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Million Arthur Arrives On Nintendo 3DS

By Spencer . October 22, 2014 . 1:00am

Square Enix’s most successful smartphone series, Million Arthur, made a jump to Nintendo 3DS. Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur is now available on the eShop. The 3DS version is a port with a remapped interface to make use of the system’s two screens.

Million Arthur uses a free to play model just like the smartphone and Vita releases. Throughout October, players will be able to get tickets for in game items.

Square Enix has not announced any plans to bring Million Arthur out in the West, but an English localized version has been distributed for smartphones and tablet in other countries in Asia.

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Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

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Review: Shantae And The Pirate’s Curse (3DS eShop)

A pirate’s life for me

It’s interesting to track the progression that WayForward‘s Shantae series has undergone over the past decade. Beginning in 2002, the original title was released on the Game Boy Color, an unfortunately timed release that was mostly overshadowed by the recent introduction of the Game Boy Advance. Despite an attempted sequel on the newest handheld hardware, Shantae wasn’t seen again for eight years until Shantae: Risky’s Revenge became available on the DSiWare service. Fast-forward another four years to now when we’re not only seeing the release of one new game, but two completely new entries in the Shantae collection on a plethora of different consoles.

Though taking a bizarre path to get to where it is today, the Shantae series is one that is deserving of all the attention is has been receiving recently. Jumping from console to console with mostly unsteady footing, each game in the series has been nothing short of fantastic. Both of the first two games are currently available on the 3DS via the eShop and Virtual Console services, and now we’re treated with Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, the latest instalment in the series, and it’s every bit as good as we could have hoped for.

Picking up not long after the events of Risky’s Revenge, our purple-haired hero wakes up in Scuttle Town, the home that she is determined to protect, despite her missing genie powers. Without delving too deep or giving up any spoilers, the plot kicks off immediately with the reintroduction of the pirate Risky Boots, Shantae’s arch nemesis, who comes bearing surprising news about an even greater threat called The Pirate Master. Deciding to put the past behind them, Shantae and Risky reluctantly join forces to venture out and stop the Pirate Master before things get out of hand. It’s a classic use of the “enemies working together for the greater good” trope that we see so often in media, but it’s refreshing to see something new introduced into this series rather than relying too heavily on the same stock characters.

Pirate’s Curse is easily defined as an adventure platformer with Metroidvania style progression. As you explore the open 2D world, more areas will become accessible as you progress through the campaign and collect new items; this game doesn’t go too far out of its way to stand out from others in its genre, but it does manage to expand the premise outward, creating a huge world to explore with an ample cast of characters.

Unlike previous Shantae games that featured a single seamless map filled with varied environments, Pirate’s Curse instead opts for several smaller worlds disguised as islands that are accessible from Risky’s ship. Despite not boasting an entirely interconnected world, a fair amount of traipsing back and forth between islands is necessary for collecting all items and exploring every last inch of the map. Not having to completely traverse one sprawling area over and over again just to get to the next point is a welcome change, as it cuts down on time wasted in travel. While revisiting areas may work well for some games, the fact that you’re not collecting experience points or levelling your character up in this franchise can make repeatedly running through the same areas feel both tedious and unnecessary. There is still a bit of necessary backtracking, but this feels like a much more streamlined version of the exploration heavy games that came before it.

As can be expected from a Shantae game, or almost any platformer that WayForward has put out recently, the controls are not only simple but they’re exceptionally tight. This is especially apparent during some of the more precise platforming sections of the game, working your way through labyrinthine dungeons and making short work of long jumps. The 3DS’s touchscreen is also implemented well, optionally displaying your inventory, key items, and a world map; items can quickly be selected using virtual buttons on the bottom screen, making it remarkably easy to see what you have available at any given moment and use those items on the run.

To put it lightly, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a difficult game, but that’s not to say that it is entirely unforgiving. As you progress and delve further into the plot enemies encountered become stronger and more diverse, but so does your arsenal. You will also come across increasingly more complex dungeons and puzzles to solve, but as your move set expands you find that there is never really a point where you’ll feel completely stuck after enough trial and error. Save rooms are abundant in the open world, usually placed strategically at a dungeon entrance or inside a town, and dying means replaying small sections rather than being sent back a significant amount – assuming you’re taking advantage of the opportunities to save. This is the rare type of game that allows itself to be accessible to a new audience while simultaneously sticking to its classic roots.

