Tag Archives: E3

The games of E3 2017 that have me keyed up

E3 2017 is not technically over yet, but a majority of the big announcements and reveals have come and gone, with Nintendo swooping in yesterday to present a world where a hat can Mario-ize any object, living or not. It’s a fascinating gameplay hook, one that does now have me interested in owning a Switch far down the road. Forget vapor champers and 4K streaming and how good rain looks in your driving game–that hat is where it is at. Still, not a single one of my wishes was granted, and for that I’m a sourpuss. Just kidding, all–I love videogames, even the ones I don’t like, and there’s never been a better time to be playing these digital thingies.

The following is a list of the games announced at E3 this year that have got me all full of excitement and curiosity. They are in no particular order, and no one company “won” E3, especially not Sony, which definitely only won the “Did Not Win” category. Sorry, y’all, if that was confusing, but it’s true. Look into your heart, and you’ll see it’s so.

A Way Out

I enjoyed what Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons did, both thematically and gameplay-wise, and I think I’m going to dig A Way Out‘s focus on cooperatively escaping from prison. This comes from Hazelight Studios and will be published by Electronic Arts. Josef Fares, the game’s creative director, spoke about this project passionately and with excitement, and it is difficult to ignore that and not let yourself stir at the thought about distracting guards and crawling through a tunnel of poop in the middle of a thunderstorm to taste that freedom air.

Anthem

I’m glad there’s not a new Dragon Age game coming from BioWare. I’m still working on that last one, though I hope to complete it this year. No, I must complete it in 2017. For those wondering, I’m around 60 hours in, maybe three-fourths of the way through. Anyways, this, this Anthem, sure looks a lot like Destiny and Dragon Age/Mass Effect, but it’s third-person and seems more focused on exploration that bragging about some sick gun I found in a cave. I’m interested for sure, but if this is the kind of game that requires a full team of peeps all the time to enjoy…well, count me out. Either way, curious to hear more.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

I’ve watched a lot of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds over these last few weeks, fully understanding that I myself might never play this Battle Royale-inspired extravaganza. I don’t believe it requires that big of a machine to run, but now I don’t have to worry about even attempting this on my ASUS laptop because it’s coming, exclusively, to the Xbox One this year. I’m so ready to find a quiet, hidden hole and sit in it until the number of participants left on the island rapidly depletes and then stumble into a firefight unprepared and get killed unceremoniously. You heard it hear first.

Super Mario Odyssey

New Mario is new Mario. And this one keeps on surprising, with the reveal of Mario’s hat friend Cappy able to take over people and items in the environment for Mario to use. It instantly made me think of Brave Fencer Musashi and how you could steal abilities from enemies to help you on your journey. A Nintendo Switch is most likely a long way’s off for me, considering I can still get Breath of the Wild for my little used Wii U, but whenever I do eventually acquire the device, this will be an obvious purchase.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

I’m pretty sure I have a digital copy of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga on my Wii U. Let me go check. Yup, definitely do. I think I got it a while back by redeeming some Nintendo Club points before that system vanished. Anyways, naturally, I bought it and have not played it. Looks like I can continue to hold off because an enhanced remake for the 3DS is coming out soon, and that’s probably the better version to play at this point in time.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

The turn on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle happened fast. It all started with people scoffing at the inclusion of guns on the hands of Nintendo’s sweet, innocent original characters, the absurdness of Rabbids wearing costumes to look like those characters, and the fact that no one really knew much else about the game other than its title and that Mario was ready to shoot something. Well, now we know–this is XCOM plus Nintendo silliness. I’ve always been intimidated by permadeath-driven strategy games, but this tone seems gentler and more fun, so I’m interested in seeing how it plays.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

Sigh. Radiant Historia has long been a game I’ve put on my “I will play this game this year” lists…and have failed to do so. Boo to me. The thing is, I really like it, but it’s a game about time travel and manipulating past events, and at this point I’d be totally lost going back to my years-old save file. Might as well wait for Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, an enhance remake for the Nintendo 3DS. I wonder if it’ll have any StreetPass functionality.

Well, that’s that. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few key names here–there’s been a lot to keep track of these last few days–and don’t be upset that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Days Gone, and that new God of War aren’t here. The hard truth is that I have never been excited for them and never will be.

