Tag Archives: The Legend of Zelda

The Year of Zelda

zelda-breath-of-the-wild

Like pretty much everyone else in the gaming world, I’m very excited for the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. After the slightly lacklustre reveal of the Nintendo Switch, I’ve decided to get the game on the Wii U and hold off on purchasing a Switch until there are a few more games. But before I buy it, I want to polish off the few Zelda games I’ve yet to complete.

I’ve played almost every Zelda game out there, but there are still a few that passed me by for one reason or another. I missed out on Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance, although I recently purchased it for the Wii U. I played Phantom Hourglass on the Nintendo DS, but I never got around to buying its sequel, Spirit Tracks. I got Skyward Sword just after its release, but six years on, I’ve still yet to play it. I’m not sure why I keep putting it off – somehow it just feels like I need to save it for a special occasion.

Well, I guess now that special occasion has arrived. The release of Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a landmark moment for the series, and I’ve resolved to play through every Zelda game I’ve missed before buying this latest entry. That might mean I miss playing it at release in March, but I can wait – it will only make playing it for the first time all the sweeter.

Changing the season in Oracle of Seasons is key to solving puzzles.

Changing the season in Oracle of Seasons is key to solving puzzles.

At the moment, I’m about two-thirds of the way through Oracle of Seasons, one of a pair of Zelda games for the Game Boy Color that were, uniquely for the series, co-developed with an outside developer, Capcom. I remember the two games, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, got a lukewarm reception at the time, but I’m heartily enjoying my playthrough of Seasons. I’d even go so far as to sat that – heresy! – it’s better than Link’s Awakening. Don’t lynch me!

Anyway, here’s the list of Zelda games I’m planning to play through before finally getting my hands on Breath of the Wild, roughly in the order I intend to play them. I’m leaving out Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes, as really they’re spinoffs (and they don’t particularly appeal to me, anyway).

  • Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
  • Oracle of Ages (GBC)
  • Minish Cap (GBA)
  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • The Adventure of Link (NES)
  • Spirit Tracks (DS)
  • Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
  • Skyward Sword (Wii)

I’m aware that the two NES titles might be a slog to play nowadays, and Adventure of Link is renowned as being the worst in the series, so I may very well just dip into these rather than playing them to completion. Similarly, I’ll probably only dip into Wind Waker HD, as I completed the original back in the GameCube days, but I’m intrigued to see how they’ve tarted it up for the HD generation.

I’m also intrigued to play Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland on the DS, starring everyone’s favourite fairy-wannabee manchild. If I can get hold of it, I might add it to the list.

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Are there any Zelda games you’ve missed out on? I’d love to hear if you’re planning a similar Zelda marathon ahead of the launch of Breath of the Wild.

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Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Majora's MaskMajora’s Mask 3D is now officially my favourite Zelda game.

I never got around to playing the N64 original, although I remember my sister raving about it at the time. I seem to recall that it came in for some criticism for reusing a lot of the assets and game engine from Ocarina of Time, and the fact that it came out at the very end of the N64’s lifespan probably didn’t do it any favours in terms of reaching a wider audience. By the time of Majora’s Mask‘s European release in November 2000, I’d long since fallen in love with the Dreamcast, and I was happily hoovering up every SEGA game on offer. It wasn’t until the launch of the GameCube in 2002 that I drifted back towards Nintendo.

But it seems that during my Dreamcast love-in I really missed out on something rather special over on the waning N64. Majora’s Mask may share assets with Ocarina of Time – and in fact it’s a rare direct sequel in the Zelda canon, following on from the events of OoT – but in every other respect it’s utterly distinct from every other Zelda game out there, not least because Zelda isn’t even in it.

Link, there's something... not quite right about you. I can't put my finger on it...

Link, there’s something… not quite right about you. I can’t put my finger on it…

For a start, it’s dark. Whereas Twilight Princess was dark in a literal sense, as well as having the whiff of teenage angst about it, Majora’s Mask is dark in the sense that bad things happen to good people quite regularly. Oh, and the world is going to end because a massive evil moon is about to smash into it.

