Category Archives: Video Game Reviews

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Tech (Pre)Review – Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the latest Nintendo 3DS game released by Nintendo and designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the hit [Super] Smash Brothers series.

General Review:

  • Graphics
    • Kid Icarus: Uprising has spectacular, immersive graphics which are heightened to their utmost by the extra measure of depth provided by the 3DS.
  • Storyline
    • Simple and humorous, with a few twists and turns to keep things interesting.
  • Music
    • As numerous modern video games, the soundtrack of Kid Icarus is a masterful, orchestral blend which may be enjoyed by even the most discerning listeners.
  • Spiritual & Family
    • The world of Kid Icarus is loosely founded upon Greek mythology.
    • Mention of “empty souls”
    • Similar to Metroid & Zelda in that a battle is being waged against monsters, sometimes humans are involved, such as in one of the early battles. There is however, no gore or impact effects.
  • Gameplay
    • A widespread complaint from left-handed users has been prevalent in discussions of the game and its criticisms. However, being left-handed myself, I find no problem with gameplay, except for a slight takeaway. The left hand controls the circle pad and L-button, while the right hand makes simple movements on the touch screen. Up, down, side-to-side – as this game does not require handwriting, and so long as one may move their hand in the proper direction, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem, only discomfort.

Full-Length Review Coming Soon…

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Nintendo 3DS Update: What It Means

The Nintendo 3DS update has been a most anticipated one, since the system’s launch March 25th 2011. The June 6th update, which was released barely an hour ago, contained a few programs and system tweaks – most importantly, the Nintendo 3DS Shop and Nintendo 3DS Browser.

The Nintendo 3DS Browser is certainly quite impressive, far outclassing its DSi predecessor. As I tap out this post, the browser provides possible words that I may intend to use, much like Google’s suggested search functionality – both checking my spelling and saving valuable time typing, not to mention it is, aside from English, available in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The browser has a sleek design, and easy to navigate features, available even when you’re in the middle of a 3DS game or application. Utilizing the SD card and 3DS camera, upload and download functionalities are also available – allowing users to both share their 3DS pictures online, and download images from anywhere on the web for viewing in their 3DS camera gallery. Not too shabby, huh? Unfortunately, the browser does not support YouTube or any other online video or music viewing service for that matter, as popular rumor had us previously suppose. A sad outcome, yet one that can be looked over in light of the drastically improved browser. Now I can finally make decent WordPress entries, tags and all (upload script isn’t supported however).

The Nintendo 3DS shop, which stands currently under maintenance and inaccessible, features two free-for-download applications: the classic racing game, Excitebike, remastered in 3-D, and a 3D Pokedex. Organization is also slightly improved, with a new set of categories and recommended applications.

Overall, a duely made update.

Gaming in the Third Dimension [3DS Series Finale]

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Nintendo 3DS Logo displayed on 3DS System

The Nintendo 3DS is the latest handheld console released by Nintendo, and it has certainly made it into the limelight – introducing a revolutionary console with 3-D gaming and photography capabilities, promising titles in games (such as Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright), as well as a variety of included applications.

The system has however, sparked quite a bit of controversy over its 3D effects – this controversy does not regard the legitimacy of these effects (as legitimacy has already been established by thousands of “eyewitnesses” [aka gamers]), but rather the alledged harmful effects and ensuing downsides of it. Some owners of the 3DS have reported dizziness and nausea after playing for a short period of time, or even a simple case of having to strain their eyes consistently. Many others, however, have reported no symptoms or complaints whatsoever – jumping into the world of the Nintendo 3DS without a care. More details on 3DS effects and possible solutions for discomfort may be found in issue #001 of my 3DS series.

