50 Upcoming 3DS Games We\’re Excited For
The 3DS has a bright future. Third party developers have begun to warm to the system, as they did to the GBA and DS before it. Nintendo has its own slew of franchises waiting for the right moments to drop their bombshells on unsuspecting children (ahem, Pokemon), and the eShop has been one of the greatest features the system has going for it since its launch. As the holiday season stutters by, carried on the back of nothing more than the under-appreciated Paper Mario Sticker Star, we head towards the new year with a look of what is in store. What fresh experiences, familiar faces, and hidden gems await us in 2013 and beyond? Make sure to read until the bottom where we look at games that are still mostly or even completely under-wraps. I even threw in near the end a piece of exclusive news that I\’ve been saving for the right moment…
Animal Crossing New Leaf
Why we\’re excited: There are a number of positive changes to Animal Crossing that get us very excited. The 3D really enhances the world, the customization has been expanded to the things you wear, the architecture around town, and what you hang on your walls. Plus, giving us the chance to be town mayor should be a lot of fun.
Why we\’re excited: You get to manage your own airport and turn it into a massive enterprise! Of course, you better make sure planes don\’t get delayed and you don\’t lose fliers\’ baggage often. This game was originally part of Guild01 in Japan but is now coming on its own to eShop in the West. The creator is Yoot Saito, famous for making the Seaman franchise.
Why we\’re excited: Qubic Games have been honing their skills on the DS, Wii, and 3DS for the past half-decade and are now taking their most popular franchise and going places with it. AiRace Tunnel was an excellent 3D flight game on the DSi, and this is the sequel. Expect tight controls, great visuals, and challenging gameplay.
Ace Attorney V
Why we\’re excited: Come on, this is the next major installment of the Ace Attorney series, for the first time on the 3DS! Who wouldn\’t be excited? We also happen to really enjoy how the 3D visuals manage to capture that cartoon style from the 2D DS games.
Beyond the Labyrinth
Why we\’re excited: It has been described as a dungeon crawler role-playing game with graphical similarities to the game Ico. The battles will be real-time action-based so don\’t expect it to be slow-paced despite being a dungeon crawler RPG. Tri-Ace have been involved with Final Fantasy and Star Ocean for the past few years so it should be interesting to see what they come up with here.
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Why we\’re excited: It reminds us alot of the retro years of Square, particularly Final Fantasy VI. And that\’s a really good thing. Signs have been pointing to it being localized in the West under the name All the Bravest.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
Why we\’re excited: The handheld Castlevania games have always been masterpieces. But don\’t be too upset by the change of pace from the previous games in the handheld line of Castlevania. Despite being a Lord of Shadows games, it will feature more exploration than the original and it will also be restricted to the more familiar 2.5D action-platforming gameplay.
Chocobo Racing 3D
Why we\’re excited: Mario Kart 7 was great, but the series has become a bit stale. This throwback to the original on the PSX should bring a fresh universe to the karting genre. Races take place across locations from the vast Final Fantasy worlds and the music will be familiar to any Final Fantasy veteran. Who doesn\’t recognize the Chocobo tune?
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Why we\’re excited: This console RPG was originally released on the ill-fated Sega Saturn. Then it got enhanced with a Playstation release. However, Sony denied Atlus when they wanted to bring it to North America. But with Atlus\’ current record on the 3DS with Shin Megami Tensei, they haven\’t left a game behind yet. So, what\’s different about this SMT spinoff? It differs in its in-depth gameplay systems, occult themes, and the ability to converse with your enemies instead of just fighting them. It should be another quality release from Atlus on the 3DS.
Dragon Quest VII
Why we\’re excited: We\’re tremendously excited for DQ7 on the 3DS. The original game was possibly the biggest Dragon Quest release ever in Japan. It\’s one sticking point was the poor graphics. Luckily, that won\’t be a problem anymore. Squenix have completely overhauled the graphics and, like DQIX before it, the graphics will be completely 3D. No more relying on 2D sprites.