Pirate’s Curse retains the same look and tone of previous games in the series, this time enhanced by the 3DS’s superior processor and display. WayForward’s signature art style is once again present, but not necessarily to the betterment of the game. While the brightly coloured environments, wacky characters and upbeat soundtrack may appeal to a wide audience – including the younger 3DS owners – there is an unnecessary level of sexualization when considering the audience that is being targeted. It all seems a bit tongue-in-cheek based on the exaggerated dialogue and abundant jokes, but the tiny waists and heaving cleavage jumping out at you per the handheld’s 3D effect can be a bit much. If you’re not the type to be bothered by these affectations, especially considering that they don’t worsen the meticulously crafted gameplay, then feel free to ignore our warning, but do keep in mind that this might not be one for the kids.

Looking past that, the 3DS’s display capabilities are used particularly well to bring the environments to life. WayForward has always had a knack for adding subtle details into its lush settings, but this time around those little intricacies are displayed in a layered parallax, making for an absolutely gorgeous experience. The soundtrack has also been expanded, resulting in a massive mix of classic Shantae tracks along with new jams to fill the new lands. It’s obvious that so much effort has gone into making this the best game that it could possibly be.

Conclusion

Whether or not you’re a platforming fan, and whether or not you’ve played any of the previous titles in this series, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is an exceptionally well-crafted game that should not be ignored. The art style and sense of humour aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but they work well together and manage to set a very specific tone that WayForward has clearly spent time perfecting. There is little reason for any 3DS owner to avoid adding this gem to their treasure collection.

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Nintendo hiring for next gen console

Nintendo hiring for next gen consoleThis is what the inside of a Wii U looks like

A job ad from Nintendo of America seems to show the company preparing a successor to the 3DS and/or Wii U.

Job adverts are always giving away clues about up-and-coming new games, but it’s rare that they give a hint about a company’s hardware plans.

And yet the listing here is for a senior architect to work on what must be one of Nintendo’s new consoles, the only question is which one.

The talk about SoC (system on a chip) and low power suggests it could be the next gen successor to the 3DS, but the job description refers to the work as being for the group responsible for game consoles – and Americans never refer to portables as consoles.

In fact it’s surprising that such an important role would be advertised in America at all, rather than being undertaken by someone in Japan. But it may suggest that Nintendo is following a similar path to Sony, when they made American developer Mark Cerny lead architect for the PlayStation 4.

How advanced are Nintendo's next gen plans?How advanced are Nintendo’s next gen plans?

Second-guessing Nintendo is always impossible, but it’s widely assumed that a new portable would arrive before a new home console. Although popular rumours suggest that the new portable and new home console may end up being one and the same, or at least two different devices that are much more closely integrated than ever before.

When either would appear is particularly difficult to say, but Nintendo is planning to reveal its Quality of Life (QoL) platform next year. What exactly this is also remains a mystery, but it’s implied not to be primarily video games-related and instead something to do with health and fitness.

Whether that just means a fancier Balance Board nobody knows, but although the job ad could relate to QoL that seems the least likely explanation at the moment.

What exactly is a non-wearable platform?What exactly is a non-wearable platform?

Email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk, leave a comment below, and follow us on Twitter

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Nintendo’s New 3DS XL Isn’t a Huge Upgrade, But It Will Be Eventually

Nintendo’s new 3DS is certainly an upgrade. But we won’t really know for a while how much of an upgrade it is.

Like the Game Boy Color or the Nintendo DSi, the New Nintendo 3DS (yeah, that is its actual name) is one of Nintendo’s half-step measures, not a brand new platform or a purely cosmetic redesign but something in between. It’s got a second analog stick, a nicer 3-D screen and a whole bunch of other tiny improvements. Eventually you’ll use it to play exclusive software, but for now it’s just upgrading the experience of your existing library of 3DS games.

Nintendo seems to be in no big hurry to get the New Nintendo 3DS out of Japan, where it launched earlier this month. It is launching New 3DS in Australia in November, but hasn’t announced any plans to bring it to the U.S. or Europe, meaning we almost surely won’t see it until 2015.

There are two sizes, standard and XL (called LL in Japan). As I indicated in a previous piece, I bought an XL, because even though the smaller version has rad swappable faceplates, I currently use a 3DS XL and wasn’t about to downsize my screens. As it happened, Japanese consumers agreed with me: The XL outsold the smaller size by more than two to one in its launch week.

