Written by Colin Burns // Edited by Andrew Busch // Images courtesy of Nintendo, Polygon and IGN
It’s been nearly a year since Nintendo released their big gamble of a handheld/console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. By nearly every measure, the Switch is a success and gamers are faced with the same dilemma they see with every new generation of hardware. The excitement of the Switch is causing many Nintendo loyalists to jump ship and abandon their trusty 3DS systems in favor of the newer, cooler tech. That’s why I’m here to shout, “WAIT!”. Before you drive yourself mad choosing what color joy cons to buy, let’s take a look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t cash in your old pal, the 3DS.
1. Smaller games you probably missed.
Despite a rocky launch, the 3DS library grew into one of the most diverse and quality collections of games around. Sure, you’ve got your Fire Emblems and your Pokemon, but there are a number of excellent titles that flew under the radar and warrant another look.
Looking for a numbers heavy D&D style RPG adventure complete with actual dice rolls? Look no further than Crimson Shroud. Helmed by Yasumi Matsuno (the creative mind behind Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII) Crimson Shroud packs a lush, weighty world with tons of atmosphere into a small eshop title. The game features Matsuno’s masterful understanding of classic fantasy story telling. Battles play out in Dungeons and Dragons fashion with the player selecting an ability and using the touch screen to roll the dice to determine the outcome. It’s a fun little gimmick that doesn’t feel out of place and makes good use of the 3DS’ unique features. Any RPG fan should dig out their 3DS and download Crimson Shroud as soon as possible!
Attack of the Friday Monsters
Sure, you’ve probably dropped hundreds of hours into Animal Crossing: New Leaf but you probably neglected to download another great “slow-life” game on 3DS, Attack of the Friday Monsters. Friday Monsters comes from the mind of Kaz Ayabe, a name better known in Japan for the My Summer Vacation series. You play as a small Japanese boy in the 1970’s and spend your days running around town, collecting cards, playing made-up games with your friends and obsessing over superhero TV shows. The game captures the undeniable carefree spirit of childhood and just like your childhood, it seems to end just when things were getting good.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Back in 1997 when Soul Hackers was originally released for the Sega Saturn, the Mega Ten series of RPGs was still incredibly niche and it wasn’t until the 2013 3DS port that the game made it to the west. The game is your standard 1st person dungeon crawler but features all the flare of the Megami Tensei games. The story’s mixture of tech and demons is signature Megami Tensei and Soul Hackers’ story ranks among the best in the series. Though some of the graphics and systems are dated, the 3DS version offers a few modern conveniences like the ability to save anywhere inside a dungeon to ensure the game is still playable in the modern era. Even the most hardcore Mega Ten and Persona fans may have overlooked Soul Hackers but it is a meaty RPG that deserves to be played.
2. Lack of Switch backward compatibility.
This is an obvious one but a lot of people don’t consider it until it’s too late! Dozens of noteworthy games will only ever be on the 3DS and you’ll never be able to play them on the Switch. Say two years from now, you feel like jumping back into the fantastic Super Mario 3D Land – well then you better hold onto your 3DS. Also, thanks to an abundance of ports and remakes, the 3DS is the optimal console for some of the best games of all time. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and the remake of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga are reasons alone to dust off your 3DS again.
And don’t forget, the 3D effect was put to pretty good use in some games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. And I wouldn’t count on them releasing a 3D Switch anytime soon. Do you own any other piece of tech with glasses-free 3D? Probably not. The 3D functionality is an interesting footnote on video game hardware history and you owe it to yourself to preserve your ability to experience it.
3. You love your 3DS and your 3DS loves you
Would you really sell off your 3DS for just over a hundred bucks? Your 3DS was with you through mundane study halls. It was always there on long flights. Remember how happy you were as you saw that green streetpass light flash? Or the dread of watching your light begin to flash red halfway through a Bravely Default boss battle. Your 3DS has been through a lot with you. Sure, if 10 years from now you feel like replaying Pokemon Sun, you can probably go on eBay and cop a 3DS for cheap. But, it won’t be the same as dusting off and opening up your old friend.
Your 3DS is part of your gaming history and you shouldn’t ditch it so lightly. Maybe you have an awesome Pikachu themed 3DS XL or maybe you’ve got a fancy new 3DS with colored buttons and faceplates. Regardless of which variety you have, you chose it for a reason. You may have been through a lot together, but there are still games that you both have yet to play that are more than worth your while.