But that’s just me. Now I’d like to hear from y’all…what games are you most excited for, whether this year or slated for 2018? And on a scale of 1 to 100, how upset are you that Suikoden VI is still not a thing?

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My E3 2017 wishlist because a boy can dream

It’s one of the best times of the year, with E3 kicking off this weekend, followed in a month by Awesome Games Done Quick. In short, time to watch a lot of livestreams. Either way, I’m always excited to hear about new developments in the industry, even if I ultimately never procure many of the new machines or play a majority of the big name games to come. It’s fun being in the know, and I love the nightly interview segments with a mix of industry peeps over at Giant Bomb. Still, I do have some desires for this year’s event, and they are as follows:

Borderlands 3

Look, it’s time. It’s beyond time. No one really got into Battleborn, so Gearbox needs to accept this and move on to the thing that retains a strong fanbase to this day–the Borderlands series. Specifically, the one where you collect a million guns and shoot them at cel-shaded enemies, not the one where you talk your way out of a bad situation into a worse scenario. I’ve been dipping my toes back into Borderlands 2 over the last few months, but a service built solely for these new consoles would be extra great, and I’d love to see something along the lines of Hitman contracts with new raid-like bosses to attack every few weeks instead of a lackluster DLC package.

Death Stranding

We already know this game exists, but I want more info on it. Especially since Mel and I have been working our way through Hannibal and I’m finding Mads Mikkelsen to be highly watchable as an unpredictable villain. I’m still curious if it’ll play like Metal Gear Solid 4 or be a completely different thing. I suspect Hideo Kojima really likes stealth action, so it’s a good bet, but he himself can be unpredictable. I don’t expect the narrative to be clear until the game is out and played through multiple times; I just want to know what the running around is like. Either way, tell us more.

The Elder Scrolls VI: Valenwood

Fallout 4 did not take hold of me and never let go. Instead, I played it, enjoyed a decent chunk of it, beat it, murdering a lot of people to my dismay, and have not really gone back to the thing. I’ve thought often about returning to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but that would require booting it up on my Xbox 360, and I don’t want to do that. I’d rather wait for the next installment. Which, maybe, might be set in Valenwood. I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine, but Bethesda is hosting its own press conference again this year, so maybe we’ll get some updates about what is next from their blockbuster high fantasy RPG time-eater. There’s probably going to be a Doom sequel too for those believing that lightning can strike twice in the same spot.

LEGO james bond

Rest in peace, Roger Moore, my favorite 007, but maybe we can bring you back to life in LEGO form. There are still plenty of LEGO games I haven’t gotten to play yet, but if this thing became a reality it would move right up to the top of my priority list. Traveler’s Tales could either do like they did with LEGO Harry Potter and split this across multiple games, or, if they loved us even just the littlest bit, put out a super compilation of Bond’s best and coolest movies for us to play through. These have everything a LEGO wants: colorful cast of characters, cool gadgets and gizmos, enhanced vehicles, and globe-trotting adventures.

Picontier

I don’t remember when this “slow living miniscape RPG” was announced, but it was some time back. Immediately, it reminded me of Stardew Valley and Rune Factory, which is great, and it was destined for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s also now coming out for the Nintendo Switch. When that is, I do not know, but I love the retro look, and having this kind of experience on the go is really appealing to me. Hopefully we’ll get some more concrete coverage during Nintendo’s streaming hours. Or it’ll just be a tiny tidbit hidden in some press release that goes out after their Nintendo Direct vid.

Suikoden VI

This is never going to happen. I know that, you know that, Konami knows that. But still, a boy can dream. Is it too much to ask for a game with an empty castle that one can fill up with people they meet along their way to stop an evil thing from becoming the ultimate evil thing? No, Dragon Age: Inquisition–you do not do the job well enough.

Right, right. What games are you looking forward to hearing more about at this year’s E3? Speak up and share your wishlist in the comments section. Be sure to include Suikoden VI and get it trending on social media.

