Miis also make a return by popular demand, and this is their first ever appearance on a handheld. The Mii Maker is where you can create a Mii using either a photograph that you’ve snapped of yourself with the 3DS’ camera, or you can just build one from the ground up in a similar fashion to the Wii’s Mii Maker. The Miis can be used in several games for the system including Nintendogs + Cats and Pilotwings Resort, and they are also used as an avatar for any friend who adds you to their friends list. StreetPass is also compatible with the Mii Plaza, so you’ll collect Miis from people you don’t even know while walking around. I didn’t get a chance to experience the StreetPass feature because the system had yet to launch, but presumably it should work just fine.
Nintendo has also finally implemented online and a friends list which is a nice addition. The ability to see when your friends are or aren’t online is a much needed feature, but it’s certainly not the best online interface there is. After exchanging a 12-digit friend code, the person — who you were fortunate enough to presumably make friends with — is added to your list and they are represented by the Mii they’ve created and chosen for their profile. One major downside to the new online setup is the inability to send messages to friends who are online. Nintendo did say that this could potentially be addressed in future system updates, but it’s still a bummer (read: confusing disappointment) that it wasn’t included at launch.
As it currently stands, the Nintendo 3DS is a very cool handheld system that utilizes intriguing 3D effects and awesome graphics that are sure to immerse gamers in their new handheld more than they’ve ever been before. However, it just doesn’t seem like you get as much full bang as you could have for your buck. With a $250 price tag I expected a little bit more in terms of battery life and online features. Some of the big features that are missing from the system’s launch are the eStore and some of the more anticipated titles that are coming down the road.
The Nintendo 3DS is truly a step into the next generation of gaming, but that doesn’t mean it’s without any problems. My recommendation to those who are still on the fence about the 3DS is to just hold off a little bit longer. That way they’ll be able to enjoy some of the Triple-A titles that didn’t make it in time for launch, as well as purchase some old-school classics from the GameBoy and GameBoy Color era on the eStore. The system is going to be a must-own in the very near future, but right now it just doesn’t live up to the price it’s been given.
Stay tuned for our reviews of the Nintendo 3DS launch titles!