Plus: My Most Anticipated 3DS Games of 2013
Despite all the hub-bub about how smartphones are taking over portable gaming and how dedicated portable game devices such as the 3DS and Vita are doomed to tie forever and ever, this week’s latest Nintendo Direct reminded me why I love portable gaming so much. As a gamer who is slowly transitioning into a portable-only environment, I’m very excited to see what the handheld market has in store for the rest of the year.
Why am I becoming a portable-only gamer, you ask? Well it’s because I’ve become quite busy these past few months, and it looks like as I head to college later this year, things are only going to get busier. That’s just a personal thing, though; I plan on finishing up Skyward Sword this year and be done with console gaming until Monolith’s new game comes out (because hell, I’m willing to throw away another 70 hours of my life for that game).
Anyways, college means less time to do stuff and less money to buy stuff with. Portable games are generally more suited to a busy lifestyle like mine because, well, you can start and stop basically whenever you want. The convenience of being able to play for a few minutes then going on to do something else may be a lifesaver for an inbound college student like me.
So yes, portable gaming seems to fit my lifestyle perfectly. It’s portable, affordable, and totally convenient, not to mention that I’ve always been a fan of bite-sized gaming in the first place. Plus, there’s no way in hell am I going to buy, much less lug, a huge console with me to college, nor was I going to waste my time trying to find good games in that app store to pass my time. To me, the 3DS was a perfect choice, which was why I purchased on last year after discovering a pretty sweet deal at Target around Black Friday. I was going to get one anyways, might as well buy it now, right?
Now that I’ve finished my little speech about portable gaming devices, let’s talk about why I’m REALLY excited about this year. Yes, the games. Here are a few of them that I plan to pick up this year.
Fire Emblem: Awakening. Yes, I know I’m a bit late, but I plan on getting FE:A some time this year. Prior to the game’s release, I couldn’t feel excited for it at all, to be honest. My interest in the strategy RPG genre is just not very high. But after seeing the game in motion (the art style!) and finding out that there was a casual mode to it, I must say that I’m quite excited to get my hands on this game, and those rave reviews surely didn’t hurt my enthusiasm. Perhaps Awakening is the game that will finally get me into Fire Emblem.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I enjoyed the first Luigi’s Mansion even though it was, to me, a disappointing waste of potential. I thought it had many great ideas, but so few were well executed in an interesting and creative manner. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon seems to fix much of my problems with the first game by introducing new puzzle elements, multiplayer modes, and multiple mansions. At first, I wasn’t planning on buying this at launch, but then…
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. I will be getting this game for free thanks to Nintendo’s free game offer. Professor Layton has always been an intriguing franchise for me, but I never could find the motivation to go out and seek a copy. I was planning to pick this game up for cheap some day (in fact, it’s on sale for $15 at Best Buy right now!), but when I’m getting this and Luigi’s Mansion for practically $20 each… I think it’s worth the wait!
Animal Crossing: New Leaf. This was the game I was going to buy at launch initially, but my wallet doesn’t seem to want to agree with me after the whole Luigi’s Mansion/Professor Layton thing. I also don’t trust Nintendo in securing my purchases until they finally decide to set up Nintendo Network on 3DS. In fact, that’s the only thing preventing me from splurging on games like Pushmo and HarmoKnight; I love Nintendo, but when it comes to their online strategy, I just can’t trust them, especially with all that crazy stuff going on. But I will get this game. It’s like a pile of chocolates just sitting on the table next you; you can really only resist for so long.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is my favorite game of all time, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when I say I’m really, REALLY looking forward to Dream Team. The strange new art style irks me a little, but it seems to retain the charm of Bowser’s Inside Story, a game that I loved back when it came out. And plus, I get to finally touch Luigi in his sleep! (Umm…)
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. I’ve played some DKCR with my cousin back when it came out in 2010 and I enjoyed it, though the game’s weird control scheme really prevented me from buying my own copy (shake to roll, really?). The 3DS version seemed to have fixed most of the issues, and after watching the 3D trailer on the eShop, I can safely say that I’ll be getting this game some town down the road.
I’m sure my list will grow as the year progresses. E3 will likely spell disaster for my wallet. All those holiday sales will tempt me to get more games (hell, that Professor Layton deal sure did!). And I will enjoy all of it. There are so many great games coming out on 3DS this year that I’m not really worrying about not having a console around in college. Sure, I’ll miss playing on a huge HDTV for a bit, but I’m totally okay with that. And if I ever feel the need to whip up a meatier experience, I’ve got a PC to do that for me.
3DS and Vita owners unite! How interested are you in the portable market right now? Any portable games that catch your eye?