Nintendo announced the Japanese launch line-up for the 3DS this past weekend at their big Nintendo World event, and despite the excitement and hype for the system, the selection of lauch titles was meant with an almost unanimous response: meh.
The launch titles are as follows:
- nintendogs + cats
- Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
- Samurai Warriors Chronicles
- Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
- Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble
- Pro Evolution 3D Soccer
- Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
- Ridge Racer 3D
While the surprisingly faithful port of Street Fighter IV and the new Professor Layton game are welcome surprises, the launch line-up seems to be missing that key, system-selling “killer app” thats needed to convince most “core” gamers to buy a new system. Of course, a lot of other systems have launched without a killer app in the past and have gone on to do fine, like the Xbox 360 and yes, the original DS, but considering that every major third party publisher and developer is putting their full support behind the 3DS, the launch line-up is looking a little anemic.
Regardless, I still want one anyway. You may ask why, especially after reading that previous paragraph, and the answer is simple: Despite the slim pickings at launch, the 3DS line-up for the weeks and months immediately following it’s release is absolutely flooded with promising looking games.
The big title that everyone is excited for is Kid Icarus, which is surprising, considering that the original NES isn’t exactly the best game ever made. Nonetheless, series protaganist Pitt’s recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl seems like it was enough to reignite interest in the long forgotten franchise, and the newest entry on 3DS (which is also directed by Smash Bros. designer Makoto Sakurai,) is looking very promising. Combining the on-rails, shooting segments of Star Fox with some on foot, third person action sequences, Kid Icarus may very well end up being the “killer app” I mentioned earlier that Nintendo needs to guarantee the 3DS’s success… and hell, even if it isn’t, at the very least, it’s guaranteed to be better than the slightly overrated NES “classic” it’s based off of.
But the title that really has me excited is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Yes, it’s a remake of a 13 year old game (god, that makes me feel old,) but it’s also a remake of the most critically acclaimed game ever made, and one of my personal favorites. Sure, an entirely new Zelda game would’ve been preferable, but hey, if Nintendo wants to re-sell me one of the best games ever made with new graphics and possibly some new content, I’m more than willing to pony up the cash. At the very least, I know I’m getting a game that’s guaranteed to be great.
Then there’s all the third party games. Some may balk at all the ports, but personally I’m looking forward to the portable versions of both Metal Gear Solid 3 and Tales of the Abyss, as both titles were among my favorite PS2 games. The 3DS is also getting a lot of love from fighting game developers, as in edition to the previously mentioned Street Fighter, both the beautiful 2D BlazBlue and the blatantly peverted Dead or Alive (complete with boob jiggle activated via shaking the system) are both coming to the 3DS. In terms of new, non-port titles, Mega Man Legends 3 is definitely the most anticipated. The original two Mega Man Legends games were PS1 sleeper hits that went mostly unnoticed by most gamers on their release but have since attained a legendary reputation via word of mouth. The series has gone ignored by Capcom ever since the 32-bit days ended, but I’m glad to see that Capcom is giving the series the second chance it deserves.
So obviously, I want a lot of 3DS games and I’m going to have buy a 3DS sooner or later in order to play all those games. But none of those games are launch games, and the question remains: Why should I buy a 3DS at launch?
Of course, all the information we have about the 3DS pertains to it’s Japanese lauch: prices, release dates, and line-ups for the Western markets have yet to be released, so any complaints/praise I have for the system now could be rendered moot as soon as an official announcement is made. But I don’t expect the lineup of games to be too different from the Japanese one, and if I’m correct, then there won’t be much to do with the 3DS when it launches. For that reason alone I’ll probably wait a few months (or maybe even until Nintendo announces a 3DS Lite, or whatever they’ll call the inevitable, improved second version that will definitely eventually come out,) when the 3DS amasses a library that warrants its (again, speculation here) high price. I have no doubt in my mind that the 3DS will go on to mirror, if not surpass, the epic sales of it’s 2D predecessor, but Nintendo has yet to convince me as to why I should bother buying one on launch day.