Holding the New 3DS XL and the original 3DS XL is like playing spot-the-difference: At first glance, the pair look identical. Same rounded-corners clamshell design, same dimensions, nearly identical weight. You have to peer in close to start picking out the changes—some good, some neutral, and some unfortunate.

The most significant change is the addition of the C-stick, a second analog joystick of sorts, above the buttons on the right-hand side. This is the first Nintendo handheld that has actually had twin sticks as a standard feature, better late than never but still pretty darn late. Let’s not pretend this is here for any reason other than the fact that Capcom’s inexplicably popular Monster Hunter series, one of a handful of games that’s keeping 3DS relevant in Japan, is set in a free-roaming 3-D world that cries out for independent camera control.

American players by and large have resisted attempts by Capcom and Nintendo to start a Monster Hunter craze here as well. But the C-stick can also be used for Super Smash Bros., which is what I tested it on. The stick itself is very similar to the pointer nub that I imagine is still used on some laptop computers. If you put your thumb on it and move it around, you can’t actually feel the stick moving underneath you. But you only need to twitch your thumb a little bit to get it to activate, and I found it to be quite comfortable and accurate.

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Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

The next best update is the 3-D screen. Anecdotally, I’ve found that most people just turn the 3-D screen off on their 3DS hardware. The novelty is gone by now, and more than that if you shift the 3DS or your head around while playing, the illusion tends to break and the image gets distorted. The New 3DS has actually done a remarkable job of solving this. If you move your head or the system around, it takes a lot more movement—significantly more than you would probably have in a gameplay scenario unless you were launching into orbit—to break the illusion. Nintendo says it solved this by tracking your head position with the device’s front-facing selfie camera, which is a significantly better use of it than taking selfies.

There’s another very cool use of that camera: New 3DS can automatically adjust the brightness of your screen based on the brightness of the room. Turn off the lights and the screen will darken, saving that precious, precious gaming juice.

Look closer and you’ll keep finding tweaks. The A, B, X, Y action buttons on the unit’s face are spread a little further apart now, making gameplay more comfortable. There are two extra shoulder buttons, again primarily for Monster Hunter but generally bringing the 3DS into rough parity with a standard game console’s controller. This may prove important if Nintendo or its partners plan to port more of their existing console content to 3DS.

The Start and Select buttons have been moved from their terribly inconvenient positions below the screen and over to the right side. Meanwhile, the power button has been moved to a terribly inconvenient location on the underside of the unit. It’s less likely that you’ll hit it accidentally, but for a while you’ll probably have trouble hitting it at all.

Similarly, the stylus used for the system’s touch screen has been shifted from a convenient slot on the unit’s right side to a nearly unreachable position on its underside. The stylus is also significantly shorter than the one on the standard 3DS XL. Oh well, it wouldn’t be a new Nintendo handheld without a puzzling downgrade.

Fortunately, the puzzling downgrade on the 3DS XL has been rectified here. That unit’s speakers were pretty weaksauce compared to the first 3DS unit’s. The decibels have been cranked back up for the New 3DS.

There’s a significant design change that will result in an upcharge for current 3DS diehards: While every Nintendo handheld back to the DSi in 2009 has used SD card storage, the New 3DS is shifting to Micro SD. That means you can’t just transfer your account information and pop in your SD card full of games; you have to transfer the data.

Nintendo gives you three options here: Transfer every bit of data via a local wireless connection (takes literally hours); only transfer your account, licenses and save data (requires that you individually re-download all your games from the eShop, a painstaking process); or move everything over with your PC (requires an SD card reader and, well, a PC).

Oh, and if you want to get to that SD card, you’ll have to use a tiny screwdriver (not included) to take the battery cover off of the New 3DS. This is not that big an imposition, and frankly considering how small a Micro SD card is I’m glad that it’s locked up in there, but if you’re in the habit of removing your SD card to get photos off of it, you might be annoyed. But Nintendo has a solution for this as well. You can now make your 3DS appear as a device on your Windows 7 or 8 network, and access its files through Explorer.

