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The Nintendo 3DS is dead. Long live the 3DS!


did i do all of that?
Nintendo is apparently discontinuing the 3DS line, which brings to an end the dual screen era, one of my favorite eras of games. Let's talk about it here.

I put the most hours into Animal Crossing, but Theatrhythm Curtain Call is one of the best games ever made and is also way up there. The RPG library was enormous - Dragon Quest 7/8, Devil Survivor 1/2, a bunch of Fire Emblems, some fantastic Pokemons, weird stuff like Legend of Legacy and 7th Dragon III Code VFD, and on and on. Mario 3D Land, Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon - fucking Link Between Worlds!

RIP, lil buddy.


hardcore retro gamin'
Dang it, I still want to pick up a cheap New 3DS XL. Might be tough to do now - my guess is that they won't have much stock to clear out, so they probably won't be dropping the MSRP on them.
The 3DS feels like the end of an era for a certain type of game, and I'm not referring to stylus/dual screen gaming, either. It's the type of smaller game made by smaller studios (often Japanese)....not necessarily indie in creator origin or game genre, although the latter is closer to the mark. I associate the 3DS (and DS before it) as the places where new games could still come out and have a more direct lineage to "classic" games compared to experiences that were happening on contemporary consoles at the same time.

The RPG catalogue is, indeed, huge. I feel it is the system's biggest strength, and I would argue it is the standout strength of the 3DS more so than RPGs were for any other system.


hardcore retro gamin'
Speaking of RPGs... what is the deal with Shin Megami Tensei prices spiking on 3DS? Everything has shot up, and I was hoping to eventually pick up Apocalypse. Looks like that's right out the window now!

(Well, dang, looks like it's practically across the board. Which I guess is good for the value of the ones I have, but...)


I'm lukewarm on the 3DS. On one hand, it had stellar games like Pushmo, Crimson Shroud, Kirby: Planet Robobot and Theatrhythm. On the other hand, at times it felt like the line between console gaming and handheld gaming were blurring and i didn't like it. As far as Nintendo's offering goes, i think the only game i'll ever replay is Link Between Worlds. Outside of Crimson Shroud, i don't think i'll ever replay a RPG on 3DS, either.

Having said all that, i still have great memories of playing it.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is a gem. It sucks that it hurts your hand if you play it too long and the weapon upgrade system just taxes your playtime with menu and crafting bulls---. But, gosh darn it, the world needs this kind of game and its cheerful character banter to keep going.

How much am I missing by having never acquired a *new* model with improved 3D stabilization? I was thinking about whether it would be worth it just with all the time I want to sink into Etrian Oddysey games.
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Kid Icarus: Uprising is a gem. It sucks that it hurts your hand if you play it too long and the weapon upgrade system just taxes your playtime with menu and crafting bulls---. But, gosh darn it, the world needs this kind of game and its cheerful character banter to keep going.

Yeah, i agree!

Edit: One 3DS game i always wanted to play but never did it is Code Name: Steam, since i like strategy RPGs and all. It seems like it is a forgotten Nintendo game, too.

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
I loved the 3DS. Maybe not quite as much as the DS, but still a bunch.

I hope some of the 3DS download games find homes elsewhere. I would hate for Attack of the Friday Monsters to be lost to time.


Etrian Odyssey IV and A Link Between Worlds were both incredible. Smash Bros was impressive for a handheld game. Animal Crossing & Mario 3D Land were both great as well.

I don’t have as much nostalgia for 3DS as I do for GBA and DS, but it was a good little system.


I cuss you bad
Pokemon Y was my most played game at something like 1200 hours, but the 3DS had so much stuff. The virtual console was excellent, with loads of great Game Boy games (I wish there had been more SNES games on the New though). Mario 3D Land and A Link Between Worlds were incredible entries into their series and Ocarina of Time 3D is the definitive version in my opinion. Luigi's Mansion 2 made a franchise, the Pullblox games were great as was the Yo-Kai Watch series.

I will also forever proclaim how great the 3D was and will be sad that the Switch doesn't have it.


..and his little cat, too
On the other hand, at times it felt like the line between console gaming and handheld gaming were blurring and i didn't like it.

Oh man, you're going to hate what Nintendo did after that, then...

I would say I'm going to miss the 3DS... but that's simply not true.

The truth is, I've missed it for a while now. I still need to get back to my game of Pokémon Ultra Moon and I still really want physical copies of Project X Zone 1 & 2 of my own (2 especially), but what I've missed most is StreetPass.

Getting puzzle pieces, playing mini-games, "meeting" new people... that's what set the 3DS apart for me and ensured it remained at my side almost constantly, but that died out long ago.

Nintendo is really bad about keeping cool ideas going, anyway, but at the same time, I wonder if there might have been a place for StreetPass on the Switch.


