When it comes to handheld video gaming, Nintendo has the market on lock down. The 3DS, and the newly released 2DS (which we just recently reviewed), are one of the most robust handhelds ever made. While it might lack the pure power of the PlayStation Vita, it more than makes up for it with the quality and quantity of games available.
Over the course of 2013, some fantastic games have hit the market, and if you fancy yourself a gamer, you really should give each one of them a play, because they are downright fantastic.
Pokemon X & Y
For some gamers, Pokemon carries this stigma of being a game that is just for kids. While Game Freaks clearly develops the game with kids in mind, it’s still a fantastic example of a turn-based RPG, packed with an incredible amount of depth for gamers who are willing to really dig in. The latest games make some of the biggest changes we’ve seen to the franchise with 3D polygons instead of sprites, a new type of Pokemon, improvements to XP sharing, a better online system, and so much more. Even if you’ve written Pokemon off in the past, you should really give this game a go, as it’s downright incredible.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing is one of those games that players either love or hate. Some say it’s the perfect game to come in and play for a few minutes before you move on with your day, others say that managing your little town feels more like work than gaming. If you come down on the first side, or have never played an Animal Crossing game at all, this is the perfect one to start with. It doesn’t change the formula too much, but it does add enough to content to make it worth playing even for veterans of the series. It’s also a great value, as it’s the kind of game you can come back to over and over again, because there really is no way to beat the game.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Luigi’s Mansion was one of those sleeper hits from the Gamecube, and it’s a game we’ve all been hoping to a sequel for since then. Well, Nintendo finally delivered, and even if it’s a handheld version instead of the home console we were looking for, it’s still awesome. It doesn’t do much to push the game forward from the original, but with so much time passing, it feels like an entirely new experience; even if it’s still mostly Luigi wandering around capturing ghosts with his vacuum cleaner. It’s just good old fashioned fun, and that’s really all you can ask for!
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
We actually reviewed the PC version of this game, and the DS version is quite similar. Like all Scribblenauts games, you are faced with a puzzle, and in order to solve it, you need to write anything you can think of to make it appear. So if there is something in a tree, you might write ladder so you could climb up. The difference with this one, as the name implies, is the introduction of DC superheroes and villains, which makes the game even cooler than it already was. Whether adult or child, this is a fun game that will get your brain juices flowing!
This is a brilliant platformer that features an interesting digging mechanic where the player hacks his or her own path through the ground using their trust pickaxe. The two gameplay mechanics combine into something truly special, and it’s a game that really needs to be experienced to be understood. The levels are randomly generated, which brings nearly eliminated replay value. It’s easily one of the best handheld games released in 2013, and since it’s a downloadable game, it only costs $8.99, a tiny price to pay for a game this good.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Monster Hunter is such a deep game, it’s hard to believe it’s available on a portable platform. At its core it’s a role-playing game, but instead of a turn-based combat system, a skill and timing system is used. It takes a great deal of practice, and the game has a big learning curve, but once you get it down, you will be out there killing the biggest and baddest monsters with your friends, and you’ll be having a blast doing it.
If you are looking for some good games to play as you take those long road trips to see family over the holidays, these games have you covered. Whether you like collecting little monsters or platforming, there’s a game here for you.
What are your favorite Nintendo 3DS games released so far this year? Hit the comments section and let us know!