You can help the people of Termina with their problems, but at the end of the game’s three-day cycle, as the moon is just about to smash into Clock Town, you’re forced to got back in time and start over again, with everything reset except for a few key items in your possession. That means all of your good work is undone over and over again. At the end, I had the sudden realisation that although I’d managed to cease the tyranny of Majora’s Mask, all of the other terrible tragedies in the game had still unfolded in that time line, because it’s impossible to help everyone in the space of three days. The cows still get stolen from Romani’s Ranch. The robber still steals the bomb bag from the old lady. The Goron elder still remains trapped in ice. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt ennui at the end of a Zelda game.

And in fact, the ending itself is a bit melancholy. There’s no punch-the-air triumph. It’s all just… well, sad. And then there’s the fact that the masks you wear contain the spirits of dead people. And when you put them on, Link literally screams as his body transforms. Every. Damn. Time.

Interestingly, Skull Kid actually has a cameo in Ocarina of Time.

Interestingly, Skull Kid actually has a cameo in Ocarina of Time.

Majora’s Mask is also downright weird. It feels like the designers have been given total free reign to run with the strangest characters and ideas they could think of after the success of the relatively strait-laced Ocarina of Time. There’s a dead dancer who gives you a blank mask with a tiny version of his head poking out of it. There’s a huge, masked blacksmith who only communicates in grunts. There’s aliens. There are giants who are seemingly all legs and noses. There’s the utterly mysterious Happy Mask Salesman. There’s a ghost that lives in a toilet bowl. And of course there’s Tingle, the 40-year-old would-be fairy in a green unitard.

In short, it’s bloody brilliant.

And although I never played the N64 game, I’m extremely impressed with the job Grezzo have done with this remake after seeing some comparisons of it with the original. The 3D works wonderfully, and the graphics have been given a complete overhaul. But perhaps more importantly, they’ve made some very sensible tweaks to remove some of the frustrations of the N64 game, like giving you the invisibility-granting Stone Mask right when you need it, rather than just after the frustrating stealth section in which it would have been really kinda useful.

I simply couldn’t get enough of Majora’s Mask 3D. Whereas I eventually wandered away from Ocarina of Time 3D, leaving it unfinished, I spent tens of hours hunting out every last secret in MM3D – and I still want more.

Bravo, Nintendo. Bravo.

Buy The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D from Amazon.

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The Gentlemen Deliberate: Our Ten Most Agreeable Wii Games

NintendoWiiThere was a sad piece of news last week as Nintendo announced that it was ceasing production of the Wii. It’s a console that’s divided many, but here at A Most Agreeable Pastime, it’s a gaming machine that we hold close to our hearts.

The Wii has been criticised over the years for becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for minigame collections, but this is unfair to say the least: a quick glance at the Wii’s back catalogue reveals a plethora of triple-A-quality titles, many of which are exclusive to the system. In fact, it’s home to some of our favourite games of all time.

As we say sayonara to the Wii, it’s only fitting that we should pay tribute to its greatest moments, so for your delectation we present our top ten favourite Wii games…

10. House of the Dead: Overkill

House of the Dead OverkillLucius – The Wii was home to some amazing light-gun games over the years, but this was probably my favourite – if only because it was so bloody hilarious. Think Tarantino’s Planet Terror and you’re pretty close. Back in the day I paid tribute to it in my very first (and laughably dreadful) podcast.

Sir Gaulian – I have only played the PS3 version of this, but from all accounts that’s just a prettier version of what was already a spectacular, stylish, gory and tongue-in-cheek light-gun-like experience. Sometimes the simple things in life are often the best, and while House of the Dead: Overkill is simple, it also happens to provide some of the most laugh-out-loud fun available on any system. If the Wii is your weapon of choice, I can’t recommend this one enough, although it’s strictly for the adults.

9. MadWorld

MadWorldSir Gaulian – It’s no secret that I have a rather large soft spot for Platinum Games, and MadWorld for the Wii basically encapsulates what I love about their work. It’s stylish and bloody and never shies away from the ultra-violence that the Wii wasn’t really known for. Playing the game was a blast, and while the game is simple to learn, there’s a real incentive for you to master your approach to the free-flowing combat. Either way, in MadWorld the blood is well and truly flowing freely.

Lucius – Rarely has there been a game as gleefully fun and inventive as MadWorld. Its stylised black and white graphics with gruesome splashes of red still look fantastic today, and the twisted, ultra-violent gameplay is an absolute hoot. It tends to get a little reptitive in the later stages, but it’s still a must-play game for any Wii owner.

