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3DS Launch Game Previews

Nintendo's Launch Games

by Danny Bivens and Matthew Blundon - March 9, 2011, 1:10 pm EST

What games are Nintendo bringing to 3DS on launch day?

Nintendogs + Cats

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo

What’s The Deal?

Nintendogs was one of the most successful Nintendo DS games, so it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise when Nintendo announced its plans to bring the puppies over to Nintendo 3DS. Nintendogs + Cats features over 20 different breeds of cats and dogs, each of which behave differently. Each version has its own unique pets at the beginning of the game, though more breeds can be unlocked as players progress through the game.

The game makes use of the Nintendo 3DS in numerous ways, from allowing pets to recognize your face to using the augmented-reality feature to allow your dog to come to life and interact with you. The 3D capability of the Nintendo 3DS also makes the dogs look more realistic than ever.

Is It Worthy of a Launch Purchase?

Nintendogs + Cats is the most casual game out of the Nintendo 3DS’s launch software, so the game will inevitably be purchased by many non-gamers at launch. The game showcases many of the new features of the Nintendo 3DS, so for the more tech-savvy individuals, Nintendogs + Cats may be worth a purchase to see what Nintendo’s new handheld is all about.

PilotWings Resort

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Monster Games

What’s The Deal?

The PilotWings series has been on a lengthy hiatus, but all that will change come later this month when PilotWings Resort lands on the Nintendo 3DS. The game takes place on Wuhu Island, which was first introduced in Wii Sports Resort. The game offers several ways of exploring the island: by plane, by hang glider, and by rocket belt. With three different ways to travel, as well as two different modes for players to participate in, PilotWings Resorts stands out as one of the frontrunners in the Nintendo 3DS’s launch line-up.

Is It Worthy of a Launch Purchase?

PilotWings Resort takes advantage of the Nintendo 3DS in a variety of ways, such as its ability to take in-game photos and share them with friends around the world. The game is also one of the most visually appealing launch window titles, making efficient use of the 3D capabilities of the handheld to deliver a more immersive experience. Whether a casual or hardcore player, PilotWings Resort is sure to be one of the highlights of the launch line-up.

Steel Diver

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo/Vitei

What's the Deal?

Steel Diver has been in the works for ages, originating as a DS techo demo, and it's finally surfacing on the Nintendo 3DS. The game puts players in control of a submarine as you fight your way through a variety of enemies in underwater combat. The majority of the game takes place along a two-dimensional plane, but there are some aspects, for instance when you use the periscope, that the game puts you in a first-person view controlled by the system's built-in gyroscope. With naval mines, battleships, submarines, and sea creatures, there are plenty of things trying to blow you out of the water in this underwater adventure.

Is It Worthy of a Launch Purchase?

Steel Diver is definitely the most unique title arriving at the 3DS launch from Nintendo. The game has been in development for years and makes interesting use of the 3DS hardware, even throwing in use of the gyroscopes. While there really is no word on how many hours it will take to get through Steel Diver, if you are looking for something a little bit different, you can't go wrong with this title at launch.


SupaKirbMarch 09, 2011

I really don't want any of these games, I think I'm just gonna buy some classic RPG's on the DS to hold be over till something good comes out. Heck, I've never played Crono Trigger, I should pick that up with my 3DS.

KnowsNothingMarch 09, 2011

The only launch game I'm getting is Pilotwings and even though it looks to shame the great name of Piltowings I'm sure it will still be fun.  I've also ordered Radiant Historia which according to Amazon will get here around when the 3DS launches (supply issues) so I'll have some good games to hold me over until E3.  Plus I still have a backlog of DS games...I can't play anything that requires the L or R buttons at the moment...

The Steel Diver box art is terrible.

Quote from: insanolord

The Steel Diver box art is terrible.

Have you seen the Japanese boxart? It is beautiful. I really do not understand why they changed it for the states.


TenserMarch 09, 2011

If either Ridge Racer or Asphalt provide some excellent arcade-style racing I'll pick up one of those. If not I'll just play Radiant Historia on my shiney new 3DS.

