3DS Exclusive Highlights (Part 1)

Part 1 because I’m still working my way through my backlog.

As some may already know, the 3DS eShop is closing in March 2023 (which quite frankly sort of sucks and is not a very good thing in my opinion but that’s a whole other conversation to be had). While it will still be possible to play 3DS games via physical cartridge, it will no longer be possible to buy games digitally. I know a lot of people still have a preference for physicals, which is fair, but when a physical copy costs 87 bucks, I’m gonna go digital.

Anyway, before the store closes, I wanted to highlight and casually shill my favorite exclusives, or at the very least, games that have not been ported to another accessible platform. Though, I’ll still mention games I like that aren’t exclusives too.

This list is un-ranked (order of list does not matter).

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Okay let’s just get Pokemon out of the way first. I know I tend to trash on Pokemon a lot, but I have to admit that I did enjoy playing through Omega Ruby. Out of the seven Pokemon regions I’ve played through, I think Hoenn is one of my favorites to explore. Sure you can call it nostalgia goggles (and you’d probably be right) but despite all the “too much water” memes, I think there’s a lot of really neat places in Hoenn. There’s a city full of tree houses, a futuristic looking city, town on logs in the ocean, volcano based cities, etc.

Anyway, I had a blast going through Hoenn again with the QOL and improved mechanics of the newer games. I find that Hoenn has a decent selection of Pokemon too, and the evil teams are sort of amusing. Unfortunately, the post-game is a bit lacking due to the removal of the Battle Frontier, but the rest of the game was fun. At the very least, if you like Hoenn and the last time you played Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald was well over a decade ago…it’s not a bad option.

Also, an honorable shout-out to Pokemon Y, a game that I dumped way too many hours in during my senior year of high school.

Ocarina of Time 3D

Obviously, this game is not an exclusive. but this version of the game is. I haven’t played the original N64 version so I can’t say how much better this version is, but I think it’s pretty solid.

Is there really anything I can say about this game that hasn’t already been said? The influence that this game has is monumental, and it’s also just a fun game. The world is cool, the pacing is good, the puzzles are interesting. Also realistically, the N64 version is probably a good enough Ocarina of Time experience, so I don’t feel a need to shill this one that much. Also, it’s Ocarina of Time.

However, I will take this time to drop my OoT hot take 😆: the water temple isn’t that bad and was actually really fun. The shadow temple is the one that sucks.

Granted, one of the quality of life additions in this version of the game makes the water temple much less painful, so that’s a big bonus of the 3DS version to keep in mind. Perhaps not much of a hot take anymore given that.

Fire Emblem Awakening

Fire Emblem Awakening was the first Fire Emblem game I played. It’s also the game that really shot FE into popularity, though I can’t say much on how it compares to previous games. But nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot. I played in classic mode but I definitely save scummed quite a bit because I didn’t want my units dying. I still found that that lead to my strategy being more cautious and defensive. I also enjoyed the class system and building characters. Overall, had a lot of fun with the gameplay.

I really liked the child system in this game! I start off the game pairing off characters for shipping purposes, but then quickly shifted to pairing off characters for strategic purposes 😌. The child system actually makes sense in universe of this game though. That is not the case with the other infamous 3DS FE games.

The plot is alright. The characters are sort of generic but it’s not bad. I liked Robin quite a bit actually, and I was pretty upset that Byleth in Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a silent protagonist because Robin was one of my favorite characters.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

I’m totally cheating on this selection. I haven’t played Record Breaker yet (haven’t decided if I will either), but I played and loved the original DS version of the game. I’m still mentioning it here though because the DS version of the game isn’t super easy to get a hold of these days either.

For lack of a better explanation, the Devil Survivor series is like a grid based tactical RPG like Fire Emblem or FF Tactics. The difference is, is that when you enter combat with an opponent, instead of just attacking like you would in FE, you engage in a round of classic Shin Megami Tensei turn based combat. It adds a lot of extra depth into the strategy because you need to worry about not just positioning, but also about the synergy of each team and the moves you make during the encounter.

Each team consists of one of the human character plus two classic Shin Megami Tensei demons. There’s well over a hundred of demons to choose from and like the rest of the SMT games, you use fusion to make stronger demons and pass down moves to use in combat. Also each demon type has different field abilities. Basically what I’m trying to say is that there’s an insane amount of possibilities in building units and teams.

It’s a very unique tactical RPG experience. I highly recommend it.

Backlog and Wishlist

I’m currently playing through Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology. I’m going through it pretty casually. since I’ve played the original DS version of this game, but it’s one of my favorite JRPGs of all time, so I’m having fun revisiting it. It will definitely get highlighted in a part 2 post.

I’m also going through Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright to finally finish off the Ace Attorney series.

The only ones left on my list right now are Metroid 2: Samus Returns, A Link to the Past, and Devil Survivor: Overclocked (which is the first Devil Survivor game). I’m also admittedly a bit interested in Detective Pikachu but doubt I’ll actually get around to it. I’m also not opposed to recommendations at this point.

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