Regrettably, my Japanese is only marginally better than my Serbo-Croat. Bearing this in mind, I had just finished watching the 3DS conference broadcast live and my findings are limited to what I can translate with my own eyes. Luckily the news has now started filtering through in English, so enjoy the latest 3DS announcements
The first news to impart is that 3D video recordings will soon become a reality from your 3DS. Of course slightly limited by the quality of the machines camera, this is nevertheless an interesting addition to the capabilities of the handheld. The video recording functionality also allows for stop motion 3D animation and a decent maximum time length of ten minutes and will be introduced in a software update due soon. This update also offers some new street pass features and an improved ‘quest mode’ for your Mii to embark on which seems to offer a fun cross between Final Fantasy style battles and Zelda cuteness.
A few interesting looking titles (presumably download only) heading this way before the holidays were then shown, including a puzzle game that seems inspired by Catherine (minus the sheep, sadly) where you can design your own puzzles using the touch screen, and a great looking tetris/hole in the wall type game and a sword-fighting action title. It is possible that these are retail titles as they certainly look impressive enough, however the release dates of November and December don’t tally with the retail release schedule shown by Nintendo later in the conference, so instead it seems at this stage they will be premium downloads.
This was later confirmed by a news release talking about six separate games. Hiku Osu is the block moving, Catherine type game. It has apparently been out in Japan for a couple of weeks and is doing pretty well and garnering positive reviews. Thruspace 2 is the tetris game, and has you controlling and moving a block as it passes through a spooky castle and needs to be twisted and moved in order to fit through gaps in the walls, looks fun.
The sword-fighting title seems to be called Hirari Sakura Samurai, and may or may not be a sequel to an old school NES game. It looks absolutely amazing for a download title, having a semi-cell shaded but realistic look. To my mind we could be looking a the 3DS’ answer to Infinity Blade. The other couple of download titles shown were The Rolling Werstern, which was already shown at E3, and a new kind of Pictochat software.
A look at some of the big-hitters on the way then followed, with new snippets and trailers shown for Mario Kart 7, Super Mario Land 3D and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. All of these three looked great, with a certain remixed tune playing in Super Mario Land 3D which is certain to lodge itself in my brain come this December. A comprehensive looking online mode was also shown for Mario Kart 7.
Finally, Kid Icarus will be the next classic game to be revamped in 3D following on from Exciteike, Xevious, TwinBee and Urban Champion, possibly as a tie in with Uprising which, along with Luigi’s Mansion 2 was conspicuous by its absence. With at least two AAA games to look forward to before Christmas however, and some interesting looking new features and download titles as well, the immediate future of the 3DS still looks pretty rosy, and then of course we head into 2012 with Resident Evil: Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3D. It certainly seems like the worst time to be a 3DS owner is now behind us.