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Nintendo 3DS Reviews Reviews

Steel Diver Review

Welcome to the world of submarines:
When I first came across Steel Diver I felt very intrigued by this title, it seemed very different from other games on the market and offered some very unique gameplay on the 3DS console. Let’s find out if Steel Diver is as unique as it looks… Periscope down, review up.

Story: 
Steel Diver takes place in 19xx (yes, this is not very specific) when a rogue nation has invaded its neighbouring countries and is placing the world in danger. A secret submarine fleet has been banded together to stop the chaos and destruction. Ok, so the storyline is a little shallow but it works for Steel Diver.

Gameplay:
The campaign mode in Steel Diver is not particularly long , although it can be very addictive and engaging. In the beginning of each mission, you are given a rundown of the conflict that you will be facing and then it’s off to select one of the three submarines to use in the mission. You can either choose either a compact, midsized or a large submarine to go about destroying other ships.Compact submarine: The compact submarine offers easy movement, although no pitch wheel is used for positioning the sub. Torpedoes fire vertically and horizontally, which comes in handy when facing multiple enemies. The downside is it only fires one torpedo at a time.Midsized submarine: The midsized submarine offers easy movement and can fire off two torpedoes one after the other. The downside is that the torpedoes are fired horizontally, so you will have to position the sub using the pitch wheel in order to fire at ships that are on the surface.Large submarine: The large submarine is slightly harder to manoeuvre and can be a slight pain, but it does fire four horizontal torpedoes that results in maximum damage on enemy ships and submarines. Similar to the midsized submarine in order to fire at ships on the surface you will need to use the pitch wheel to position your torpedoes trajectory.In most missions, I used with the compact sub as it was far easier to manoeuvre through each mission and easier to destroy ships or other submarines. The downside was it took a little longer to do all this.

Periscope Strike:
In this gameplay mode players need to control their periscope by using side-to-side movements while tapping on the touch screen to fire torpedo’s at enemies. This is by far one of the best features of Steel Diver.Steel Commander:
Steel Commander is more of a turn-based gameplay mode. Each player takes a turn moving their fleet and the game is over once all the ships or supply ships are destroyed. This mode offers a think before you act approach and brings a very nice multiplayer aspect to this title (I would call it a modern day version of battleships).


Controls: 

The submarines are controlled via the touch screen, which is made to look like a control panel in a submarine (Thumbs up). Players can use the touch screen’s interface to control several different functions of the submarine, from the speed, depth, pitch and offensive measures. In theory, this sounds simple enough but becomes tricky when you are faced with multiple enemies. You may find yourself stumbling with the control system at first but after a little practice, you will be blowing enemy ships and submarines out of the water very soon.Sound: 
Steel Diver offers great sound; you can hear the sonar of your submarine in the background, as well as the bubbling of the water around your sub. The background music definitely sets the mood in Steel Diver. A note I would like to make is the Nintendo 3DS itself sounds fantastic and is far more superior in the sound department than other handheld console on the market at the moment.Graphics:Although this title is a 2D side-scroller it does not seem to make much use of 3DS’s 3D potential, except while playing Periscope Strike, which looks amazing in 3D. Overall, Steel Diver looks great in the Periscope Strike mode but not that great during the side-scrolling missions.

Conclusion: 
Steel Diver is definitely a title you should have in your 3DS collection; it offers unique intuitive gameplay, great sound and a decent control scheme. The only downside is the fact that Steel Diver does not look as great as it should. Periscope Strike is where this title shines and honestly, it should have had loads more missions that incorporated it.The Breakdown: 
Storyline: 5/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Controls: 8/10
Sound: 8.5/10
Graphics: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
News Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Old faces and very new tricks: Nintendo stand at rAge 2011

‘I waited impatiently behind a kid who didn’t really seem to know what he was doing’ a twenty-five year-old male rAge Expo visitor tells me, as he begins to talk about his experience of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. ‘The funny thing is I didn’t even know that the game was going to be here, as it was one of this years most highly anticipated 3DS release.’

