If you're a fan of the Nintendo DS, then you've probably already played with the 3DS. If, like me, you're more of a casual gamer (and I use the term casual in the loosest sense of that word, meaning I have played video games in my lifetime), then the Nintendo 3DS is quite a leap forward in video game technology. The last time I really sat down and played video games was in the early days of Nintendo; I was a "Dragon Warrior" maniac, and played so much "Tetris" I saw the shapes in trees from the windows of the school bus. I had a brief love affair with "Sprung" on the original DS, and that was about it. So imagine my delight when I sat down with the Nintendo 3DS and discovered that not only is there new technology, but some of my favorite games (like "Tetris") have been adapted to take advantage of it.
Ready to talk details? Here we go:
The Nintendo 3DS has some features that are familiar to anyone with a Wii. You can create a Mii using essentially the same tools available on the Wii; adjusting your eye color, hairstyle, and even face shape. The 3DS uses a stylus as well as touch-screen functionality, and the two-screen clamshell design is basically the same as previous handheld DS game systems. I specifically like the satisfying click the top screen makes when it snaps into place. I also like that the power button is protected by the top screen when the system is closed, so you won't accidently turn it on when it's in your pocket or backpack.
Pictures and Music
The Nintendo 3DS has three built-in cameras, and it allows you to not only take pictures, but take them in 3D. This is a cool feature that comes in handy for games like "Face Raiders," which basically takes a floating picture of a head, superimposes it over the background and then asks you to shoot at it. The 3DS also features a removable SD card, which means you can load your own music onto the SD card and then play it through your handheld computer. Once you've got your music loaded in your 3DS, experiment with playing it at different pitches, speeds and with different effects, such as drums and other sounds.
As the name implies, the Nintendo 3DS has 3D capabilities. Of the two screens, only the top offers 3D visuals, but it's still pretty cool. A slide button on the side allows you to control how much 3D you see and lets you turn it off all together. Keep in mind that the more 3D you use, the closer you'll need to hold the console. Your eyes work harder to merge the images, so the closer they are to your face, the better the effect. The 3D works best if you're sitting where you can hold still; quick movements can make the 3D seem out of focus.
Even with everything else it does, the Nintendo 3DS is a game system at heart. It's designed to be compatible with the old DS games, to a degree. The 3D games have a slightly different shape, so although the old games will play on the 3DS (there won't be 3D effects), the 3DS games won't fit the older systems. The battery life is three to five hours, depending on use, so it's ideal for mid-length flights. You can also get a car charger if your travel plans involve long drives; and an extra stylus and protective case aren't a bad idea either. Get a whole accessory set and you won't get caught out.
What are your favorite games for the 3DS? And what would you love to play in 3D that they haven't adapted yet?
Posted by Jessica Gezon
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