8. No More Heroes 2

No_More_Heroes_2_Desperate_StruggleSir Gaulian – Suda51’s crazy first foray into the world of the Wii was a flawed gem, combining slick motion-controlled ultra-violence with a stylish yet simplistic graphical style. No More Heroes was great, but its sequel No More Heroes 2 takes everything that was brilliant about the first game and ditches everything that wasn’t to make what is probably one of Suda’s best. Using a faux-light sabre to cut up scores of enemies never gets old, and the removal of the sandbox elements basically mainlines the player straight to the violence, making No More Heroes 2 a gratuitously gory, must-play Wii game.

7. The Last Story

Last_Story_Box_ArtLuciusThe Last Story snuck out for a European release in the dying days of the Wii and turned out to be one of the best JRPGs in years. Designed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, it’s clearly influenced by his earlier work, but the simplified fighting system makes this game much more accessible than the sometimes fussy FF games, and it looks fantastic to boot.

6. Klonoa

KlonoaSir Gaulian – I kind of pity Klonoa. Namco Bandai’s non-descript marsupial/mammal/rodent seems to have been overlooked at every turn, and this remake of Klonoa’s first adventure on the PS1, Klonoa Door to Phantomile, is no exception. While it may not have sold terribly well, Klonoa is easily one of the best platformers to grace Nintendo’s system. It didn’t revolutionise platforming in any way, and its bright and kiddy appearance may not have sold the masses on it, but Namco Bandai’s remake is well worth tracking down if 2D platforming is your thing.

 5. WarioWare: Smooth Moves

WarioWare_-_Smooth_Moves_CoverartLucius – This was one of the Wii’s first games and also one of the best. It was the perfect introduction to the concept of motion control, encouraging all sorts of wacky gestures. My favourite involved actually putting the remote down on the table – a phone rings on screen, then when you pick up the remote to ‘answer’ it, a voice says “Hello?” from the remote’s speaker. Genuis.

Sir Gaulian – As a long-standing fan of the WarioWare series, it feels like a crime to have WarioWare: Smooth Moves so low down the list, particularly when it’s so outstanding. The originality and outright insanity of WarioWare shines through in this one, although the addition of motion control does slow down the action a bit. But the microgames themselves are so insanely brilliant and original that it’s easy to overlook the fact that this one may not be quite as good as the WarioWares that came before.

4. Little King’s Story

Little_King's_StoryLucius – The Japanese developer Cing is sadly no longer with us, but before they departed they bequeathed one of my favourite ever games. Little King’s Story plays a bit like a cross between Pikmin and an RPG, and it brims with humour and imagination from start to finish. A sequel/remake was released for the Vita a while back, but it failed to capture the brilliance of the original – the Wii is still the only console on which you can play this essential and unique game.

3. Metroid Prime Trilogy

Metroid_Prime_TrilogyLucius – We’ve gone for the trilogy here, but this spot could just as easily have gone solely to Metroid Prime 3 on its own, which in my opinion is the pinnacle of the Prime series, and even gives Super Metroid a run for its money. The motion-control system doesn’t sound like it would work on paper, but playing the game is a revelation – afterwards, playing an FPS with traditional gamepad controls feels clunky and unresp0nsive compared to fluidity and accuracy afforded by the remote and nunchuk.

Sir Gaulian – Unlike Lucius I am of the opinion that Metroid Prime 3 is the lesser of the trilogy, but it certainly caps off what was an immensely entertaining and likely timeless series. Say what you will about Metroid Prime 3 as a whole, but there is no denying that no developer did first-person motion-control schemes as well on the Wii, and if nothing else Metroid Prime Trilogy gives you the opportunity to play through both prequels, which originally appeared on the Gamecube, with Prime 3‘s control scheme. One could write a thesis on everything Retro Studios did right with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, but all you need to know is that it represents the best-value experience money can buy on the Wii. If you can find it, that is.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincessLucius – Shamefully, neither of us have yet played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (see below), but Twilight Princess more than deserves its place in the top ten. It follows the design of Ocarina of Time extremely closely – no bad thing considering that it was one of the best games of all time – but adds an entirely new dimension with the ability to transform into a wolf, as well as some fantastically realised boss battles.