It is interesting to me that Nintendo has managed to constantly breathe new life into its now long-standing characters such as Link and Super Mario. I watched children that were as young as I was when I first met Super Mario on the SNES console, enjoy a mass multiplayer game on the handheld 3DS console with all too familiar characters. It got me thinking that Nintendo has managed to establish its virtual concepts as a real-world playground of Cops and Robbers or Tag; As Nintendo is becoming a fundamental part of how children learn and develop through playing.

It is no surprise really, that Nintendo has managed to do this. After all, the company has been around since 1889, when it started out creating card games. It has a lot of experience in being sensitive to the needs of a changing society. The real question is, does the company simply ‘leave luck to heaven’ or does it have a multitude of ingenious minds that continually reshape old ideas into something new and relevant for today’s gamers, be it the long time fans ot those just getting their hands on their first console?

ITF Gaming, editor and owner, Darryl Linington says, ‘Nintendo has built a phenomenal reputation over the years, and I personally believe that the company has a great approach when it comes to fun, education and family orientated entertainment.’

He continues by saying, ‘I remember back when I was 6 years old, my father came home with this contraption that would change my life forever. The contraption was a Nintendo NES and I had heard about them on the playground at school. I watched eagerly as my father set it up, and then eventually let myself and my older brother figure out how it actually worked. Once we figured it out, I remember playing Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, Excite Bike and the ever so popular Super Mario Bros for days on end.’

‘I thank Nintendo for introducing me to video games and compliments of this introduction, I have learnt so much over the years. I feel that video games have inspired me to be the person I am today, and I hope that the industry will continue to inspire and focus on developing young minds through education, imagination and inspiration.’ He concludes.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Super Pokémon Rumble Review

Super Pokémon Rumble has finally ventured onto the Nintendo 3DS. While this title is the first Pokémon game to grace our presence in stereoscopic 3D, we ask ourselves does it live up to the standards of the previous Pokémon titles or is it just a weak attempt to get Pokémon on the Nintendo 3DS? Let’s find out!

Super Pokémon Rumble is the latest spin-off developed by Nintendo-owned studio Ambrella, creators of Hey You, Pikachu! for the N64, Pokémon Dash on DS and Pokémon Rumble, a bite-sized downloadable game released into the wilds of Nintendo’s WiiWare service.

Gameplay: 
The basic premise of this title is simple, take on numerous toy versions of Pokémon in a button mashing mini-adventure. The mini-adventure allows you to travel through different areas filled with multiple Pokémon that you will need to defeat, which will help you gain access to various Battle Royale arena’s. The Battle Royale arena’s put you up against a vast collection of Pokémon in a timed out battle… win the battle and you will be announced the winner of the Battle Royale and hordes of respect will flow automatically from your fellow Pokémon peers.

While this does sound simple enough, Super Pokémon Rumble provides gameplay that is fun and at the same time a great challenge; however, it seems to lack depth and variety. While there is indeed a vast number of different Pokémon to collect within this title, Super Pokémon Rumble still seems fairly linear and repetitive.

While battling it out through the various areas and Battle Royale’s, you will need to keep your Pokémon collection’s health in check. By switching out your injured Pokémon with a fully healed Pokémon frequently, you will prevent yourself from loosing valuable, high-powered Pokémon. Although, not many switches will be needed as the levels tend to be fairly short and the enemies can be bypassed quite easily if you just make a dash for it. One thing I did notice within this title is the fact that elemental damage still reigns supreme, which basically means that water Pokémon will still have a massive advantage over fire Pokémon.

Super Pokémon Rumble has an additional 2-player feature, which is a fun addition that will help you collect items and figurines at a much faster pace. Although, while playing 2-player you both need to complete a chosen level separately before attempting to hook-up via the 2-player mode.

While Super Pokémon Rumble is a decent title to play, I feel that it comes off as incomplete. The linear based gameplay is something that needed to be worked on more, and the addition of a much larger in-depth storyline would have been fantastic.

