“I can count them on two hands and they are all remakes!”, I sorrowfully spoke. After carefully and scientifically tallying the titles worth playing using the objective ‘my opinion’ method I had to concede that just over half of the games so far are remakes. Still, I concluded, this has to be worse than the first year for the DS. The answer may surprise you. Although only three of the worthwhile games for the 3DS so far could be called new it was not far behind the original DS’s four offerings. Once you consider the totals including remakes the situation begins to look much nicer.
3DS games worth playing since launch: 8
DS games worth playing year one: 5
So why the initially poor perception of this first year?
A few things come to mind. First off it is hard to think of the system as having anything new to offer when more than half of the great games are remakes. This is compounded by the fact that Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 were only recently released and that once you look outside of a small must play games the 3DS has almost nothing game wise to offer.
So why haven’t we gotten more awesome games that are closer to the console experience like Nintendo promised?
There are a few likely factors here. The hardware doesn’t support easy ports of console games. This is an issue spec wise as well as the nature of the hardware. With only a single analog stick many console game types do not work on the 3DS. Perhaps the new thumb stick accessory will address this but I for one am not holding my breath. The other major factor is that development budgets for portable games are shrinking with the new expected low price point of the mobile market. I’d argue that the depth and playablity offered by the likes of Super Mario 3D Land justifies the price difference of $39.99 compared to the best iPhone platformer which likely has the price point of .99-2.99. This is becoming a hard pill for many consumers to swallow. The end result seems to be that we are getting mobile quality games on the 3DS at the 39.99 price point. This theory would explain the markedly large quality gap between the top tier 3DS games and the rest of the pack. Ugh!
So what does this have to do with the Vita?
The Vita has a hard road ahead. They have to do what Nintendo has so far failed to do and that is to create a software lineup that really offers a console experience on the go. The full priced Vita games must be full experiences even is this means relegating some decent size releases to the status of download only PS Vita Minis. Also first party support has to be stronger than Nintendo’s support for the 3DS to lure gamers away from both the 3DS and their cell phones. This means releasing handheld games made with a console budget at console quality. Can this be done? I sure hope so, and based on what I have seen so far I think the Vita is enough of a powerhouse and well designed machine to pull a console experience on a portable off. Even if they don’t I’ll still be happy with a pretty excellent first year of games on the 3DS.
Must play 3DS remakes so far
Legend of Zelda :Ocarina of Time
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Star Fox 64 3D
3DS New fun titles so far
Super Mario 3D Land
Mario Kart 7
Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Must play DS remakes worth playing Year One
Super Mario 64
DS New Fun titles Year One
Wario Ware Touched
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Mario Kart DS