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what do I need on 3DS?

Lady

something something robble
I realized recently that the 3DS is a pretty unique piece of hardware and I should probably have one around.

I am working on compiling a list of games to obtain once the one I ordered off ebay arrives and proves to be functional.

My list so far is
* Rhythm Heaven
* Theaterhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
* MGS 3(ds)

what else you got? I'd like to prioritize things that are unique to the platform, but they don't have to take particular advantage of the 3D effect
 

narcodis

the titular game boy
(he/him)
Link Between Worlds!
Mario 3D Land!
Bravely Default/Second!
Fire Emblem Awakening!
Etrian Odyssey 4!
 

MetManMas

DNM-123
(He, him)
The Switch sequel surpasses it in a number of ways but Animal Crossing: New Leaf is still loads of fun 'cuz of all the cool furniture available and stuff like the island where you can play mini games and an unlockable AC-ized Panel de Pon. Also the only tool that breaks is your axe

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is fun too, if you just want to mess around with furniture and stuff. You'll get more out of it if you have Amiibo and an NFC reader, of course.

If you wanna buy any of the Guild games, I highly recommend both Crimson Shroud and The Starship Damrey.
 
Ocarina of Time 3D. Even if you don't play OoT that much, you might fall in love all over again. (Majora's Mask 3D is skippable, or at least not a version worth tracking down imho.) A Link Between Worlds takes priority though.

Kid Icarus Uprisinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng

Metroid: Samus Returns? See, I would only really recommend it to Metroid fans that generally enjoy all the Metroid games. It's not as good as AM2R. I also wouldn't try to push Samus Returns on people because I think the game is bound to be disappointing unless they are expecting a pretty standard game of this type (e.g., without a glimmer of greatness).
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
If you want to play some Kirby, Kirby Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot are top-class within the series. The latter has the Kirby mecha, while the former features the Hypernova ability for swallowing gigantic eels whole.

Otherwise, Pushmo is a satisfying 3D puzzle challenge that makes good use of the stereoscopy.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Another vote for Link Between Worlds
Devil Survivor Overclocked
Devil Survivor 2
Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Zelda: Majoras Mask 3D (the version is divisive, but I found it to be a lot of fun, and some things at least were changed for the better)
Starfox 3D
Mario 3D Land
Dragon Quest 7
Dragon Quest 8

Boxboy and its sequels (cute puzzle games with basically no story, eshop only)
 

q 3

Posts: 181,942
(they/them)
Style Savvy is incredible and unique. Trendsetters if you want a physical cart, Styling Star is the best but digital only.

7th Dragon III Code VFD for a pansexual polyamorous just utterly gonzo JRPG.

Pocket Card Jockey is a horse-raising, solitaire-playing mashup that shouldn't work but totally does.

Picross isn't unique to the 3DS but the 3DS is the ideal platform for it.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Two titles that I played a lot of that I don't see mentioned often enough are the similarly named Tomodachi Life and Fantasy Life.

Tomodachi: What if an ant farm, but for Miis that look like you and your friends and maybe Hank Hill? The wacky logical evolution of 1985's Little Computer People.

Fantasy: Eight different classes ("Lifes") to mix and match skills from, while solving the troubles of Reveria with the help of a talking butterfly. It's also Level-5 Likes Puns: The Game. Local and Wi-Fi three player co-op are available, plus an expansion!

Other Honorable Mentions:
- Pokemon X/Y (I can't speak to R/S or either Sun/Moon incarnation; I have not played them.)
- Ever Oasis
- Link Between Worlds (The only 3DS game where the 3D works well!)
- Kirby: Robobot
- SMT: Soul Hackers
- Dragon Quest VIII
- The downloadable Guild02 collection (Attack of the Friday Monsters, The Starship Damrey, Bugs vs Tanks)
- Miitopia

Probably WarioWare Gold and Rhythm Heaven MegaMix too, but I have no first hand experience with either of 'em.
 

narcodis

the titular game boy
(he/him)
I'll also throw a chip in for Monster Hunter Stories! Late in the life of the 3DS but it's a fun one.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
  • Kirby Triple Deluxe
  • Kirby Planet Robobot
  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Sonic Generations
  • Shinobi
  • SEGA 3D Classics
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection
  • Spy Hunter
  • Project X Zone and it's sequel, if you enjoy fanservice.
All I got off the top of my head.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
I have to second Soul Hackers, since it's the best port a Saturn RPG could have received, and definitely some of the best fun I've had with the 3DS. The digital version is often on sale for around 5 monies, too (in fact, it's on sale right now in Europe). It takes the series' core gimmick of party-building via demon negotiation and adds the notion of "demon loyalty" to the mix: rather than levelling them up, you increase your demons' loyalty by giving them gifts (e.g. jewels or booze) which in turn makes them more reliable in battle (a neglected demon will often refuse to carry out your orders at the worst possible moment). Apart from learning how to game these systems, if you've played any other dungeon crawlers before you'll be right at home. One of the most impressive things about this port of Soul Hackers is its commitment to the original game's aesthetics. It doesn't just retain the original graphics and music, but as much of the total package as possible, right down to the original compressed-to-hell FMV cutscenes and boss battle transitions, which are all included essentially untouched. The game really nails a specific Gibson-esque conception of cyberspace, and I'm so glad that the 3DS version leaves its specific aesthetic character, its social/political concerns, etc, intact, and doesn't try to awkwardly update them.