Super Pokémon Rumble

Graphics:
Super Pokémon Rumble looks fairly decent, I will say that Toy Town does look good when you are introduced to it; however, the Pokémon featured in this title don’t! The Pokemon models tend to come off as blocky, jagged and awkwardly shaped. This is rather disappointing as the Nintendo 3DS has shown some brilliant graphics, especially in titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 3D Land.

Sound:
I tend to personally find that most Nintendo 3DS titles feature the most annoying, irritating, aggravating music on the planet; however, Super Pokémon Rumble tends to feature music that is pleasant and easy on the ears.

Conclusion:
Super Pokémon Rumble is great title for those of you who are fans of the series; however, it is rather linear and tends to lack a unique storyline that will captivate or entertain you. The 2-player mode will however keep you and a friend entertained for hours though.

Super Pokémon Rumble is one game that does deserve praise when it comes to the music aspect; however, the graphics featured within this title tend to look outdated especially with the jagged, awkward looking blots on the screen that try to resemble Pokémon.

If you are looking forward to grasping the world of Pokémon on the Nintendo 3DS… Fantastic! Although we would rather suggest looking at other titles, which are far more deserving like Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time or Super Mario 3D Land.

The Breakdown: 
Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 6.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews PC Reviews

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Review

I remember when I was a young I spent alot of time playing with Lego blocks as well as watching the Star Wars movies, those days have now passed and technology has  incorporated two of my favourite previous pass times: Star Wars and Lego. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is yet another adaptation of games/movies/series that has been turned into a hilarious thrill ride using the concept of turning all things normal into all things Lego.

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is based on the animated TV series and spans across season one and season two of the show. This makes this title fairly large and also gives gamers access to a very large data base of characters to use as they wish.

The control scheme in this title is very simple; one button performs one action and another button performs another action. However, when you combine gameplay as well as the simple control structure together you get a title that fits together perfectly. Combat varies from genuinely easy enemies to enemies that may propose slight difficulty for some of the younger gamers.

Puzzle solving in this title is straight forward and simple but on the odd occasion it can get extremely frustrating especially if you can’t figure out what you were exactly supposed to be doing in the first place. This comment comes from me running around the same area for around half an hour wondering if I had missed something.

Like most Lego games this titles includes a HUB World that can be used to explore, create custom characters, purchase vehicles, unlock additional characters and includes a side quest if you can find it. This means no map for the hub unfortunately so expect to get lost.

Lego Star Wars offers more activities to experience including piloting various vehicles in intense large-scale battles as well as space battles. The initial point to most of the land battles is to capture various control points on the map; to capture these you will have to destroy each building, cannon or satellite in order to capture the control point. This was a fun and interesting twist to the initial campaign.

Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars offers some surprisingly great graphics the character models are nicely detailed including some very amusing facial expressions that can be seen on each character. The level design is fantastic and includes loads of destructible objects throughout the world. This is by far one of the best-looking Lego games I have come across.

This title shines when it comes to sound, which includes authentic Star Wars themes and music. This brings a great feel of nostalgia while playing through the various chapters available. Who can resist listening to that sound of a lightsaber powering up to hack through any opponent (even Bob the Storm Trooper) who has felt the wrath of various Star Wars Characters in the past.

Nintendo 3DS:
The Nintendo 3DS version of this title brings things to a new level especially with the 3D aspect. The sound on offer is especially great for a handheld title and the visuals definitely pack a punch to the handheld genre. Although both platforms vary with gameplay experience, they are both very good. If you own the 3DS as well as an Xbox 360, you won’t be disappointed.

The one thing I did really enjoy with the 3DS version is the way the currency you collect looks likes it is flying towards you, this added a great feel to playing this title on a handheld console.

Conclusion:
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is honestly a great game and has now hooked me into the Lego genre. The sound is great and the graphics are visually satisfying. Gameplay is fun and battles are intense.

