To 3DS or not to 3DS

I have been following the news about the 3DS with great interest. I enjoyed the old DS very much and from all the implementations of 3D technology, the Nintendo one seemed like the most promising. But for some reason the release always seemed so incredibly far in the future. Suddenly, it’s tomorrow and I find myself struggling with the question whether to get it at launch. I bough the Wii back at launch and I did not regret it. But things are a little different now. I have a huge backlog in front of me and I’d rather not pile an entire system on top of it. On the other hand, the great system seller will come eventually. Perhaps it’s even among the launch titles. At least 3 of them caught my attention.

Pilotwings Resort

This one is quite obvious, I think. I was quite fond of the old Pilotwings. It was a good launch title for the SNES. It makes sense as a launch title on the 3DS. Surprisingly, I heard that the 3D doesn’t necessarily add so much to the feeling of flying as one might expect. 3D is actually really bad at open spaces and things that are far away. There is a lot about 3D technology that consumer and developers need to learn. On the other hand, I’d be interested in the title even if it wasn’t in 3D.

Steel Diver

Steel Diver is one of the very few new ip’s at this system’s launch. Nintendo isn’t in the business of inventing new franchises lately. The game seems quite un-Nintendoesque as well. It’s a sober Submarine game where military combat seems to be the main focus. It seems to be a weird mixture of complex, almost simulation-like controls and arcade-like side-view representation. There is so much weird and unusual about the game. I feel intrigued! It has been a LONG time since I played a game about submarines.

Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Yeah, I know. This came out of nowhere to me as well. But apparently Julian Gollop, one of the guys responsible for the X-Com series, now works for Ubisoft. He made this fairly traditional tactical RPG which seems to adopt some X-Com elements. I couldn’t care less about the Ghost Recon branding. Actually that one puts me off horribly. But I’m interested in checking out what Julian has been up to recently. Some previews I read said that the 3D works exceptionally well in this title. The top-down view makes sure that all objects are at a distance from the camera, where the 3D effect is most noticeable and pronounced. Also, how cool is it to have the designer explain their game to you in a video nowadays?

So that’s basically it for me. I’m still not sure if to give in or not. What do you think about the three games? Did you find any other titles interesting?

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

One response to “To 3DS or not to 3DS”

  1. Clayton Hughes

    Of course I’m going to tell you to buy it, because I love to see our system sell.

    That said, Pilot Wings and Ghost Recon are the two titles I picked up at our internal launch at Nintendo. I’m not supposed to say much about the system publicly until the US release (never mind that you’ll get it tomorrow and it’s been out in Japan for Internet-ages), but they’re both good, solid titles. I don’t care about the Ghost Recon branding either, but the game is great (I’m only a few missions in though; so far it seems mostly traditional to me).

    I will say that the built-in system software is some of the most enjoyable stuff I’ve played. You should definitely make a point of going into the Mii Plaza, playing both the mini-games and turning on StreetPass!

    The two games are interesting: one works best if you spend a lot of time around the same players (they level up), though the other works best if you’re always meeting new people.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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