I like how off-kilter the gameplay is, too, the demon loyalty system being such that if a boss fight is proving too tough, it's less a matter of levelling up and more a matter of finding the right pals and getting them drunk. The demon dialogue/negotiation is a fair bit more robust than in most of the other SMT games, too. They're still just talking in weird non-sequiturs most of the time, but you haven't exhausted their lines after three encounters. Thanks to this and the trippy nightmare-spaces you encounter them in, the battle situations never get old. I also love the fact that you can hold B to RUN SIDEWAYS DOWN CORRIDORS AT 100MPH - who says dungeon crawlers are 'slow'?
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
custom firmware and an R4 card uh okay let's see
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon are, for my money, the best titles on the system. I played Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire more, but I'd say SM are better games. I'd even put them above Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon because you're trading a lot of legitimately interesting story stuff for like... a handful of new Pokémon and minor new features in that case.
  • Super Mario 3D Land was my favourite Mario game since 64. It's not as sprawling as the Wii U/Switch sequel, but it's much tighter and a bit more puzzley at times. Also it occasionally uses the 3D effect really well. I don't wanna part the kimono too much but the postgame here is unprecedented.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star is like kale: I enjoyed it in the moment but it left a bad taste in my mouth afterwards. Really wears out its welcome near the end after you've realized how pointless its mechanical loop is, but you can definitely wring some fun out of it in the interim. There was also a certain novelty at the time to a Paper Mario game that only used traditional Mario enemies and locations since plenty of them hadn't been used yet in the previous Paper Mario games.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon would be a great game if it weren't for the bosses. As it is, it's mostly a wonderful little compartmentalized version of Luigi's Mansion that just happens to be broken up by some of the worst boss fights I've ever seen in a video game.
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot is Kirby in a mech and everyone loves Kirby (and mechs).
  • Ocarina of Time 3D is absolutely the definitive version of Ocarina. It looks the way Ocarina looks in your memories and plays the way you wish Ocarina had always played. The 3D effect is also stunning, but optional.
  • A Link Between Worlds is, however, the best Zelda game on the system. It's a logical extension of LTTP but with a really cool gimmick that's used very cleverly. Plus, despite being a direct sequel, it felt like Nintendo's first huge tentative step outside of their comfort zone with modern Zelda: items are, for the most part, rented and not found; and your access to which dungeon you want to explore next is limited only to how much money you're willing to shell out on exploratory items.
  • Wario Ware Gold is probably the best Wario game? I mean logically it has to be, right? It's just the best parts of all the other Wario Ware games, crammed into one, and with disturbingly spot-on voice acting.
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf does not have the covid-appeal that New Horizons has seen, but I felt like it was a more expansive game right out of the box. I dropped off of NH after three or four months, but I kept playing NL for solid years at a time. It also has tons of stuff that thus far hasn't returned for NH, though some of those are slowly trickling back in. How well this one is gonna hold up without a ready audience of people to play multiplayer with is going to be entirely up to your personal tastes, but I'd still recommend looking into it.
  • Etrian Odyssey IV was my first Etrian Odyssey, and I think most people agree that it's the best one. The battle system is clever and engaging, the cartography element is super fun and really picks at the obsessive-compulsive part of my brain, and this was honestly the first time that I ever looked at old-school sword and sorcery RPG gameplay and aesthetics and was like "oh, I get it now. I actually do like this."
  • The Picross e series is a must. There are eight of these available in English (and one that was exclusive to Japan) and I'd recommend all of them without hesitation. Picross is the king of logic puzzle games and the DS line was absolutely its one true kingdom. Also available on the system are Picross 3D Round 2, Sanrio Picross, Pokémon Picross, the My Nintendo reward exclusive My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; and -if you're up for hacking your system- Club Nintendo Picross 1 and 2.
  • There are three Layton games, six-ish Ace Attorney games, and a crossover between the two all available on the system if you're like me and you enjoy logicking out stupid bullshit solutions to stupid bullshit problems.
  • The Guild games are a mixed bag of short Japanese indie games but my absolute favourites are The Starship Damrey (horror exploration game with no tutorials) and Attack of the Friday Monsters (chill-ass slow life game about being a little kid in Japan during a 1970s summer)
  • Xeodrifter is available on everything now, but it was designed with the 3DS' 3D effect in mind and it's a really fun little two-hour Troid-Em-Up.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is like, the best Shantae game. It's just a super good version of one of those. It looks great, it plays great, the progression is more interesting than pretty much all of the other ones, the dungeons have very clever designs. It's just really, really good.
  • Steamworld Dig is a compelling little indie game that plays like a Troid-Em-Up but with a roguelike hook of managing your resources and making sure you get back home before you lose everything.
  • BOXBOY! is a very clever puzzle platformer about making boxes. Of the two major puzzle platformer trilogies on the system, I stan for this one over the Pushmo series.
  • Cave Story is on everything (and you have your choice if you want a good version or a terrible version here), but this is the only port of Ikachan out there besides the original PC freeware game.
  • Gunman Clive is Cowboy Mega Man.
  • Shovel Knight is here if you like that sort of thing.
Additionally, there is an absolute wealth of retro titles on this, the swan song of the Virtual Console itself. Forward-compatible ports of the first two generations of Pokémon games and all of the Sega Ages stuff are the standouts, but there's tons and tons of territory here that I've barely even scraped the surface of.