Sir GaulianTwilight Princess was the game to have at the launch of the Wii (that didn’t come packed in at least), and while time has soured people’s views of it, for me it still stands up as a mighty fine way to spend 40 hours or so. Twilight Princess successfully took what 3D Zelda’s had done before and stepped it up a notch to make what was a huge homage to the games in the series that came before it. A beautiful world and a ‘homely feel’ to the aesthetics are what make this game so memorable; add to that the tried and true Zelda formula and you’ve got an outstanding piece of interactive entertainment.

1. Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2

mario-galaxy-box-artWii_TitlesheetLucius – OK, we’ve cheated a bit here by including both games, but it really is too difficult to choose between them. They are quite simply the best Mario games of all time, each brimming with more ideas in a single level than most games manage for their entire length. Easily two of the most fun games ever made, and probably the best reason to own a Wii.

Sir Gaulian – There is no doubt in our mind that Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are the picks for the best Wii games of all time. The only question was which one. But to that effect why choose, because both games are excellent examples of creative, fun, precise platforming that are exactly why Nintendo are still at the top of the pack in many respects. Every stage brought with it a level of beauty, polish and perfection that most games only dream of ever achieving. It’s stuff like Galaxy that gives me a sense of almost unconditional hope for the future of Nintendo and its struggling Wii U.

Honourable mentions

We debated for ages about which games to include on our top ten – it turns out there are a helluva lot of great games on the Wii. Here are a few that almost made it on: Sin and Punishment 2, Tatsunoku vs Capcom, Wii Sports, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Dead Space: Extraction, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rabbids Go Home, Boom Blox Bash Party, Deadly Creatures, Project Zero 2, Resident Evil 4, Zack and Wiki.  Sadly even HAL Laboratory’s pink puff Kirby missed out, despite having two absolutely smashing entries during the Wii’s life.  These were the hard decisions we had to make.

Fianlly, we have to mention three games that neither of us have yet played but that almost certainly would have featured in the top ten if we had:  The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora’s Tower.

It’s sad to see the Wii go out with a whimper rather than a bang. It seems like only yesterday that every man and his dog was waiting for stores to restock Nintendo’s motion-controlled market beater in the hope that they could get one to take home for themselves. But it certainly feels good paying homage to what was, for a long time, such a disruptive force in the market.

So what do you agree with on our list? Let us know your own top ten in the comments below.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is not bus-friendly

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time box artI’ve finally given up on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. I’m 11 hours in and just about to face the dreaded Water Temple, but I just can’t ever see myself finishing this otherwise excellent remake, and I’ll tell you for why.

It’s impossible to play this game on the bus.

More to the point, it was never designed to be played on the bus – it was designed to be played on a home console for hours at a time, not on a tiny screen for 15 minutes between Holloway and King’s Cross. Every time you load up the game you’re dumped back at either Link’s house or the Temple of Time, which means that the first few minutes of any gaming session are spent trying to remember what you were meant to be doing and then trekking all the way across the game world to get back to where you left off. The Sheikah Stones are a useful addition to the remake, as they provide a vision of your current objective, but even so it’s often tricky to recall exactly where you’re meant to be heading if you haven’t played in a while. Meanwhile, you’re already at Caledonian Road.

legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time-3d-screenshot 1

By this point you’re wondering whether it’s even worth bothering to start a dungeon, seeing as there’s only ten minutes of the journey left, and you know that when you turn off the system you’ll be back where you started again. It’s frustrating, and it just shows that the game was never meant to be played on the go.

On the plus side, it’s still as wonderful a game as it was back on the N64, and the added graphical polish makes it look better than ever. The 3D looks really good, but at the same time it gets disorienting in some of the larger caverns, as swinging the camera round too quickly often causes your eyes to lose track of the 3D effect, meaning you’re constantly having to refocus. It’s also impossible to use the 3D on a bumpy bus, as your eyes are constantly being thrown off, so for most of the time I was playing without the 3D switched on. Sadly this is still the main problem with the 3DS: its raison d’etre is 3D, but the times when you most want to play on the thing – on public transport – are also the times when the 3D doesn’t work terribly well.

