Reliving the Nintendo 3DS launch

When the Nintendo 3DS released I was more focused on playing the guitar than playing actual video games. And, if it wasn’t for my brother getting one for his birthday I would’ve missed it completely.

Despite getting one, I remember that he didn’t buy any of the games available at launch. The first game he got was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and that was months after the initial release of the console.


Until then he only played Nintendo DS games he already owned and GBA games from the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program.


This made me wonder if there were no games at release or if they were all so unappealing that they weren’t worth anyone’s time and money.


After some searching, I found out there were around 17 games available at launch in Europe but all of them combined resulted in a very underwhelming release for the Nintendo 3DS. 


Nintendo had the audacity to release a console without any of its major franchises like Mario, Zelda, or even Pokémon, leaving fans to choose between Nintendogs and SteelDivers.


The rest of the lineup was full of third-party games and most of them were disappointing as well.


Despite all this, I still wanted to know what it’d feel like to have and play a 3DS at launch so I bought a third-party game and a first-party one from the games available at release.


And, after pondering a lot I ended up buying Street Fighter IV and SteelDivers. Then, for the next days, I played nothing but these two.



Street Fighter IV was the safest choice since I used to play it a lot on PC, meaning I knew I was guaranteed to have some fun.


However, after a day of playing just the arcade mode, I was getting bored so I went online to see if I could play some matches. And, surprisingly enough I found people to play with!


Sometimes I had to wait a couple of minutes but I always found someone at any time of the day. Also, I’d like to apologize to anyone that might’ve been a victim of my Hadoken spam, but please understand that it’s not my fault we can map specials to the touchscreen. 


After my hands were sore from playing Street Fighter IV I’d chill a bit with Steel Diver, and despite being a short game it surprised me a lot.


I wasn’t expecting to have this much fun piloting a submarine through rocky underwater landscapes while blasting enemy submarines. It’s too bad it didn’t have an online mode to play with friends since the single-player campaign was too short.


You can repeat the levels with different submarines but eventually, everything starts to get repetitive and boring. Luckily for SteelDivers fans, a free-to-play game was released which allowed them to play online with their friends, still, I think this should’ve been a feature in the main game. 


So, had I gotten the 3DS with these two games I’d be somewhat satisfied. Street Fighter would be enough to entertain me for months with the online mode but I’d only play Steel Diver for about a week and then shelve it.


Honestly, I now understand why my brother waited about almost 3 months to buy a first-party.

Fortunately, things got better and by the time I got my hands on my own Nintendo 2DS there were dozens of great games to choose from, and today the Nintendo 3DS line has become my favorite line of handhelds of all time.


It really showed that it’s not how you start but how you finish, however, it wouldn’t have hurt having a couple more Nintendo games at launch!


Did you get a Nintendo 3DS at launch? If so which games did you get? Let me know!

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Gamer By Mistake

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I'm an Outsystems Developer from Portugal and Gamer By Mistake has been my little corner on the internet since 2017.

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