Quote from: TalesOfFan

Quote from: insanolord

The Steel Diver box art is terrible.

Have you seen the Japanese boxart? It is beautiful. I really do not understand why they changed it for the states.

My main issue is that of the title font, which is the same in both. It looks like someone took 15 seconds with the Word Art feature in Microsoft Office.

TansunnMarch 10, 2011

"The game offers several ways of exploring the island: by plane, by hang glider, and by rocket belt."

That's just the default, right?  Pilotwings 64 has 7 options, but you have to unlock four of them.  That'll be a little disappointing if those three are all we get in Resort.

GoldenPhoenixMarch 10, 2011

From what I've been reading you unlock more vehicles as you progress. Really from what I've been reading the game has quite a bit of diversity and is packed with content and seems like a solid successor to the previous games.

KITT 10KMarch 10, 2011

I'm interested in Steel Driver because of the uniqueness of combining the use of the 3DS camera with the game play, (I know it isn't first to utilize it for game play like in the downloaded game for the DSi called Sytem Flaw). But it still appeals to my interest. As does Madden coming out for it too, (probably because I'm a die hard football fan). BUT, my 2 BIGGEST wants for up and coming games are Resident Evil Mercenaries and Mario Kart. I'd also love to see a Mortal Kombat and Soul Caliber game for it as well. Who knows, they may make them, (the 3DS hasn't been released in the US yet but has SOOOOO much potential). I just can't wait till march 27th to get mine!

ShyGuyMarch 10, 2011

I like to think that Steel Diver and Pilot Wings resort take place in the same universe. U-Boats are attacking Wuhu Island!

You could drop depth charges into the water from your hang glider.

KITT 10KMarch 10, 2011

(In regards to the last 2 comments), that'd be cool as heck!

I don't think it's appropriate to suggest that Nazis could be in a Nintendo game.

Wu-Boats then.

The next page is live!  We're looking at some of the higher profile 3rd party titles next.

Has it been confirmed that there will be a version of Madden 12 for 3DS as mentioned in the article? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, as EA still milks its sports franchises to death despite moving away from that in its other titles, but I haven't seen the company mention it yet. That could just be because they're smart enough not to talk about it until after they've suckered people into buying this one, but I'd like confirmation.

They haven't confirmed it, but c'mon, there's going to be a Madden 12 on the 3DS. Tiburon runs a tight ship of "work on game, finish it, make next year's edition." They've been doing for more than a decade.

I'm interested in both sports games, but they'll both be obsolete within a few months. If Madden 12 comes out at the same time on 3DS as on other systems, it'll be barely 4 months after the 3DS launch. Pro Evo looks good, but EA's working on FIFA for the platform and I prefer that series to PES.

motangMarch 11, 2011

I am very much looking forward to Super Street Fighter IV 3D, but was a bit heart broken to find out that the backgrounds on the states were static. Guess something had to give to pack in all that content on a tiny 3DS card.

KDR_11kMarch 11, 2011

Aren't 3DS carts supposed to be bigger than DVDs?

Not initially.

rlse9March 11, 2011

Typical 3rd party launch titles, established series bringing over watered down versions which have decent gameplay but no depth or features to them.  Yawn...

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusMarch 16, 2011

Not trying to be snarky, but since when are Namco Bandai, Tecmo Koei, Square Enix, Sega, and LucasArts small publishers?!?!

While I can see some merit with LucasArts, but most of these companies aren't small companies when compared to companies such as  Xseed, Atlus, or NISA.

I just think that this section has been poorly labeled.

Well, they're not as big as Nintendo or EA. It's all on how you look at it. Is Sega tiny? No, but compared to Nintendo, EA, and Ubisoft they are.

When are you going to finish this? Unless I'm missing something, all that's left are the Ubisoft games; does this have anything to do with their embargo? I'm really interested in Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars given my love of tactical RPGs, but I don't know that I have enough info on it to buy it day one.

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