Dragon Quest X: Odekake Moshasu de Battle
Why we\’re excited: You get to take photos of your friends\’ faces and after their features are analyzed you\’ll be able to generate monster cards which you can use for battle. You\’ll fight against over 300 monsters by building up a deck of cards for the card-based battle system.
Etrian Odyssey IV
Why we\’re excited: This is gaming\’s best tribute to retro-RPGs. After 3 Etrian Odyssey games on the DS, the developers know what they\’re doing. With the new 3D graphics and refinements to the gameplay, expect this one to be the best one yet.
Why we\’re excited: The world of E.E. is a paradise where everything is provided for its inhabitants (including immortality) thanks to the Tower of Eden and their Father. This blessing is unconditional except for one rule: no one may eat the \’wisdom fruit\’ at the top of the Tower (Biblical reference? I think so). Of course, the heroes ignore this warning and bad things ensue. The game has drawn comparisons to JRPGs old such as Final Fantasy. From what I\’ve seen Eternal Eden reminds me a lot of Golden Sun on GBA.
Why we\’re excited: The unique visual style and the fact that you can take on over 20 different craftsman jobs around town has us excited for this Level-5 production. I always wanted to be a mailman.
Fire Emblem Awakening
Why we\’re excited: We\’re not excited. We\’re frothing at the mouth. Fire Emblem gets a kick in the pants as it jumps into the modern gaming generation with stunning visuals and classic turn-based strategy/RPG gameplay.
Why we\’re excited: Now that we know that Guild01\’s four games got released individually on the eShop, we\’re excited for Guild02 because the same thing is likely to happen. Instead of headlining Suda51, this time around the big name will be Keiji Inafune (Mega Man) who can\’t wait to release mini-tanks on giant overgrown ants. Besides for Insect Tanks there is a game called \”Alone\” about someone who wakes up in the dark with no memories and a game called Monsters Appear about a town where every Friday monsters appear. It probably has something to do with Rebecca Black.
Why we\’re excited: Because this is only the second time Game Freak has worked on something other than Pokemon in the past decade! (Although there is a Pokemon-themed secret level.) The gameplay is addictive fun for an endless runner, adding a rhythm twist to the formula.
Why we\’re excited: This was the game that solidified Pixel as a game developer before he made Cave Story. Think of it as an underwater Metroidvania.
Jett Rocket Super Surf
Why we\’re excited: Anything made by Shin\’en is enough to get us excited but the original is one of the best WiiWare games to date, lovingly crafted over two years in development, and the sequel is sure to bring more of Jett Rocket\’s shiny graphics and Super Mario Sunshine-style gameplay.
Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney
Why we\’re excited: This is a no-brainer. Take two games that are part adventure, part visual novel, each with their own twist and cartoony graphics, throw them in the blender and what do you get? A 35/40 from Famitsu, a couple hundred thousand sales, and our eager anticipation.
Luigi\’s Mansion Dark Moon
Why we\’re excited: There are people who bought a 3DS just for this game. It\’s been delayed almost a year since we originally found out about it in E3 2011, but we\’re sure it\’s for good reasons. Luigi is back and terrified in his latest gig which will span multiple mansions.
King of Pirates
Why we\’re excited: The king of 8-bit makes a return in his first major franchise since leaving Capcom and his baby, the Mega Man franchise. Yes, Keiji Inafune is bringing this swashbuckling new anthropomorphic franchise to the 3DS.
Why we\’re excited: Oh, there\’s a major reason for excitement in this case and it\’s called Ikaruga. The man behind the original game, Hiroshi Iuchi, is now working at shmup-specialists G.Rev and is making his spiritual successor to the Gamecube cult classic Ikaruga. It\’s sporting many new ideas which I can\’t fit into two sentences, and expect it to be just as hard.
Monster Hunter 3G
Why we\’re excited: The original game was amazing and now you can play it on the go. Which means, we\’ll be fighting off rare monsters in the bathroom, on the bus, and waiting in line at the supermarket.
