Nintendo 3DS – New joys, old gripes

Recently, I finally got my hands on a Nintendo DS – a 3DS XL, to be specific. I’ve wanted to fool around with one of these bad boys for a long time now, though I was not sure about the whole 3D effect thing. I’m playing Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time 3D and Pokemon Y on it, and I gotta say I’m loving it. (cue cheesy McDonald’s music.) Ocarina of Time 3D us as awesome as the original, and better. The texture and modeling improvements are beautiful. It brings back memories… Not the happy memories of playing it on the N64 that you might expect, though.

When the game first came out on the N64, my twin brother and I shared an N64 system that my mom had gotten us. My brother had somehow been given the game AND a strategy guide, and though they were his, he was told to share with me sometimes and let me play. Well, his idea of letting me play was to bully me into reading out of the strategy guide for him when he wanted me to, and otherwise just sitting there watching him play. If mom needed help with something or I had chores, I was SOL; he kept playing, and I’d miss huge chunks of the story, and I was never allowed to play it myself.

Well, after all these years, I finally get to play it myself, and it really was worth the wait. This game was what really made the Zelda series something I could be passionate about. The story, the characters, the puzzles, they’re beautiful. Being able to play it in 3D is just badass, though it’s honestly tough for me to find and keep just the right position of the 3DS to get the 3D effect to stay clear. Honestly, though, I couldn’t care less; IT’S F’ING ZELDA!

“Dafuq did you just give me, bish!?!?!”

There’s a couple things that are a bit confusing to me, design-wise. When they updated the texture art for Link’s face, the one they chose to use whenever he receives a new important item just seems… Out of place. I have to wonder if Link has Asperger’s (before you jump down my throat, I have Asperger’s so I know for a fact that body language and facial expressions I make can be a little off and not what people think they should mean). He jsut seems more disturbed than intrigued. Maybe I’m just reading the facial expression wrong.

I hadn’t previously understood why so many people complained about Navi talking so much that it became annoying; when I played through the Deku Tree dungeon at the start of the game, she didn’t seem to be overly excessive in her notifications. Then I got into the main world of Hyrule, and began my quest to search for the sacred stones. And that’s when the little bitch wouldn’t shut up.

I totally see how it gets old very, very, VERY fast. And it’s rarely anything new or useful. For example, I’ve just arrived at the Zora Kingdom and am supposed to meet with the King of the Zora people. When I first arrived, Navi suggested I ask Seria knew anything about the sacred stones… Then proceed to make the same suggestion over and over and over every 5 or 6 seconds. Then, once we got to the King, I tried talking to him but he just moans that he doesn’t know where his daughter is. Navi popped up with a brilliant deduction – that he’s upset about his daughter being missing. Then proceeded to say that and ONLY that every few seconds as I tried to figure out why I can’t get him to say anything else and where I need to go to start looking for his daughter. “Hey!” “Hey!” “Listen!” “Hey!” “Listen!”

Suffice to say, it’s getting old fast.

Pokemon Y is the first Pokemon game I’ve gotten to play since LeafGreen, and it’s fantastic so far. Honestly, I wanted X, but that was purely because dammit I like blue. But X was selling more when I asked the staff at EB Games, and there was a cheap used copy of Y, so I went for it. There’s some things I’m liking much better than previous versions of the games, especially the new more 3D world, even without the 3D feature of the system turned on. The redesign of the basic aesthetic to something more akin to Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Colosseum is beautiful. Which reminds me: Nintendo, PLEASE remake both those games for the 3DS! The addition of roller skates to make traveling in the early areas before getting a bike is wonderful. The story revolving around the new Mega Evolution is interesting, though the primary antagonists seem… Well… Seems their goal is to get rid of anything in the world that doesn’t have style or isn’t beautiful. Which explains why brains wasn’t one of the job requirements.

Another thing I gotta honestly admit is how many times I’ll be wandering around and a wild Pokemon will attack… and all I can do is look at this thing and ask myself, “Dafuq is that?!” I honestly don’t know what they were thinking with some of these designs. But hey, it’ Pokemon; they aren’t supposed to make sense.

Now, this brings me to one gripe I have about both these games, and it’s a gripe I have about most games. Player’s guides. Or, rather, lack thereof. Don’t get me wrong, I love that these games are so complex and detailed with so much content. But it’d be just nicer if there were options to buy the game already with the player’s guide, and releasing a game without a player’s guide available is just ever so slightly masochistic, in my mind. I especially think more collector’s editions of games should include the official strategy guide in those collections. The three things I think should be a standard in all collector’s editions of any video games:

  1. Official soundtrack,
  2. Official art book, and
  3. Official strategy guide book in at least paperback if not hardcover.

Now, I’m not saying we all need strategy guides; but a lot of us do, and even if it means paying a bit extra I’d rather be able to purchase the game and guide as a set or package together. Especially for RPG games, like Pokemon or Legend of Zelda. Honestly, online walkthroughs just aren’t the same. Especially for PC games; not everyone can be reading the guide on a website at the same time they’re actually playing the game. And, honestly, sometimes it’s nice to be able to just flip through the guide and read little tidbits of extra lore and info and artwork without being on the computer or an electronic device. Heck, some games I’d like the guides broken up into sets of smaller ones; games like Skyrim. Which reminds me of another thing about guides; I would like to see a lot of them made just a little smaller in size; they’re tall and wide, which I admit looks great in the interior layouts, but it’s a bit unwieldy to carry around.

All in all, I recommend both these games, and am definitely open to suggestions of other games to try out on my 3DS. Also, if you’re interested in exchanging DS friend codes, give me a shout; I’d enjoy more people to connect with on there 🙂