Various critical reviews highlighted points seen below:

“The 3-D screen is amazing and totally draws you into the games / Once you’ve tried a 3DS for yourself, you’ll be hooked/ …the Nintendo 3DS will blow your mind, and make 3-D gaming a reality for everyone.” -Fox News: Gamer’s Weekly

“Despite its shortcomings, the 3DS is a genuine joy to behold and pleasure to play. Whether you’ll want to shell out for one, or borrow a more affluent friend’s system is another story, however.” –CNN Tech

The Nintendo 3DS requires a hefty price, which isn’t too shocking considering the dramatic changes between the 3DS and previous DS consoles (See: Nintendo DSi vs 3DS for further details). In the United States, the price is set at $250, though many distributors such as Amazon ($25 3DS game credit for select games, as well as trade-in’s), GameStop (bundles and trade-in’s), and Target (5$ gift cards for consumers who purchased 1$ pre-order cards, followed by the 3DS & trade-in’s) have offered perks to lighten the load.

The key to making the 3DS in and of itself worth the big $250 is by using what many critics have referred to as “gimmicks” – many of which aren’t available until an update in May. With this updates, users will be able to begin utilizing the 3-D movies feature on their system, including a Netflix interface – as well as an upgraded 3DS Browser, which may tap into AT&T hotspots and Wi-Fi enabled locations.

The only available “gimmicks” as of April 2011 are the primary features of the Nintendo 3DS – Mii Plaza, AR Games, Nintendo 3DS Sound and some other new features which are explained in detail below.

Your Guide to the Nintendo 3DS: All we’ve discussed & more

OK-Go 3D Music Video: The only available 3D movie until may, which

The first 3D movie clip available on the Nintendo 3DS!

arrived on Nintendo 3DS systems with an update developed in mid-May. The video features trained animals doing a variety of tricks alongside the band – it is only a slight demonstration of the ability of the 3D’s graphics. It certainly quite amusing, and the 3D effect adds a life-like depth to all that is involved. If nothing else, its a quaint little music video for anyone who enjoys watching dogs doing silly tricks.

Activity Log: This app made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS, included with

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Making it a healthy video game experience! ...right.

other preinstalled applications – no update required! With it, you can monitor the steps you take each day, and earn rewards called Play Coins! That is, if you take your 3DS wherever you go (which is why 3DS cases and mini backpacks are invaluable for on the go). You may earn a total of ten play coins a day, one for every hundred steps you make – which really isn’t too hard! Play coins are spent by hiring warriors at Mii Plaza (as well as purchasing puzzle pieces), unlocking additional mini-games and mini-apps on AR Games, and possibly on additional applications that appear with future updates (Read my Activity Log review for more details on this application!). Have to include some incentive to exercise after all that gaming! For more information on Mii Plaza, keep reading!

Mii Creator & Mii Plaza: For Nintendo Wii owners, Mii should be nothing

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An app that keeps on giving, by utilizing Street Pass.

new. Now the wonderful world of Mii is available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS! Take a picture of yourself, choose a few options, and let the Mii creator figure out the rest! Or develop everything manually yourself. Once your Mii avatar is created, you can participate in the preinstalled 3DS game, Mii Plaza.Here you may gather other Mii’s into your plaza via street pass, and trade your Mii with others through Street Pass as well – think of it as the New York Stock Exchange, except with Mii’s… and no fee’s… okay, maybe not like the NYSE. You may further spread the joy

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QR Code for Mii!

of Mii with friends by a share feature available under the QR Code menu. Simply save your Mii as a QR Code, and you share let your friends bask in the coolness of their very own copy of a Mii of your choosing (provides the opportunity of trading Mii’s, or the development of Mii artists who provide custom made Mii’s for people to use). See the QR Code of one of my Mii’s at the right – simply select the QR Code menu from your 3DS, tap “Scan QR Code,” and place the image with your 3DS’s focus (click on the image for full size) – there’s Mii!

Although Mii trading can be fun, there’s another feature, or rather features, even better! Once you’ve collected enough Mii’s via StreetPass, you can participate in the puzzle game (through which you collect puzzle pieces from play tokens and Mii’s which have visited your plaza)- or my favorite, Find Mii.

