Celebrating Nintendo 3DS: Our Favorite 3D Nintendo Handheld Memories

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Nintendo 3DS turns 10 on March 27 (in the US anyway), so what better time to remember House of Mario’s innovative handheld.

Successor to Nintendo 2DS, 3DS has enabled millions of people to play 3D without using 3D glasses. Nintendo’s 3D handheld went through various iterations after its western release in 2011, in the form of the improved New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. To date, the 3DS family of consoles has sold over 75 million units worldwide.

To celebrate ten years of 3DS, the TechRadar team have decided to collect some of their favorite Nintendo 3DS memories.

Nintendo 3DS

(Image credit: Tinxi / Shutterstock)

A reliable friend
Vic Hood, game editor
When I first moved to London from Northern Ireland as a student, I took with me around five boxes which contained my most precious possessions: clothes, soft toys, my laptop and a range of how-to articles I would need to guide me through the next (what I thought it would be) three years. Nestled among these treasures was my dusty old Nintendo 3DS, which I had barely touched in years – instead, I chose to play my PS4.

But the Nintendo 3DS really took hold at that time. Away from home, sometime before the Switch was released, I found myself returning to my 3DS to play Pokémon Black and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. The Pokémon series, in particular, gave me a sense of familiarity and the fact that I could just slip my reliable boyfriend into my pocket on hectic tube rides and while waiting between lectures gave me a certain sense of being. ‘anchoring. 3DS made me feel at home, even when I wasn’t.

A light but strong game library
Samuel Roberts, Entertainment Editor
Unlike the Nintendo DS, which was released before mobile games exploded with the proliferation of smartphones, the 3DS lacked a massive library. Still, Nintendo 3DS offers at least 10 absolutely essential games, from Kid Icarus: Uprising to Animal Crossing: New Leaf (which you can skip if you have New Horizons on Switch).

My best memory from 3DS is going on vacation to Rome in 2017, and almost ruining it for my partner by delaying our plans for each day by conquering the secret levels of Super Mario 3D Land, a phenomenal platform game that suited the perfect fit. to the handheld. While the 3D functionality for 3DS never did much for me, the handheld was a nice Nintendo kit – especially the New Nintendo 2DS which I’m currently enjoying.

Nintendo 3DS

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Two 3DS game reviews that really changed me
Nick Pino, Editor-in-Chief, Home Entertainment
Prior to joining TechRadar in 2014, I spent the early years of my career working elsewhere in the games industry, first at the official Xbox magazine, then at Best Buy’s video game magazine, @GAMER. . While my memory of the time before TechRadar started to fade (the brain can only hold so many years of editorial memories), I will always remember the reviews I wrote for Animal Crossing: New Leaf and The Legend. of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, my two favorite games on 3DS.

There was something surreal about sitting in an office, lost in the world of Animal Crossing: New Leaf for a week. While others around me pored over large-format newspapers and layout pages, I sat in the mayor’s chair, transforming my city into something beautiful. After seven days with it, I felt like I was ready to sit down to write the review, but I was torn by the thinness of the content after the first few days. Because of this, I remember how unsure of what grade I wanted to give it: Should I give it an 8 because, while fun, it doesn’t really have the power to stick around to give players good value for money? Or should I give it a 9 because I really enjoyed the 40 hours I put into it? In the end, I went for a 9 out of 10, and hindsight showed me that I was right about the money. The lesson there? Always go with your instincts.

I also struggled with Zelda’s score, but for a different reason. There were so many great games in this franchise already, and while A Link Between Worlds really captured some of A Link to the Past’s charm, it also felt so different. However, the more I played A Link Between Worlds, the more it appealed to me. Soon I felt that his break with lore was actually a strength and the new mechanic, while shaking at first, allowed A Link Between Worlds to expand the scope of its puzzles, making them more difficult. I had to recognize where the franchise was coming from, of course, but I also had to understand where A Link Between Worlds had taken it. Half a decade later, I can look back on these games with fondness and appreciate them for what they were: absolute masterpieces for the Nintendo handheld console.

A technology ahead of its time
Adam Vjestica, Video Game Editor
Nintendo tends to lag behind when it comes to implementing cutting edge technology, but having a device that offered compelling 3D without glasses in 2011 is still a feat, even to this day. Even though it has had its fair share of detractors, I have always played Nintendo 3DS games with the 3D slider fully pushed in, as it really helped me add * hum * more depth in some ways.

Games like Super Mario 3D Land were shining examples of how great the stereoscopic 3D effect could be, and I still remember smiling when I first played Super Street Fighter IV 3D, although it left me a little nauseous. after. Seeing the Street Fighter cast of characters battle it out in what looked like a small, portable diorama was truly awe-inspiring.

The Nintendo 3DS may have seemed like an iterative upgrade over the Nintendo DS to some, but there’s no denying that its glasses-free 3D was, and still is, a bit of a magic.

Nintendo 3DS

(Image credit: Nintendo)

My Switch alternative
Matt Hanson, Senior IT Writer
I bought my 3DS XL with enthusiasm when it launched in 2013, and after playing a few games I put it in a drawer and forgot about it … for about seven years. However, when the Nintendo Switch launched, I started to consider buying the new console, mainly for playing in handheld mode. Ever since I left town I had been traveling to work by bus, and with the birth of my daughter, I found it increasingly difficult to play traditional game consoles (or use my gaming PC). ), so a portable console made a lot of sense. The only problem was that 1) the Switch was impossible to buy thanks to the high demand, and 2) I was broke (due to the baby and the ride mentioned above). It was then that I remembered my 3DS. Why not dust it off and use it instead?

So I did, and I’m so glad I did. First of all, it allowed me to revisit those brilliant early 3DS games. In addition, during this period, 3DS had amassed an excellent catalog of games, and many of them could now be bought second-hand for cheap. I was able to catch up with some great 3DS games that I had missed without spending a fortune. I also bought Pokemon X and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, rekindling my love of Pokemon games for the first time since playing Diamond on DS. I also loaded the 3DS with some classic games from the Virtual Console online store, including Pokemon Yellow, the first Pokemon game I played. Suddenly I had an amazing handheld full of amazing games that I had never played. I’m still playing it to this day, as I haven’t managed to get a Switch yet. It’s been a fantastic alternative, and when I finally get a Switch, it will have a lot to do.

Streetpass was a great social experience
Rhys Wood, Surge Writer
Nintendo has always played with casual features to expand its reach beyond just the games it creates, but arguably none were as productive as the Streetpass feature of Nintendo 3DS.

Streetpass did what it said on the tin. While you were on the move with your 3DS in tow, the handheld would register other 3DS holders who were in the area. Those users’ Mii avatars would then show up as visitors to your Mii Plaza, and when you went to see them later, those Mii characters would say hello to yours, giving you gifts like collectible puzzle pieces that filled a series of beautiful renderings of 3DS titles.

Streetpass was a fantastic icebreaker for meeting new people – a common sight at conventions was gatherings of people sharing their Miis to collect new puzzle pieces, but more importantly, start conversations and get to know each other.

Streetpass encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people and make lasting friendships. It’s a feature I sincerely want to return to the equally portable Nintendo Switch, giving owners an added incentive to use its portable capabilities.


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