So as of now, New Nintendo 3DS appears to be a laundry list of improvements large and small that make your experience of playing 3DS games a little more comfortable. If you’re not playing 40 hours of Monster Hunter a week, is this going to convince you to upgrade? Probably not at the moment. But the thing with the New 3DS is that it’s a time bomb.

See, in addition to all of the upgrades that you can see, New 3DS also has more processing power under the hood. Right now, you won’t notice this, besides a mild boost to the speed of downloads and Internet browsing. But soon, Nintendo will begin to release games that use the extra power and can only be played on New 3DS, a port of the Wii role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles being the first.

I think we’ll see many more of these in the coming years, especially since the combination of the console-style button layout and extra power will make it easier to give old content a new life on 3DS. The ability to play something on the go can bring in a new audience: Even RPG players who couldn’t be bothered to pull their Wii out of the closet to play Xenoblade might give it a whirl on 3DS. It’s a way of having “new” content without having to pay for the bottom-up development of a new game. And with the extra stick and buttons on New 3DS, the experience doesn’t have to be compromised.

Will New 3DS protect Nintendo from the steadily encroaching threats that keep taking big bites out of its portable gaming business? Not by itself. But it continues to produce the very best gaming-only portable device, and that’s got to count for something… right?

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby Demo Code Giveaway!

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Omega Ruby are coming to the 3DS and 2DS on November 28 in the UK, bringing with them some major visual updates, mega evolutions, and adorable Pikachu cosplay.

Can’t wait until then to return to the Hoenn region? Well, you’re in luck! Nintendo has given us plenty of codes for the Special Demo Version of the game to share with you. Best of all, your Mega-Evolved Pokemon and reward items can be brought into the full version of the game when it launches. Catch your code today!

Enter your email address in the module below to receive your code for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby while supplies last. Codes are restricted to UK residents only.

How to redeem your Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby code:

  1. Make sure your Nintendo 3DS or 2DS system is connected to the internet and has the latest system update.
  2. From the HOME Menu, open the Nintendo eShop.
  3. Select the MENU tab on the top left of the lower screen, select REDEEM DOWNLOAD CODE.
  4. Enter your 16-figure Download Code in the screen that is displayed.
  5. Select OK and follow the on-screen instructions.

Further information can be found at support.nintendo.com.

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Movie Captures Motorcyclist Scarcely Escaping Dying by Landslide on Route 27
The Costa Rica Information (TCRN) – A few seconds. This could seem to be insignificant but it was in the time that a motorcyclist was saved from getting crushed by a landslide that fell from a hillside on the outskirts of the access ramp to the Guácima on Route 27.
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Előrendelés &middot 3DS &middot DS &middot Personal computer &middot PS Vita &middot PS2 &middot PS3 &middot PS4 &middot PSP &middot WII &middot WII U &middot Xbox A single &middot Xbox360 … lett az MSI fekete-fehér alaplapja ▷ &middot The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Lovecraft nyomában ▷ &middot Két 3D-s nyomtatóval rukkolt elő az Inno3D ▷ &middot AMD Forex …
Study far more on IPON!

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Disney Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay set for Nintendo 3DS and DS

San Fransokyo will soon be brought to life, with GameMill Entertainment sharing that they will shortly release Disney Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay for Nintendo 3DS and DS.

The side-scrolling platformer takes inspiration from Disney’s Big Hero 6, casting players into a colourful world as they tackle 20 story levels to fend off a battlebot invasion. These will test the abilities of the four playable characters – Fred, GoGo, Wasabi and Hiro – each with their own unique powers that they will put to use against monstrously-sized bosses. Hidden collectibles are waiting to be discovered, while each level can be played in a special Challenge Mode.

Disney Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay will launch for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS in North America on October 28th, with the film releasing in cinema’s later on November 7th.

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Alex’s early adoration for Nintendo began with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land. This developed over the years, later peaking when he hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Nowadays, his enthusiasm is shared through Nintendo Insider, a place in which he can document his thoughts regarding the big N.

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The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should’ve Released Years Ago

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

I’m not saying the original 3DS is bad. I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is that the New Nintendo 3DS seems so good. It would’ve been nice to have this from the get go.

But, wait, you say, what is this? What’s so damn new about it?

The New Nintendo 3DS is a revamped 3DS with a corny “New” in its official name. There is nothing corny about this handheld, though. It’s as though Nintendo took a long, hard look at what was lacking and then tried to address that with the New Nintendo 3DS.