Despite all of these problems, my first few hours with Ocarina of Time 3D were genuinely brilliant, and a large part of that was clearly down to nostalgia. My first glance of the freshly detailed Great Deku Tree brought back lots of happy memories of discovering the game for the first time, and that rose-tinted nostalgia stayed with me for a long way into my trip through Hyrule. Eventually though frustration set in, and I also started noticing a few niggles, such as the frankly irritating race you have to undergo to get Epona, your trusty horse. I don’t remember finding this a problem in the original, so either I’ve become less patient or I’m used to games being easier nowadays, but I was tearing my hair out trying to beat that bloody ranch owner Ingo. Even more irritating is the fact that you have to pay 50 rupees every time you fail a race, and running out of money means spending ages hunting through pots and bushes for more rupees. Annoying.

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I haven’t picked up the game for probably six months now, and I’ve not had the slightest inclination to play it again, even though I use my 3DS pretty regularly. What I have been playing though is The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which I downloaded from the Nintendo eShop a few months ago. Comparing the two games, it’s easy to see the difference in bus-friendliness: whereas Ocarina of Time is a sprawling epic, Link’s Awakening is divided into bite-size dungeons that are perfect for short journeys, and it also saves the game every time you enter a new area so that you never have to trek back to the action.

For all of these reasons I’ve decided to part with Ocarina of Time 3D: it’s still a fantastic game and a decent remake of the original, but it doesn’t suit the medium. Here’s hoping Nintendo announce a 3DS-exclusive Zelda title soon that takes advantage of the system’s strengths and avoids the pitfalls of Ocarina 3D.

[Penned with a heavy heart by Lucius Merriweather.]

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Amazing Zelda Fan Art

It fascinates me how gaming has gone from being a niche hobby to something that’s firmly ensconced in mainstream culture (even if there’s still some way to go before it gains widespread acceptance), and for evidence of this you need look no further than the burgeoning fan art community. The current generation of artists is the first one to have grown up under the spell of video games, and a quick look at deviant ART reveals no shortage of video game influences.

Some of the fan art involves interpretations of modern game heroes, but much of it also has a tint of nostalgia, and some of my favourite artwork features Link from The Legend of Zelda. In particular, I love the below interpretation of A Link To The Past, which is part of the Videogame Remakes series of pictures by Orioto. I like the way it captures the sense of forboding and the enormity of the quest to come. (You can find the original here.)

Through The Night by Orioto

Zac Gorman is deservedly famous for his video game-inspired artwork, and I particularly like the pic below, which is both funny and a little poignant. He’s used Link as his muse many, many times over the years, and I urge you to check out his excellent work with all possible haste at http://magicalgametime.com/. (You can find this Zelda pic here.)

Just one of Zac Gorman’s many excellent Zelda interpretations.

This black and white pic of Link, also by Zac Gorman, is another of my favourites – like the Orioto pic, I love the way it emphasises the frailty of the character.

Lost (in the ) Woods by Zac Gorman.

Finally, I’m also a big fan of the artwork of Link-obsessed Lara Crow over at Toastmonster. I particularly like this interpretation of Link’s remarkable ability to roll up stairs, and Lara even featured Link on her wedding invites.

Does anyone else have some amazing video game fan art they want to share?

[Penned in artistic admiration by Lucius Merriweather.]

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Nintendo 3DS: First Impressions

My lovely girlfriend bought me a shiny new Nintendo 3DS for Christmas and has hardly regretted it at all, despite the fact that I now tend to ignore her in favour of Princess Zelda whenever we’re on a train journey. Poor girl. Anyway, it’s been exactly a month since I unwrapped Nintendo’s latest little wonder, so I thought I’d better share my thoughts on the good and not so good things about my little Cosmos Black 3DS.

Oooooh, look, it’s in 3D!

The first question everyone asks is “Does the 3D work?” Well, yes, it does. I don’t know how it does, but it does, and it looks pretty damn good too. The best thing about it is that it creates a really impressive feeling of depth, which works a lot better than those gimmicky 3D films where things keep flying out of the screen towards you. In fact, it’s generally in moments when objects pass directly in front of the foreground that the 3D effect is tarnished a little – your eyes tend to get thrown off when something passes very close to your face, but the effect works very well in creating a sense of distance.

The 3D also tends to work better in some games more than others: I struggled a little bit with the 3D effects in Ocarina of Time 3D, as I found that with large busy landscapes moving around fairly quickly, my eyes would often get thrown off, particularly when I found myself looking around at different points in the landscape. By contrast, the effect works extremely well in Ridge Racer 3D, despite the fact it moves very quickly – I suppose this is because you’re mostly focused on a single point in the distance.

