird* and there's *a lot going on* but it's also pretty focused.

    @marlfuchs2#6376 I think you've sold me. That sounds like a lot of fun.

    RIP being able to play Picross games with a stylus :frowning:

    Game I really like is _Nintendo Pocket Football Club_. It's a cute football management type thing, so you don't directly control the players, just set positions, train players, and trade. The bias is on watching the games rather than too much management stuff. They do a dece job of simulating them.

    The servers for it shut-down a while ago, which is a shame 'cause there were some fun online features.

    Also the Japanese name is _Calciobit_, which is very good.

    Otherwise I've mostly just played the _Animal Crossing_ and _Picross_ games on it, but there're a bunch of kinda-interesting things I've tried:

  • - The Fairune games are neat little things to play over a weekend.
  • - _Attack of the Friday Monsters!_
  • - All those Sega ports especially _Space Harrier_, _Galaxy Force II_.
  • - _Hana Samurai: Art of the Sword_ and _HarmoKnight_ are games I'm looking forward to going back to.
  • - I really like Mii-centric games like _MiiTopia_ and _Tomodachi Life_
  • - _Pilot Wings Resort_ is... pretty good.
  • - _Pocket Card Jockey_ is a card game x horse racing game.
  • - _Siesta Fiesta_ is a _Breakout_y thing, but you go through scrolling stages.
  • - _Tank Troopers_
  • I like that you can change the faceplates. have a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu x Boo one.

    (sorry for not writing more)

    I feel weird for having this opinion, but the 3DS never clicked with me the way the original DS did and the big reason was the loading times. The difference between starting up an older DS and my 3DS XL feels like night and day, like I‘m already playing the DS game while I’m still waiting for the 3DS to get to the menu.

    But also I feel like I never REALLY gave the 3DS the chance it deserves. Most of the games I have for it are sequels to DS games and some of them are pretty good but not quite enough to sell me on the system. And up until the past couple years I was pretty isolated from other gaming-folks so I literally don't think I ever played a multiplayer game on it or gotten a single streetpass.

    The last 3DS game I played on my 3DS (not including virtual console or Sega 3D Classics) was Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright a couple years ago. I got over 20 hours in but something went wrong with the card and I can't progress without getting an error (I even tried another 3DS). I'm still scarred from the experience of all that game-time going down the drain.

    Anyway, I don't want to make it sound like I'm anti-3DS or anything. It just didn't click with me.
    I really feel like I need to give my 3DS some more love. My backlog includes the Dragon Quest VII remake I haven't played yet even though it's one of my favorites of the series, Zero Time Dilemma, Project X Zone, Metroid: Samus Returns, and some SMT games. Those all look really cool but I haven't gotten around to them yet! And I guess I should give Link Between Worlds a go, even though I don't consider myself to really be a Zelda fan. And Bravely Default is PROBABLY my kind of game even though I'd always see it compared to the 8-bit Final Fantasy games and I'm not an especially big fan of 8-bit FF?
    My girlfriend and I were looking at multiplayer games to play and were talking about how Gotta Protectors might be a good one. I remember hearing good things about it a while back but I almost never hear anyone talking about, which makes me think it might be a hidden gem on the eshop...

    But even though I wasn't an enthusiastic 3DS fan the way I was a regular DS fan, I'm sad that it's been discontinued. The DS line in general holds a lot of great memories for me and provided a lot of innovation in games.

    Also I love to StreetPass! I got my 3DS pretty late, so never got heeeeeaps.

    @Blrb#6381 Yes! Thank you for reminding me of Attack of the Friday Monsters. It was part of the short-lived Guild series, which I really wish had continued and been more successful than it was. Developers like Suda51, Yasumi Matsuno and Keiji Inafune made little bite-sized games and the first release in the series (Guild 01) was released on a cartridge, like a collection of short stories by various authors. Aero Porter, by Yoot Saito, absolutely owns.

    I gave every one of those Dillon games a shot and they all fell flat… the universe was interesting but they just weren't all that fun to play, and learning the circumstances behind Dead Heat Breakers–it was supposed to be a full-on genre switch without any of the tower defense stuff, but when the decision was made to sell at retail, they determined the game needed more content and so they added it back in–really bummed me out.

    Looking back on the 3DS in relation to the DS, it's very evident that the rise of smartphones completely eviscerated the handheld market--the DS was drowning in weird and ambitious games across the spectrum, whereas the 3DS was really anchored by a relatively modest number of Japanese publishers who didn't really stray from whatever niche they could find after the first year or so. I do appreciate that Nintendo themselves financed and published a bunch of original bite-sized games from various devs, but I suppose it didn't pay off because they don't do that to nearly the same extent anymore, and some of the games they've snapped up for Switch are very zeitgeist-y in a way that Nintendo-published games typically haven't been.

    @gsk#6386 I feel like there were much more compact experiences on the DS where as on 3DS there where much bigger more console like games. Like, Ocarina of Time on the go sounds like a good idea until you really try to play it on a crowded subway. Spirit Tracks even with all its touch controls feels far less demanding.


    @gsk#6386 learning the circumstances behind Dead Heat Breakers–it was supposed to be a full-on genre switch without any of the tower defense stuff, but when the decision was made to sell at retail, they determined the game needed more content and so they added it back in–really bummed me out.

    woah, I did not know that, but it makes a little sense playing the game, the tower defense stuff feels like a small portion of the rest of the game.