The hardware comes in to flavors: standard-sized and XL (which is called “LL” in Japan, because there is no “XL” clothing size). These units are slightly different dimensions from the previous hardware.

Whenever I do a story on these handhelds, someone inevitably asks about the dimensions when compared to the original 3DS units. Well, here ya go:

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

Be aware that the New 3DS XL does not have a larger screen. If you need more comparison info, check here and here.

What’s more, it does not have faceplates that can be swapped out like the smaller NN3DS.

In Japan, Nintendo is charging 1,000 yen for simple colored face plates and up to 3,000 yen for more elaborate ones. This is probably easier (and cheaper) for Nintendo than releasing special edition NN3DS handhelds. Those who like special edition hardware, take heart: Nintendo is releasing limited edition NN3DS XL units as the consoles don’t have faceplates.

There are also new ZR and ZL buttons. They are fairly comfortable, and you can easily press them with the tips of your fingers and then press the R and L shoulder buttons with the middle of your finger, no problem. At least, I could.

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

For extra storage, the New Nintendo 3DS also uses a Micro SD Card, which is located under the handheld’s cover. And what about juice? The battery life for the New Nintendo 3DS is from 3.5 to 6 hours, while the battery life for the New Nintendo 3DS XL is from 3.5 to 7 hours. In comparison, the “old” 3DS has a battery life of 3 to 5 hours, and the “old” 3DS XL has a battery life of 3.5 to 6.5 hours.

Let’s suss out what I liked and what I did not. Ready?

LIKED

Speed: Thankfully, the New Nintendo 3DS is faster. It downloads and boots games quicker, which is incredibly welcome. When Nintendo originally announced the NN3DS and trumpeted its “faster speed,” I thought, eh, whatever. Big mistake! Going back to the original 3DS after using the New Nintendo 3DS makes you notice just. How. Slow. The handheld is.

C-Stick: For years now, players have been asking Nintendo for a second control input to control the in-game camera—and more. So far, the C-Stick seems to do a serviceable job as a camera control in Monster Hunter 4G and, more importantly, it’s a welcome addition to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

I’m very glad Nintendo added this stick. Granted, it’s not perfect by any stretch—and I really hope the next Nintendo hardware iteration has a much better C-Stick. But for now, it’ll do.

Larger Screen (on the regular-sized NN3DS): The NN3DS XL’s screen is the same size as the 3DS XL’s, but the standard-sized New Nintendo 3DS does get a larger screen. As with the increased speed, the larger screen is most welcomed. It makes the handheld a little easier on the eyes, and actually makes the NN3DS a decent compromise for those who want a slightly larger screen, but don’t want a large handheld like the XL.

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

Better 3D: For years, I’ve hated the 3D effect for the Nintendo 3DS. Hated it! I didn’t like how it felt like I was also adjusting the slider should my head move. It was not a pleasant experience—for me, at least. Yes, I realize many other gamers enjoy the effect. Well, good news, those folks should really enjoy how the Nintendo pulls off the 3D effect with the NN3DS. And grumps like me, who hated the original effect, might want to give it a second chance with the New Nintendo 3DS.

Since the NN3DS now has head tracking software, it adjusts to you—instead of you adjusting to it. This makes a world of difference, and I’ve found the 3D surprisingly comfortable. It might have been a cost issue at the time, but Nintendo should have launched the original 3DS with this tech. I feel like it finally fulfils Nintendo’s original promise of 3D gaming.

The Touch Pen: Okay, it’s…a touch pen. A stylus! Nothing revolutionary about that. But, the top end of it has a little tool that can help you pry off the changeable faceplates. It’s a small touch, but clever.

Look and Feel: I’ll tell you want: The white with Super Famicom-colored buttons New Nintendo 3DS looks utterly fantastic. It’s really a lovely portable. The nice, matte finish is smooth to the touch, and the NN3DS is just a pleasure to look at and play. It’s subtle and classy. I like it.

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

DISLIKED

Power Button: I’ve previously addressed this, and it really feels like a design flaw. The power button is oddly…small. And because of that, you can press directly on it and not power on or off the consoles, because your thumb doesn’t end up applying pressure to the small, round button.