Find Miiis a mini-game within a mini-game, with somewhat of a story to

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A Hero Emerges!

go along with it. Your Mii – which you worked so hard to create, has been kidnapped! Hire heroes with Play Coins (coins earned from jogging/walking with your Nintendo 3ds – while in sleep mode,up to 10 per day. Earn one every 100 steps) to fight off the ghosts holding your Mii, or invite visiting Mii’s from your plaza to join the fight! As hired heroes will be your primary asset in this game, you should no doubt look into their abilities! Each colored hero (shirt color) has a different power, such

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Hero attack fails!

as – purple for poison, white for light, green for strength, etc. As well as special abilities, heroes are also organized into ranks – Rank 1 & 2. Rank 2 are the most powerful, and should be saved for last. Rank 1 heroes should be used for magic and risky attacks. As a sound note of strategy, I’d recommend using a purple warrior immediately when you begin your battle, to navigate to one, simply select “Next Hero!” Then use his poison magic! This will damage the ghosts each turn during the fight – very handy. Using a brown hero’s magic is also something to consider, by using its “Strength” magic, you can “level up” the warrior immediately after the brown Hero. Another tip! Never attack an armored ghost with the sword of a Level 1 Hero, otherwise the attack with simply bounce off the armor, instead use

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Find Mii Treasure Chest

magic or level up your heroes! Save up your play coins for two days and you’ll have the maximum number of 10 warriors which you may control. More heroes means more variety, so I’d recommend this approach! At the end of every few levels, your hero will discover a treasure chest which contains an item for your Mii! This item may be equipped on the main page of the Mii Plaza application – simply move your cursor onto your Mii, select it, then visit Mii Settings, from there it’s as easy as choosing select hat going customization crazy!

There’s dozens of hats to collect, all of them [from Find Mii I] are listed below (you’ll need to play the game through twice through to earn them all. Then in Find Mii II, you will have to play it through multiple times as well to earn the additional hats. This list is “obtaining comprehensiveness” in regards to Find Mii 2 [II], and will be updated until the last hat is achieved [in chronological order]):

  • Mario Hat
  • Luigi’s Cap
  • ???
  • ???
  • Yoshi Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Toad Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Bowser Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Warp Pipe Hat
  • ???
  • Red Pikmin Hat
  • Blue Pikmin Hat
  • Yellow Pikmin Hat
  • Link’s Cap
  • ???
  • Epona Hat
  • Samus’s Helment
  • Metroid Hat
  • Kirby Hat
  • Donkey Kong Hat
  • Arwing Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Lacy Headband
  • ???
  • Floral Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Pirate Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Panda Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Cat Hat
  • Dog Ears
  • Bunny Ears
  • Regal Crown (Finish  Find Mii I 1-time through)
  • Prince’s Crown (Finish  Find Mii II 1-time through)
  • ??? (Princess’ Crown)
  • Ultimate Helmet (Finish  Find Mii I 2-times through)
  • ???
  • ???
BEST TIP: If you have a pink warrior, use their magic at the beginning of the battle – all your warriors will suddenly become much more powerful (x2 [4/5-pt. attack], x5 [10/11-pt. attack], and greater attacks [use a light blue warrior to freeze the ghost/s, then try upgrading a lvl. 2 warrior to lvl. 4 with a green warrior while the pink and blue magic is in effect,  you’ll be able to destroy even powerful enemies like the Ultimate Ghost quickly) UPDATE: In Find Mii II, pair the pink & green warrior tip with the strengthen potion (20 play coins) and teams to have the ultimate combo!

AR Games: The Augmented Reality Games feature could have been marketed

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The famous AR Games mascot!

as a separate video game entirely – featuring six primary applications and additional bonus applications, which are unlocked after each of the primary are engaged and completed. Face against powerful bosses, test your skill in a game of AR golf (AR Shoot), make Mario a model with Star Picks, or unleash your creative side with AR Graffiti – so many possibilities, so little time. When I first got my hands on the 3DS, AR Games was my favorite app, though after a while the excitement tends to die down. Its a great game for displaying the capabilities of the 3DS system, and unlocks new possibilities with the 3DS Camera.

