Our own JC Fletcher tested Nyko’s Power Pak + for the Nintendo 3DS, which boasts “double the battery life” of the system’s standard battery, to see if the extra charge was worth the 20 percent increase in thickness (and your cash), posting his full impressions over at Joystiq.
Along with applauding the Power Pak +’s “grippy texture” and “much nicer” cradle, he tested the batteries with both maxed out and conservative settings:
3D on, brightness maximum, wireless on:
Nyko Power Pak +: 5:33 hours
3DS battery: 2:52 hours
3D off, brightness at minimum, Power-Saving on, wireless off:
Nyko Power Pak +: 9:04 hours
3DS battery: 4:40 hours
At $19.99 for the battery alone (hooks up to 3DS AC adapter) and $29.99 for the battery/dock, I’m tempted to get one for myself, but the system pouch that I have right now already has a snug fit with the 3DS.
Hey, good news: Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions isn’t going to be terrible! The latest Famitsu reveals that in addition to the two new (and iffy) games on the 3DS cart, “Pac-Man Tilt” and “Galaga 3D Impact,” there are some proven good games in the collection!
Specifically, Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions, both making their first appearances on Nintendo platforms. Dimensions will also include versions of Pac-Man and Galaga that are meant to look like they’re inside 3D arcade machines.
No, I don’t mean women who are part grasshopper. Please don’t draw that, and if you do, don’t show me.
Our awesome pal Matt “Fort90” Hawkins has teamed up with Grasshopper Manufacture and Jap-Sai to give away lots of rad Grasshopper swag to the person who sends him the best fanart of any female character from a GHM game.
He explains, “Not gonna lie: I’m mostly interested in NMH babes, though I’d like to believe that game provides the greatest variety of potential subjects, so no one feels too constricted.” Check the site for image size and format requirements.
So what do you stand to get for your efforts? Only way too much fucking stuff, including the NMH2 “Erotica Comic,” two portrait postcard books, the Japanese guidebook for No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise, a copy of the rare Hand in Killer7 book,Bizarre Jerry 5, “Hellride,” Flower, Sun, & Rain t-shirts, and Cory Schmitz’s Killer 7 t-shirt (not having any of these shirts makes me wonder where my life went wrong).
You have until May 1 to prepare your entries. Fair warning: you’ll have to compete with me, and my artwork might just be sad enough to win out of pity.
My favorite Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition feature that I’ll never use? Totally the figurine mode. I anticipate pouring Play Coins into the game and hunting down every code I can get to amass a giant army of figurines… which I’ll never trade or bring out for StreetPass battles due to hermitude.
NeoGAFfer wackojackosnose has compiled a list of passwords that can be redeemed for unusual, leveled-up figures including gold and silver versions of the characters. Some of them apparently come from Japanese retail promotions — and the gold Chun-Li comes from the video stream of Capcom’s Nintendo World 2011 presentation.
“You never hear people say, ‘The HD visuals looked great but didn’t add to the gameplay, and so are nothing more then a gimmick.’
3D, like HD graphics or surround sound, improves the presentation of the game and helps with immersion. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why do some act like it needs to do more in order to be considered worthwhile?”—
Astute observation from NeoGAF forumer Padlock on the complaints from journalists and gamers that 3D effects don’t add much to the gameplay in the 3DS’ launch titles.
Curiously, for all the criticisms about Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars having “last handheld generation graphics” and being a “rushed 3DS port”, of the launch titles I’ve played, this unassuming strategy title has the best implementation of subtle 3D effects I’ve seen.
Aside from the immersive “living board game” effect, the game does simple stuff like layering menu elements or those static images of talking heads during RPG-style conversations (e.g. person talking is in the foreground).
Ashley Davis has collected all 12 episodes of the SO CUTE animated video series Once Upon a Pixel, which retells games in various (SO CUTE) styles, in one convenient DVD.
Once Upon a Pixel: Season One contains commentary, behind-the-scenes footage of the drawing process, commentary by Davis and Anthony Burch, and “ALL THE ART EVER! Everything ever used in the show, sketches, concepts, extras and more! All original sized and unwatermarked!” It also comes with the wonderful cover art seen above.
The disc sells for $18 from Createspace. Or you can send $25 via PayPal to Ashley for a DVD and bonus sketch.
Tiny Preview: Ghost Recon 3DS, or the secret best Nintendo 3DS launch game
There are people who will insist the Nintendo 3DS “has no launch games”, that no 3DS titles available this weekend deserve the bills in your pocket. They are liars.
And there exists a worse group, rapscallions that will dismiss Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars for being a DS project migrated to the 3DS. Through some misguided logic, they will argue that a game benefiting from an extended development period and more time for polish is unfit to stand beside 3DS releases without those advantages.
Ignore these villains, these swindlers that would seize your hand and lead you down a path of despair. Tell them that you must part ways.
Then, if you are a fan of the original X-Com, or turn-based strategy, or games with rewarding complexity, go out and buy Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.