Monster Hunter 4
Why we\’re excited: Monster Hunter 4 is vastly different from its predecessors as there is a stronger emphasis on platforming than before, walls can now be climbed more fluidly and in any direction, and for the first time Hunters can grab onto monsters and attack them. Environments shown also appear to be larger than before, and the monsters are aware of their environments, using them to their advantage. Most interesting to us though is the new focus on the adventure and story progression.
The Mystical Journey
Why we\’re excited: Besides for being in the style of retro JRPGs such as Final Fantasy VI, we\’re excited by the clashing of mythologies between the Norse gods and the Greek gods, which plays as a backdrop to the entire storyline of the game. And the seven continents and 100+ villages sounds like a fantasy-lovers dream come true.
Nano Assault EX
Why we\’re excited: Nano Assault EX is really more like Nano Assault 1.5 and this time it\’s available as a downloadable title. It features all 32 stages of the original but throws a Mission Mode, Survival Mode and a Boss Rush mode into the fray. Plus, the graphics have been updated spectacularly.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Magnagate and the Infinite Labyrinth
Why we\’re excited: Once again, you\’ll play as a character who turns into a 3D Pokémon. What\’s a Magnagate, you ask? Point your 3DS camera at round objects and the AR will kick in, transforming it into a magnagate, a secret gate into a mystery dungeon. This feature will leave you with an infinite labyrinth of dungeons to be explored.
Project X Zone
Why we\’re excited: There certainly are a lot of developers behind this one game: Namco, Capcom, Sega, Banpresto, and Monolith Soft. It\’s aim was to be the dream crossover game, and the genre of tactical strategy was chosen to represent the gameplay. The producer of the Tekken series said he proposed for the game\’s localization and if he continues proposing it will happen.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies
Why we\’re excited: Getting bored of Professor Layton games? This will be the last one to star the eponymous professor in the title role. Layton, Luke, and Emmy travel to the snowladen city of Snowrassa to investigate a \’living mummy\’. There, they find a girl named Aria, who comes from an ancient race known as the Azrans, frozen in ice. Sounds like another mystery we\’re waiting to jump into.
Rodea the Sky Soldier
Why we\’re excited: The silly thing about this flying action game by the creator of Sonic is that it was already completed for both Wii and 3DS over a year ago but Sega still hasn\’t published it. Maybe they\’re waiting to release it simultaneously as a download on both 3DS and Wii U. I don\’t know- I just want to play it already.
Rune Factory 4
Why we\’re excited: Here\’s how to make an entrance: The game begins when the player falls out of their airship and lands on a royal dragon named Selzauide. There will be tons of new romance features like having multiple lovers, and zooming in to date scenes with high-polygon 3D models.
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Why we\’re excited: Old Tokyo and New Tokyo connect as demons have overrun the city. The game\’s director noted that the feeling of wandering and surviving in a chaotic world has been improved extremely and the world is said to feel even more \”desolate\” than before. It\’s exciting to see Atlus take a liking to the 3DS to the point that they\’re willing to bring the next core game in the series to the handheld.
Shantae and the Pirate\’s Curse
Why we\’re excited: There\’s lots to love in the new Shantae. Wayforward has always made great games and this time they\’re taking their pirate-themed Metroidvania to new heights. Shantae and the Pirate\’s Curse is said to be twice as large as Shantae: Risky\’s Revenge and that the player will traverse new areas such as the underworld and the heavens. The map system from the previous installment will be changed to a more Metroid-style map system and like Metroid, there will be hidden paths. The game will also feature 3D effects similar to Mighty Switch Force!
Why we\’re excited: Level-5 are masters at the adventure/novel/puzzle game genre and I love the direction they\’re going in with Time Travelers. This will be a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, time traveling themed adventure. I\’m in love with most of the words in the last sentence so of course I\’m excited.
Tokyo Crash Mobs
Why we\’re excited: OMG! People are cutting the line! You better take other people and throw them at those people. It\’s the only solution. Who would have expected this over-the-top, wacky and bizarre title to make it out of Japan? Well, it\’s coming. And in the words of a Nintendo representative: \”All I can say is that there’s no other game that combines throwing people at people, UFO abductions, and battling ninjas quite like Tokyo Crash Mobs does.”