Primary Applications:

  • Graffiti:In graffiti, users may scribble on virtually any environment.
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    AR Games Shooting Gallery

    Try placing your AR Card on a table and use the rainbow pen to liven things up, or even hand it over to a friend, and cover them in virtual dog prints!

  • Star Picks: Set your favorite video game characters in any environment, then snap a pic with the integrated 3DS camera feature! For example, check out my 3DS Photography post!
  • Mii Picks: Same as Star Picks, though this time with your own personal Mii!
  • AR Shot: Think pool, except in a 3D environment with an ever-
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    Catching the elusive dragon of AR Fishing earns you an extra 200 points! And the satisfaction of completing another mini game.

    changing landscape! …and a monster that makes an appearance in just about every AR Game (Archery & Fishing).

  • Archery: Bombs… er, darts away! Navigate your console around the 3D environment locating and firing upon every target you see. As a bonus, try your hand at slaying a dragon!
  • Fishing: Nothing like good old fishing! Whenever you catch a fish, it’ll be added to your “collection,” along with its name and point value. One you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find yourself fishing for sea dragons!

Nintendo 3DS Sound: For players familiar with the Nintendo DSi, they may

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With additional features, such as the "Shuffle All" and "Parakeets Pick of the Day" feature - if youre a music fan, this is sure to be one of your favorite applications.

find all the old features of DSi Sound and many new additions! Now you can organize your music into individual play lists, shuffle your music, let your 3D parakeet companion pick a song for the day, and more!

Nintendo 3DS Camera: With all the fun features of the Nintendo DSi camera comes the 3DS camera! Now with the ability to take 3-D photography, and linked to dozens of applications such as AR Games, this app dominates its predecessor!
Face Raiders: Face Raiders is another fun, interactive game, like that of AR Games. This time, however, instead of playing with imaginary objects, you can take pictures of friends and family and fit them into a cozy battle helmet. Players may be further entertained by blasting the 3-dimensional likeness of the photographed person (or objects! I took a shot of a shampoo bottle logo and had a fairly interesting result… refer to the second screenshot for details.) into oblivion in the Face Raiders mini-game, which has been further brought to life with various animations and moments of maniacal laughter.

Nintendo DSi vs 3DS: How does it match up?


Nintendo DSi
Image via Wikipedia
Flipnote Studio logo Refernces Previous logo: ...
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0
Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS features (as Wikipedia words most technically) “push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots,” and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

The Nintendo 3DS Update

…has been a most anticipated one, since the system’s launch March 25th 2011. The June 6th update, which was released barely an hour ago, contained a few programs and system tweaks – most importantly, the Nintendo 3DS Shop and Nintendo 3DS Browser.

The Nintendo 3DS Browser is certainly quite impressive, far outclassing its DSi predecessor. As I tap out this post, the browser provides possible words that I may intend to use, much like Google’s suggested search functionality – both checking my spelling and saving valuable time typing, not to mention it is, aside from English, available in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The browser has a sleek design, and easy to navigate features, available even when you’re in the middle of a 3DS game or application. Utilizing the SD card and 3DS camera, upload and download functionalities are also available – allowing users to both share their 3DS pictures online, and download images from anywhere on the web for viewing in their 3DS camera gallery. Not too shabby, huh? Unfortunately, the browser does not support YouTube or any other online video or music viewing service for that matter, as popular rumor had us previously suppose. A sad outcome, yet one that can be looked over in light of the drastically improved browser. Now I can finally make decent WordPress entries, tags and all (upload script isn’t supported however).

The Nintendo 3DS shop, which stands currently under maintenance and inaccessible, features two free-for-download applications: a classic 3D racing game, and a 3D Pokedex. Organization is also slightly

Overall, a duely made update.

Check the Adventure Writer Blog for constant updates on the system! For all my 3DS posts so far, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts have been added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Questions & Answers

Is it fairly light? And is the 3D toggle really as much of an eye-sore as people have said?

