Wallet Abuse Weekly: The Horrible Secrets of the 3DS

Yeah sure, you’re going to buy a 3DS. I know nothing will make you change your mind. But that’s not going to stop Joystiq.com writer Justin McElroy from telling the horrible untold secrets behind Nintendo’s newest handheld-- for instance, did you know that the 3DS games were utterly incompatible with the original DS?

 

It’s true! Which only leads us to wonder what else Nintendo isn’t telling us, and what the gaming community needs to know before we all drop two hundred and fifty US dollars on a new 3DS this coming Sunday.

Luckily for you poor saps, Mark Bradshaw is here to shed some light upon the tawdry secrets of the 3DS. As Nintendo’s crack team of hired goons are no doubt looking to squelch such dissident voices and make sure they meet a horrible end, I have hidden these disturbing revelations within this weeks’ Wallet Abuse entries. No one tell Nintendo lest a fat Italian push me in front of the R Train!


 

Asphalt 3d
Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

 

Oh man we’re gonna have to deal with a lot of this sort of nonsense, aren’t we?

Anyway, weirdness about Asphalt 3d coming out a week ahead of the hardware necessary to run it aside, if you’re buying a 3DS next week and absolutely must have one racing game until such time as Nintendo releases Mario Kart, you can either pick a racing game made by a goddamned cell phone game company or you could buy the racing game made by Namco.

...

Wait, which side was I supposed to be on again?

If it’s any help, at least Namco’s handheld Ridge Racer games range from competent-to-good, whereas the last Asphalt game for the DS garnered so few reviews Metacritic refuses to give in an official score. Also Urban GT 2 for the PSP was a fucking war crime.

As far as using Asphalt 3d to show off the graphical prowess of your new handheld...

 

...well let’s just hope your audience has fond memories of the Dreamcast.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

3DS still refuses to play Gamecube games


Combat of Giants Dinosaurs 3D

Developer: Ubisoft QuebecPublisher: Regular Ubisoft
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

So while no one was paying attention Ubisoft Quebec (the good people responsible for the game translation of Surf’s Up, My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr, and somehow Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood) went and made an entire series of these “Combat of Giants” games, including Dinosaurs, Dragons and... Giant Insects.

 http://www.gamestop.com/common/images/lbox/181180b.jpg

This is Totally Acceptable Gaming and if I were 9 (or 15) (or 34 and had a working DS) I’d be all over this series. I’m also mildly alarmed that they’ve yet to produce Battle of Giants: Legally Distinct Robots Inspired From Your Favorite Robot Anime and should probably submit a design doc while there’s still time to sue for IP infringement.

As far as the Combat of Giants Dinosaurs 3D goes, it’s probably not spectacular. Review impressions say it’s rather simplistic, but that’s sort of missing the point. It’s easy, accessible fun for dinosaur obsessed children and on that front this it delivers.

 

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

 

Unlike The Sega Nomad, the 3DS does not cure baldness, makes orphaned children happy; freshens clothes, nor plays Gunstar Heroes


Crysis 2
Developer: Crytek
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

There are two two schools regarding current FPS design; one of them which presents the single-player portion of the game as an afterthought, something so blatantly scripted that gives the player basically no impact on the game environment itself or will openly play missions without your input. By all accounts this trend started with the first Modern Warfare and has been growing worse since; which is a shame as the first Modern Warfare actually had a very good single-player component renown for it’s dramatic set pieces.

The other school is exemplified by games like Bulletstorm, Metro 2033 and (thankfully) Crysis 2, games that provide nice beefy single player campaigns that are worth buying the game for in their own right, games where the mulitplayer component-- if indeed there is one at all-- complements and extends the single player portion of the game.

This comes as no surprise; Crytek gave us the Far Cry series,, games spoken in reverent tones by the gaming community, games lauded for thier freeform nature even if they do tend to rely on eerily prescient AI and a baffling reliance upon nearly invunerable cybernetic apes.

There are a lot of comparisons to Arkham Asylum in regards to the amount of freedom you’re given to dispatch Crysis 2’s scenarios, and it’s hard to think of higher praise from within the games press.

Personally I’m just glad that I’ll finally be able to play a Crysis game without need of a firebreathing demon of a pc; but I must express concern over thedevelopment community’s desire to see Manhattan blown up, crushed, set aflame, invaded, and/or otherwise set to ruin.

 

 

 

I eat lunch there! Cut it out already!

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

  

The 3DS is not actually a ham and cheese sandwich.


