My picks for launch title 3D Awards

We’ve entered a new era, and glasses-free 3D is now a very real option for modern gameplay. Nintendo’s 3DS launch lineup presents a wide range of approaches in utilizing the new feature, with varying results. Based on extensive time with much of the lineup, here are my entirely subjective pretend-awards for best uses of the third dimension:

Most Realistic 3D – Nintendogs Plus Cats
Most Beautiful 3D – Steel Diver
Best Use of 3D to Enhance Gameplay – Pilotwings
Most Mind-Bending 3D – AR Games
Funniest Use of 3D – Face Raiders
Best Use of 3D to Revitalize a Classic Franchise – Street Fighter IV

And Overall Best 3D….

1st Place – Nintendogs Plus Cats (N+c). In 2D, N+c looks like an impressive videogame. With the 3D switched on, it looks startlingly real’even more so because we all know what a real dog in a real room looks like. The going-for-a-walk section features streets that stretch into the deep distance and fireflies that seem to hover off your screen. If you’ve picked a breed with a long muzzle, its nose will appear to reach beyond the frame, and when it tries to lick you…yes, dog-spit seems to fly directly at your face. The 3D in this title is extremely easy on the eyes, probably helped by the game’s leisurely pace and obvious focal point.

2nd Place – AR Games. Astonishing. Seeing your own environment warped and altered before your eyes in real-time 3D is an experience you don’t soon forget.

3rd Place- It’s a tie: Pilotwings/Street Fighter IV – The 3D in Pilotwings provides a thrilling sense of true altitude, and the depth allows for more accurate navigation around and through obstacles. The 3DS 3D experience is a bit different for everyone’s eyes, and in my case I sometimes have trouble maintaining the “Sweet Spot” in Pilotwings, mainly because my eyes try to keep shifting focus from the aircraft to the approaching rings and targets. It takes a bit more work for me to maintain the illusion in Pilotwings, but the payoff in thrilling gameplay is worth the effort.

Streetfighter’s use of 3D is unlike any of the other titles, as it takes familiar 2D animated characters and brings them to amazing 3D life without losing any of their unique art style. It truly is like stepping into a living, breathing cartoon.

Since I have not played every third-party launch game, I might have overlooked an underdog. What are your experiences with the 3D in the titles you’ve played? How would you award them?


  1. Tom clancy shadow wars

  2. Award for Best 3DS Game that Doesn’t Need 3D is…
    Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

    It is a great strategy game ranking right up there with Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. The 3D looks cool but doesn’t add anything to the game experience.

    It is cool looking into the deep ravine in the second mission, though!

  3. Madden is pretty cool. The players really stand out, and honestly with Madden where else could it go but 3D. Another cool title is Asphalt. Although I have trouble staying in the swwet spot while playing racing games (I like to move with the track) the depth of the buildings and surroundings while driving is amazing.

  4. @bluerocks

    All the launch titles so far, excluding maybe pilotwings and sf4 dynamic mode, are not using 3D for the gameplay. So far it’s really just a visual enhancement on all.

    That said shadow wars is probably only surpassed by sf4 for third party launch titles in quality.

  5. BlueRocks…

    It may not be needed but the fact that it uses the 3D and as you say some things look cool (the ravine) makes it great for me. I’m totally buying into the 3D aspect of things. To me, the 3D IS the experience. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the game on the ol’ DS but since playing 3D games, I admit I’m a bit hooked. A fad? Perhaps, but at this point I’m enjoying the ride. Now all I need to do is open up my copy of Shadow Wars and play it, I’, hearing good things about the game.

    As for other titles…

    Ridge Racer somehow plays better in 3D for me… I can judge the turns a little better and there is a better sense of speed, especially when you hit the nitro! Perhaps it’s my pick for franchise rejuvenation!

    Street Fighter is awesome as well! Seeing the characters on screen in 3D is like watching little action figures duke it out in a little box… but you get to control one of those little characters! Very well done and although I lost interest in fighting games many years ago, this one has me back playing!

    Face Raiders and AR games… shamefully, I haven’t given them much play. I haven’t even cracked open the AR cards once yet. One day I’ll get there… lol.

  6. I’ve only given Street Fighter any significant time so far, but I’m continuously amazed by how great it looks.

    I feel like I could pluck Ken right off the screen and put him in my pocket.

  7. Monkey ball actually plays pretty well in 3d also. Like the other posts say though, it does not enhance the gameplay. I have enjoyed pilot wings the most, and my seven year old has enjoyed cats and dogs the most. Actually broke out my snes version of pilot wings 🙂

  8. Action figures in a box….lol. That is the best description of 3D of all time! Thank u; i love it. Even so, I am expecting future titles to make more use of 3D in the gameplay. But we shall see.

  9. Rayman puts it to pretty great use as a platformer… it’s too bad the rest of the game is so terrible. I mean, the music fuzzes out! Who the heck engineered the sound on this thing?

  10. Three words: Wario Ware Twisted

    I imported it from the US, you don’t have to do that. No excuses. I still play that game NOW and I got it BEFORE the original DS. Period.

  11. oops, ignore that last comment, wrong post, please delete…. I didn’t reach the stop loading bar in time….

  12. No problem, Bananaoomarang; I like seeing any Warioware game mentioned anywhere–and I hope to see one soon for 3DS! I’m still trying to get people to buy Warioware D.I.Y….

  13. Reading the latest Nintendo Power and the write-up on Spongebob Squigglepants is that it’s supposed to be a Wario Ware Mini-game type of game. I’m considering it myself to scratch the 3DS Wario Ware Microgame itch for now. I would have to believe that there will be a Wario Ware game for the 3DS sometime this year. (E3 announcement maybe?)

    Never did pick up Wario Ware DIY… if I don’t want to make my own levels is there enough to warrant the purchase? I read that you can download additional levels or something… perhaps that’ll be the next purchase.

  14. @King_salamon–

    I’m tempted to say yes because–Hey, more Dribble & Spitz!–but, honestly, don’t get WDIY unless you want to create your own levels, because otherwise the game’s very short. The downloadable games have been plentiful and fun, but I would check to see if they’re still being supported.

  15. Hmm… perhaps I’m better off waiting for the WW 3DS game. I can imagine Nintendo doing some cool stuff with all the new features of the 3DS!

    I did enjoy Ware Ware Snapped on the DSi… it was short yes but I can see them doing something really zany with the 3DS.

    I think my next purchase will be Pilotwings Resort. But before I buy another game, I simply must try out the AR cards! (I’ve been spending my coins on kitty cats to ‘save mii’. About halfway through… sure could use some other Mii’s… they have to be stronger… lol)

  16. Between my coworker and I, we have 6 games to play. Shadow Wars is without a doubt the best IMO.

  17. Shadow Wars

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