The 3DS is much bulkier, which goes to say heavier, than previous DS systems. As one BBC reporter describes it, “it’s build like a rock!”  Although it isn’t a tremendous weight, the difference is evident – so no, not fairly light at all! And yes, I would say the 3D toggle is quite an eye-sore. Imagine focusing and refocusing binoculars over and over again – a bit disorienting? Same with the 3DS. If you want to switch from 2-D to 3-D instantly, I suggest closing your eyes, moving the toggle to maximum, then opening your eyes and look at the 3DS straight on – works like a charm.

Submit your own question in the comments below and I’ll answer it here!

Activity Log (3DS Series #006)

Activity Log made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS, included with other preinstalled applications. With this application you can monitor the steps you take each day, and earn rewards called Play Coins! That is, if you take your 3DS wherever you go (which is why 3DS cases and mini backpacks are invaluable for on the go). You may earn a total of ten play coins a day, one for every hundred steps you make – which really isn’t too hard! Play coins are spent by hiring warriors at Mii Plaza (as well as purchasing puzzle pieces), unlocking additional mini-games and mini-apps on AR Games, and possibly on additional applications that appear with future updates. Have to include some incentive to exercise after all that gaming!

As well as monitoring the steps you take each day, Activity Log also keeps track of every game and application you ever play on your 3DS, as well as your Play Times for that game or app, and other little observations such as Times Played, Average Play Times, First Played [Date], and Last Played [Date], in a mini virtual book called your Software Library.

If you’re interested in how your games rank, accumulating all the time you’ve spent on your Nintendo 3DS, then the Ranking tab in the Software Library is for you!

My top applications are…

  1. Nintendo 3DS Sound
  2. AR Games
  3. StreetPass Mii Plaza
  4. System Settings (constantly checking for updates!)
  5. White Knuckles

It’s a World of Mii (3DS Series #003)

For Nintendo Wii owners, Mii should be nothing new. Now the wonderful

Mii screenshot taken with Nintendo 3DS Camera.

world of Mii will be available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS! Take a picture of yourself, choose a few options, and let the Mii creator figure out the rest! Or develop everything manually yourself. Once your Mii avatar is created, you can participate in the preinstalled 3DS game, Mii Plaza. Here you may gather other Mii’s into your plaza via street pass, and trade your Mii with others through the same way. Once you’ve collected enough Mii’s, you can participate in the puzzle game (through which you collect puzzle pieces from play tokens and Mii’s which have visited your plaza)- or my favorite, Find Mii.

Find Mii is a mini-game within a mini-game, with somewhat of a story to go along with it. Your Mii – which you worked so hard to create, has been kidnapped! Hire warriors with Play Coins (coins earned from jogging/walking with your Nintendo 3ds – while in sleep mode, up to 10 per day. Earn one every 100 steps) to fight off the ghosts holding your Mii, or invite visiting Mii’s from your plaza to join the fight! As hired warriors will be your primary asset in this game, you should no doubt look into their abilities! Each colored warrior (shirt color) has a different power, such as – purple for poison, white for light, green for strength, etc. As well as special abilities, warriors are also organized into rank – Rank 1 & 2. Rank 2 are the most powerful, and should be saved for last. Rank 1 warriors should be used for magic and risky attacks. As a sound note of strategy, I’d recommend using a purple warrior immediately when you begin your battle, to navigate to one, simply select “Next Warrior.” Then use his poison magic! This will damage the ghosts each turn during the fight – very handy. Save up your play coins for two days and you’ll have the maximum number of 10 warriors which you may control. More warriors means more variety, so I’d recommend this approach!

Top Applications (3DS Series #002)

With the speedy arrival of the Nintendo 3DS comes a fairly lengthy wait-time

Mii!

It's Mii! One of the Mii's I've created, and the one I primarily use! This photograph was taken using one of AR Games many features! Have fun interacting with the 3D World, but don't forget the ever-present, real-world!

for games, as well as features. The 3DS Web Browser is not yet available, relying on a future update to begin operation. That leaves users with the choice of preinstalled applications, and whatever else comes along with the next update – which goes to say, update your system regularly!