Warning: enter Vault 713 at your own risk

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I waited a long time to play Fallout Shelter; I probably should have kept waiting. This free-to-play mobile room manager from big ol’ Bethesda was revealed and released to the world–well, for iOS devices–in June 2015 during the company’s E3 press conference. It later came to Android devices in August 2015. It never came and never will come to those that use a Windows phone despite that making some degree of sense. You might not know anyone in that last category, but if you are reading these words and follow Grinding Down, you at least know one sad soul–me. Well, it recently made its debut on Xbox One (and PC).

Allow me to run down what you do in Fallout Shelter since there’s no story to follow, save for whatever adventures you create in your brain as you tap and drag and force people to breed with one another. Basically, you build and manage your own Vault as an overseer–a.k.a., the never-questioned ruler of this nuclear safe haven. You guide and direct your Vault’s inhabitants, keeping them happy through meeting their essential needs, such as power, food, and water. You can rescue dwellers from the wasteland and assign them to various resource-generating buildings in your Vault, using the SPECIAL statistics system from the other Fallout games to key you in on their strongest abilities. Your dwellers level up over time, increasing things like health points and how good they are at producing resources. The number of Vault dwellers can grow two ways: waiting for new survivors from the wasteland to arrive at your doorstep or by pairing a male and female dweller in a living quarters room to, after some time has passed, produce babies.

Some other things exist to mix up the waiting on rooms-on-timers gameplay. You can take a risk and “rush” a room to completion. If you’re successful, you’ll get the resources right away, as well as some bonus caps. However, if you fail it, badness arrives in the form of fires, radroaches, or attacks from raiders. There are challenges to be mindful of, such as equipping a dweller with a weapon or gathering up X amount of food, and completing these will earn you caps or lunchboxes, which hold randomized loot. Once you build the Overseer’s room, you can send your people out on quests to find better items (weapons, armor) and caps. Everything takes time, and that makes way more sense for the mobile versions, but after sending out three people to shoot some wild radroaches I found myself staring at a bunch of rooms that wouldn’t be ready for harvesting for at least ten minutes with nothing else to do. Fallout Shelter is a game of waiting, which is not what I want when I plop down on the couch to play something.

On the Xbox One, navigating around the Vault is done via the thumbsticks. This can be a finicky process, and I once accidentally spent caps on removing boulders after the cursor jumped too far from the room I really wanted to select and gather resources from. This wasn’t the worst because, yeah, eventually I planned to clear them rocks, but I wanted it to be my decision, on my schedule. You can zoom in closer to the rooms to see some funny if frivolous bits of dialogue from your dwellers. The majority of the game is driven via menus, and accessing them is thankfully pretty simple and easy to use with a controller. That all said, I’m not a huge fan of the combat; it’s basically hands-off and hope you get some good invisible dice rolls like you’re back battling cliff racers in Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which is frustrating to witness. Here’s a true scenario from my time in Vault 713: a teeny tiny radroach nearly depleted my level 14 dweller’s health as she missed shot after shot after shot with a decent hunting rifle. Blargh.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but it’s pivotal towards my future progress in Fallout Shelter, of which there probably won’t be any more, so here we go: my Xbox One is broken. Or perpetually breaking. One of those. Some time after Black Friday last year, something happened. My “pins” disappeared from the front dashboard with a message saying, “Sorry, we can’t show these right now.” Then I discovered that I could access the store tab, but nothing I clicked on would work. I could mash the “A” button to no effect. Same goes for a lot of the advertisement tiles on other pages, unless they were tied to the Internet Explorer app. I tried doing a hard shutdown, unplugging my router, resetting the WiFi connection, and checking for further updates. Nothing seems to work. I am not interested in a factory reset, and I’ve managed, for the most part, to survive. I can still access apps like Netflix and Twitch and download those Games with Gold freebies by logging in on my Xbox 360 and adding them to my account. Lifehack central, y’all.

However, the other night, after gathering enough food, water, and power to keep my people beaming with happiness, I saved and shut the game down. A message came up that said the game was trying to sync my save with the Cloud, and so I let it do its thing, not wanting to mess anything up. Which never seemed to finish. Five minutes went by, then ten. Then twenty. Then thirty. There’s no way a game the size of Fallout Shelter takes that long to sync save data that is probably as big as a Cheez-It crumb. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait much longer and simply closed the console down as it was. When I tried to load the game up the next day, it couldn’t find my save even though it is also on my console’s internal memory, and the screen that shows your three save slots just spins infinitely, unable to find anything. I can’t even start a new Vault. This happened over a week ago, and I still can’t access Vault 713. And I was one room away from unlocking the Achievement for building 25 rooms. Grrr.