Sudden chomper
The 3DS was a fine handheld, but it never clicked with me the way the GBA and the DS did. The DS, in particular, was so incredibly popular and weird that it inspired a mountain of new, unique franchises. And those franchises, for the most part, just kinda...kept going on the 3DS. There were a bunch of good games on the 3DS, but none of them really stands out to me. Meanwhile, I could rattle off 20 games that I absolutely adored on the DS in a heartbeat and there are a handful of games on the GBA that are among my all-time favorites. Honestly, I'm pretty happy that Nintendo has decided to just put all their games on a single system, even if the standard Switch is too big to take with you everywhere you go.


I picked up a New 2DS XL recently just to have a replacement handy. I don’t foresee many dual screen games getting rereleases, especially if they relied on using both screens. And I don’t know if making clone systems in 20 years will be feasible.

If nothing else I need something that plays Etrian Odyssey games as originally intended.


Son of The Answer Man
I got a 3DS XL for Christmas in 2013, around the time I had finally exhausted my collection of DS games. (The DS dates back to before 2009 when I started my current record-keeping system, but I spent at least 900 hours on 50+ games for that.) The system has seen fairly steady and regular use over the seven years, averaging 4 games each year. I clocked around 425 hours on 29 games for the 3DS, with a heavy emphasis on first-party Nintendo titles. The biggest time-sink was The Alliance Alive, tying Bravely Default at 37 hours.

The lack of Square-Enix support for this system really showed, with the only real representation being the two Bravely titles and the two Theatrhythm games (FF Explorers wasn’t my thing, and despite the improvements from the PS1 version Dragon Quest 7 still became a slog). I lost interest in a bunch of series I’d followed from the DS (Castlevania petered out, Cooking Mama got repetitive, and the aforementioned Dragon Quest issue), though I enjoyed three more Layton games and two more Mario & Luigi games.

I particularly enjoyed that they made three solid Kirby games, plus each major Nintendo series got a 2D-style game that was really good (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, New Super Mario Brothers 2, and Metroid: Samus Returns). Hyrule Warriors Legends also was excellent, as a well-done merging of two series I like.

I suspect I would have played more indie titles on this if I hadn’t been getting them really cheaply in Steam or Android bundles. The fact that I started picking up KEMCO rpgs on my tablet only nine months after I got a 3DS likely scratched a bunch of my jrpg itch and meant I wasn’t using the 3DS eShop. For that matter, I had enough casual games available on Android that I didn’t need to seek out more Puzzle Quest equivalents.

I never really loved the 3D feature; except for a couple of games where it really mattered (Super Mario 3D Land comes to mind), I usually left it turned off. Honestly, both the DS and the 3DS had a lot of features (3D, microphone, gyroscope...heck, even the touchcreen) that only first-party Nintendo titles ever used effectively.

Overall: While a worthwhile system by any accounting with a lot of good material, the lack of support from Square-Enix and the competition from my Android tablet for portable gaming made it lackluster for me compared to the original DS.


did i do all of that?
Square Enix supported the 3DS fairly well! ...in Japan. There's fan translations out now of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3 and Rocket Slime 3, and from what I've played of both they're pretty good. Also I thought Bravely Default was pretty good - better than 4 Heroes of Light, anyway.

Tiers in Rain

Gaming Replicant!
GBA is still to this day my favorite handheld, but I had fun with 3DS over the years. Samus Returns, 3D Land, Link Between Worlds, Planet Robobot, Kid Icarus: Uprising were all amazing games. Not to mention the 3D remasters of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.


The DS was a fucking revelation.
The 3DS was... weird. Took awhile to find itself, but it got there.


Oh man, you're going to hate what Nintendo did after that, then...

Hahahaha. Thing is, Nintendo sold the Switch primarily as a console, as the sucessor to the Wii U. So it never bothered me. But, to this day, if i'm taking a trip, i take the DS.


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
The lack of Square-Enix support for this system really showed, with the only real representation being the two Bravely titles and the two Theatrhythm games (FF Explorers wasn’t my thing, and despite the improvements from the PS1 version Dragon Quest 7 still became a slog).
The Bravely games were never really my thing 'cuz they cut back on things I like about jRPGs (exploring a world*) while doubling down on things I don't (visual novel view cutscene presentation, overly long bouts of dialogue with no player input, extremely restrictive and obvious gating), but I probably would've been less disappointed by them if Square Enix had released more games on the 3DS instead of dumping most of their budget portable resources into a million failed mobile gachas (and a few successful ones).

* Speaking of, I recently got to Treno in my FF9 replay. I really love how this town does an effective job of feeling like a place that is lived in (by PSone standards) and not just a couple of postcards with shop UIs taped to the doors.
Square Enix supported the 3DS fairly well! ...in Japan.
Yeah, if you like Dragon Quest there's a bunch of good options if you have a Japanese 3DS or other means.

That said, as a Dragon Quest fan I was really disappointed by how many games we didn't get localizations of compared to the DS days. And as a Square Enix fan, I was disappointed by the lack of support for other series. Not counting the Bravely spinoff series** or that unlocalized port of FF1 that was a pre-order thingy, Final Fantasy is only represented by a couple of rhythm games and a MonHun-like.