It reminds me of using a toothpick to put in a hole on a CD-ROM drive to get it to eject. While some gamers might think it’s great that the console is hard to turn on (and off, for that matter) because they always leave their handheld in sleep, I just wonder why Nintendo couldn’t use a more oblong-shaped power button that would still prevent it from turning on or off accidentally, but give you more real estate to press on when you power on or off the machine. Not a deal breaker, but still.

Flappy Hinges: Likewise, not a deal breaker, but something I hope Nintendo will fix in future portables. There’s already too much flap and flop!

Separates 3DS Owners: When not releasing new games, Nintendo is releasing new hardware. And sometimes, it can feel like Nintendo is burning the candle at both ends. So now, there are games that run on the 3DS and have NN3DS specific controls, like the camera in Monster Hunter 4G and the Smash Attack in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. But, in the future, there will be NN3DS exclusive games. Xenoblade Chronicles, for example.

How confusing is that for a regular consumer? Imagine buying a new Nintendo 3DS and Xenoblade, only to realize it is not a New Nintendo 3DS and your handheld cannot run the game. And as someone who now has a New Nintendo 3DS, I am happy (overjoyed!) that it will get games that will take advantage of its speed and power. If I did not have one (and wasn’t playing on getting one), I’d be annoyed. Honestly, I don’t like that.

So? Should I get one?

This is a nicely reworked handheld. It’s still a 3DS, but it feels fresh, new, and most importantly, well thought-out. And you know what? So far, so good. The New Nintendo 3DS is the gaming equivalent of a tuned car. They might appear roughly the same, but open it up and look inside. It appears as though considerable work has been done on this handheld.

You didn’t answer my question. Should I get one?

You know, you can simply enjoy your Nintendo 3DS and hope that this tanks so Nintendo doesn’t release a buncha NN3DS exclusive titles.

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

But let’s be honest, this is a handheld with a new stick, two new buttons on the back, and more powerful innards. That’s a significant change from simply a brighter screen. As time grinds on, Nintendo is going to release more and more NN3DS exclusive titles, perhaps trying to move everyone over to the NN3DS—if anything, I’m guessing to sell more hardware. Nintendo is a business, not a charity, so I understand that. So, if you like Nintendo games and if this does well, you’re probably going to end up with one of these. Eventually.

Okay, then. Which one should I get?

If you are simply going on appearances, the white one I got with Super Famicom buttons really looks the best. I think! The screen is bigger, so if you have a regular sized 3DS, the screen will obviously be a step up. Also, some people will get into the faceplates, no doubt, and those aren’t available on the current New Nintendo 3DS XL units. Though, knowing Nintendo, I’m betting there will eventually be a faceplate NN3DS XL model. But if you are used to the 3DS XL’s screen and like the GameCube color pattern, then go for that.

I like the New Nintendo 3DS. I’m glad I got one. But I would have been happier picking this handheld up in 2011 when the 3DS was originally released. Guess I’ll just have to settle for 2014.

The New 3DS Is the Portable Nintendo Should've Released Years Ago

The New Nintendo 3DS is priced at 16,000 yen ($154), and the New Nintendo 3DS XL is priced at 18,800 yen ($181). It was released in Japan on October 11. Next month, the NN3DS will be released in Australia, and it is expected in North America and Europe sometime in 2015.

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond.

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Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse launch trailer blazes in

Hair-whipping action beckons this week, with Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse making the leap toward the Nintendo eShop in North America.

The launch trailer provides a glimpse at what’s in store for Shantae’s final chapter, with developer WayForward promising it to be her biggest adventure yet.

After losing her genie magic, Shantae must work with Risky Boots as they set out to save Sequin Land from the evil curse that has befallen it. In order to do so, you’ll explore mysterious islands where puzzling labyrinths will test your deductive skills, using powerful pirate weapons to neutralise any foes.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse will release for Nintendo 3DS through the Nintendo eShop on October 23rd, priced at $19.99.

Alex’s early adoration for Nintendo began with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land. This developed over the years, later peaking when he hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Nowadays, his enthusiasm is shared through Nintendo Insider, a place in which he can document his thoughts regarding the big N.

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New Nintendo 3DS review

Portable games consoles are still a thing.

As the Wii U flounders, it’s almost easy to forget that Nintendo has another console plugging away in a valiant effort to prop up the company’s bottom line. The 3DS has been out for over three and a half years now and has sold a respectable 44 million units to date, with a steady stream of great games along the way. But sales have slowed, and it won’t match the runaway success of its predecessor.