Also:

⚠UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY 100% CERTAIN THAT YOU'LL NEVER WANT TO HACK YOUR 3DS, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOWNLOADING AT LEAST ONE DSiWARE TITLE. "NINTENDO FAN NETWORK" IS FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND REQUIRES ALMOST NO STORAGE SPACE, AND HAVING IT INSTALLED WILL GIVE YOU A BACKDOOR TO HACK THE SYSTEM IN THE FUTURE WHEN THE 3DS' MASSIVE LIBRARY OF eSHOP-EXCLUSIVES INEVITABLY BECOMES UNAVAILABLE THROUGH LEGAL MEANS⚠

Oh, on that note:
  • Snapdots is a really good DSiware puzzle game. It's actually a remake of the Japan-only GBA title Guru Logi Champ that inexplicably sucks all the charm out of the presentation layer, but the puzzles are literally identical. This is the one and only legal means to play one of my favourite puzzle games ever, so... yeah, get it.
 

4-So

False is the dawn that promises anything
My 3DS collection is currently in storage and I don't remember everything I have. Based on sheer memory, the games that stuck with me:

Super Mario 3D Land
New Super Mario Bros. 2
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Metroid: Samus Returns
Dragon Quest 8
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario
Bravely Second
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (but only if you don't already have the DS version)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (only if you don't have the GBA version)
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
BOXBOY! is very good, but BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! is on Switch now (I assume it's also good).
 

Gaer

chat.exe a cessé de fonctionner
Staff member
Moderator
Rhythm Thief R is a fantastic rhythm game from SEGA and a lot of the same people who did Space Channel 5.
 

JaikuRirishii

Worthless Physicist
(He/Him)
I feel like I could suggest a lot more if we're talking about the DS as well as the 3DS, but since I'm not sure, I'm gonna keep it to 3ds.
Also, I haven't turned on my 3ds in ages so I'm just opening up my game cases and attempting to recall fond memories.

Radiant Historia is an amazing non-linear-ish JRPG for the DS that got remade into 3ds, with really neat combat encounters.
Persona Q/Q2 are dungeon crawlers that use the Persona characters, so if you like Persona, not bad. I don't feel like they stand out much aside from that context.

Also, Bravely Default and Bravely Default II are both good, but... I'd try to get the first one for cheap. It's got some pacing issues in the back. Kid Icarus Uprising is great but I always found it hard to play for too long continuously. Hand Cramps. Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is great. As are the two Zelda 3ds remakes of N64 titles. Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot are both good, but Robobot is the better of the two. I very much enjoyed Pokemon Y and Pokemon Sun. Never played Ultra Sun. Theatryhthm Final Fantasy and its sequel are pretty good.
 

madhair60

Video games
Chibi-Robo Zip Lash is a super fun side scroller and probably cheap now.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is lots of fun.

Kirby Triple Deluxe/Kirby Planet Robobot/Kirby Extra Epic Yarn, all grand. Robobot is best in a pinch.

Luigi's Mansion and Luigi's Mansion 2/Dark Moon, both bangers. LM2 is amazing.

New Super Mario Bros 2 is enormous fun.

Noitu Love 2 Devolution is a trip.

Paper Mario Sticker Star is brilliant and the people who don't like it are literal idiots (I don't actually think this)

Phoenix Wright, all of them.

