So I had been debating between getting a 3DS or a Vita for over a year, but the truth of the matter was that I would be getting both eventually. I chose to get a 3DS both before a Vita and earlier than planned for a few key reasons:
1. I could name ten 3DS games I wanted to play without consulting a list online. Not so for the Vita.
2. I found a really good deal on a 3DS, with a companion deal on 3DS games
3. Streetpasses. MAGFest is coming up.
That's most of it. That sale was for this bundle right here except it cost $170 instead of $190. The other sale was a buy-one-get-one-free deal on several 2013 and 2014 games, which ended up being Zelda and Kirby. On top of that, I couldn't resist picking up two RPGs on less-good sales and two other new-box titles marked down to $10 each (originally $30 each). So my total investment ended up being the 3DS and seven games (one digital, five new, one used) for a grand total of around $280. I think I did pretty well. So let's talk about the machine and the games a bit, shall we?
Mario & Luigi Silver 3DS XL
It's a silver, gold, and black 3DS XL with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team included digitally. I really dig most of the button layout, the matte finish, and the quality of both screens. I say most of the button layout because I like the face buttons and side sliders, but am NOT a fan of the new locations for Start and Select. The Home button is fine there, but I accidentally press Home or try to turn the power off instead of hitting Start/Select on occasion, and I don't like having those key buttons on such a narrow space underneath the lower screen. Whatever. Personal preference. Love the look in general.
The visuals in general look... pretty good. Better than the normal DS, but not as good as a Vita (from my limited time trying out Vita games). The games I've played in detail have great-looking sprites and polygons, meeting or exceeding my expectations for those games. Great stuff. No complaints with visual or audio quality at all. The system's internet features (streetpass, friend plaza, online store) all seem to work just fine. Not as good as Sony's infrastructure, but a bit better than those messes on the DS and Wii. Nintendo still hasn't quite mastered online yet.
I should mention: I'm not a huge fan of 3D. Not just the 3DS, but 3D things in general. It doesn't hurt my eyes or anything, but I feel that most of the time 3D technology is an unnecessary distraction from a movie, or on a TV, or in a game. The 3DS's 3D is actually less obnoxious than that in most 3D non-IMAX theatres, with the experience feeling less like images jumping out and more like looking down into a box. It works fine and I don't hate it exactly, but I keep the 3D turned off 90% of the time.
So the machine is fine and is a pretty neat-looking skew. So how about those games?
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Yeah, I went into these two extremely hard as soon as I started each of them. I beat Zelda in about a week, and Bravely Default in about three weeks. I already beat them, I liked both of them a lot, and hopefully you'll see a reviews for both later this month. I'll save most of my commentary for those GOT 'IMs.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Kirby Triple Deluxe
I'm in the early stages of both of these two, with between one and four hours invested in each. Dream Team was natively installed on my special edition 3DS, and Kirby was one of the first three games I bought (along with Zelda and Bravely Default). Both of them will be done before Halloween, but other than that I make no guarantees. Hopefully I'll have reviews out... by January. Knowing my pace.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Three Current 3DS Games I WantFire Emblem: Awakening
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
Three Future 3DS Games I Want
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
I won't spend many words talking about those six games, but I will say that it was very easy to think up of six games to fit those categories. The 3DS's current library is good and its future is bright; I didn't even get to any Mario, Monster Hunter, or Pokemon games in either list. So bottom line: I'm quite happy with my recent gaming investment, and now I have no excuse to spend any more money on videogames in 2014. Let's see how that goes.
So that's that! I already have Zelda and Bravely Default reviews in the pipeline, but before those I need to finish a Batman: Arkham City review and finish another giant Persona article. The plan is to finish at least three of those four before the end of August, which is doable. The other part of the plan is to finish XenoBlade Chronicles before the end of August, and that's far less likely. Wish me luck.