The Nintendo 3DS version is great and offers some unique gameplay throughout its campaign.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound: 8/10

3DS Version:
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10

Official ITF Rating:
Console: 8.5/10
Nintendo 3DS: 7.6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Star Fox 64 3D Review

Star Fox, also known as Starwing, was the first Nintendo game to make use of 3D Polygon graphics. It debuted on the Super Nintendo and since then the game has spawned numerous sequels including titles for the Nintendo 64, Game Cube, Wii and DS. The series has won critical acclaim and Nintendo constantly reinvents it across its different consoles. The latest game in the series is an example of how Nintendo can revitalise older titles. Star Fox 64 3D is the latest addition to the Star Fox series, also known as Lylat Wars. It is the revamped version of the Nintendo 64 game on the 3DS. Let’s see how it contributes to the saga.

Storyline:
Star Fox 3D looks like the Ewoks were the protagonists in Star Wars and Slippy Toad resembles Kermit the Frog in the Muppets. This makes sense as the series’ creator Shigeru Miyamoto was inspired by puppet dramas, such as Thunderbirds. Star Fox follows a Sci-Fi plot. Nintendo has successfully created a whole universe for the series in the form of a group of planets known as the Lylat System. The game’s antagonist, the ingenious scientist Andross, in the style of early-1990s video games, becomes a mad scientist bent on destroying the otherwise peace loving planet using biological weapons.

Exiled to the planet Venom, Andross begins plotting his revenge and it is discovered that he has created a new army to destroy the planet Corneria. The player takes control of protagonist Fox McCloud, leader of a band of mercenary fighters called Star Fox. Fox is also fighting a personal battle to avenge his father’s death at Andross’ hands. The storyline takes a number of surprising twists and delivers an entertaining narrative that accompanies the exciting gameplay.

Gameplay:
Star Fox 3D takes place in corridor mode, in which the player must pilot a vehicle, usually the Arwing spacecraft, through a fixed path on various planets and in asteroid fields. Nostalgically, I was reminded of various derivatives of Asteroids, Spacewar! and other Space Shooter games that I used to play both on PC and the Nintendo NES. The player can execute a U-turn and a barrel roll in order to evade enemy fire. Fox’s main arsenal is laser-cannons, which the player uses to blow up as many enemies as possible in order to attain a high score.

Power ups include smart bombs that hone in on your attackers and ones that replenish your ship’s shield. These power-ups conveniently remain with the player from level to level. The player must also take care to protect his wing-men. Fox’s teammates fly alongside the captain and must sometimes be defended when they fly out in front. If the player fails to rescue his teammates they retreat to the mother-ship for repairs. The game is not completely linear in terms of which levels are visited. Various paths lead the player to different levels although ultimately they will all tie up with Fox’s confrontation with Star Wolf. A great feature on this 3DS version of the game is that the player can choose which planets to visit. The player can also opt for traditional controls or gyroscope system that allows you to move the ship by tilting your 3DS. Either way the controls are easy to handle.

Graphics:
when the characters speak there appears to be no lip syncing at work. This is because the characters mouths were made to pop open and closed like those of puppets. It was fantastic how the game intentionally uses its characters as puppets, creating a comedic edge while actually having a solid plot and serious overtones. Star Fox’s designers have also done away with the blocky polygons of the original Nintendo 64 version. The graphics are sharp and appealing. In 3D you are piloting your way through the stars and it’s mesmerising.

Sound:
Star Fox 3D once again uses its sound to create a juxtaposition between the comedic and overtly dramatic. The happy, cheerful voices of your puppet-like teammates contrast with the strong, theatrical music that sets a dramatic tone.

Online:
Strictly speaking the multiplayer in Star Fox 3D is one of the only areas that lacks something. In Download Play you can play with up to four people in a co-op, against AI mode, but you can’t play in a mass multiplayer mode. You can battle for a set number of points, fight for a certain amount of time or try to be the last plane flying. New power ups become available in this mode including invisibility and one that allows you to swap positions with the player closest to you. It’s all quite quirky and makes for some loony skirmishes. The live videos of your friends’ faces as you play ads to the hilarity and makes up for the lack of online play.