Sonic Generations 3DS is a game I had a lot of fun with, but unlocking all the missions might now be literally impossible.

Theatrhythm Curtain Call slaps.

Wario Ware Gold slaps.

Yoshi's New Island is brilliant and the best Yoshi's Island sequel due to being way friendlier than any of the others, including the original.

Yoshi and Poochy's Woolly World also rules.

Edit: There are also lots of lovely Game Boy games on the Virtual Console.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Not enough people have said Attack of the Friday Monsters. There are several good Fire Emblem games. The same goes for Ace Attorney and Layton. The Mighty Switch Force games are delightful, though they are also on WiiU. Basically all of Nintendo'S first party output is worth owning if you are a fan of its series.
 

muteKi

say "fish don't exist" to my face, motherfucker
If you want to play some Kirby, Kirby Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot are top-class within the series. The latter has the Kirby mecha, while the former features the Hypernova ability for swallowing gigantic eels whole.
Triple Deluxe is the most cathartic game I've ever played

Sonic Generations 3DS is a game I had a lot of fun with, but unlocking all the missions might now be literally impossible.
It's possible but will be very slow and take a lot of walking (you can use play coins to unlock missions). I would say to just cheat the play coins if you can. Still, I agree it's a solid game and give it a decent recommendation but if you were going to play one post-GBA Sonic handheld game I'd say to make it Sonic Colors.

Lost World is...a mixed bag. It uses its 3D I think even better than the WiiU game but its controls are really touchy and a couple levels are just interminable the first time through. However the Sonic Boom games are pretty fun if a little uninspired; your mileage will depend a lot on how much the phrase "open-ended Sonic levels" strikes joy or fear into your heart.
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
Seems not to be available in the UK. What's the recommended one in that case?
Any DSiware game should work fine, I just usually tell people Nintendo Fan Network since it's the only one that's free in NA. You can search by price in the eshop and narrow it down by platform, so just look for the cheapest DSiware game in your region.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Hmm, let's see what I found truly compelling on my 3DS. I'm sure there will be repeats, but just count 'em as another vote in their favor.
  • Ocarina of Time 3D - Believe it or not, I was a bit disappointed when I finally played the N64 version. It was good to me, not great. But this remake changed that - smoothing out the presentation really helped, and I could really appreciate the design. It's still not my favorite 3D Zelda game (I'd take both Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess first), but it's up there.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star - Yes, I know it's not very popular. I loved it, though. Give it a chance, at any rate.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers - Very old school (it's a Saturn port!), but I had a blast with it. Just remember to go pure physical with the MC (no spells) and heavy magic with Nemissa.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - Expands on the original in just about every way. If you liked the first, you need this one.
  • A Link Between Worlds - I thought this was a simple cash grab. I was wrong. My only gripe is that the presentation could have been a little better, and it could have had a bit more bite.
  • Bravely Default - Sure, the back end can get repetitive, but this game was fun to break, and it's awesome how it makes leveling your classes so easy.
  • Kirby Triple Deluxe - One of my absolute favorite Kirby games. I was shocked how much I enjoyed this, especially coming off of the Wii game. I also think it's better than Planet Robobot.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - My favorite Shantae game, and a proper Metroidvania. Available tons of places, though, so this might not be the best place to snag it.
  • Dragon Quest VII - I don't know if this or the original PSX game is better, but both are excellent. This gives a decidedly different flavor, so even if you've played the original, you'll probably enjoy revisiting this one.
  • Samus Returns - There are arguments for both this and AM2R. I say play 'em both (I did). It was fascinating to see how both remakes treated the source material.
  • Bowser's Inside Story - My favorite Mario & Luigi game, no question. I played through the DS version, but I would assume that the 3DS version is just as fantastic. Do not miss this one.
Special shout-out to a game that most probably won't care for, but I put in tons of time per session - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. Yes, I mostly enjoyed it, and if you turn the 3D on, it looks really, really cool. (And the visuals tend to be a bit muddy without doing that, honestly.)
 

Ludendorkk

(he/him)
Samus Returns is absolutely one of the best Metroid games, I don't think AM2R is a patch on it at all. Combat in Metroidvania's has never been better and 360° aiming is a must for the series going forward.

The Kirby games are essential, of course
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
Oh, I can't believe I forgot to mention the digital-only Dillon's Rolling Western series. It's a mix of exploration, tower defense, and action gameplay.

Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers, which goes for post-apocalyptic instead of western, might be the best of the bunch. I think it was the only one to get a physical release, but that was limited to overseas.
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
The 3DS was such a good system. Like I spent maybe ninety minutes doing writeups for all that stuff up top but it only covers like two screens worth of my ridiculous home menu.




 
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