I don’t know exactly how it happened, but lately I’ve fallen in love with my Nintendo 3DS.
I used to think it was a bit of a pain to hold a handheld gaming console for long periods of time, straining my eyes to see the small screen. Portable games felt inferior to the ones I could buy for my “big” consoles and enjoy on my larger screens.
But I’ve gotten over all that. I don’t know what I was thinking.
It probably started with Fire Emblem: Awakening, which I purchased on my Nintendo 3DS early in the year. People were crazy for that game when it first came out; it was all over my Twitter feed, and Kotaku seemed to have a major thing for it, too. I’m still playing that game (and I’ll update my game log soon!), but despite my slow progress with it and all the other games that have stolen my attention from it at different points, I just really, truly love that game. It has proven to be deeper than any other 3DS game I’ve played so far… other than games ported from other consoles.
Oh, and the ported games! Let’s just stick to one example here. Love should be simple, after all. So here it is: You can play one of the greatest RPGs of all time on the 3DS — Ocarina of Time. That’s a big deal for me, because I didn’t grow up playing video games. I missed out on The Legend of Zelda the first time around. I’ve been playing catch up, and my Nintendo 3DS has allowed me to experience the awesomeness that is Ocarina of Time. That alone is enough reason for me to fall in love with the console, right?
But then there’s StreetPass, which just adds this whole other level of excitement to leaving the house in the morning. The 3DS’s StreetPass feature means your little console reacts to other little 3DS consoles in the area. You can even get the Miis of the users nearby, or exchange game info. (Apparently, I could create a StreetPass team for Fire Emblem and interact with other players’ units via StreetPass… I just haven’t done that yet.) Even though I have yet to really use the StreetPass feature in regards to sharing or interacting, I get a thrill when I see that green light that means another gamer is nearby.
The other reason to take my 3DS with me everywhere I go is that it rewards me for moving. It counts how many steps I take (kind of creepy, I know) and gives me Play Coins. I used to not know what to do with these Play Coins; they didn’t seem particularly useful. But once you start taking your 3DS with you around town, it becomes fairly easy to get that Play Coin loot. Just having a bank full of Play Coins feels rewarding. And knowing that I can spend them on things in certain games — even when I don’t — somehow makes me feel more secure with my little console. I know it has a lot to offer.
Sure, my “big” consoles have a lot going for them, too. Just seeing a story and combat play out on the big screen is impressive, and that’s the magic of modern gaming. But behind all that glamor — all the graphical glitz that looks so sexy on my PC — is pure, unadulterated gameplay, and the Nintendo 3DS offers that in spades. Plus, some of those JPRGs look amazing; screen size isn’t everything. Those games have depth. They’re challenging and dynamic and fun. They make me want to take my 3DS everywhere and game on the go. I can play on the bus. I can play at lunch. I can play sitting up in bed until 4 AM like I did playing Fire Emblem a couple months ago. It’s awesome.
Best of all, the Nintendo 3DS isn’t flashy. It doesn’t try too hard. It has lovable retro games, some of the best new JRPGs out there, addicting tactical games, awesome ports of games previously only available on the “big” consoles… and then all that StreetPassing action. Portable gaming seems to be making a comeback these days, and my 3DS has really shown me why. When I travel even for a couple of days without it, I miss it. It really feels like love.
14 thoughts on “Why I ♥ My Nintendo 3DS”
I still need to get a 3DS. I keep talking myself out of it since I don’t play portables as much as I used to, but I’m sure once I got it I’d be playing it all the time. Hopefully by the time the new Zelda game releases I will have grabbed one. What games do you think are the must-have titles on the system so far?
For me it’s all about Fire Emblem and Zelda. I’m also enjoying Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward — interesting puzzler. Personally, I’m not as interested in the retro throwback games or Animal Crossing, but those are obviously big draws for a lot of people! Oh and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater… and Project X Zone… =)
This makes me excited for my eventual purchase of a 3DS. You outlined several features that I wasn’t even aware of.
@Matthew Thompson- Internet consensus seems to be so far that Ocarina of Time, MarioKart7, Fire Emblem, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and the New Super Mario Brothers 2 are some of the best game available at the moment. And, of course, new Pokemon and new Zelda in a few months time.
I really like the 3DS, especially for the Street Pass feature. It’s amazing how many gamers are around the corner whenever you bring it with you. I get a thrill knowing if the person who I Street Passed is either a local or an out of towner. I’ve gotten a few visiting from Japan or even Latin America! Overall, it’s a great portable console. :)
It is! I agree, StreetPass is a really fun feature. And the 3ds is a great size and layout, I think. Makes me prefer it over the Vita.
I have no portables, but I’ve wanted both a 3DS and a Vita for a while now. At this point, I think I probably would have been happier with either over the Wii U that I just had to buy at launch that I rarely turn on. You should try some of those Harvest Moon games for it; they alone have tempted me many times to purchase one.
Awesome, I will check those out! Yeah, I love my portable gaming these days. Haven’t gotten a Wii U… but I’m curious to see Nintendo’s future with regards to these different consoles.
I’m totally in the same boat as you. I was never really that tempted to get a 3DS. I just didn’t see the point considering I have an Xbox 360, a PS3 and PC that I custom-built for gaming. Playing on a tiny screen on the go didn’t really seem that interesting to me. Then I picked up a 3DS to play Fire Emblem: Awakening and I realised how wrong I was. It’s not only super convenient, like you said, there are games with true depth on it, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m still a newbie when it comes to my new toy, but I can’t wait to use it more!
We do sound alike! Yeah I’m still a newbie in a way too, I’ve had my 3DS for almost a year now but only started using it a lot and enjoying it recently. I wasn’t expecting quality games — thought it might be more for kids or something — but I was wrong! And it sounds like Fire Emblem is the gateway drug for a lot of us…
This makes me want to actually get a 3DS! Thanks for a lovely article :)
Thanks! It is my favorite portable console. =)
Although I have always enjoyed my 3DS, with my recent non stop working, I have started playing it more than usual. When im on my lunch or break I will pull it out for some quick gaming. The system is great and is only getting better. Recent games I have been playing a recommend are Shin Megami Tensei IV and 999.
I have been wanting to get Shin Megami Tensei IV. I keep hearing great things about it. I’m just a little put off at the prospect of lots of grinding. Is that something you have to do to get through the game? I may still pick it up, it’s just holding me back a little!
Anyway, I totally agree that the 3DS is great for quick gaming sessions during breaks from work, etc. It’s awesome.