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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Got my 3DS

You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, since I’ve been tweeting and Facebooking about this all week. But anyways, I picked up my 3DS at the post office today, and have been testing it out most of the evening.

2011-03-25 17.24.54
First generation meets last generation.

I have mentioned this to some of my friends: I have actually been waiting to buy the 3DS since the day I bought my DS back in 2004! So to say. Not that I knew Nintendo was going to make a 3DS. The thoughts that went through my mind when buying the original DS was something like "Well this is 3D graphics… but it would’ve been even better if it was real 3D graphics! If anyone made a game console like that, I’d buy it right away." And so I bought the 3DS right away. Maybe the next iPad will be the iPad 3D!

Anyways, some of first impressions on the 3DS:

  • When testing the 3DS at the launch event, I though it was sometimes pretty hard to find the infamous "sweet spot", but when testing the 3DS at home on my couch it was a bit easier. It might’ve been harder at the event because I was sometimes standing, and maybe also talking with the people at the event made it harder to hold the 3DS still.
  • I slightly regret buying Super Street Fighter VI: 3D Edition instead of a more story or progress-based adventure or action game. But I guess I might try and play through the arcade mode with all the characters to listen to their stories, however cheesy they are. The 3D does work in any case, I kinda like playing in the "over the shoulder" mode. Oh, and the internet mode worked! I got to fight two online opponents while testing the arcade mode (before I decided to turn off "accept requests" to finish arcade mode). It was some lag though, might’ve been because the first player probably was Japanese. Ah, my condolences to the Japanese people!
    japan-beforeafter
    Almost all the houses are just gone… so unbelievable.
    I pray that they manage to fix their reactor and that the people most directly affected will have the strength to rebuild their cities and restart their lives. I did donate some money to them.
  • There are a couple of AR games, which are quite fun, though there isn’t much variation. Hopefully it’ll be possible to unlock more stages or so… There are indeed some unlockable modes/toys that I have to buy using "Game coins", which I have to collect by walking around with the 3DS in standby mode. In fact the 3DS is doing so much stuff in standby mode that I worry about how much it will affect batterylife! But I guess the screens are still probably what uses more battery, and those would be turned off in standby mode. I also did test the shooting gallery game with a giant photo of the AR card on my computer monitor, which worked! But it would require much more space around me to play it properly. I should print out some big versions of the AR cards and play with it out on the street! 😀HNI_0003
    Game characters pop out of the AR cards! Then you can move them around and make poses.
  • The 3D camera works, and I managed to make a 3D Youtube video of the photos:
    Some 3DS photos in Youtube 3D

    But it turns out that the 3D photos are only 640×480, which is pretty crappy. So using the 3DS as my main travel camera might not be such a good idea. Maybe I could buy a 3D camera to complement the 3DS? Ah, which brings me to another point:

  • Copying 3D photos from internet and viewing them on my 3DS worked! Turns out I just have to rename them in a specific way. It’s fun. 🙂
  • The music player works and has a few interesting options like changing the speed and pitch of the song, 8-bitifying the song and other effects and allowing you to drum along or play various other sound effects along with the song. It also has some nice 3D visualizations, which might make it more attractive to keep the lid open while playing music, preferably while charging the 3DS. Going to the home screen stopped the music though. At least the music keeps playing when you close the lid, which really is a requirement if you want to use the 3DS for listening to music while walking around.
  • The charging cradle is nice, though it turns out it doesn’t charge by magnetic induction after all. There are two metal pieces that are pushed out from the back of the cradle when a button on the cradle is being pushed by the 3DS. Quite a basic mechanic, but I guess it is still a bit more fancy than having to fit the charging cable into the 3DS when putting it on the cradle! There is also a hatch that can be opened at the back of the charging cradle, about which I have not been able to find any info.
    2011-03-26 01.06.54
    Mysterious hatch! Why are you there?
    There is nothing in the instruction manual about it, and nobody online has even mentioned it. Though if I had to make a guess, I’d say it’s probably there to make sure the 3DS still fits in the cradle even if there are some kind of 3rd party accessories attached to the top…? Not that it seems to be any ports for accessories on the back of the 3DS, besides cartridge slot itself.
  • I’m disappointed that there is no internet browser or Nintendo shop available yet. Let me download games and movies! I would definitely buy a 3D movie! According to the Nintendo support page, the Nintendo eShop won’t be available before late May. Oh well, the system update added a bonus 3D movie with random clips of mostly nature videos. It’s nice!
  • And finally, I haven’t gotten any headaches from looking at the 3D effect yet. I managed to play through the arcade mode in Street Fighter once (on easiest setting) without having to turn off the 3D. Though I have to admit that I started finding it harder to find the sweet spot when doing the final battles, so I guess my eyes did get tired…

 

Man, I always spend way too much time writing blogposts. There’s already too much text and it’s late, so I’ll just stop here, and maybe play a bit more on the 3DS before sleeping. Tomorrow my plan is to finish Batman: Arkham Asylum. In 3D! Yesh!