Dissadia Duodecum Lorem Ipsum
Developer: Square Enix 1st Production Department
Publisher: Square Enix
Platfoms: PlayStation Portable

Yeah man, I dunno. I stopped playing Final Fantasy games when FF7 petered out around the Golden Saucer. I tried to get back into the series with 12, but realized Square had somehow managed to build an MMO-derived game without including taunt functionality, which if you like to play as a mage is sort of like building a car without airbags or seatbelts or a windshield or a break pedal and then rolling it downhill into the loading dock of a spike factory. And then rolling identical car full of black widow spiders behind that car. And then setting the factory on fire.

Dissadia Cogito Ergo Sum double downs on the fan service from the previous game, meaning it’s likely of little use or interest to anyone who’s not already a huge Final Fantasy geek, but that was implied by being PlayStation Portable exclusive anyway. If you’re the sort of person who’d be interested in Dissadia Hudsucker Proxy then you’re the sort of person who already imported the Japanese version complete with Lenna Charlotte hump pillow, Airship Blackjack 1:1 scale model kit and a lock of Amano’s materia-infused pubic hair.

If you’re not already chest-deep in Final Fantasy fanfic it’s diffcult to make a case for owning Dissadia Dorito Frito Pringle as it’s utterly incomprehensible from the outside looking in. Even the concept-- the idea that the Dissadia is a contest that’s taken place since before the first game, this being the 12th occurrence (the first game being the 100th Dissadia WHAT THE FUCK) and thus a prequel, hurts the human brain in ways that were previously only possible using wholly fictional creatures like the earworms from Wrath of Khan.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

The 3DS is developed and manufactured by Nintendo



Lego Star Wars III: Clone Wars
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Lucasarts
Platform:  Everything

It’s telling that the one part of the Star Wars universe that Lucas has little direct impact in is the one part that people still care about, although it’s military-porn nature is also the aspect that leads game developers into it’s waiting, cold plastic-clad arms.

Traveller’s Tales took a long while finally getting around to making a Clone Wars game and you have to wonder what space is left in the Star Wars universe after this. There’s a lot of Expanded Universe stuff out there to hit on, but nothing kids have been exposed to, and while Lego Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire would be magical, the idea of a videogame series gong back fifteen years to a sub-franchise that was created entirely so there would be room for an N64 game to be made would create the sort of internal logic loop that invariably leads to comet death cults.

This isn’t just Traveller’s Tales problem; it’s an issue the entire gaming industry is going to have to face very shortly-- the Star Wars universe is simply running of of levels. There’s not a whole lot of unexplored space left in the years between The Clone Wars and A New Hope, and no one in their right mind really wants to revisit scenes from the Prequels. Bioware was so flummoxed by this that they were forced to create an entire pocket universe set 3500 years prior to the movies simply so they could avoid continuity issues and/or the fouls stench that Lucas has left on the series shortly after he realized he could spend five hours inserting more X-Wings into the assault on the original Death Star and make a quadrillion dollars doing so.

The only real solution to this issue that doesn’t outright involve murdering Lucas and making more movies without him is to instead lure him into a shipping container using a 20th Anniversary Mac and a reworked script for Raiders of the Lost Ark and immediately make as many “officially licensed” Timothy Zahn-related movies and cartoon series as possible until Lucas either dies of malnourishment or he assures no one cares about Indiana Jones anymore, whichever comes first.

As far as this game goes, it’s more fucking Legos, what were you expecting? You could do far worse than to keep exposing your children to this if they’re not bored with the concept already.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

Strict handheld-only interpretation of the Virtual Console for the 3DS means that at some point you may be tricked into playing a TG-16 game.


Mayhem 3D
Developer: Rombax Games
Publisher: Zoo Games
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

So I’m split about what misinformed opinion I should hold about Mayhem 3d. It’s a Zoo Games game, so at the outset it’s only worth derision and mockery, but the game is apparently making an honest effort at being stylish and artistic:

 

even if by “stylish and artistic” I mean “the art director clearly watched Sin City immediately before drawing up concept art”. It’s a demolition derby game in a market that’s not really seen a lot of quality demolition derby games made since erm.. Demolition Derby, but it’s obviously being driven by it’s 3d gimmick, which previews are quick to point out you don’t necessarily want to take part in.