Conclusion:
Star Fox 64 3D for the 3DS marks the exciting return of Fox McCloud and the crazy cast of the series. It is great to see how Nintendo can revive a classic. It is still essentially an arcade-style shooter and the player has little control over his movement in its corridor mode. The inclusion of being able to choose your destination makes up for this and breathes new life into the adventures of the Star Fox team. It has been a while since I played a video game on the 3DS and it’s a
marvel to see how Nintendo are still making titles that appeal to audiences of all-ages because they flow, are fun, graphically appealing and above all else extremely creative and different from the serious tones of some other mainstream games today.

The Breakdown:
Storyline: 9/10
Gameplay 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Super Mario 3D Land Review

Developed by Nintendo, Super Mario 3D Land is the latest Mario title to grace the Nintendo 3DS. Super Mario 3D Land is pure Mario to its core, with an additional 3D twist; however does Super Mario 3D Land hold high in the ranks of gaming on a handheld console? Let’s find out!

Storyline: 
Super Mario 3D Land brings the traditional storyline of the Mario world to the Nintendo 3DS. As always, Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser, and it is now up to Mario to save the Princess. Although this is a traditional Mario storyline, I couldn’t help but smile while watching the short animated cut-scenes.

Gameplay:
Super Mario 3D Land is a platform title that combines the elements of the 3D into the gameplay. The main objective is to reach the end of each level by either avoiding or taking out enemies, within the time limit, and grabbing onto the flagpole at the end in order to progress. Super Mario 3D land features some killer power-ups including: The Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Super Leaf and many more! I will admit that I have been hooked on my 3DS for most of the morning, and I found it hard to pull myself away.

While Super Mario 3D Land uses the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS quite brilliantly, it is also an integral part of the gameplay, as it is generally harder to complete without the use of the 3D effect. Super Mario 3D Land is a genuinely fun title to experience especially when it comes to gameplay and it also includes some stylish bonus content.

Mario titles from the past have never been a walk in the park to complete… by saying this, I have not come across anyone who has ever finished the first Mario title; however, completion is still achievable in Super Mario 3D Land. While breezing past the first few levels, I noticed that from World 8 the gameplay tends to shift quite a bit, bringing a sense of freshness to this title.

Super Mario 3D Land also incorporates the use of the gyroscope and StreetPass to further increase the appeal of gameplay. The Gyroscope can be used to look through binoculars and gain a better perception of the level at hand.

The addition of the mystery boxes is an additional bonus. While these tend to be more time challenges, they do allow you to gain those much needed power-ups and special items. While some 3DS titles tend to be too short, Super Mario 3D Land will keep you entertained for hours on end, as well as promote multiple playthroughs.

Graphics:
Super Mario 3D Land looks spectacular and completely utilises the power of the 3DS to its advantage. While this title is visually appealing with the 3D turned on, it looks equally as good without it.  The level design is beautiful and the characters have been designed with crisp, clear visuals.

Each World has a basic theme to it, which showcases colourful forest areas, spooky ghosts and a wide variety of visually stunning elements. When it comes to graphics this title plays smoothly and effortlessly.

Sound:
Nostalgia of note is included in this title! The music is a perfect fit and so is the quirky sound effects featured throughout. Classic Mario based tunes have been included and promote a nice up beat gameplay experience.

Lasting appeal:
Super Mario 3D Land is a title you will want to play over and over again. While the last few levels can be blatantly hard to complete, you will find yourself coming back for more Mario action quite often. Additionally, the StreetPass content included will keep you entertained for quite a few hours more.

Conclusion:
Nintendo has surprised me lately, especially with the amazing titles they are bringing out of late. Super Mario 3D Land is one of these amazing titles and a great addition to any 3DS owner’s collection.

Super Mario 3D Land brings well designed levels, innovative gameplay and sound that really sets the mood to the Nintendo 3DS. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to take on Bowser and his army of awkward looking minions and rescue the beloved Princess Peach.