This is the same song that played so many years ago when you were at the beach with your girlfriend, and she broke up with you because you wasted too much of the summer playing Street Fighter II: Champion Edition while training for an upcoming tournament.
As she walked away, you watched the sun set and let a single tear roll down your cheek because you knew it was true — your love wasn’t meant to be, at least not while you still had trouble pulling off Zangief’s spinning piledriver consistently. Once that tear dried and the sun faded from view, you called your mom to pick you up.
It would have been the worst summer ever, but when you won first place in that tournament and held that trophy up, she came up to hug you and tell you she believed in you the entire time but didn’t want to distract you from winning.
You can stream this song from your past and the rest of the new Shortsleeves album here. If you like it enough to want to buy it — which you will — the whole thing is just $5 to download. And if you want it for free, we’re giving away two copies! Just let us know in the comments what your favorite kinds of chiptunes are, and we’ll pick a couple random winners this weekend!
At $250, the 3DS hardware is already more expensive than most would like — paying for a launch game to play with it probably doesn’t seem like a preferred option for some, what with most of them costing $40 and the 3DS already coming with some interesting built-in software.
Amazon won’t hear any of that, though, and has two deals to convince to buy a launch game or two (matching similar sales from brick and mortar competitors):
Things have been super busy at the Tiny Cartridge office in recent weeks (hence the slowed updates), but I was able to find two to three free hours in my schedule to complete and review Steel Diver for the Nintendo 3DS — yes, it’s as short an experience as everyone’s saying!
Today, Eric and I were discussing one of our biggest concerns about the new Nintendo 3DS hardware: that we wouldn’t be able to attach wrist straps on it.
This would be terrible because not only would we risk dropping our expensive-ass systems, Eric wouldn’t be able to accessorize with the Game Center CX charm I gave him. It would also mark the end of the thumbstrap thingy that shipped with the original DS “Phat.”
Upon closer inspection, however, we discovered that the 3DS still accommodates straps and charms — the holes have just moved from their spot on the upper-right corner of the system. In fact, the 3DS offers two options for strap attachment, either on the lower-left corner (under the SD slot) or on the lower-right (next to the power light).
Along with game releases, we try to highlight current deals on DS Dates, like Amazon’s $10 store credit offer for preorders on Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition — if you’re going to pick up the game anyway, you might as well grab $10 to spend on other junk with it.
Much to the dismay of downloadable game developers and the handheld’s soon-to-be owners, the Nintendo 3DS’s eShop — a revamped online service for DSiWare games, Virtual Console releases, 3DS demos, and “3D Classics” — won’t come online until some time in May.
Hideki Konno, the hardware’s producer, explained why Nintendo is spending so much time on the service and why it’s launching two months after the 3DS’s release:
If you were taken with the PlayStation business card case we posted a few days ago, I’m happy to tell you that you can now order your very own from Strapya, for $15.60.
"Official licensed and made in Japan!", the product page reads. "Just in case you thought it is too good to be true! It’s not! It is licensed by Sony Japan and also made in Japan so it is the real deal!"
Strangely, the page doesn’t mention whether this is the shiny or matte version of the case. But they’re both nice…
“The time of the DS is over now, and we may not see its like again.
The comically inflated prices of 3DS games, and Nintendo’s legendary incompetence and greed in the online arena, will more than likely conspire to deprive the new machine of the library of fun, accessible titles the DS has accumulated in its six-year life, and it seems destined to battle with Sony’s NGP rather than the iThings.”—
Games journalist and iOS gaming advocate Stuart Campbell calling for “a valedictory salute to the DS as it shuffles towards the exit door”.
I’m not as down on the DS’s twilight years or the 3DS’s future as Campbell, but I do share some of his criticisms that he leveled at Nintendo and third-party publishers in his latest post, "Oh, poor DS, what did they do to you?".
Chief among those shared griefs is the price of DS and 3DS games — while I won’t argue that there aren’t high quality games warranting a $30-40 tag (Dragon Quest IX comes to mind), that pricing seems untenable with the popularity of $1-3 iOS titles. I’m not asking retail DS/3DS releases to match that pricing, but real talk, charging $40 for a single-player, no-online Madden game is banoodles.
I had hoped the 3DS’s eShop would foster an environment for small indie developers to release App Store/XBLIG-style cheap games on the system to provide a low-priced entertainment option, but that seems unlikely now.
Perhaps because all the other gaming writers and experts were busy that day, Kyle Orland spoke with Eric and me about the Nintendo 3DS as part of a two-page article in this month’s Electronic Gaming Monthly (with the above cover, featuring the result of a secret affair between Kratos and Spider-Man’s Carnage).
We throw around some half-formed theories about the 3DS’s region-locking and its repercussions, which should definitely be interpreted as speculation, because we don’t know any more than anyone else! But hopefully it’s entertaining and/or thought-provoking regardless.
Now we know why EGM was brought back after the Ziff-Davis collapse: to make sure the two of us could get in there.