I could probably download Fallout Shelter on PC and either start again or see if my save in the Cloud carries over. I could, but I won’t. I’d rather play the Dead Money DLC from Fallout: New Vegas again. Or test my luck out in the wasteland proper. I thought I’d be more bummed about this, but there are a zillion other pieces of digital entertainment available at my fingertips.

Finally live however you want this autumn with Fantasy Life

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E3 is the time to drop all those big names, like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, Mario Maker, and so on. Evidently, it’s also a great time to let some other news slip in under the cracks of the conference floor and kinda get noticed by everyone there, at least for a moment between playing AAA titles and having their soul sucked dry via those glow-in-the-dark bracelets. For instance, pretty quickly after Nintendo’s digital conference ended yesterday, news popped up that Level-5 and Brownie Brown were bringing Fantasy Life, their RPG/life sim game for the Nintendo 3DS. to North America this fall. More specifically, October.

Eeeeeeeeeeee!

You might remember me writing about Fantasy Life a few times here on Grinding Down. It’s a game I’ve long been pining for, and I’m super excited to see it heading this way. Finally. After something like five years. Must pre-order, and yes, I hope you’re listening, GameStop. I don’t want to end up in another slightly desperate situation like when I couldn’t find a retail copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening for days. Plus, getting the game day one will hopefully show its creators that they made the right decision, and I have to wonder if Bravely Default: Flying Fairy doing so well here played a part in pushing the decision-makers over the edge. Yes, Japan! Give us your strange and weirdly hard-to-market games! Heck, just look at Tomodachi Life as proof that we can handle whatever you got.

A quick reminder of what the game actually is:

“Players embark on the adventure of their dreams as they craft, cast, battle and role-play. The innovative Life system lets players change to one of 12 Life classes at virtually any time to access different abilities. The huge fantasy landscape is filled with surly dark paladins, slick pirate captains and others who share a taste for the unknown.”

Now, there’s one teeny tiny problem. I’m currently playing three life sim games on the Nintendo 3DS–all at the same time. Yup, I’m a master juggler. There’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Disney Magical World, and Tomodachi Life, all moving around each other in a dance of dragons, each one roaring for my attention. Granted, they are not identical, and each does something different than the others, but, more or less, I’m an avatar running around in a world measured by real time, living a life. Fantasy Life seems to merge the former two, and I’m really digging the idea of combat and loot–even if it is a little light and thin–to help mix up the daily checklist of talking to everyone I see and harvesting resource after resource. I suspect by the time Fantasy Life‘s cartridge slips into my Nintendo 3DS I’ll be mostly done with Disney Magical World and Tomodachi Life, and then it’ll just be me having to balance the load of my sad, tumultuous reality, the state of affairs in the animal-infested Arni, and whatever profession I decide to go into in this third fantasy life. Maybe a monk, yearning for internal peace.

But yeah, I’m really stoked to see this news. Shame it wasn’t flashy enough for the actual press conference, but it seemed like everything was to pale in the shadow of Smash Brothers. But how excited am I, you ask? Well, Matt Mason pretty much nailed my reaction:

Another year means another chance for E3 to disappoint

E3 228751-sony1

Generally, I’m a quiet, but interested observer when it comes to E3. For those that don’t know, that’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, an annual video game conference and show taking place at the Los Angeles Convention center. It’s been going on for some time, shrinking and growing and mutating into a mix of hype and showmanship. In fact, I don’t think I blogged about anything E3-related last year, but I’m basing that only on Grinding Down‘s search bar power and not actually going through the archives day by day. Before that, I did tackle a few different subjects:

Now that I spend most of my days on Giant Bomb, I love watching the conferences through their eyes and ears. I’m looking forward to their coverage and lengthy, nightly podcasts with a slew of folks. It’s going to be a week of information, of absorbing and digesting. Of looking forward, maybe even to the possibility of me purchasing one of these current gen consoles, but that’s probably only likely if Bethesda does what we all what the company to do. No, not drop Horse Armor DLC for Elder Scrolls Online. Not that one bit.