** If you've played them, you can see the line that goes from the Final Fantasy III remake to 4 Heroes of Light to Bravely Default


did i do all of that?
That reminds me - I liked Final Fantasy Explorers and played like 80 hours of it, even though it was kind of a janky mess. IIRC I rolled with Dragoon for the most part.

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
The 3DS is home to my own favorite RPG series, Style Savvy

Also I miss the Activity Log. Long Live the Activity Log!

1. Style Savvy: Styling Star 274:22
2. Fire Emblem Awakening 208:10
3. SMT IV: Apocalypse 161:43
4. Persona Q2 141:19
5. Shin Megami Tensei IV 123:27
6. Fire Emblem Fates 119:49
7. Bravely Default 114:14
8. Theatrhythm Curtain Call 98:12
9. Etrian Odyssey IV 92:24
10. Etrian Odyssey V 86:32
11. Etrian Odyssey Nexus 80:51
12. Devil Survivor Overclocked 78:50
13. 7th Dragon III Code VFD 71:37
14: Fire Emblem Echoes 61:40
15: Style Savvy: Trendsetters 56:14
16. Resident Evil Revelaitons 55:41
17. Picross e7 44:43
18. Brave Dungeon 37:04
19. Pocket Card Jockey 37:03
20. Picross e8 31:56
21. Sanrio characters Picross 30:23
22. Pushmo 29:51
23. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 29:36
24. Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies 29:32
25. Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 29:16
26. Picross e6 28:49
27. SteamWorld Heist 28:05
28. StreetPass Mii Plaza 25:51
29. Prof. Layton vs Phoenix Wright 25:09
30. Bravely Second 24:04


does the Underpants Dance
I actually have 2 3DS systems. One is Japanese I bought much later in order to... I think it was when I imported the Japanese version of DQ7? Anyway, one of those is running CFW and the other isn't.

The last 3DS game I played was Etrian Odyssey Nexus. I feel like I got about the same longevity from the 3DS as the DS and I largely played the same kinds of games on both -- RPGs, of course. I have stronger memories associated with my DS, but the 3DS definitely was no slouch. In some ways I'm kind of disappointed that Nintendo probably isn't going to have another dedicated handheld type system ever again, even though it makes perfect sense why they wouldn't.


did i do all of that?
Also I miss the Activity Log. Long Live the Activity Log!

This! I like seeing how long I play games! I hate on the Switch how you have to wait ten days after you start to see how long you've played a game, and then it falls off the list after you've played like 20 other games or whatever, and even then it's not 100% accurate.

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
I have to admit that the lines between DS and 3DS blur for me a little, especially because of the backwards compatibility, so the DS having one of the best overall lineups of any system ever kind of pushes onto the 3DS for me too. There are a good number of games I'm still, like at this moment, trying to remember which they were on. But I still got a loooot of playtime with my 3DS. Bravely Default and Link Between Worlds were I think my top players. I also got it when I lived in Japan, and being one of Nintendo's only region-locked systems, played only Japanese things on it, so it nestles snugly into a certain period of my life when I recollect. I brought home a bunch of games with me when I moved back to America, and...have touched maybe two of them, so I'm always "wanting to go back and play it more" to pick those RPGs up, particularly/at the least, Bravely Second. But gaming backlogs and surviving capitalism being what they are, we'll see.


Plastic Vampire
The 3DS was the only modern console I had for a few years. I got one at launch, selling a bunch of toys and stuff so I could afford it. I was dazzled by the AR cards and the other weirdness it had. I had to settle for Street Fighter IV as my only real game for a little while. I bought lots of classic Game Boy titles and played the apology games Nintendo gave us for making the mistake of buying it before the price drop (some of the GBA ones were first-plays for me, like Wario Land IV).

Ironically the first game I sunk tons of hours in on my original 3DS was Pokemon Black. I first played Shovel Knight on the 3DS. I played Smash 4 on the 3DS. I played most of the big-deal first-party games.

I loved street pass. I bought some of the add-on games. I took my 3DS to conventions and gatherings, and always wished I lived in a denser urban area so I could rack 'em up everywhere. I have a Mii of Gail Simone (and her husband) on my system.

I later upgraded to a New 3DS XL and got a handgrip so my giant spider fingers would stop cramping. It really helped for one of the last games I played on the console, Samus Returns, just before I picked up a Switch in mid-2017. Since then, the poor system has gone mostly unused.

Maybe I'll pick it up tonight and play a little something in honor of the little trooper.

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
I got a refurbished N3DSXL last month expecting some news like this. I haven't migrated because I'm a bit afraid of the refurbished dying on me, but I want to make play my newly bought digital copy of Etrian Mystery Dungeon in a larger screen.

Decisions, decisions.

Is the 2DS line discontinued too?