The Breakdown:
Storyline: 9/10
Gameplay 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Tetris 3D Review

Nintendo tends to have this unique ability of  breathing new life into even the oldest video game titles to date. Nintendo’s latest rebirth is in the form of Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS; however, does this new version of the classic Tetris of the past live up to today’s standards? Let’s find out!

Key features:
Tetris for Nintendo 3DS  features a range of fun multiplayer options to keep you and your friends engrossed – five Local Play modes and three Download Play modes designed for up to eight people to enjoy at one time. What’s more, the Download Play multiplayer modes only require a single Game Card. Addtionally, you can also go online and compete against the rest of the world over the Internet using the World Battle and Friend Battle game modes.

Gameplay:
While there are plenty of Tetris titles out there at the moment, Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is by far one of my favourites at the moment. This title features over 20 modes to explore including: Marathon, CPU Battle, Fever, Survival and various ways to play using the AR functions.

Tetris for the 3DS also features various Party modes, which include various options such as: Fit, squeeze blocks into specifically shaped holes; Bombliss Plus, use bombs to explode blocks coming up from below; Capture, strategically cover stars on both sides of the Matrix with Tetriminos; and Jigsaw, solve picture puzzles or import your own pictures. Make sure you also look out for new items available via SpotPass for Fever mode. These modes are fun and entertaining and allow for plenty of hours of Tetris madness.

The standard mode of Tetris is also included in this title, and allows one to reminisce to the good old days of Tetris. Tetris back in the day either had you jumping for joy because you just beat your friend’s highest score, or it made you want to take the cartridge and stick it in a giant bonfire due to frustration and aggravation. However, this it what Tetris is all about it’s a challenging puzzle that will push your brain to its limits.

Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS is a great idea; however, it is an old concept that has been brought back to life. While this version is fantastic, it does however have many competitors on the market already.

Graphics: 
While playing Tetris in 3D, you will notice how much the game actually changes. Animations are brought to life and the backgrounds now seem more involved and show a great sense of visual appeal.

One thing I will note is, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

Sound:
When I first loaded this title into my 3DS I felt a great feeling of nostalgia. This was due to the classic music and sound effects that have been included; however while this nostalgia only lasts for a few moments, you will find yourself muting this title after an hour or two of gameplay.

Conclusion:
Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is definitely a title that deserves a lot of credit. While this title is indeed fun and entertaining, it will bring back age old memories from your childhood. Tetris is a great way to pass time and even better way to challenge your friends and family to some good clean fun.

As noted above, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Replayability: 9/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Wii Reviews

Super Mario 3D Land Review

Developed by Nintendo, Super Mario 3D Land is the latest Mario title to grace the Nintendo 3DS. Super Mario 3D Land is pure Mario to its core, with an additional 3D twist; however does Super Mario 3D Land hold high in the ranks of gaming on a handheld console? Let’s find out!

Storyline: 
Super Mario 3D Land brings the traditional storyline of the Mario world to the Nintendo 3DS. As always, Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser, and it is now up to Mario to save the Princess. Although this is a traditional Mario storyline, I couldn’t help but smile while watching the short animated cut-scenes.

Gameplay:
Super Mario 3D Land is a platform title that combines the elements of the 3D into the gameplay. The main objective is to reach the end of each level by either avoiding or taking out enemies, within the time limit, and grabbing onto the flagpole at the end in order to progress. Super Mario 3D land features some killer power-ups including: The Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Super Leaf and many more! I will admit that I have been hooked on my 3DS for most of the morning, and I found it hard to pull myself away.

While Super Mario 3D Land uses the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS quite brilliantly, it is also an integral part of the gameplay, as it is generally harder to complete without the use of the 3D effect. Super Mario 3D Land is a genuinely fun title to experience especially when it comes to gameplay and it also includes some stylish bonus content.

Mario titles from the past have never been a walk in the park to complete… by saying this, I have not come across anyone who has ever finished the first Mario title; however, completion is still achievable in Super Mario 3D Land. While breezing past the first few levels, I noticed that from World 8 the gameplay tends to shift quite a bit, bringing a sense of freshness to this title.