How to Update your 3DS

To update your system, first turn on the 3DS, via the bottom right-hand power button. On the menu, use your stylus or control + pad to navigate to the wrench icon called System Settings. Select it by pressing the “A” button, or simply tapping the icon with your stylus. From the System settings menu, tap the other Other Settings icon. Now that you’re on the Other Settings menu, simply tap the right arrow navigator with your stylus, until you see the System Update option on the fourth tab – or simply click the number four at the top of the touch screen. Tap System Update, and then tap “OK.” If you agree to the Terms and Conditions listed, select I Accept. Otherwise, if you cannot agree to the terms, select I Decline, and the update process will be cancelled. Now tap okay, and leave the rest to your 3DS system, until another “OK” prompt appears. Tap “OK” and your system will automatically restart, no other action is require on your part to return to the Main Menu.

Out of all the applications currently available, I already have my favorites. Practically acting as stand-alone games themselves, these apps are sure to keep 3DS users busy until their copy of Street Fighter, Lego Star Wars III, and whatnot arrive.

Adventure Writer’s Top 5 3DS Applications

(All Free & Included)

  1. AR Games: The Augmented Reality Games feature could have been marketed as a separate video game entirely, with its vast selection of primary features, and subfeatures.
  2. Mii Plaza: A fun, street-pass based application with an entertaining “Find Mii” MMORPG.
  3. Face Raiders: Take a picture of yourself, friends, whoever! And let the fun begin. The picture will instantly find itself blasted into the 3rd Dimension and snugly fit into a battle helmet. Players may be further entertained by blasting the 3-dimensional likeness of the photographed person into oblivion in the Face Raiders mini-game, which has been further brought to life with various animations and moments of maniacal laughter.
  4. Nintendo 3DS Sound: For players familiar with the Nintendo DSi, they may find all the old features of DSi Sound and many new additions! Now you can organize your music into individual play lists, shuffle your music, let your 3D parakeet companion pick a song for the day, and more!
  5. Nintendo 3DS Camera: With all the fun features of the Nintendo DSi camera comes the 3DS camera! Now with the ability to take 3-D photography, and linked to dozens of applications such as AR Games, this app dominates its predecessor!
  • For complete details on all these applications and more, continue reading the Adventure Writer Blog for daily posts and reviews!

The Nintendo 3DS (3DS Series #001)

Welcome to the Nintendo 3DS Series! Your source for in-depth information on the Nintendo 3DS!

Introduction: An Instant Hit

The Nintendo 3DS, released yesterday for North America, has already found its

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

way into many homes in Japan, Europe, and some lucky pre-order’s that were made before the release date. This latest system, abounding with features, is already a hit, and it’s select video games are at the top of Amazon’s bestsellers in their respective categories. My 3DS shipment arrived earlier today, and I must say, I’m thoroughly impressed, having finally been able to experience the proposed 3-D gameplay for myself. The one question I have wondered, as well as many others, is the legitimacy of the systems 3-D capabilities.

Experiencing 3-Dimensional Graphics

The key to the Nintendo 3Ds’ graphics is it’s depth slider. As you raise the slider upwards, the depth increases, until – at it’s peak, you experience the graphics as they were meant to be seen. Everything, from it’s menu to any of it’s menu features, is in 3D – which may be overwhelming to a first time player.

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The whole package! Nintendo 3DS and AR Game Cards, though there’s more than meets the eye…

It’s highly suggested that you start off with 2-D and slowly move up as you go, letting your eyes adjust. It’s like waking up with 3-D glasses on during an action-packed 3-D movie (which someone has placed you in, from your bed to the theater) and the first thing you look at is the screen – you’ll be heavily disoriented. Move the system an arms length away from your sight and work from there – even standing with it until you feel comfortable would be an option. It takes time to adjust to the graphics, but when you’re comfortable with it, the results are astounding. The Nintendo 3DS truly does let its players experience 3D without glasses, with the same exact same effect as a 3-D movie (debatably, even greater). After playing the game a second time, hours later, my eyes have adjusted to the graphics quite well, without any discomfort whatsoever.