On the other other hand, Zoo Games is only selling this for forty bucks, which is only ten more dollars than Shawn Johnson Gymnastics, a Wii game they can’t sell for more than thirty dollars lest they be accused of marketing directly to pedophiles. What I’m saying is even though Mayhem 3d may look like it has big-time developer stuff like “production values” and “artistic license” and “competent game design”, Zoo Games has roughly as much confidence in this game as they do a gymnastics simulator sold exclusively to emaciated preteen girls and Jeffery Epstein.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

3d effect causes unsettling images of non-euclidean geometries to register forever in the user's brains, festering in the mind with unbidden wails to The Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young, who's very name is unutterable and brings forth madness and damnation.


Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Platforms: PlayStation Portable

Moving on


PlayStation Move Heroes
Developer: Nihilistic Software
Publisher: SCEA
Platforms: PlayStation 3

One of the great running subplots of Sony’s PlayStation campaign has been it’s string of failed attempts at building a corporate mascot for the brand. Sure, everyone remembers Crash Bandicoot’s demonstrations before Nintendo of America’s corporate HQ, but few know that these mascot attempts reach back far, far further than Naughty Dog’s semi-enjoyable 2.5d platformer. For instance there was Polygon Man

 

who was quietly pulled shortly before the system’s launch when a poorly concieved Polygon Man bouncy toy killed five students and grievously maimed a dozen others in a Sausalito, California preschool. Sony tried again with Sophia of Battle Arena Toshinden

 

Before realizing that instilling a leather fetish among preteen children probably wasn’t an effective counter to Mario, and also realizing that Battle Arena Toshendin was utter crap.

In the long milieu of failed PlayStation mascots, I was always partial to Spyro the Dragon that at least he starred in genuinely enjoyable games, and while playing as him you could enjoy the promise that one day he’d grow up to burn entire villages to cinders while waiting outside the gates to eat flaming panicked townspeople whole as they desperately sought refuge from the fiery hell before them.

Playstation Move Heroes features the most curiously soulless of Sony’attempts at creating a corporate identity for SCEA: The PS2 run of Sly Cooper, Jack Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. Befitting a collection of corporate and cynical Mario assassins, they star in a waggle-infused minigame collection that is a blatant and open attempt to ape the success of Nitnendo’s various waggle minigames, all the while not doing a very good job at it. So basically this game represents a microcosm of everything Sony’s managed to fail at; we should consider ourselves fortunate the game did not come complete with a summons to appear at court for watching the intro video.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

2GB of internal storage, as if this were 2008 and something you were still allowed to get away with.


Ridge Racer 3D
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Oh hey it’s a console release, that must mean it’s time to repackage the PS1 Ridge Racer tracks and sell them again. I’m just mildly surprised that Namco wasn’t tricked into releasing Ridge Racer Kinect and/or Ridge Racer Move.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

Attempts to break apart the 3DS and ingest it will result in horrific scarring of the esophageal tract, likely resulting in death if left untreated

 


Rayman 3D
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

This is pretty much a remake of Rayman 2 “The Great Escape for the Dreamcast and as such is probably the best game currently available for the 3DS that doesn’t include the words “Street Fighter 4”. While it’s nice that a new generation of gamers will be able to enjoy the best possible Rayman game, it’s sort of discouraging in that the DS already has it’s own version of Rayman 2 and makes one wonder why Ubisoft didn’t attempt a Rayman/Great Escape/Hoodlum Havoc collection instead.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

The 3DS will ultimately do nothing to convince Ubisoft to let Michel Ancel produce Beyond Good and Evil 2


Tomb Raider Trilogy
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Eidos Games
Platforms: PlayStation 3

While calling any collection of a nine game series a “trilogy” seems strange, one must understand that the correct title; Tomb Raider: We Swear These Three Games Don’t Suck, Core Had Nothing To Do With Them, would have been both unwieldy and litigious.

Perhaps it should have been called The Latest Trilogy instead-- This package contains the last three Crystal Dynamics games; Legend, Anniversary and Underworld, and combined with Simply Tomb Raider later this year represent the most remarkable franchise rebirth since Micheal Jackson’s Death.

(This is all the more remarkable when you realize Core tried killing Lara at least once; not only did it not take but it lead directly to more awful Core Tomb Raider videogames.

Having three non-terrible games where you get to watch Lara clamber around in 3d environments for forty dollars is a decent enough deal-- you can find all three used cheaper the 360 to be sure, but at least you’re getting Trophy support for all three games.

HORRIBLE 3DS SECRET NINTENDO IS HIDING FROM YOU

 

The 3DS is not endorsed by North Carolina Tarheels forward Harrison Barnes, so what’s the point, really?


NEXT WEEK~!

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