Ow, my eyes!

I’ve not experienced any trouble with eye strain yet, although I can see that playing with the 3D on for extended periods of time could easily cause your eyes to give out with a feebly protesting whimper. And of course, the beauty of the system is that clever little slider on the side of the screen that lets you find a comfortable level of depth, or to even turn off the 3D effect completely. I’ve generally been playing with the 3D on, as I really think it adds to your immersion in the game, but it’s almost impossible to play in 3D if you’re on public transport. This is probably the system’s greatest setback – the 3D effect requires you to keep your head and the 3DS almost completely still, as any movement tends to throw out your eyes and requires you to refocus. This of course is disastrous if you’re on a bumpy tube or train, so I’ve found myself turning off the 3D whenever I’m on a journey… but those are also the exact occasions on when I’m most likely to be playing on a handheld console.

Motion schmotion

The fact that you need to keep your head and the 3DS reasonably still for the 3D to work also makes the 3DS’s motion controls somewhat pointless. The motion controls are undeniably clever, and surprisingly accurate, but having to constantly refocus your eyes as you wave the machine around somewhat drains the fun. Also, I can just about live with the shame of waggling a Wii remote in the privacy of my own living room, but waving a 3DS around in a crowded tube carriage is an ignominy I’m simply unwilling to bear.

Showing off potential

But despite being adamant that putting motion controls in a handheld console is an utterly pointless innovation, I am willing to concede that it’s a good way to make your relatives look foolish: watching my dad playing Face Raiders was probably the highlight of Christmas. And the 3DS is an undeniably impressive console – everyone I’ve shown it too has been intrigued by the 3D effect, and the pack-in games Face Raiders and AR Games are remarkably clever from a technical point of view. I was particularly impressed with AR Games, and I believe my jaw may actually have dropped at one point (have a look for yourself below).

The 3D camera also made people smile when I showed it to them, but to be honest I’ve only ever used it to show new people what the 3DS can do. At the end of the day it’s pretty blurry, and there’s not really much you can actually do with the pictures once you’ve taken them. Similarly, Face Raiders and AR Games are fun for five minutes, but I’ve no real desire to go back to them now the initial excitement has faded.

So, what DO you like about it then?

I’ve been a bit lukewarm about the system so far, but there are a few things about it that I absolutely love. I’ve already mentioned that the 3D effect is pretty damn impressive as long as you’re sat fairly still, but I’m also slightly addicted to Streetpass. Streetpass is a system in which your 3DS can swap information with other people’s 3DSs as you pass by them, which most often means that their Mii character ‘jumps’ onto your console and you can use that character in a game called Streetpass Quest. Although at heart I know that it really is very slight entertainment, I always get a little tingle of excitement when I get that little green light telling me a new Mii has popped in to say hello. And yes, I’m aware that this is incredibly sad.

Another nice feature is the pedometer – the system counts how many steps you’ve taken and converts them into ‘play coins’, which you can then use to buy features in games. It’s a neat little idea, and I like the way it gives kids an incentive to get out and walk around.

But by far my favourite thing about the 3DS is the games: so far I’ve got Ocarina of Time 3D, Ridge Racer 3D, Star Fox 64 3D and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, and I absolutely love all of them (although Shadow Wars is my runaway favourite right now). With top quality software like this, there’s your reason to buy a 3DS right there.

The sting in the tail

Ah, but there’s a catch – that bloody battery. With the 3D on, battery life is barely three hours, and the system has run out of juice on me at least twice now. You can extend the battery life by turning off the 3D and turning down the sound, but that does take away from the playing experience somewhat. And don’t even think about putting the system into sleep mode while you’re in the middle of playing a game – having a program running during sleep mode eats up the battery like nobody’s business.

Final thoughts

Oh, that cheeky wee 3DS. It certainly is a charmer with it’s fancy looks and clever 3D trickery, but it’s an awfully naughty boy when it comes to squandering electricity. But then again, the 3D is amazingly good – as long as you’re in a position to turn it on – and I’ll be interested to see how game companies think of new ways to use it in the future. And speaking of games, there’s recently been a flurry of fantastic software for the system – with games like these, it’s easy to forgive the minor niggles.

Oh, and I love Streetpass. Did I mention that?

[As dictated by Lucius Merriweather in The Library]

 

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