Scotland got a sneaky peek at the future of gaming on February 12th & 13th as the Nintendo 3DS live tour was in Glasgow and GGUK were lucky enough to be invited along to the event not only to see just what the new machine was like, but also to get hands on time with some of the games.
So, on a very wet and wild Sunday morning with great excitement we headed off to the event which was being held in the Lighthouse gallery, a gallery that shows the best in design so it was a very fitting venue to showcase the new 3DS in the centre of the city.
Once at the event we were greeted by two members of the Nintendo team who told us where to go. Five floors later we were ready to see what all the buzz has been about. The first stage of the event was a brief history of the Gameboy brand which was very interesting as there was one of each model from the past in glass cases with information about it. This display started with Game and Watch and ended bang up to date with the DSI XL.
Also in the area was a fun demonstration of how the new Street Pass feature will work with the 3DS. You just have to have your 3DS with you and it will pick up other 3DSâ€™s in the area even if they are switched off. This feature will let you share data will other 3DS owners without having to connect with them. The demonstration was on a white mat and when someone walked on it a circle appeared on the floor and if a second person walked on the mat, their circle would connect with the first through a web of lines. This was a very cool visual demonstration of how the new tech would work.
We moved on to the next room and this is where things got a little weird. The room looked like a stage from Streetfighter with a temple backdrop, complete with log seats and market stalls. Then from behind a curtain emerged Ryu and Ken. Yes, living action actors took to the stage and what followed was a live fight, complete with theme music and sound effects. The climax of the brawl was when both fighters prepared to do a Hadouken and just at that second, time over was cried and the fight was over. This was very bizarre, but a very cool thing to have seen. As a Streetfighter fan I thought it was a great bit of fun, but what was to follow was even more bizarre.
After watching Ryu and Ken duke it out we were split into groups of 6 and let into the next room which was pitch black. As we waited to get sent through we could hear someone shout “GET DOWN” and very loud groaning.Â So our time had come to step into the darkness. As we walked in a flashlight was Shone in our faces and the man behind the torch said … â€œI am Chris Redfield and there has been a T-virus outbreak!â€. We were told to get down, put our hand on the person in front and get ready to make our way through the infected zone. The six of us passed through a scene from Resident Evil and through the darkness zombies started appearing, trying to grab us and stop us from getting through. Thankfully we made it to the other side. These two shows where great fun. Who as a gamer hasnâ€™t wondered what it would be like to see a Streetfighter fight or have to make it through a zombie infected village? But now it was time for the main event and to get hands on with the 3DS.
But before that we were treated to a show reel of what games we would be getting to grips with and what games would be coming to the platform in the near future. Games like Mario Kart, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Steel Diver to name just a few. After the show reel, Jonathan Ross appeared on screen and talked about how we would be some of the first to play the 3DS in the UK and also what games would lay ahead.
Then the time had come as one of the many booth babes said “are you ready to see the 3DS?” and showed us the way to the console. We entered a room filled with 3DSâ€™s on stands and we would have around 15 to 20 minutes, so it would be a whistle stop play on the games as there were 15 plus on show, including Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, Super Streetfighter IV, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time and Asphalt 3D to name just a few. This was a great showing of games that would be hitting shop shelves on and around launch for the platform.
My first port of call was Resident Evil: The Mercenaries. Seeing the machine for the first time and seeing the 3D work without glasses is truly a great gaming moment, like playing Kinect or your first game on Xbox Live. The 3D adds a great depth to the games. The level I played in Mercenaries was the one from Resi 4 – the village and was great fun. The new analogue stick works really well, making movement very fluid and those all-important headshots easy to land.
After that I made a bee line to Asphalt 3D to see how a driving game would look and play. This arcade style racer was a lot of fun to play. It played and handled like Need for Speed: Hot pursuit. The cars had nice detailing, but the world was a little basic although when flying by at 100 mph you canâ€™t really tell. The true challenger to this game is going to be Ridge Racer when it hits the market, but for fast fun arcade style racing, itâ€™s a blast.
Then I had a go on Pilotwings Resort. This is a sequel which has been 14 years in the making and lets you take to the skies in planes, rockets and hand gliders as you travel around Wuhu Island, which is the Island from Wii Sports Resort. The 3D feature is used really well to help you judge distances. The level I played was a quick race around the Island where you had to hit markers while making your way around. Again a great fun game idea for pick up and play gaming on the train or bus home. And that was it, time was up and we were asked to make our way to the final room where we would get a chance to see how the new 3D camera works and the augmented reality feature.
So the last room was set up to show how the new augmented reality would work. Having tried it I can say itâ€™s something really special, maybe even better than the 3D… maybe. There was a card on the table and all you had to do was hold it in front of the 3DS and the game begins, because from out of the card a little box appeared. What followed was a shooter style game but you can move 360 degrees around the card on the table and see the object which is sitting on the card with no slow down or breaks in the animation. This was really well done and bodes well for the future as all you need is a card imprinted with data and you have a full game.
Along with the augmented reality, we could get to use the 3D camera to take some pictures and see how it converts them into 3D. Once in 3D you can upload them into games like Face Raiders which pastes your face onto the enemies and you have to shoot them. This was great fun and just shows how you donâ€™t need a game to get the most out of the 3DS as the machine comes packed with new features.
While at the event I managed to grab a few words with some of the people who had just been through the event, as well as some of the staff, to see what they thought of the event and the games on show.
Kathryn Parker & Jodi Madden members of the Nintendo 3DS live
â€œThere has been an excellent attendance at the event with a wide range of age groups enjoying the new console and games, particularly Zelda Ocarina of time and many of the attendees have said that they are going to pre-order the device for launchâ€
â€œBeing witness to real Streetfighters & zombies was an impressive entrance. Dead or Alive & PES looked awesome & played fantastic due to new stick control. AR gaming was very cool. This cynic been converted to two 3DS preordered. Thanks Nintendo Â£400 lighter – OUCH!â€
Umar â€œdoboworthâ€ Ali
â€œThe event could have been a lot better had there been less of the cheesy nonsense and more time with the device. The device was great thoughâ€
Willie â€œwillziakdsâ€ Lockhart
â€œThe 3DS tech was very sweet. Works surprisingly well. Lineup is solid. But more importantly, I am taller than Ken and Ryu. Hadooo….ken!â€
The 3DS live tour was a great chance to have a look at what the future holds for gaming, to see how the new 3DS is shaping up and get to play some of the treble A games in the launch line-up. The Nintendo 3DS live tour is still going around the country and I would say is if you get the chance to go along, you should and see for yourself what all the buzz is about.
Itâ€™s a me