Nobody in the house was familiar with any of the Nintendo DS consoles so when we were given the opportunity to try the Nintendo 3DS we jumped at the chance!
Of course, not knowing how the previous versions of the console performed we had absolutely no idea what we could compare it to. So we haven’t.
About the Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS is the latest offering from Nintendo’s DS family. Its design allows players to play certain games designed with the 3D function in mind in full three dimension without the need for any special glasses or equipment. The 3D effect can be changed with the adjustable slider, making the images more or less 3D according to your own preference and you can even turn it off completely if you wish.
There are two screens, one on the top half of the console and the other on the bottom. The bottom screen utilises touchscreen technology allowing you to use either your fingers or the included stylus to control it.
The Nintendo 3DS features a total of three cameras – one which faces in towards you so you can take some fabulous (!) self portraits and two other outward facing cameras. You can also edit and personalise your photographs using the great selection of tools included. Want to see what your future children might look like? Merge a picture of you and your partner for some interesting results! The console comes with an SD memory card which is all ready to go. The card stores up to 3000 photographs so there’s plenty of room for happy snapping! Oh, and there is also a video camera too!
You can hook your Nintendo 3DS up to the internet using LAN access points or wireless hotspots and there is also an Internet Browser included allowing you to surf the www quickly and easily wherever you are. There are full parental controls so if young children will be using the console you can rest assured that they’ll be protected and won’t be visiting anything they shouldn’t be.
The internet access also allows you to use the Spotpass and Streetpass features.
Spotpass allows your Nintendo 3DS to detect when you are close to a wireless connection or LAN access point and collect new data, free games and videos ready for you to download. You don’t even have to be using your console to active Spotpass as it will continue its work even in Sleep Mode.
Meanwhile, Streetpass is another new feature which allows you to exchange Mii characters and game data from other Streetpass users who also have their feature activated. You don’t need to speak to anyone – just pass them by and your console will automatically exchange data making your Mii Plaza the party central of Mii characters everywhere!
Both the Streetpass and Spotpass features can be deactivated and you can also block users from Streetpass too.
The Nintendo 3DS internet connectivity function also allows you to play games against other players in real time no matter where they are.
You can use your Nintendo 3DS to tell you how active you’ve been with its in built pedometer. Or see if you’ve been spending too much time sitting playing games instead – it’s all there in the activity log!
Our verdict on the Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS is sleek, smooth yet packed with lots of features. The 3D feature’s strength can be easily changed and turned off if needed by using the slider at the side of the top screen. This was a huge relief to my eyes as they simply couldn’t tolerate the 3D picture otherwise. I think if the option to turn it off were not available I wouldn’t have been able to proceed with using it.
The ability to connect the console to the internet increasing its uses and gameplay options is fantastic yet I was pleased to see that parental controls and security were not overlooked. Nintendo have taken into account that a lot of their users are very young and not always aware of the dangers that can lurk online so having the parental control options is a huge reassurance.
There are a number of free games and content and Nintendo are continuously offering new game downloads and videos which appeal to a variety of gamers and console users.
The camera was of a very high quality and the editing software made it easy to while away a good chunk of time that could have been better spent doing housework. Oops!
We tried out the multiplayer function using the console we had been sent along with the loan console we’d been lent. We’d been sent two games to try out. One was Kid Icarus – Uprising – where young Pit needs to protect the innocent people from the evil Medusa, Queen of the Underworld. It took a little while to work out how to hook up the players between the consoles. As if that wasn’t a challenge enough I kept losing. I’m still not sure whether Ben and I were on opposing teams or were supposed to be cooperating but either way, we didn’t win. Truthfully, we didn’t understand what we were doing! I don’t think it was a particular fault of the game as the younger members of the family played just fine. I think we just didn’t get it!
The other game we tried out was Super Mario 3D Land. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love the Super Mario games and I remember being the owner of the very first NES – haven’t Mario’s graphics come a long way since then?!
Thinking that this would be one game I could certainly whoop the others with I was hugely disappointed to find that the multiplayer function wasn’t available with it! This was a travesty and ended up with two of us sitting at the kitchen table reporting when we’d moved onto the next level and competing in that way instead. It wasn’t quite the same as watching your opponent eat your dust.
All in all the Nintendo 3DS is bursting with too many features that I can continue to write about here. Mainly because I am still discovering them all. It is certainly a multifunctional console which is well worth the rrp of £139.99. The e-shop allowing new game downloads from only a couple of pounds each as opposed to having to purchase them for quite a lot more otherwise is a big moneysaver on its own and will help to recoup the cost of purchasing the Nintendo 3DS in no time at all making it a good option in the long run.
Disclosure: We were sent both a loan set and our own set of a Nintendo 3DS and a copy of Kid Icarus – Uprising and Super Mario 3D Land for the purpose of this review.