Lee continues our Nintendo preview coverage, shifting focus toward the 3DS.
When it comes to our Nintendo previews, it’s not all about the Wii U. There’s plenty of stuff on the way for the Nintendo 3DS as well.
I’ve played quite a lot of Nintendo games recently. I’ve already previewed NintendoLand and a few Third-Party Wii U titles, but there’s a lot more ground to cover. Today I’ll be looking at some portable titles coming your way soon.
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these games, so feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the article.
Castlevania: Mirror of Fate
I loved the Nintendo DS Castlevania instalments. I loved MercurySteam’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow even more. Combine those two things and you have MercurySteam’s Mirror of Fate, a 3DS title that so far appears to be the next evolution for the portable Castlevania series, in the same way that Lords of Shadow was for the console games.
Played in a 2.5D perspective, Mirror of Fate really plays like a mini Lords of Shadow, with the same magic system and similar controls. The short demo I played was set in a typically Castlevania setting and it feels like a 2D Castlevania game should feel; responsive controls, a typical Belmont arsenal and a large area to explore.
David Cox of Konami has recently commented that Mirror of Fate would not be a “Metroid-vania” style of game, but from what I have played that doesn’t seem to be the case. The bottom screen has the classic 2D map of previous portable Castlevanias, and is as fun to play as those titles. It adds a few extras in terms of using your whip to swing over chasms and being able to climb up ledges, but it’s classic Castlevania and that’s a bloody good thing.
The new 2.5D graphics look great in 3D, with plenty of background detail that just pops out at you. While the game currently doesn’t run as smoothly as it could, I’m sure that’s something that will be resolved as the game goes through development. Keep an eye on this one, it could be one of the best games on the Nintendo 3DS.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 : Dark Moon
Luigi’s Mansion 2 has been on the cards for a quite a while now. I first played the game back in September, and it looks like a lot of the performance issues I experienced with that early build have been rectified.
I have never played the original GameCube title, so unfortunately I am unable to comment on how it compares. But what is clear to me, is that this 3DS sequel plays well and really shows that Nintendo haven’t lost their nack for creating games that give you a great sense of exploration into the unknown.
Playing as the cowardly brother, you are once again armed with a modified vacuum cleaner, capturing ghosts and collecting coins, keys and other items to progress through various creepy mansions. It was actually quite fun to hunt for items and enemies by using the vacuum to peel away wallpaper, uproot rugs and remove dusty sheets from chests and cupboards.
Graphically, Dark Moon appears to be one of the best looking games so far on the 3DS. Its use of lighting and reflections are instantly improved by the system’s 3D effects and allows for a surprising amount of atmosphere. This is a game I definitely want to see more of in future.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
After the amazing Super Mario 3D Land, it is a puzzling one that the next Mario game is a sequel to the Nintendo DS title. There’s nothing wrong with a new 2D Mario of course, so long as there’s enough of the great gameplay we expect from the popular plumber; but as this new title doesn’t seem too different from the original DS title, I find it hard to get too excited about this new instalment, although it’s highly likely that I’ll buy it and enjoy it, much like any Mario title.
Of course, this new game’s biggest feature is that Mario has suddenly turned into a Capitalist of Gordon Gecko-level excesses. New Super Mario Bros. 2 requires you to collect a whole lot of coins, a million of them, to be exact. My issue with this is that I’ve never really been too bothered about collecting coins in a Mario title. Sure they give you 1-Ups, but most of the Mario games over the past decade have thrown so many of the green mushrooms your way, that the pursuit of normal gold coins seemed pretty pointless.
In any case, coins are a pretty big deal this time around. You never go a second without seeing some form of loose change, be it coin boxes offering 5, 10 and even 30 coins at once, or golden hoops that spawns gold-coloured enemies that leave a trail of coins behind them.
I’m sure New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be a great game when it is released in a few months. It’s just that this is the kind of game I could just as easily play on the Nintendo DS. I would have killed for a 2D Mario title inspired by the wackier and vibrant elements of Super Marios 2, 3 and World. The concept of collecting a million coins just doesn’t seem fun to me at the moment, but I’m willing to wait until the final game before I can pass judgement.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
I only played a little of the latest instalment of the long-running Kingdom Hearts series, but it’s already clear that Dream Drop Distance plays like a Kingdom Hearts game should.
My short play of the game was a pleasant one, as I hacked and slashed Heartless enemies with ease. A new mechanic for DDD is the use of “Dream Eaters”, cute and tiny little fellows that Sora can use to unleash special abilities. I managed to mount one of these creatures, Space Hopper style, as I bounced around damaging enemies.
Kingdom Hearts 3DS is another gorgeous game, looking almost identical to its console counterparts, running smoothly even when 3D is enabled. Fans of the series should be excited about this, but I wonder if the game is suitable for newcomers to the lore, as these games are known for their complicated stories.
Plenty more yet to come when it comes to Nintendo previews, next up Lee takes a look at the strong Ubisoft support for Wii U.