If the above tips don’t work for you, then an alternative method may prove more effective. When you get the system, ensure that the 3D depth slider is raised as far up as it may go – providing the greatest level of depth. In my own case, I discovered the previous method to work quite well, but become a bit disoriented when I adjusted the depth slider. Either utilize the full 3-D effect, or switch to 2-D, the middle is quite pointless and ineffective.

Next on the 3DS Series…

Applications! Get an inside look at all the games and apps available on the system the moment you buy it!

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Graphic by Adventure Writer, made using the Nintendo 3DS AR Games App.

29 Days till’ 3DS Release

A 3D projection of an 8-cell performing a doub...

Image via Wikipedia

If you don’t know about the Nintendo 3DS, but tend to like 3-Dimensional graphics, video games, and films, augmented reality games, 3-D photography, photo manipulation, graphics design, high-resolution graphics displays, and more… you certainly need to read up on it. Luckily there’s an overview of the 3DS on the Adventure Writer Blog, which you can read here.

Estimated shortly after March 27th, there should be a plethora of 3DS-related reviews and overviews on the AW Blog – along with a look at some 3-D Photography produced from the system.

Unfortunately the 3DS will cost $250, which is a hundred more  dollars than many of it’s predecessors – luckily there’s a variety of trade-in offers available.

Lego Universe Series: Introduction

LEGO Universe Make a Maelstrom infected Monste...

Image by Bricknave via Flickr

To kick off my MMORPG reviews, I’ve developed an organized system with which to categorize them… by making categories as usual. To view any of my Lego Universe posts, simply click on the Lego Universe Series category (among the other categories) on the right sidebar of my blog.

Lego Universe has certainly proved to be a surprising experience. Each aspect of gameplay is a mystery in itself, proving sometimes to be more fun than the task at hand. It is however, quite concentrated on Lego fans. If you hold a sentiment of distaste toward Lego PC games on a typical basis, then LU certainly won’t be much different in your sight. However, if you indeed meddle in such games as Lego Star Wars, and find yourself impressed by the childlike magic and wonder of the worlds within, then I would certainly recommend this medium as a much more “daring” alternative.

OBJECTION!: Ace Attorney Series Review

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney boxart for the No...

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Capcom first introduced the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series with its first release on October 11, 2001. [1] Although it is a popular series, it does not yet have the widespread popularity that similar series such as Mega-Man, or Zelda have been able to attain.

The series has showed great prosperity however, even having a shortage during one of the North American releases due to such an unexpectedly high demand. [2]

The series certainly features an interesting cast of characters, including a coffee addict named Godot who always finds a way to reference coffee to all of life’s situations.

Caffè latte as being served in Oslo

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“…Add the pureness of milk to the perfect, clear darkness of coffee. Stir.That is the state of the witness’s mind right now – a cup of café au lait Mr. Trite’s words are the milk and you are the spoon, Your Honor.” -Godot

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribu...

Image via Wikipedia - Characters from Left-to-Right: Godot, Mia Fey, Phoenix Wright, Maya Fey

The first half of the series follows the life of a novice lawyer by the name of Phoenix Wright. After the death of his mentor Mia Fey, Mr. Wright undergoes tremendous character development and his desire for justice grows stronger. His goal is to protect those who are innocent – and most of all, to uncover the truth. To do this he takes up a position as a defense attorney, conducting detective-like investigations. This leads him into a variety of cases, and into an association with his mentor’s daughter, Maya Fey: a fun-loving, childish, 18-19 year old girl, who becomes his assistant. As the story progresses, so too does the complexities of it’s mysteries and the addition of characters. Sherlock Holmes related-situations and references (in both content, and dramatic intellectual battles) also tend to sprout up throughout the series, providing a somewhat familiar environment, with the same appealing suspense and deductive reasoning. There is however, one thing Sherlock Holmes did not do – and that is engage in courtroom proceedings. A majority of the games consist of dramatic courtroom battles, with finger-pointing galore and the yelling of “OBJECTION!” and “TAKE THAT!” (for which the series has been popularized as well as parodied).

