To say the 3DS is an oldie but a goodie is a bit of a stretch. It’s only been on the market for about seven years. Still, in a console’s normal life span, seven years is a fairly ripe old age. And yet the 3DS isn’t really showing signs of slowing.
I purchased the original 3DS shortly after it launched, taking advantage of the 3DS Ambassador Program to get a bunch of free classic games. (Long story short, the Ambassador Program was implemented to placate early adopters of the 3DS who felt shorted by the substantial price drop the system received not long after its launch.) While I had a good amount of fun with it early on, it never captured my attention the way the original DS did. Upgrading to the 3DS XL, and then the New 3DS XL, sparked a bit of revived interest, but it never lasted long.
That is, until recently. Like Rip Van Winkle awaking from a long slumber, I’m looking around and realizing the 3DS actually has a pretty incredible library of games, with more on the way. Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy recent and upcoming releases.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Released just last month, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is actually a remake of a Nintendo DS game. And while some of its “older game” wrinkles show occasionally, it’s actually a pretty incredible RPG in the classic 32-bit style. With a book that lets you move through time, you have to stop a war and save the world from turning into a desert wasteland. Lots of interesting characters and a cool use of alternate timelines make this a must-have for 3DS owners.
Chalk this up as one of the weirder ideas Nintendo has had. Rather than battling Pokemon, Detective Pikachu sees you starring as Tim, a normal guy who befriends an inexplicably gruff-voiced Pikachu. This isn’t a normal Pokemon game by any stretch of the imagination. As Tim and Detective Pikachu explore Ryme City, they’ll have to gather clues from crime scenes and solve mysteries. It’s a bonkers concept, made even more intriguing by the upcoming movie adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu.
The Alliance Alive
Releasing later this month, The Alliance Alive is an RPG that bears more than a passing resemblance to the classic Bravely Default series, also on 3DS. Its combat mechanics couldn’t be more different, however. It eschews the standard experience points and leveling up for a more streamlined (and somewhat random) powerup mechanic. The plot follows several different people in a world divided into segments by powerful daemons. The humans have been subjugated, and they must band together to fight back and win their freedom. The 3DS is really making a name for itself in the RPG genre, and The Alliance Alive adds one more awesome-looking title to the lineup.
Shovel Knight: King of Cards
The final expansion to Shovel Knight, King of Cards has you taking on the role of King Knight on a quest to rid the land of the Three Kings. While fans of the series might want to start with the original Shovel Knight and its initial expansions (also available in a single pack on the 3DS, called Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove), once you’re up to speed on the gameplay, you’ll find a lot to love in King of Cards. If you’re even remotely interested in classic-styled 2D platformers like Ducktales or Mega Man on the NES, Shovel Knight should be on your must-play list.
If you’re into weird and wild fun, you’ll probably love the WarioWare games. The latest, coming this fall on 3DS, is WarioWare Gold. It collects a ton of classic “microgames” from previous WarioWare entries, as well as a bunch of new experiences. For the uninitiated, WarioWare’s microgames are minigames that take literally seconds to complete. They’ll have you tilting your system, blowing on the microphone, tapping buttons and using the touchscreen as you frantically try to figure out how to win each one.
There are so many more recent and upcoming 3DS releases, I could write about them all day and barely scratch the surface. And that’s not even mentioning the 3DS’s substantial Virtual Console library of classic games. If you’re a 3DS owner, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. And if you’re not, there’s never been a better time to jump in.