Drop In/Drop Out: 3DS Edition
Greenyz (Francis Basco) and BigGumby (Dustin Grissom) have both had their 3DS’ since launch (Greenyz went to the midnight launch!). Although some people may not be as impulsive as we were when buying the next generation Nintendo handheld, there are some people out there that may still be questioning whether now is the time to buy a 3DS, or if there even is a time at all. With this feature, Greenyz and I (BigGumby) are hoping that we can put your worries to rest, and help you with your lingering question: Should I “drop in” or “drop out” of getting a 3DS? To do this, we are going to run through all of the key features with the system, including the user-interface, the hardware, the built-in software, it’s online offerings, StreetPass and SpotPass, the eShop, and, of course, the 3D effect. So, let’s get started!
BigGumby: I’m pretty impressed with how the system looks and feels. Unlike the previous DS models, this feels less like a toy and more like a sturdy piece of state of the art technology. Wouldn’t you agree?
Greenyz: Definitely. It’s a such drastic difference comparing the 3DS and the original DS. Although my screen does seem a bit wobbly which can be distracting.
BigGumby: Greenyz: BigGumby:
BigGumby:Yeah, the screen doesn’t seem to stick in a position as well as the DSi did. What do you think about the new Circle Pad? Personally, I think it’s fantastic. It works great, and it’s super comfortable. It is a huge step up for handhelds in terms of control.
Greenyz:Yeah it’s really surprising how great it is. It’s extremely smooth. Although I did seem to rely a bit more on the d-pad when playing Street Fighter since it doesn’t seem to detect subtle movements that well. But other games that use the circle pad don’t seem to have the same problem, so it might just be the game.
BigGumby:I had problems with the circle pad in street fighter as well, it hurt my thumb after awhile. Besides all of this, everything else is all pretty much like the older DS models (besides a plethora of helpful LEDs!). One complaint I do have, though, is the placement of the stylus. I was so used to having it on the right side of the DSi that having it on the back is a major downgrade and an annoying issue.
Greenyz: Haha yeah. When my friend first tried out the 3DS he had a bit of trouble finding the stylus. I’m also glad to see the return of the volume slider. I feel I have more control over the volume when I have one. I also feel it’s a bit weird having the headphone jack in the center of the device as opposed to somewhere off to the side.
BigGumby: Greenyz: BigGumby: Greenyz:
BigGumby:Yeah, some weird design choices. Another weird design flaw would be that if you leave your 3DS closed for too long, it’ll eventually leave 2 straight line on the top screen, this can be easily wiped off with your fingers, but it’s kind of odd that this is present, although it’s not a big deal. I love the telescopic stylus though, it’s pretty helpful with people with big hands!
Greenyz:Yeah I agree. How do you feel about the colors? I’m pretty disappointed really. Cosmo Blue seems a bit distracting and black seems a bit too boring.
BigGumby:Yeah, the colors are a bit lacking, but I’m sure they’ll be more down the line. I personally got the black one and I think it looks pretty nice. All in all, it’s a wonderfully crafted system, but with a few tiny flaws here and there.
Greenyz:Yeah I’m pretty satisfied.
Seeing the HUD of games on different planes has to be my favorite use of the effect so far. How about you?
My favorite use of the effect is probably the 3D dioramas in Pilotwings. If you move one in the perfect position, it literally seems to be popping out of the screen 1 or 2 inches! I had to show everyone!
When I first opened the device, the slider was usually at the lower settings but as I spent more time with the device I seemed to prefer putting the 3D slider really high sometimes at its maximum level.
BigGumby: I’ve had pretty much had the same experience as you did with the 3D slider. Start low, then eventually slide it up higher and higher. I think it depends on the game. For most of the built in software, I can put it on maximum and it looks great, but for Pilotwings I usually put it up 3/4 the way to the top. The effect looks great nonetheless.
Anyone that’s ever tried a 3DS knows when you move out the sweetspot not only does you lose the 3D effect but your screen gets really blurry which can sometimes really mess up your game. How do you feel about this?
BigGumby: Yeah, it’s kind of annoying when the only way to communicate with a friend is through a 12 letter status message everyone else on your friends list can see. I spent like 20 minutes trying to figure out how to fit a sentence that asked you whether Super Mario Land was any good or not in 12 characters, I ended up using “SML worth it?” Nintendo has the ability to change this, let’s hope they do!
Greenyz: Yeah I’ve had a few, mostly when on campus. Find Mii and Puzzle Swap are some of my favorite games on the 3DS. It’s really fun to pop open your 3DS each day and play a short game of Find Mii and collect a puzzle piece that others have collected before.
BigGumby: Yeah, hopefully there is a firmware update in the future that related to the lack of sharing photos. The 3D photos are definitely worth messing with, though! So, next up is 3DS sound, yeah?
Greenyz: So besides playing games and taking pictures, the camera for the 3DS can also be used to create Miis, the avatars that first appeared on the Wii. I haven’t had much luck getting accurate representations using the camera creator, how about you?
BigGumby: So, the eShop was recently added to the 3DS in a firmware update. It’s a huge improvement over any online distribution Nintendo has ever done! It blows the slow and ugly DSiWare shop and Wii Shop channel out of the water!
BigGumby: This has been an issue with all Nintendo systems. Unlike the Xbox 360 or PS3, you cannot download videos or games in the background while you do something else. You have to watch a little animation that shows the progress of your download until it’s done. It’s a bummer, as that’s something I really would have liked fixed. Luckily the progress is more apparent than it was on the Wii.
Greenyz: (haha I bought my original DS from a friend :P) That brings another thing I’m not too wild about but I’m willing to look past about the eShop. I was hoping now that Nintendo embraced cash prices, as opposed to points, you would be able to directly buy games and spend the amount of the actual game. Instead you have to prepay a certain amount of money for an in-store balance that you can then buy games with. It sort of causes problems when your left with a dollar’s worth of “change”. Everything is price above a dollar so my balance is basically useless.