Soon we are introduced to Miles Edgeworth, the childhood friend and rival to Phoenix Wright. It becomes evident that he will play an important part in the development of the series’ plot and continuation, as much “screen-time” is dedicated to his personal development. Edgeworth is most likely one of the top fan-favorites, with his higher-than-thou bearing, restrained emotions, and cold intellectual glares – yet bursts of kindness, humility, and realization of truth. Most likely due to his popularity, another official series, entitled Ace Attorney Investigations, has been developed with Edgeworth as its chief protagonist. As opposed to the original Ace Attorney Series, less or virtually no time is spent in courtroom battles, with a primary focus on crime scene investigations – it also holds a greater resemblance to Sherlock Holmes.

List of characters in the Ace Attorney series

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Game play throughout the series is quite consistent, with definitive similarities such as:

→ Cross-Examinations: Cross examinations are typically the interrogation of a witness – typically inquiring of their testimony regarding the given crime, and revealing any inconsistencies with solid proof. Cross Examinations prove to be major road blocks in both series and allow for much progress to be made when solved.
And…
General Investigation: During a general investigation of the crime scenes, Miles Edgeworth and Phoenix Wright typically act the part of a CSI investigator (usually getting in the way of the official investigators – or in the case of Miles Edgeworth, using them to gather evidence), checking the scene for clues, obtaining an autopsy for whoever seems to be in charge, a bit of randomness here and there, and so on. This takes up quite a bit of game time. When you find a clue or obtain a particularly noteworthy testimony, it is added to the Court Record or your personal organizer, from which you may present proof the courts or identify the lies in a witnesses’ testimony.

Content-wise, the series is generally rated T for Teen, due to the graphic nature of the crimes entailed (which are typically murder). There is however, never any intense violence, as everything is handled with an abundance of ambiguity. For example, at the beginning of each case (there are around 4+ cases per game, which are connected at the end to one focal point) the crime which will form the basis of the plot will be displayed in the form of a simple animation sequence. To show that someone has been “disposed of” there may be a foreboding pool of crimson. The fact that you typically review the site of the autopsy also brings about a plethora of disturbing images which are unfit for young children. In the series however, most of these sequences are brief, and the graphic nature quite minimal – though some of the installments are of differing extremities than that of the others. Generally content is made up of problem solving testimonies, and court room battles.

Christian Perspective

Although the violence in minimal, there is another aspect of the series which may prove highly controversial to Christians – which is that of conflicting beliefs. There is some talk of “Spirit Channeling” in around two of the games, which is to be taken with a very hefty grain of salt. Later installments of the series prove to have much less, if any, of this content and are highly recommended over the first few.

Upcoming Games :[34]

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Image via Wikipedia - The Original, to Which will be the Sequel!

→ Ace Attorney Investigations 2

[for the DS/DSi/3DS]: The first installment was more than hoped for, and I hope to say the same of it’s sequel! Starring the fan-famous Miles Edgeworth, this series is composed most brilliantly with solid storylines, amusing and complimentary soundtracks, and a host of uniquely developed characters. A sample of the game is available to play, though it is in Japanese, it provides some general insight of what the game will look like (though the North American version is most likely subject to revision), you may find the sample at the Official Site. (North American Release: TBA 2011).

Professor layton ace attorney-art

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Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney [3DS]:

The ultimate showdown! Puzzle Master Professor Layton meets Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright! This dynamic duo must face off against the dastardly Story Teller (Ed. Just strikes fear into your heart, doesn’t it?) who is evil for some reason… unknown to some of even the most informed gamers. With this blockbuster-game is accompanied a very impressive soundtrack, and rich plot. Two of the most famous soundtracks may be heard at the Official Site, which is in the form of a virtual book. Also available is an animated trailer for the game and some screen shots (North American Release: TBA 2011).