Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Power to the People

First off: I am sorry to the readers I follow. I have been missing your wonderful posts because I am trying to rebuild my shattered life. I could write a book that people would read about myself. I am not even being egotistical. Honestly, it bothers me that I am that interesting. Writing is a sort of passion. I like to write, because I like to type. This blog is important to me in the sense that I can chronical opinions on my hobby and improve my styles.

I actually held a Nintendo 3DS in my hands. I know I recently gave my opinion on it, but I held one long enough to be able to add. The 3DS has intrigued me, because typically I cannot see 3-D effects very well. My pupils are different sizes and it creates a difficulties for visual focus. Granted that I have 20/15 vision, I can easily get cross-eyed in complex visual illusions. A fun side-effect is that I see both the vase and the faces at the same time. Another weird result is that I cannot visualize in my head very well. I often describe it as thinking in words. I did not know it was strange until I started talking to people about it. It may lend to my ability to do meticulous tasks well. What does this relate to 3-D? Well, 3-D is often multiple pictures aligned to fool us into thinking they are popping out of the screen. The 3DS works very much like this. I am happy to state that I can see the plane in 3-D on the demo game. However, my eyes begin to hurt much like they do if I wear peers' glasses for longer than a minute. I have to actively focus my eyes unnaturally to see the effect, or else I get double vision. At first I assumed it must be that "sweet spot" that I have been hearing so much about. Yes, there are distances and angles that affect the quality of the 3-D effect, but not enough to make up for my eyes hurting. No wonder the box is decorated in warning labels. The guys over at Penny Arcade noted that you can indeed turn off the 3-D effect at will. The problem, of course, is that after a few minutes of enjoying the 3-D, they turned it off and never turned it back on. Jerry Holkins (aka Tycho) cleverly said that the switch in effect turns it from the 3DS into the DS2.
So what is this 3-D effect that is the gimmick? I just wonder how Nintendo managed to market something that people have never seen before and practically sell out before it was released. Only a handful of pre-orders even got to see the thing. Well, the demo I played was Pilotwings Resort and I only played for 4 or 5 minutes. The game demo was simple enough, I flew around in a plane with a Mii (which suggests to me Wii connectivity). What the 3-D did was make a tunnel vision-like effect where the eye is drawn to the plane, instead of the surrounding terrain and background. Much like if one were drunk. The attention grab of it was such that I really did not even notice that the graphics are somewhat impressive. Only when I turned off the 3-D did I see that the game is pretty. So, you either get this distorted drunken vision or a GameCube with a screen built in. It is also important to note that the 3-D is additional strain on the already poor battery life. In fact, 3-D has to be off to get close to 4 hours.

Another problem that came up is a minor one, but enough so that I am somewhat disappointed in Nintendo. Last week, while importing some of my Soul  Silver Pok√©mon to Black, I had to borrow my sister's DS phat. Immediately, I noticed that the phat fit my large hands in a completely ergonomic manner. It was pleasant to hold. The main complaint about the DS Lite was how it would hurt my hands to hold after a couple hours, or shorter if the game was particularly engaging (ie. Mario Kart DS, which is my favorite installment). I ended up deciding that the intense backlight coupled with the 5-10 hour increase in battery was worth the discomfort in the long run. The 3DS retains this look (calling it such as I can only imagine the DS Lite and successors are only so uncomfortable to hold in order to look good).

I did like the "circle pad" as it is apparently called. It is basically the same idea as the PSP analog stick, but it looked less likely to snap off from too much wear. The original DS sorely needed this. However, even when I have an analog stick, I am retro enough to prefer to use the D-pad. I could legitimately see myself adjusting comfortably to the circle pad though. I just prefer that they drop the two screen thing. I honestly still do not like the touch screen on the DS, unless it allows me to push buttons more easily. Though, I was worried two screens would be overwhelming and I adjusted to it. The Start and Select buttons are a little strange too, but I could adjust to that as well. Unfortunately, I did not mess with it because I did not know until later, but the camera can take pictures with the same 3-D. That seems cool, but how much entertainment can one truly derive from that? It would be amusing for a bit, like the Game Boy Camera, but ultimately it would get old.

There are no delusions here though. If the 3DS is not a flop, I will end up with one in the future. Realistically, one has to be prepared to move on with the world. Gamers just have to keep up with the hardware if they want the software. There are a couple considerations at least. The ability to turn off 3-D and be able to play perfectly fine without it offers the ability to emulate and beyond that, piracy will inevitably occur. Nintendo seems confident they have this one locked down, but their track record and the willingness of bored people to figure it out (the pioneer in Wii cracking is not even a gamer, he is just a programmer who liked a Wii he saw at a party). Even the PS3 was deemed a lost cause on the homebrew front. It uses the exact same method of CFW installation as the PSP, hell it is even easier for the end-user on the PS3. I just hope that I can hold on a 3DS until they address the issues and fix them. I hate wanting something I know is bad.

In light of this particularly long post, I offer another oldie. Enjoy. If you have not played StarTropics, it is a little like the Legend of Zelda.


  1. great review and cool retro tune :)

  2. i was never a fan of the original DS. too finicky.

  3. You have some serious writing skills bro!

  4. i cant decide if i want one or not

  5. @ moob you dont, trust me
    follow back

  6. Ehh, I just got a DSI for pokemon. Definitely worth it.

  7. Man, I only ever got any type of Nintendo handheld, eg: Gameboy color, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy SP, and Gameboy DS for the Pokemon games... Not really into anything else 'sides Kirby, Zelda, and Starfox...

  8. I'm glad you enjoy writing, because I enjoy reading. I hope to one day have a 3DS.

  9. 3ds is sick! +following


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