Many of the 154 million people that bought an original Nintendo DS were the same people that now consider smartphones more than enough for their mobile gaming needs. And so, with Sony’s PS Vita doing little to disprove the notion that dedicated portable games consoles are over as a growth market, Nintendo is revamping the 3DS in the way it knows best: by concentrating on its core audience.

The New Nintendo 3DS — out now in Japan, next month in Australia and New Zealand, and next year elsewhere — has a faster processor than its predecessor. It has customizable faceplates. It does a neat trick that makes the 3D effect much better. It even has a second analog stick (of sorts).

It won’t be enough to make most people carry around a device that’s over three times as thick as an iPhone 6. And that’s okay.

new nintendo 3ds

The New 3DS comes in two new versions that more or less differ only in their physical size. That’s not to say that they’re otherwise identical — the New 3DS XL has a very similar design to the existing 3DS XL, but the regular New 3DS does a better job of justifying the name. Its screens are a little bigger than the original 3DS’, and the physical design has been given a neat revamp, moving all the ports and switches from the sides of the device to the bottom; the system feels much tidier and more symmetrical now. You can also customise your console by swapping out the front and back faceplates.

Let’s talk about those faceplates for a second, because they’re just about the only attempt Nintendo is making to capture a wider audience with this redesign. In Japan, there have been two TV commercials for the New 3DS so far. The first highlights each of the new gamer-friendly features, whereas the second is entirely devoted to showing off the faceplates, complete with an appearance and dedicated theme from ubiquitous Harajuku pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

There are dozens of options available in different materials and at different price points — I got a plastic Yoshi set for about $15, whereas a wood grain design is the most expensive at around $30. It’s an interesting move from Nintendo, a company that has often tried to boost interest in its systems by releasing new color variations. Other consoles from the Xbox 360 to the Game Boy Micro have featured swappable faceplates without finding much success, but at least in Japan, Nintendo is making a real effort to market them as a core feature of the New 3DS. My suspicion is that the revenue it gains from selling high-margin pieces of plastic will outstrip what it loses from the few obsessive fans that would buy multiple versions of the same console.

I’ve been using and recommending the 3DS XL for over two years, but I think most people should go for the smaller model this time around. The faceplates are cool, the slightly bigger screens are a good compromise between sharpness and size, and it just feels better as a portable system. It also has face buttons colored like a SNES controller, which might well seal the deal for some.

But let’s be real here: very little about the New 3DS feels new, or even much like a gadget released in late 2014. It’s still made of chunky plastic, the screen is still lower resolution than a standard-definition TV, and the internals are still wildly out of date compared to smartphones from even a few years ago.

It’s just as well, then, that the 3DS’s biggest strength is that it isn’t a smartphone — and that the other changes Nintendo made are all major improvements to the main thing it’s designed to do. Which is play games.

new nintendo 3ds

Nintendo may have killed the 3D function for its budget 2DS, but on the New 3DS it’s better than ever. With the original 3DS and 3DS LL, you had to keep your eyes in a narrow sweet spot or things would get blurry fast. But the front-facing camera now tracks your face in tandem with an infrared sensor and adjusts the on-screen image accordingly, letting you see the 3.88-inch, 400 x 240-effective 3D screen from a much wider angle.

This works far better than I expected it to; it makes the 3D function effortless to use, rather than something that requires attention to maintain. It also means that games that use the gyroscope for motion control, like Star Fox 64 or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, are actually playable in 3D now. The screens themselves aren’t noticeably better in quality — for Nintendo, high pixel density and vibrant color reproduction are just things that happened to other people — but this tweak makes the 3D display much more pleasant to look at in general. I’ve pretty much never turned the 3D slider down since I got the new 3DS, which is about as strong as an endorsement I can give.

The next big change is the addition of some extra buttons and a second analog stick. Nintendo calls the latter the “C-stick” in a throwback to the GameCube controller, which is set to experience a mini-revival of its own with a Wii U adapter designed for Super Smash Bros. But this isn’t really a stick at all — it’s much more like the red TrackPoint nub from a ThinkPad laptop. The C-stick and the extra shoulder buttons replicate the functionality of the bulky Circle Pad Pro accessory for prior 3DS models, which is to say that it doesn’t have much support right now beyond Capcom’s dominating Monster Hunter series.

