I hate gimmicks. 3D is a gimmick 90% of the time it is used. I am also one of those people who insists on wearing glasses. I can wear contacts, but due to the fact I spend 18 hours a day looking at computer screens, I don’t blink nearly enough so contacts make my eyes dryer than the Sahara after about 15 minutes. This explains why I dislike 3D movies so much. I already wear glasses. Adding a second set of plastic, poorly fitted glasses on top is just a fast way to make my ears, temples, and nose hurt. In addition to having to adjust them every few minutes, it just makes watching 3D a pain.
I am used to the belief that if you are adding something to your creative work, it needs to make it better. Adding something to a game? It should make the game better. Adding a brush stroke to your painting? It should make the entire composition better by it’s inclusion. 3D rarely makes something truly better in a movie. The immersion is rarely better than a well done soundtrack or compelling dialog.
That being said… Nintendo has proven they are the masters of making gimmicks exceptional. A caveat – the inclusion of the gimmick will not make a bad game good, but rather that the inclusion of a gimmick can make a good game better.
I am one of those people who desires the newest gadget. I have a netbook, iPad, MacBook, iPhone, and iPod all sitting on my desk at home. I own all three current generation consoles and most of the older generation consoles. I own a DS Lite, a DSi XL, and now, a 3DS.
Despite a rather weak launch lineup, I decided I wanted a 3DS. (As an aside, who ever heard of a new Nintendo console without a Mario game?!?) Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is coming out for it in June. There will be a new Mario Kart. There will be a Kid Icarus game. There will be new Professor Laytons. And at the very least there was Nintendogs +cats, a game I was excited about because I wanted cats for the first one. So I put my pre-order in.
The first thing was a test of the 3D in Pilotwings Resort. I am terrible at these kinds of games. Star Fox, Nights, and I am sure if I tried it, the original Pilotwings. I can never get the controls down well enough, I always have trouble telling the distances, etc etc. It took me about 10 minutes to find the “sweet” spot for the slider. Mine is about 2/3rds of the way up, the 3D was good, but not so overpowering that I had trouble focusing. Then I ran a course.
It was great. I felt like I was moving through a space. I felt like I could gauge the time I had to adjust for the next ball or hoop. For the first time ever I got every hoop on the whole course. For the first time ever, I felt like I had all the information needed to play these kinds of games.
I played several of the other games and my only conclusion is, this is the way 3d game were meant to be played. Sure, it’s not going to help Metroidvanias or Super Mario Brothers, but Super Mario Galaxy? Oh yeah. Now I can’t wait to see how OoT runs on this. Lego Star Wars showed me how the simple depth made gauging distances and double jumps so much easier. Enemies leapt from ledges and I felt like they were moving through the world towards me in a way they never quite have before. I can’t wait to see what new games do with the mechanic. We have been limited by our ability to give depth perception using art, but now we can do it with tech.
The only complaint I have with the console is the size of the screens. After falling deeply in love with my DS XL, playing on the tiny screens is just annoying to me. May I have a 3DS XL please? Thanks.
It does make a difference, that it is glasses free, but I am sure that over time the tech will get better, and lessen the eye strain (I can still only play for 30-45 minutes, after which I need to take a break). Regardless, my mind can’t help but boggling in wonderment. What I am seeing, what I am playing is MAGIC. It is pure MAGIC and there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me otherwise. We have taken code and rendering blended it with display technology, and created wizardry. How far away from the holodeck are we really? When we can create 3D images without the need of glasses and hold them in the palm of our hand! To feel like I should be able to reach in and grab the mini-fig. To feel like I should be able to pet that Pikmin standing on that card and feel his smooth skin.
I spend my days doing cool stuff, and here, I just sit, marveling at the wonder of the virtual taking spacial shape.