A few days back Nintendo officially revealed the full launch day line-up of what we'll be able to play on our 3DS's from day one. And frankly, it's a pretty good selection of games. So, I'll be using this as an excuse to do a slightly shorter feature to fill in this month's feature gap, purely because I can't think of anything that isn't massive to do before the month ends. Anyway, today I'll be taking a look at my 3 picks of the 3DS's UK launch line-up. There will be 15 games available (or 13 if you count the three Nintendogs + Cats games as one title) on day one, but here are the best of the best in my honest opinion. Enjoy the feature!
I'll be honest, I wasn't massively excited about Pilotwings Resort when it was first announced, probably because I've never played a game in the series before. Another reason could've been the fact that it essentially looked like a port of Wii Sports Resort's Island Flyover mode, but with two extra modes of transport. While that most definitely isn't wrong, I'm still looking forward to the game a lot more now than I was before. Judging by first impressions from the lucky folks who managed to go to the various 3DS preview events throughout the UK, Pilotwings's 3DS debut is awesome, and will most definitely be game that makes the best use of the 3D effects on launch day. For those who aren't familiar with Pilotwings, it's basically an aerial flight simulation game, where you can fly around a huge island using various forms of transport. The three available vehicles you can choose from are a plane, a jetpack and a glider. I'm most excited about the glider, purely because I think it will have that 'wind in your hair' effect when you plunge downwards. Speaking of plunging downwards, we all know what we're going to do in that volcano... Speaking of the game's setting, Pilotwings Resort takes place on Wuhu Island, the same locale seen in Wii Sports Resort. On top of this, nothing much seems to have changed aside from everything being 3D-ified. It's a bit of a shame, but it would appear that the game has some sort of challenge mode, due to all those targets and paths seen in various screenshots (and the boxart, for that matter). I'm also hoping there's a more relaxing mode where you can just fly around and check out the sights, much like in Wii Sports. Pilotwings Resort is one of the better launch titles in my eyes, and one that has the potential to make the best use of the 3D effects. Now, let's move on to my second pick...
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
That's a hefty title. So, Super Street Fighter IV 3D has been one of the most anticipated 3DS games, and one that's clearly had a lot of work put into it. How couldn't it? It is a launch title. Despite essentially being a remake, SSFIV boasts many new features, mostly to do with the networking elements of the 3DS. The StreePass functionality involves the player winning trophies by winning proper in-game battles. The trophies will be added to an inventory, where you'll find that they have various stats. Here's where the cool bit comes in - When you walk around with your 3DS in sleep mode on da streets (innit), your figures will fight any other figures you come across on other people's 3DS systems. When you open up your 3DS later on, you'll find that you've just kicked some guy's head in without actually needing to do anything. Pretty awesome, no? Of course, this is Street Fighter so the main thing is the actual fighting. Luckily, the game features a full-scale online multiplayer mode, where you can set up fights with your friends or strangers, and even spectate and bet in-game currency on occurring battles. Capcom have promised lag-free gameplay with their game, so let's hope they've stuck to that promise. On top of all this, there's obviously the main game and all the various modes packed into that. One ever so slightly unfortunate thing about SSFIV3D is the fact that the character roster hasn't changed at all since the game was released on consoles last year. Yes, there's still a massive set of fighters to choose from, but it would've been nice to see some Nintendo-exclusive characters in the game. Still, with all the other features and the fact that this will be the first time we'll be able to play Super Street Fighter IV on the go, this game is definitely one of the very best launch titles. Of every game available on day one of the 3DS's launch, this is my number one pick at the moment.
Ridge Racer 3D
If there was one genre of titles that Nintendo's previous generation of handhelds lacked, it was racing games. Yes, there was Mario Kart DS, but aside from that, there weren't really any triple-A racers on the system. This was probably because of the graphical limitations of the DS, but now that the graphically superior 3DS is coming up, racing games will be a lot easier to make. In fact, we're getting one on the 3DS's launch date. What is this mystery game? It's RIIIIIIDDDGGEEEEEE RACCCEEEEERRR!!! Okay, silly memes aside, Ridge Racer 3D looks excellent. It's by no means a realistic driving simulator like Gran Turismo, but instead a crazy arcade-racer featuring ridiculous drifts and silly modified cars. Many games journalists had a chance to check out the game recently, and judging by their first impressions it's really, really solid. In hindsight it's your bog-standard racing game, complete with a wide selection of cars and tracks. However, where the game really looks to shine is sheer craziness of it. Cars go ridiculously fast, and the drifting looks insane. The strategy element in Ridge Racer 3D comes in the form of the boost gauge. Three small tanks are seen in the bottom-left corner of the screen, and these are filled up by performing various daring stunts. These range from driving in another car's slipstream, performing drifts or staying in the air for a long time after a jump. When a tank is filled, you can activate nitrous which makes your already fast car go even faster. We've seen this sort of thing in racing games before, but not more recently. It all reminds me of the original Burnout games, which is definitely no bad thing. Ridge Racer 3D also includes an online mode, where you can race against several other players and even take a photo of your face (or just something random) to slap on your profile, which is a nice touch. Ridge Racer 3D looks great, and it could be the first excellent racing game on a Nintendo handheld that doesn't include flying shells.
So there you have it. My three personal highlights of the Nintendo 3DS launch day line-up. I hope you enjoyed this slightly shorter feature! There's still a lot more to come this month...