Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am nothing if not fair

Not being a person to make snap, unfounded judgments about things (hey, stop laughing) I sought out a 3DS this afternoon. I have zero interest in owning one, I just wanted to see if the 3D worked as advertised. The answer is, at least for now, sorta. At first glance the top screen was a mess; it looked like I watching a 3D movie in the theater and didn't have the glasses. The end cap it was bolted to was at precisely the wrong height placing the 3DS much to far from my face for the 3D to work. I hand to bend my knees and shrug my shoulders in a most unnatural and potentially crippling position and hold it steady to get anything, and even then I say some depth, sorta. This was not some quantum leap of game technology. It reminded me more of 3D Worldrunner in the NES: packing in with glasses that give you some small illusion of 3D that will inevitably be discarded.

To be fair, I put my face in front of a 3D television (with the glasses) and had much the same reaction. Maybe my contacts interfere, maybe I'm just broken, but the application of 3D to video games continues to do nothing for me. With the 3D turned off the 3DS is a solid little system. The demo of Pilotwings was both crushingly boring and an excellent tech demo of what the new system could do that the old could not. It featured a large environment with an impressive draw distance, ran at a solid frame rate on a new analog nub that worked very well. Too bad there was nothing to do, and that even if it was it's still Pilotwings. Just like the new 3D Zelda is still Zelda, and the new Street Fighter and Dead or Alive are just the same games plus a pseudo dimension. The 3DS's best feature is not its 3D, yet that is all that is being focused on right now.

I almost sound concerned for its well being and I am most certainly not, though I was surprised to see them sitting out on the shelf so close to the release date. Back in the day if a console didn't sell out completely on release you wondered what was wrong with it. *cough*PSP*cough*

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