Why we\’re excited: While Japan as already seen two games in the series released on the 3DS, we\’re still waiting for XSEED to finish up with their localization of the first game for North America. If you\’re wondering, Unchained Blades is a dungeon crawler RPG, similar to Wizardry, but with a greater emphasis on story.
Why we\’re excited: Level-5 announced Youkai Watch as another of their new franchises that will span many forms of media including anime, comics, plastic-model kits, as well as video games. Warming us up for the first game, which is coming to the 3DS, will be the comic releasing December 15. The game’s protagonist, a little boy, wears a watch that allows him to see and interact with ghosts.
Why we\’re excited: Cave Story publisher Nicalis is bringing a new fighter with tournament-level depth to 3DS eShop, with an impressive pedigree. Yatagarasu is developed by Circle Edge, a three-person team made up of former SNK talent. Weirdly, it features \”a unique optional commentator system that mimics the tournament trash talk experience.\”
Games Still Under Wraps
Zero Escape sequel: It was just announced and they say Junpei will return, only it will be when he was younger. Radical-6 and Phi will be central to the mystery.
Mutant Mudds 2: Jools Watsham revealed it to us personally, but we don\’t more than that it will be a proper sequel, not more of the same.
Next Zelda game: We know it\’s in development, we just don\’t know whether it will be a remake of Majora\’s Mask or a completely new game. Can you guess which one we hope it will be?
Next Pokemon game: Nintendo bought themselves some extra time with Black and White 2, so hopefully the extra development time pays off. We have high hopes for this one.
Super Smash Bros 3D: All we know is that it will somehow connect to the Wii U version of the game and that Masahiro Sakurai said he wants to make this game have completely new elements that feel different from the previous games in the series.
Contra 3DS: This was announced way back in E3 2011 we won\’t hear more about it until it\’s nearly ready. The DS Contra was a blast and impossibly hard. Let\’s hope the same for this one.
Conduit 3DS: Is this still in development? If it is, let\’s hope it\’s more than just smooth graphics. But, the 3DS needs more FPS games, so we\’ll take it.
Solatorobo: Red Hunter sequel: The original was a wonderful experience on the DS. It was spirited, full of life, and packed with ideas– one-of-a-kind. We can\’t wait for more of this action-RPG.
Treasure\’s Exclusive 3DS game: It\’s from Treasure. It\’s exclusive to 3DS. We know nothing more. But that\’s enough to get us excited.
The World Ends With You 2: When will Square get on with it and do the full reveal already? It was supposed to happen already many times and I\’m getting frustrated to finally see the sequel to my favorite DS game.
Persona 3DS: Once again, we have nothing more than an early announcement. But, the recent success of the Persona games have been smashing, so this one has our attention.
Possibly: Super Hexagon: I realize this isn\’t so fair because currently I\’m the only one who knows about this. But, I\’m still debating if my email correspondence with Terry Cavanagh is enough to go on. I offered to help him with some of the programming in order to bring over Super Hexagon to the 3DS because I\’m a big fan of it and I think it would be perfectly-suited for the 3DS. He thanked me, said he doesn\’t need any extra help, and added that he\’d \”love to bring Super Hexagon to more platforms\” (i.e. 3DS) and he\’s \”definitely thinking about it.\”
Possibly: The Binding of Isaac: Edmund McMillen recently said his ideal platform for The Binding of Isaac would be 3DS. However, he\’s working with Nintendo to find a way to bring it over because it was previously rejected by Nintendo.
Sorely Missed: Mega Man Legends 3: We were all looking forward to this… and then it got cancelled. And then Keiji Inafune left Capcom. (Actually, that happened first.) And then Capcom had such sour feelings towards Mega Man that they couldn\’t look at the franchise again for another 3 years, until now. And then there was a massive movement called \”100,000 Strong for Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3\” which has reached its goal with currently 107k fans. Let\’s hope it gets revived one day.