 

Posted by on 2011-03-26 in Games

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3DS!

Went to the 3DS launch event in Oslo yesterday! The event was held at Hard Rock Café, which one of my friends said was kind of strange, since Hard Rock Café isn’t really what she considered to be a geeky place. It did feel a bit out of place seeing the various leather clothing and music decorations on the walls around the Nintendo stands! But that didn’t bother me too much.

2011-03-16 15.00.39
I should have asked for one of the banners to bring home as a memory.

I entered a contest on the http://gamereactor.no/ website and was one of the 10 people who won a VIP pass to get into the launch event 1,5 hour before it started for everyone else. So I got to test almost of the games without having to wait in line! Which was nice.

2011-03-16 15.12.47
No lines! Woohoo! The people in white are the 3DS body guards, protecting the demo units with their lives if necessary. (Citation needed.)

I was at first kind of surprised that each 3DS was attached to an actual person. Wait, actually the first surprise was that I thought someone from Gamereactor would greet me, and more importantly, confirm that I am actually one of the "chosen ones" to enter. But I just told the people at the entrance that I came with Gamereactor, and they let me right in! In fact I never talked to anyone from or with Gamereactor because of that, since I wasn’t really sure about starting a conversation with random people.

Which brings me to my previous point, which is the 3DS body guards that I had to converse with in order to try each 3DS game. All of them were really nice people and was glad to ask me to test the game when I approached them, so talking with them was not a problem. The main problem was my horrible multitasking skills. Because I felt that I had to try talking with them, I had at first a hard time trying to actually play the games. In fact, when testing out Zelda, I was just running around randomly crashing into walls and falling into the water because I was talking with the (very cute) girl attached to the 3DS about the 3D effect, the differences between the 3DS version and the N64 version, etc. (I insist on the fact that some of the girls being cute had nothing to do with me being distracted. Because it was the same when I was trying the games that were attached to guys. Really! Probably.) The other problem was that I didn’t really feel like playing for too long because of having a person hanging over you and/or talking with you while playing. But I did finish some of the shorter demos, and after a while I got better at focusing on playing, and only occasionally exchange a few comments with the body guards.

2011-03-16 15.18.31
I even got to take a photo with the 3DS! Which is not really that cool since it’s only a week untill they start selling it, but anyhows. I kind of regret not taking a photo of/with the girl attached to the 3DS too. Though I guess I didn’t want to be intrusive. Or something.

Anyways! As for the actual 3DS. The 3D effect does work, it’s quite amazing! But it is also quite difficult to hold the 3DS "correctly" (the sweet spot as some of the body guards were explaining). Some games were easier than others, possibly depending on how much depth the game tries to add. The worst ones were probably the games where you had to move the 3DS around to aim, because moving the 3DS would easily make you lose the sweet spot where you could see the 3D effect. In these games it was usually easier just to turn off 3D entirely.

But other than that, I didn’t have a problem with the 3D. Even after trying various games for a bit over 2 hours, I never felt like I got tired in the eyes. One of the stand people (yeah I’ll stop calling them body guards now) said that it was quote individual, but that he had met very few people who actually got quickly tired in the eyes.

2011-03-16 20.37.00
I got this stash. And I found out later that I was actually entitled to a free burger from Hard Rock Café with the VIP pass! I didn’t know! That’s what I get for not talking more with people. *sigh* Oh well, my mistake.

The games that I had most interest in were:

  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – I’ll most likely buy this one as soon as it is available. Although I didn’t really get a chance to try it properly because it was the first game I tested and I had a hard time talking and playing at the same time.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising – I must admit I have never actually played the Kid Icarus game. But the new game looks pretty interesting, with aerial battles where you have to simultaneously dodge while aiming with the touchscreen and shooting with L, and ground battles where I ran around and could do both shooting and melee attacks. The Easy demo was easy enough, but in the Expert demo I kept crashing into rocks and dying, and couldn’t finish it before I ran out of time.
  • Augmented Reality games – Honestly, Nintendo isn’t the first one to make these kind of games. PS3 had the Eye of Judgmenet, the iPhone has a bunch of augmented reality games, and the PSP has Invizimals which lets you run around and capture monsters in your own home to use in battles. But on the 3DS the camera is builtin (unlike on PS3 and PSP), and the games seem to be pretty well-made and fun (unlike the iPhone ones)!
    I tried out the demo that was in the YouTube video I linked to, and I thought it was very cool, although it was one of those games where you have to turn off the 3D effect because it’s impossible to hold the 3DS in "the sweet spot" while you wave it around to hit the targets.
  • Star Fox 64 3D – They only had a 3DS with a trailer of the game, but it looked pretty good!