Anyways, I thought it’d be good to put down some of my hopes and dreams here on digital paper. That way, if any come true, we can all point back to this moment and say I called it. Let’s break this down into some specific categories.

Games I Want to be Announced, but Most Likely Won’t be Announced

Suikoden VI. Or Suikoden: Come Up With a Cool, Pronounceable Name. Whatever it wants to be called is fine by me, so long as it exists. I can understand Konami not wanting to take a large gamble on a loved–but fairly forgotten–JRPG series at this stage, so I suggest they play it safe and release it for the Nintendo 3DS. We all saw how surprisingly well Bravely Default: Flying Fairy did, and now I’m just sitting here thinking about all the different ways Streetpassing could upgrade your castle HQ. Oh man.

Fallout 4. The rumors are out there, with the setting supposedly based around Boston. So long as I can explore the bombed out ruins of the “Cheers” bar and loot a Nuka Cola off Norm’s skeleton, I’m in. But seriously. It’s been long enough, and I’m thirsty for more VATS action, more exploring, and better dialogue options thanks to that new engine from Skyrim. I am worried that, if announced, it’ll only be for new consoles and probably not until next year, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. Guess I can still attempt beating Fallout: New Vegas on hardcore difficulty until then…

Beyond Good & Evil 2. I recently finished up another playthrough of the first game, and so of course I’m reminded that more is to come. When? I don’t know. Maybe when that Rayman well runs dry. New consoles can certainly enhance the look and speed of action, but I just want more alien animals to photograph and observe.

The Last Guardian. Hey, it’s going to happen one of these years, right?

Console Trends

Backwards compatibility. Look, I know the new consoles are already out and designed in such a way that backwards compatibility is a no-go, but there are other ways to get older games playing on newer systems. It’s called loyalty, and I’d love to see some kind of system implemented that, if you have already purchased a last-gen game, you can somehow confirm that and redownload it on a new system, either for free or a greatly reduced fee. I know Sony is working on some workaround called PlayStation Now for PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on the PS4, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about that.

I mean, really. My setup at the moment is my PS2 and then my PS3 on top of it. This allows me to play everything in my collection, but requires constant unplugging and switching wires and controllers and can be a wee hassle. I want one machine that does it all, but I don’t want to have to pay for everything all over again. It’s all about loyalty again. I’ve shown mine, Sony. Your move.

PS Vita price cut. I’d be much more interested in the system if it dropped in price, especially since I can already grab a bunch of freebies for it thanks to PlayStation Plus. Maybe lost $50-75 in the price. That’d be awesome to see, as well as a greater push from Sony on why it is important to own this handheld device.

Other Stuff

The videogames industry is clearly a competition, but some days I wish it wasn’t. It can be very tiring and depressing to constantly listen to claims that Nintendo is doomed or that Sony is beating Microsoft here and there, but not in this other way. I’d love to see the industry come closer as a community, though I’m not sure how we get to that place. There will never be one videogame console; I know that. But maybe we can grow together to become one community, that loves and critiques games because we love them so, that only wants the best and most fun experiences for everyone out there.

Those are my thoughts. What predictions for this year’s E3 do you have?

Let’s give it up for extreme violence at E3 2012

First, a true fact: I am not at the physical E3, set at the Los Angeles Convention center, but I can still hear the clapping.

Clapping, in general, is a standard at a convention or event where someone talks and then pauses in anticipation. It’s also pretty much expected when shown something exciting, such as a new game trailer or even just a teensy weensy teaser to get the blood a-pumping and the heartrate up. It’s a reaction, and it is, more or less, a confirmation that what was shown was appreciated or desired or looked upon favorably. Golf claps and sarcastic, slow-building claps that are found only in cinematic talkies are different beasts. However, from what I witnessed via live-streams of E3 2012 press conferences, there are two instances of clapping that struck me as…woefully odd. Disappointing, too.

One happened during a live demo of The Last of Us, and the other during a live demo of God of War: Ascension, and both are sad reminders of why the media portrays gamers as violent-minded folk. When you clap for extreme violence, you are clapping with genuine excitement. You clap because you care.