I tested the latest of those, Monster Hunter 4G (above right), which was released on the same day as the New 3DS, and it’s clear that the C-stick was designed to add precise camera control to this kind of 3D action game; it works as well as you could hope for without adding any bulk to the system. For other genres, though, it’s not ideal — I can’t imagine it working well with games like first-person shooters that need constant dual-stick movement. The nub is too small and stiff for quick actions, so while you can just about use it to pull off Smash Attacks in Super Smash Bros., you’ll probably still wish you had a GameCube controller.

new nintendo 3ds

Nintendo also says the 0.3-megapixel cameras perform better in low light. This is true, but only by enough to make the New 3DS the second-worst low-light camera in my apartment. And the hardware itself doesn’t seem to have improved — the new cameras often blow out highlights in scenes with normal lighting, making it far from a clear improvement over prior models. Speaking of ambient lighting, Nintendo has finally added automatic brightness adjustment to the New 3DS, which works well enough if you’re not moving around too much.

Elsewhere, the browser has been improved with HTML5 compatibility, but if you want to remove Nintendo’s strict filter that blocks Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and pretty much any site that lets you communicate over the internet, you’ll have to pay ¥30 (30 cents-ish) with your credit card as an age verification formality. At which point you have to ask yourself why you want to browse the internet on a 3DS in the first place.

Beside the browser, the software hasn’t changed much. A recent firmware update, which came to the original 3DS and 3DS XL too, lets you buy and download themes for the OS; most of the New 3DS’ swappable faceplates have their own software theme to match. Continuing the theme of exploiting new revenue themes for Nintendo, the New 3DS has an NFC reader which will work with the company’s Skylanders-style Amiibo figurines when they’re released later this year.

If you’re thinking that most of these features range from unimpressive to long overdue, you’d be right. In pure hardware terms, the New 3DS is a joke next to any mid-range smartphone these days. (So is the more powerful PS Vita, for what it’s worth.) But none of this is relevant to the point of the device — as it happens, the New 3DS is awesome at playing video games on the go.

Nintendo has built up an excellent library of deep, addictive, and even technically impressive games that, for the most part, just wouldn’t work on a phone. You’ll pay a lot more for the likes of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Mario Kart 7, and Tomodachi Life than almost any smartphone game, and you might even buy them on physical media. And a certain type of customer wouldn’t have it any other way. Not everyone will appreciate the difference in experience you get from paying over $30 to play a Nintendo game on a dedicated portable gaming machine with real, physical buttons, but I think there are just about enough that do to help Nintendo’s handheld business keep on trucking for the near future.

new nintendo 3ds

The 3DS is worth owning for the same reason the Wii U is: its software library is spearheaded by Nintendo, one of the most consistent and talented developers in the world. There’s no doubt that smartphones have taken a big chunk out of the DS’ user base, but all that proves is that a whole lot of people bought a DS because it was first to what we would now call smartphone-style games. In 2014, many smartphone games are fantastic; very few of the fantastic ones are traditional video games. And if you like traditional video games, you should absolutely own a 3DS.

That’s really all it comes down to. If you’re into the idea of an inexpensive portable machine that plays great versions of Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and a bunch of other excellent games, you probably own a 3DS already. If you don’t, you should wait for this new model to come out in your country. Even if you do, you might find the New 3DS to be worth the upgrade anyway.

I have no idea why Nintendo seems happy to forfeit a holiday season in its biggest markets by not releasing the New 3DS in the US and Europe until next year, but there we have it. This is the best 3DS yet, and it’ll be worth the wait.

Nintendo New 3DS

Good Stuff
  • 3D effect is vastly improved
  • Much faster performance
  • Swappable faceplates are cool
  • New control additions mostly work well
Bad Stuff
  • Screen tech still outdated in other ways
  • Improved cameras remain unusably bad
  • C-stick doesn’t work for all types of games
  • XL model omits faceplates

The Breakdown

More times than not, the Verge score is based on the average of the subscores below. However, since this is a non-weighted average, we reserve the right to tweak the overall score if we feel it doesn’t reflect our overall assessment and price of the product. Read more about how we test and rate products.

  • Design 8
  • Display(s) 7
  • Software 7
  • Game selection 9
  • Controls 9
  • Camera(s) 3
  • Speakers 7
  • Performance 8
  • Battery life 7

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