The Nintendo 3DS has an amazing library, but some of the finest games for the console have crippling flaws. These great 3DS games just narrowly dodged perfection. Just what is it that caused these otherwise AAA games to fall short? While some gamers might disagree, these are the main flaws that held back each of them.
Gamers were doubtful there could ever be a handheld entry in the series better than Tetris DS. While Tetris Party Deluxe did disappoint, Tetris Axis does nearly everything perfectly. The 3D effects are very impressive and the gameplay is just as addictive as ever. The cartridge is packed with twenty-plus variations of Tetris and a great soundtrack. What is it that places Tetris Axis on this list?
Many gamers lament the inability to use the Circle Pad, but this isn’t the only issue at hand. While it is disappointing that you’re forced to use the D-Pad, an even bigger problem is the overabundance of clone game modes. In order to fill out the package, the developers slightly retooled several existing modes leading to many disgruntled gamers. Had these two issues been addressed, Tetris Axis might have outclassed Tetris DS.
Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
The 3DS launch lineup was filled to bursting with amazing third party offerings. Nintendo came to the table a little light with its three games- Nintendogs, Steel Diver, Pilotwings Resort, but Koei stepped up to the plate for a homerun. Just what makes Samurai Warriors: Chronicles so impressive? Fantastic gameplay, a treasure trove of content, and visuals that impress from the moment you turn the console on. The friendship system’s use of dialogue trees and affinity bonuses will keep you replaying stages to befriend and unlock new characters.
Many portable games are fleeting experiences- Koei made certain this would not be one of them. So what’s the problem? The lack of English voice acting is almost a deal breaker for this otherwise perfect game. Chaotic levels require multiple undertakings to fully catch the subtitled dialogue and to complete tougher missions. Failed an ambush? Lost your supplies? Let a defector escape? I bet you wouldn’t have if you were warned in English.
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
There isn’t much to say about Natsume’s latest Harvest Moon offering on the Nintendo 3DS. It is, without a doubt, one of the finest portable HM experiences thanks to its focus on customization, gameplay tweaks, and abundance of content. The game isn’t plagued by glitches like its predecessor and the controls are far more polished than previous efforts. What earns it a spot on this list?
The game is famous for throwing out the ‘old rule book’ in order to have a ‘new beginning,’ but in the process it lost some of its charm. In an overextended effort to draw in new buyers, many long-time fans were left feeling left out by the simplified gameplay and focus on customization over exploration and lifestyle simulation. If A New Beginning committed a crime, its stealing far too much from Animal Crossing.
Who would have thought Spyro the dragon could manage such a comeback? How many gamers would have guessed that Spyro would deliver so amazing an experience at this late, dark point in his life span? This follow-up to the equally amazing Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is a must-have game for fans of both platforming and RPGs.
Although it improves on the original in practically every manner, it stumbles in one major area. The game’s performance leaves much to be desired with frequent lagging and stuttering. While it doesn’t plague the gameplay at every turn, it does trigger some cheap deaths and uneven boss battles. Activision really should have polished this return to Skylands.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
It’s amazing what a difference 3D visuals, excellent voice acting, and finely polished gameplay makes on a portable Kingdom Hearts title. While Birth By Sleep and Re: Coded struggled, Kingdom Hearts 3D surpasses even the excellent, Organization XIII flavored Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The inclusion of a world based on The World Ends With You is the only the start of this fantastic follow-up’s successes.
The atrocious card battle system is nowhere to be found and Sora’s new voice does a far better job than his predecessor. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance squeezes a home console KH experience onto the Nintendo 3DS. While you are granted all the blessings of a console KH game, you also receive the curses. The game’s length leaves much to be desired as the game mostly succeeds in leaving you wanting much more. We can only hope that Square Enix is smart enough to grace the 3DS with a follow-up that serves up more content.