You know what’s great about Nintendo? They set the creative and technological precedents for almost everything in the world of gaming.
From the creation of the video-game mascot to the development of the platforming game whose standards every developer still aspires to, Nintendo consistently sets gaming trends.
This time, Nintendo has taken on the developing and seemingly stupid trend of 3-D gaming.
The 3-D craze already reached movies and sports and has now moved slowly into the video game industry. If you’ve signed on to the Playstation Store lately, you may have noticed the 3-D demo games available. Of course, in order to play a 3-D Playstation game, you need a 3-D television.
Nintendo intends to bring that experience to gamers on a smaller scale, a smaller price and a smaller screen: the Nintendo 3DS.
As its advertisements indicate, the Nintendo 3DS is “3-D without the glasses.” Surprisingly, the system delivers on that promise.
Unlike Nintendo’s previous attempt at 3-D gaming with the Virtual Boy in 1995, the 3DS creates an effect similar, if not identical, to the visuals you’d experience at a modern 3-D movie. It achieves that surreal depth effect – not necessarily an objects-flying-at-your-face gimmick effect, but instead the illusion that you’re staring downward into a three-dimensional landscape.
The technology is superb; that much is certain. The games appear just as promising – when the most anticipated ones come out in the summer, anyway. Currently, the launch titles may not be worth the money.
Luckily, Nintendo brought back its “Pilotwings” franchise for the 3DS launch. Seriously, I can’t be the only one who missed this game after all these years. “Pilotwings Resort” showcases the 3-D effect through flying, and while the sensation is pretty amazing, the game also exposes a flaw in the system.
It takes some getting used to, but if you tilt or slide the 3DS off-center from your eyes, the visuals become distorted and the images duplicate instead of merging together, which creates the 3-D effect. I gave the 3DS with “Pilotwings Resort” in it to a friend while I drove him and was greeted with the response, “Oh. Oh, no. This is disgusting.”
So, maybe hold off playing it in the car if you have sensitive eyes; or, you could use the 3-D slider to minimize the 3-D or turn it off completely. If you’re sensitive to 3-D in general or if you haven’t destroyed your vision through frequent computer use as I have, the 3-D slider will come in handy.
Aside from “Pilotwings Resort,” I suppose “Lego Star Wars: Clone Wars” is worth a look. The 3-D comes off quite well with the landscapes in the game, and a Lego video game is usually worth a couple hours of fun.
Other than that, if you enjoy pointless, childish, possibly “girly” games, pick up “Nintendogs.” My 3-D Siberian husky named Eric is doing quite well, and he learned to fetch and – I mean, never mind. I didn’t buy “Nintendogs.”