Super Mario 3D Land also incorporates the use of the gyroscope and StreetPass to further increase the appeal of gameplay. The Gyroscope can be used to look through binoculars and gain a better perception of the level at hand.

The addition of the mystery boxes is an additional bonus. While these tend to be more time challenges, they do allow you to gain those much needed power-ups and special items. While some 3DS titles tend to be too short, Super Mario 3D Land will keep you entertained for hours on end, as well as promote multiple playthroughs.

Graphics:
Super Mario 3D Land looks spectacular and completely utilises the power of the 3DS to its advantage. While this title is visually appealing with the 3D turned on, it looks equally as good without it.  The level design is beautiful and the characters have been designed with crisp, clear visuals.

Each World has a basic theme to it, which showcases colourful forest areas, spooky ghosts and a wide variety of visually stunning elements. When it comes to graphics this title plays smoothly and effortlessly.

Sound:
Nostalgia of note is included in this title! The music is a perfect fit and so is the quirky sound effects featured throughout. Classic Mario based tunes have been included and promote a nice up beat gameplay experience.

Lasting appeal:
Super Mario 3D Land is a title you will want to play over and over again. While the last few levels can be blatantly hard to complete, you will find yourself coming back for more Mario action quite often. Additionally, the StreetPass content included will keep you entertained for quite a few hours more.

Conclusion:
Nintendo has surprised me lately, especially with the amazing titles they are bringing out of late. Super Mario 3D Land is one of these amazing titles and a great addition to any 3DS owner’s collection.

Super Mario 3D Land brings well designed levels, innovative gameplay and sound that really sets the mood to the Nintendo 3DS. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to take on Bowser and his army of awkward looking minions and rescue the beloved Princess Peach.

The Breakdown:
Storyline: 9/10
Gameplay 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews

Tetris 3D Review

Nintendo tends to have this unique ability of  breathing new life into even the oldest video game titles to date. Nintendo’s latest rebirth is in the form of Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS; however, does this new version of the classic Tetris of the past live up to today’s standards? Let’s find out!

Key features:
Tetris for Nintendo 3DS  features a range of fun multiplayer options to keep you and your friends engrossed – five Local Play modes and three Download Play modes designed for up to eight people to enjoy at one time. What’s more, the Download Play multiplayer modes only require a single Game Card. Addtionally, you can also go online and compete against the rest of the world over the Internet using the World Battle and Friend Battle game modes.

Gameplay:
While there are plenty of Tetris titles out there at the moment, Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is by far one of my favourites at the moment. This title features over 20 modes to explore including: Marathon, CPU Battle, Fever, Survival and various ways to play using the AR functions.

Tetris for the 3DS also features various Party modes, which include various options such as: Fit, squeeze blocks into specifically shaped holes; Bombliss Plus, use bombs to explode blocks coming up from below; Capture, strategically cover stars on both sides of the Matrix with Tetriminos; and Jigsaw, solve picture puzzles or import your own pictures. Make sure you also look out for new items available via SpotPass for Fever mode. These modes are fun and entertaining and allow for plenty of hours of Tetris madness.

The standard mode of Tetris is also included in this title, and allows one to reminisce to the good old days of Tetris. Tetris back in the day either had you jumping for joy because you just beat your friend’s highest score, or it made you want to take the cartridge and stick it in a giant bonfire due to frustration and aggravation. However, this it what Tetris is all about it’s a challenging puzzle that will push your brain to its limits.

Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS is a great idea; however, it is an old concept that has been brought back to life. While this version is fantastic, it does however have many competitors on the market already.

Graphics: 
While playing Tetris in 3D, you will notice how much the game actually changes. Animations are brought to life and the backgrounds now seem more involved and show a great sense of visual appeal.

One thing I will note is, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

Sound:
When I first loaded this title into my 3DS I felt a great feeling of nostalgia. This was due to the classic music and sound effects that have been included; however while this nostalgia only lasts for a few moments, you will find yourself muting this title after an hour or two of gameplay.

