Top 10 3DS Games for Holiday Travel
The holiday travel season is here, so it's time to dig out that 3DS and grab a game or two for portable entertainment. Everybody knows about Mario Kart and the Mario platformers, so here are ten suggestions for great games you may have overlooked.
10. Crimson Shroud
Fresh off the presses from Professor Layton developer Level-5, this little eShop RPG aims to replicate the experience of tabletop games on the 3DS. The dice-enhanced combat is interesting and strategic, while the story as narrated by the game's “Dungeon Master” is surprisingly well-written. Gamers who fondly remember playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends should get a kick out of this one.
9. Kid Icarus: Uprising
Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the most criminally overlooked games on the 3DS. This shoot 'em up game packs addictive action and a ton of gameplay value onto its cart, wrapping it all in deliciously irreverent (and sometimes hilarious) packaging. Not only does our hero, Pit, get an extensive campaign filled with diverse levels, there are tons of achievement challenges to tackle, a selectable difficulty scale that rewards players for mastering levels, a weapon customization system that will drive completionists to distraction, and some great multiplayer modes. Everybody should give this one a try.
8. Mighty Switch Force!
WayForward is a developer that deserves a lot more credit for the quality titles it puts up on Nintendo's eShop. Mighty Switch Force! is the company's first original 3DS title, an enjoyable puzzle-platformer in which the player is a galactic cop with time-bending abilities. The original Mighty Switch Force! was criticized for being too short even for a downloadable game, but there's now a free level pack available, making it worth a second look.
7. Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Paper Mario: Sticker Star has seen a bit of controversy in the role-playing game community, as it removes many of the RPG elements found in the early Paper Mario games. Instead, Mario is tasked with exploring a host of inventive diorama-style levels, collecting stickers that are used as Mario's combat moves. Really, it's an adventure game with the familiar turn-based/action hybrid system from the Paper Mario series added on top. As long as you don't expect Sticker Star to faithfully continue the entire Paper Mario legacy, it's a beautiful and charming game sporting excellent level design.
6. Pokémon Rumble Blast
The original Pokémon Rumble was a so-so game on the Nintendo Wii, but the series has upped its game with this 3DS entry. The toy Pokémon models are more suited to the 3DS screen size, the levels look better, all existing Pokémon are available in the game, and there's more variety in the gameplay. As a whole package, Pokémon Rumble Blast is a fun mindless action game that will have fans playing around with Pokémon they don't usually use in the main series games. Its $35 price tag is a bit much for the experience it provides, so I recommend picking it up on sale.
Nintendo's adorable puzzler, Pushmo, is generally considered the top must-buy game among the download-only titles on the eShop. Its simple premise, in which the player pulls out blocks to get to the top of three-dimensional murals, becomes more and more complex as the player works through the impressive number of puzzles included in the game. The ability to create and share new puzzles gives it even more replay value.
Pushmo's sequel, Crashmo, has recently come out, and the addition of gravity to the mix actually creates an entirely new kind of puzzle-solving. Crashmo also includes some nice quality-of-life improvements like the ability to rewind time and undo costly mistakes. Both games are appealing to a wide demographic of gamers and are absolutely perfect for travel.
4. Resident Evil: Revelations
Fans of the classic Resident Evil games lament the action turn that the series has taken in recent installments. For those survival horror gamers, Resident Evil: Revelations preserves the tank controls and stalking horrors that gave them shivers up their spines. If you're looking to have a very scary Christmas, this is the way to go on your 3DS.
3. Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure
Got an annoying seatmate on the plane? Stick on your headphones and play some Rhythm Thief. This game's charismatic hero and the variety of its rhythm-based challenges make it accessible and fun. Its narrative and stylish setting keep the game's Japanese zaniness to just the right level. The music might be a bit forgettable, but overall the game is a joyful experience.
2. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
Fans of Punch-Out!! will enjoy this exacting eShop game. Mastering the Art of the Sword requires careful timing, pattern recognition, memorization, and excellent reflexes. This one isn't for everybody, but gamers who enjoy this kind of challenge have eaten Sakura Samurai up.
1. Shin Megami Tensai: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Speaking of challenges, Shin Megami Tensai: Devil Survivor Overclocked provides the feeling of an epic RPG distilled down into portable format. Like much of the SMT series, the game is not particularly forgiving and sports an interesting group of characters dealing with an impending apocalyptic event. It's recommended for RPG fans who didn't play the original DS version of the game and who have a tolerance for absurd level of chesticularity bestowed on some of the female characters.
Date: December 17, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*