 

Most of the other games just didn’t really catch my interest as much. I did preorder Super Street Figher IV 3D for my 3DS because the best games aren’t available yet on launch day, and I figured Street Fighter IV is a decent (though very hard) game that I still don’t have on any other console. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is just a mission/highscore-based game, so I think I’d rather wait for Resident Evil: Revelations which is more similar to "normal" Resident Evil games. Mario Kart 3DS looked good, but I seriously suck in Mario Kart, so I don’t really want to get that game.

It’s getting late now so I think I’ll skip mentioning all the other games I’m not as interested in. But I was quite happy that I got to test the 3DS, and am now really looking forward to release day! Hopefully the webshop I preordered the 3DS from will send it a day earlier so it’ll arrive on release day. Or at least not send it many days after release day, which would make me regret preordering it instead of just buying it in a store on release day!

 

Posted by on 2011-03-17 in Games

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My February and March gaming

Haven’t done anything really out of the ordinary since my trip to Venice. I’ve mostly been playing through my games, I might really be able to finish most of my games this year!

  • I beat Fallout on the PC, I’ll have to admit I got kind of tired of the game, because of the uneven difficulty and the fact that I felt too stressed trying to finish the game within the 100 (in-game) days limit that you get at the start. (I eventually figured out that I could buy more days.) So I ended up using a walkthrough for the last 1/3rd of the game. Think I’m going to take a break from Fallout for a while, before starting on Fallout 2.
    Fallout1End
       Goodbye, and good riddance!
  • Also beat Song Summoner Encore on the iPad, another game that I got tired of. It seemed interesting that I could create characters from my iPad songs, but in the end it didn’t really feel much different from just randomizing characters out of thin air. Story was pretty standard (boring). Final boss felt cheap because he could keep regenerating enemies, but I found out that one of the main (story) characters had an even cheaper special attack which hit almost every single enemy on-stage, so I beat it after a few tries.
    SongSummoner03
       This attack hits everything! (Almost.)
  • Played through Penumbra: Overture, which is a horror adventure game (pick up items, use this item on that to get further in the game) with a FPS engine. It was actually quite scary, even though the graphics are a bit dated! Even more so than Dead Space and Bioshock! Because Dead Space and Bioshock are more action games in my opinion, with tons of weapons to kill enemies (Dead Space’s story: You’re just an engineer, not a soldier, so you don’t have any weapons to protect yourself. But here, take these common engineering tools! Which engineers use. To cut apart rocks. And spaceships! Compared to that, most of the monsters in that game might as well be basic thugs with knifes and swords.). But in Penumbra, you really start out with no weapon at all, and when the first enemy (a zombie dog or something) appears, you have to crouch and hide behind a crate, hoping that it won’t see you when it walks past you.
    penumbra
       Aaaagh the dog saw you run run RUN!
    The music and graphical effects when you are hiding really does make this quite heartracing! But later in the game you get a crowbar and a pickaxe, so I ended up beating the crap out of the dogs after all just so I didn’t have to waste time hiding and waiting for them to go away. Still, the main character feels a lot more normal and helpless than in Dead Space and Bioshock, which makes the game scarier, even though it doesn’t really focus as much on enemies as the other two games. It’s really mostly just a puzzle game with a horror story. The game is short though, and ends with a "to be continued". I hear that in the second game you really don’t get any weapons, so you have to hide from the enemies all the time. So I’m not sure if I want to get it even to get the rest of the story. Uh, because hiding and waiting takes too long time. *cough*

 

Other than these games, I’m still playing Batman: Arkham Asylum (don’t play it as much as PC games since I usually only play it when nobody else is home so I don’t hog the TV), and started playing Prey on the PC. Prey is a pretty basic FPS although it has some unique mechanics like the spirit-walking and wallwalking. Though after playing Dead Space with it’s jumping on walls and flying in space, the wallwalking in Prey doesn’t impress me much. It is an old game after all though. Will try to just play through it quickly I guess. The voice acting is, if not bad, then quite annoying. The main character is not likeable at all. Ah well.

OK, just so this post won’t be just about games, I’m going to tell one random thing about me! That is not about gaming. I have actually cried when watching anime (and some movies too? Though rarely since I mostly watch action and comedies). Not crying as in wailing and sobbing, but just tears coming from the eyes. I won’t tell you which animes though.

Oh, I preordered the 3DS! Waiting expectantly for it to release! Anyways, since it’s weekend, I might try and finish Prey tonight. Johan out.

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Posted by on 2011-03-11 in Games

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