Conclusion:
Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is definitely a title that deserves a lot of credit. While this title is indeed fun and entertaining, it will bring back age old memories from your childhood. Tetris is a great way to pass time and even better way to challenge your friends and family to some good clean fun.

As noted above, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Replayability: 9/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Mario Kart 7 Review

Welcome to the world of Kart Racing… Mario Style!!! Mario Kart 7 is the latest racing title to hit the Nintendo 3DS; however with the amount of racing titles released this year, does Mario Kart 7 deliver something unique, energetic and absolutely amazing to the world of racing? Let’s find out!!!

One thing I did notice when popping this title in my 3DS was that 16 classic maps have been included in this title including: SNES’ Mario Circuit 2 and Rainbow Road with more recent additions, such as the Wii’s autumnal Maple Treeway and Coconut Mall, and the DS’ Airship Fortress. Nintendo has really gone all out to make this title fresh, yet holds a certain classic appeal to it as well.

Gameplay:
Mario Kart 7 is amazingly simple to get the hang of, which is fantastic for newcomers to the release. Gamers have the opportunity to choose a character from the Mario Universe including: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Bowser and various other characters.

Mario Kart 7 offers a variety of modes, which include:

Grand Prix:
Grand Prix allows you to race it out for first position in various 50cc, 100cc and 150cc races. Grand Prix also includes various power-up’s to hinder the opposition.

Time Trials:
Time Trials allows you to achieve and then try beat your personal racing times.

Balloon Battle:
This mode puts racers up against each other, in an arena type setting, where the object of the race would be to pop the oppositions balloons in order to win.

Coin Battle:
Coin Battle places gamers in an arena type setting, where the object is to collect as many coins as possible and try hang on to them. The best part of this mode is the array of power-up’s scattered throughout the arena, which can be used to take out the opposition and steal their well earned coins; however, be wary as they can steal your coins too.

While playing through the various modes, you will notice a few new additions to the power-up’s scattered throughout the raceway.

The Fire Flower:
The Fire Flower allows you to throw fireballs at unsuspecting opponents, which will cause them to spin out of control momentarily.

The Tanooki Tail:
The Tanooki tail allows you to smash opposition players out of the way; however, you need to be in pretty close proximity to nail this one.

The Lucky 7:
The Lucky 7 offer you a set of seven items to use as you wish throughout the race, which gives the player a very unfair advantage over the opposition (hey, sometimes you have to do, what you have to do in order to win).

Another great addition to these modes is the ability to race each event via Local Multiplayer or Online Multiplayer modes.

While Mario Kart 7 is easy to pick up and very hard to put down and is not an easy title to complete. The race modes offer some really intense A.I that will not stop attacking you with power-up’s, until you either give-up or settle for last place. While it’s not impossible to win every single cup in this title, you will have a major challenge ahead of you if you do attempt it.

Mario Kart 7 is a great title when it comes to gameplay. The controls have been mapped out perfectly, and the inclusions of the various different modes and power-up’s make this title fantastic to experience.

Graphics:
Mario Kart 7 offers up some truly impressive graphics on the Nintendo 3DS. The character models have been designed smoothly and creatively and the course designs offer up some truly beautiful scenery.

Sound:
Mario Kart 7 sounds great while using the Nintendo 3DS. A few of the major highlights would be hearing more complex sounding characters, and the addition of some funky new tunes, which definitely puts you in the mood for some non-stop Karting action.

Conclusion:
Mario Kart 7 is a great title, which offers a variety of modes, features, characters and more importantly power-up’s! It is a title that is easy to pick up and really hard to put down. While most Nintendo 3DS titles tend to have this trend of including the most annoying music on the planet… Mario Kart 7 strays away from this trend. The up-beat tunes and music gear you up for some non-stop Karting fun, which is exactly what the 3DS needed.

If you own a Nintendo 3DS, Mario Kart 7 is definitely a title that should be in your collection.

The Verdict:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound 9/10
Lasting appeal: 9.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.