EB Expo: 3DS lineup impressions – 2DS, Pokemon X & Y, Azran Legacies, Indies
Nintendo’s Wii U showing at the EB Expo may have been a little weak but the 3DS side of things wasn’t, Nintendo’s booth was even adorned with the system.
All three of the Vooks team have impressions for you from the show, Billy went hands on with the Nintendo 2DS, Josh went hands on with Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies. While we haven’t got our hands on a review copy of Pokemon X and Y yet both Josh and Troy got to go hands on with a demo – so we’re half way there for you at least.
We also made sure to check out Nnooo and the other indie offerings for Wii U and 3DS.
Did you go hands on with any of the below? Let us know!
Billy: I had the opportunity to hold Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS revision; the Nintendo 2DS – and boy does it feel nice. The 2DS comprises of a slate like device with no clamshell function to close the lid. The sleep function serves a different purpose with a sleep switch located under the power button. This hard switch simulates closing the lid on a normal 3DS and is used to gather StreetPasses and conserve battery if not in use. I was not able to test the sound of the unit due to the environment, even though it only has one speaker, just to reiterate: the 2DS supports stereo sound only with headphones.
The shoulder buttons on the 2DS have improved (based on my experience on a normal 3DS), they feel like the Wii U GamePad’s L and R buttons. They are grooved in a bit so that your fingers can sit flush on the buttons for precision. The locations of the controls and face buttons sit closer to the top screen, which provides a better feeling that you are a part of the action with the top screen. It took a bit of getting used to; the controls are so high up the unit! But this is good, very spacious and doesn’t cramp your style.
Overall, even though the Nintendo 2DS removed the 3D aspect and redesigned it in a way that you can’t put it in your pocket; the 2DS still retains most (if not, all) of the basic features to play 3DS games and provides a more attractive price point to enter the 3DS’s vast library of games. Being released on the same day as Pokemon X and Y, these will sell like hotcakes – I preordered mine already!
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies
Josh: Professor Layton games are the kind of game that sounds incredibly boring yet somehow manages to be really engaging and enjoyable. I’d never sit down and try to solve books of logic puzzles like those in the game, but tie them all together with an interesting plot and I’ll solve as many as I can! The demo I got to play was really short, but featured a puzzle and a bit of investigation in a small area of the game world.
I haven’t played Miracle Mask yet (the other 3DS Layton game), so this was my first time seeing the 3D character models in action. They look lovely, and manage to replicate the charm of the sprites the series had used previously. The game doesn’t seem to have gotten any easier – I got stumped on the very first puzzle and felt like a bit of a dunce. If you’re a fan of mystery stories or logic puzzles then the Layton games are definitely worth checking out.
Pokemon X and Y
Troy: After wandering around after Ubisoft, I waited for the Nintendo booth to open, with the highest priority being the Pokemon X and Y demo. The first thing that struck me was the very subtle cel-shaded style, before confirming that, yes, there is no 3D effect in the overworld.
I unfortunately noticed a slight frame rate drop when the 3D effect was in use during a battle, but I hope this was limited to the demo. I continued through to the part where Professor Sycamore lends you a Mewtwo to try out Mega Evolutions. It was worth noting that activating a Mega Evolution doesn’t use up the whole turn. You touch the Mega Evolution button the fight screen, and then choose an attack like normal. The evolution will take place, then the attack, all at once.
Josh: When I heard that the new Pokemon games were going to be demoed, I was a little confused as Pokemon games aren’t games that you can get a feel for in a couple of minutes – the charm comes from raising your own Pokemon from scratch and taking a journey with them. The demo did its best though to show off the games’ new features though. The most obvious one was the shift to a full 3D overworld and battle screen.
The models look lovely, and battles feel much more lively, however there did appear to be some slight framerate drops in battle. The focus of the demo was on the new Fairy-type, showcased by the Sylveon in your party, and on Mega Evolutions. Sylveon’s Fairy move was useful in taking down Gabite, which would normally be a formidable foe in the early-game. At the end of the demo, Professor Sycamore haphazardly hands you a Mewtwo to test against his powerful team, in order to show off its Y-version Mega Evolution.
While a preset battle intended to make you feel powerful isn’t a good judge of a Pokemon’s abilities, the Mega Evolution did make a noticeable difference to Mewtwo’s strength. The overworld looks so much better with its redesign, especially when you see Pokemon running around outside of their trainer’s Pokeballs. Seeing Marill waddle around was adorable. Also in the demo (though I’m not sure if I was meant to know it was there or not) was the PokemonAmie minigame, which is essentially Nintendogs but with your Pokemon. As there was no tutorial I had no idea what any of the functions did, but I got to pat my Chespin and see him smile and dance, so I’m instantly declaring this GOTY. But seriously though, PokemonAmie will be a great addition for younger players who will get to experience a new level of interaction with their favourite Pokemon.
Nnooo and Indie showcase
Troy: After all that noise, I headed straight over to the indie developers’ section, more specifically to Nnooo’s little nook.
First, I tried out was Cubemen 2, by 3 Sprockets. The demo I played was a sort of multiplayer tower defense game, with up to 6 players. The game is also cross platform multiplayer, so you can play with others on iOS or PC, the first of it’s kind on a Nintendo platform to do so! While there were many other gametypes to try out, the one I liked the most involved using your troops to paint the field your colour, while up to 5 other players do the same. I’d love to see how chaotic this could be!
Last, but not least, is Nnooo’s own game, Blast ‘Em Bunnies. It was great to see how much of a crowd gathered for this one! While the game was shown on the PS4, it was still a good way to see what the game involved, and the gorgeous art style. You basically control a gun turret, shooting vegetables of all sorts, like a chilli seed machine gun, or turnip mortars. Think like a horde mode game, but with all sorts of adorable bunnies, and a healthy arsenal. If all goes well, we’ll have this game on the 3DS next year.