The 3DS Launch Line Up

Today when I walked into work, I was immediately reminded of something I’ve been putting off. “Hey Dan, has your new Nintendo arrived yet?”. I replied no, I’ve ordered the thing but it’s not due for another… Three weeks?

The damn thing is four weeks away and I’ve still not actually ordered any games for it. My hopes were to celebrate the launch with Zelda and Starfox, and after those dreams were crushed I could never really bring myself to deal with the task of picking from the meager launch titles. There’s a lot lined up for the 3DS that awakens the impatient gaming 12-year-old in me: a Kid Ikarus rail shooter, Paper Mario, ports of my favourite N64 games and new installments in both the Layton and Ace Attorney series. I just never really imagined when the 3DS was announced that I’d be facing launch in under a month with absolutely nothing that excites me.
Well, almost nothing. Pilotwings is a revival I’ve been hoping for for years. The series is tied with Wave Race for the Nintendo series I most wanted to see revived, both the SNES game and its N64 sequel are all time classics and I find it impossible not to remember them fondly. Selling it as a Resort spinoff strikes me as off, but as long as it has the same minute attention to detail and endless easter eggs as the earlier games it’s going to do the job.
There’s one small problem, though. I suck at Pilotwings. On the SNES I could never do anything besides the skydiving/parachute stages (that exception probably being owed to their overwhelming presence in 90s gaming TV shows), and on the N64 I just unlocked the Birdman stages and flew around taking photos of the landscape.
So, this leaves me with the realisation that if Pilotwings is my only launch game, my first experience with the 3DS will be repeatedly crashing the Gyrocopter into a cliff over and over and ballsing up my landing. What else is left?
Nintendogs+Cats is probably what Nintendo are hoping will shift the units, and indeed it seems to be touted as the main launch title for the console. It’s not for me though, when the “Aww, cute!” wears off I find very little in virtual pet games that demands my attention.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D is admittedly looking fairly impressive, but if there’s one thing sadder than me accidentally massacring the cartoon cast of Pilotwings, it’s me playing fighting games. I have no coordination, no memory for combos and I simply don’t enjoy them enough to have a drive to work towards being good at them . After much tear-shedding and soul searching after being destroyed by Guilty Gear XX’s easy mode I accepted that I’m just the guy who sucks at fighting games. I’m grown up enough to accept my shortcomings and move on with my life, but I’m guessing that spending £35 on SSFIV3D will be enough to leave me calling a therapist.
There’s Monkey Ball, but Sega have been churning them out pretty fast and the last time I enjoyed one was probably Monkey Ball 2 on the GameCube. I love Lego Star Wars as much as the next guy, but I’d rather get the full title on the 360 than play a port that’s most likely watered down, and don’t get me started on the latest round of “Tom Clancy Presents:” games.
Rayman? Rayman is cool. The many, many ports of Rayman 2 have been hit and miss, but maybe this one will be okay.
Of course, I’m typing this with a copy of Rayman DS sitting in a neglected drawer only a few feet away. It’s quite an incredible example of a cash in port. Rayman 2 is a classic of its genre; it’s well designed, vibrant, lovable and exquisitely paced. To take that solid foundation and turn it into a muddy unplayable mess must have taken a kind of sadistic determination that few can rival. Rayman 3D is obviously spawned from the same concept, god forbid we make a new Rayman game when we can bring out what’s left of Rayman 2 for another round.
Maybe if I buy it that’ll change. Maybe they’ll see that the series is profitable and actually release Rayman Origins. Even if Rayman 3D turns out to be as bad as Rayman DS, if Origins is actually released I’ll feel a warm glow of satisfaction for buying it.

I’ll probably get Rayman. Maybe.