In God of War: Ascension, during a boss fight, Kratos does his QTE thing and rips out a monster’s brain and then slices it in half, as if the ripping out the brain didn’t already do the needful. This got a rousing reaction from the crowd, with applause to back it up. In The Last of Us, Joel takes the head of a man attacking him and slams it repeatedly into a small dresser until the side of it–the dresser, that is–is covered in blood and the man is unmoving. The audience at the conference really liked this moment and decided to let the world know by starting giving it a round of applause.

Both of these moments immediately made me uncomfortable. I myself felt no need to clap; granted, I was watching from the other side of the United States, first in an office and then second in bed in my pajamas with a kitty cat by my feet. I spent most of the God of War: Ascension live demo reading the comments over at GiantBomb and laughing along, but I did watch the live demo for The Last of Us with genuine interest. I loved when Joel got shot and kind of stumbled back, but brushed it off due to the intense scenario he and that Ellen Page girl were in. I loved how crazy fast everything was happening, and I loved why Joel had to do that horrible thing to that man–to survive, to keep going. I don’t love the moment itself, but the push behind it. That kind of violence really shows the grittiness of the game and that it is in fact The Road and all post-apocalyptic tropes and themes, and that to keep on truckin’ one has to do what one has to do. By no means should these actions be applauded–but they should be understood. The audience members clapping like little kids on Christmas morning clearly did not understand what was happening on that big screen in front of them.

I’ll end with this polar opposite scenario then. In LEGO City Undercover–a debut videogame I now desperately want, but only on the Nintendo 3DS as I’m still not convinced a Wii U is worth acquiring–police detective Chase McCain races down a criminal, tackles him in broad daylight on a populated city street, and the evildoer explodes into LEGO bits and studs. No one clapped.

Reggie Fils-Aime has 99 problems, and the 3DS is one of ’em

Recently, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime spoke with Kotaku at E3, claiming that the two main problems holding back the Nintendo 3DS from global greatness were a lack of Nintendo franchise games and a lack of a functional web browser. He purports that these problems are being snuffed out, what with their shiny new eShop and debut of several Nintendo-branded titles earlier this month. He does not believe the 3DS was launched prematurely. Clearly, he’s delusional. And wrong.

Not about the 3DS in terms of its two biggest problems. A lackluster launch lineup did not do wonders for the system. All it would’ve taken was a single new Mario game, and those things would’ve been gobbled up doubly. Alas, we got things like this and this, and were forced to wait for good games to first be announced. So far, not much has come out, and while many are loving The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, it’s not exactly anything new to ogle. The lack of a web browser isn’t as huge of a cut as I suspect it is; if I have my 3DS on me, and I want to go on the Internet, chances are I’ll have an easier time on my phone or be able to find a laptop within minutes. Once I got the browser with the latest system update, I searched my way over to here to see what Grinding Down looked like on a tiny touchscreen. It’s okay, but the process was slow and clunky, and I probably will never use it again.

The online marketplace is welcoming, but not perfect. Why it–and the online browser–did not come ready to go with the 3DS back when it launched is mind-boggling. The fact that there was a button you could push for the browser which brought up a message like “The browser will be added at a later date” does an excellent job of fighting the fight against Reggie’s bizarre claim that the system did not launch prematurely, that this was exactly how they planned to do it all along. To, y’know, launch with weak games, no store, no online capabilities, strange friends list functionalities, and unclear plans for future growth. Sounds like quite a plan.

No surprise Reggie did not talk about the 3DS’ battery life. I guess in Nintendo’s eyes it’s not a problem, and the less it’s brought up, the less consumers will notice. That is until that red light starts blinking after a measly few hours of gaming. How is anyone supposed to watch a Netflix movie in 3D on this thing again? Curled up next to an electric socket, plugged in?

I have a 3DS. I do not love it, but I use it a little bit here and there, with its biggest gimmick always turned off in hopes of gaining an extra 15 minutes of battery life. The system has a lot of problems, and few fun titles to play on it, and the ones that seem like a good time are still many months away. It’s disheartening to see Nintendo’s lack of drive in making this system above and beyond the call of duty, but I guess that’s always been their stance in the industry: cool ideas and empty promises.