The Light at the End of your 3DS Gaming Session


I’ll be honest from the start; I’ve never been a hardcore Nintendo fan.  Nintendo games have always been a bit twee for me.  I never really liked Mario, I was always a Sonic fan during their early rivalry.  I much preferred hitting people at supersonic speed than jumping on the head of a mushroom moving from side to side.  I don’t do or play nice and as a result I usually avoided most of Nintendo’s biggest games.  I had an N64 for Goldeneye and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Super Smash Bros.  I had a GameBoy, but never took it seriously when my Game Gear was in full colour.  But the DS changed everything for me.  I have always been a fan of turn based strategy games/RPGs and the DS allowed me to take that on the road.  There were quite a few available on the Advance SP, but hell, it looked like a makeup mirror so I wasn’t going to roll with one of them.

I signed up with the Queens Armed Forces in 2000, having taken a year out after college to mess around running leagues and gaming communities for some of the online gaming providers of the time and since then I have travelled a considerable amount.  There’s an age old military saying, ‘Hurry up and wait.’  It sums up quite a lot about the military.  We do a lot of hurrying, just to wait when we get there.

I spent nearly five years without a decent platform for mobile gaming (two came along at once that year) and as a result the second half of the decade of my current military service was a damn sight more entertaining.  Which leads me to my point (you will learn to love this about me), the 3DS battery.

I spend a considerable amount of time gaming.  Sure I love the gym, yoga, self-defence, MMA and parkour as much as the next man and yeah I love my country, I risk my life defending it, but hey, that is all to support my habit.  I’ve got gaming needs man and I think currently the world is trying to stop me getting my fix.

I made the mistake of buying a touch-screen laptop, you know, so I could read role-playing PDFs and comics as I’m moving around.  Sure they gave me two batteries, but the uber-sized leaves a burning imprint in your knee second battery only lasts a few hours of scouring orks in Dawn of War II.

I bought a HTC HD7 over the decidedly better Desire HD because it allows me to get Xbox achievements on the move.  Yes Nintendo, that’s how much I want achievements, I bought my mobile phone around them.  But on full brightness under the desert sun I get a brief amount of Assassin’s Creed before I’m robbed of that too.

But I think to myself, it’s ok, neither of them are designed as hardcore gaming platforms.  Sony and Nintendo have my back.

Imagine with me.  After settling down amidst the pallets and baggage in the hold of a C17, boots off, tucked into my sleeping bag, if I can keep myself awake until I get to the suck I’ll be able to bypass the jetlag and rock straight off to sleep, all I need is a quality game to get me through.

Do I have a quality game?  Yes sir I do.  Nintendo have seen fit to provide me with a turn based military game sir, and you know me, I like turn based and I like the military like I love my mother.  It lets me shoot stuff in a tactical fashion.  But not only that, they have also given me an action fighting game with Samurai, and sir, you know I like the Samurai, they’re a short kimono restricted leap away from being ninjas, and the lord knows that ninjas are the elite soldiers of the past, those guys practically invented the Special Forces.  But not just that, it’s in full 3D goodness, and those Samurai look good in their pure, unadulterated 3D goodness.  You know me sir, I’m as tough as a mobile catering unit’s thrice cooked strand of bacon, but sir, when the opening to Samurai Warriors: Chronicles started in all its heavenly Imperial glory, well sir, I’m not ashamed to admit but I said ‘Weeeeee’.  It’s a beautiful thing sir.

But is it going to last me halfway to the war?  Sadly not.

Now don’t get me wrong, of the 3DS I’m a massive fan, if you were beside me now I would air punch and chest bounce off you to prove it, I heralded the 3DS to my unit.  I mean, if I wasn’t a fan, the battery life wouldn’t be an issue for me, the fact that it wouldn’t get me halfway there on the flight (never mind the hours in the terminal both ends) would be irrelevant because it would be in a box at home.  It’s because I want to play these games for hours that I can see this becoming a problem for me, especially as this is only the beginning.

My mobile gaming is usually restricted to the times that I am away or travelling, you will catch me on a fighting or role-playing game on a 360 or a strategy game on my PC when I’m at home, which means that my handheld games build up and then I play the microchips out of them while I’m away, but without regular access to a power unit, this could be an issue.  But on the plus side for you guys it does mean I will be playing it a lot more at home.  So rather than having to wait for me to deploy to hear my views, you’ll get a regular drip feed.

I will follow this up with a proper review of the 3DS and some of the games at a later date, this is just my immediate gripe.  You’ll go to other people for the twee, you’ll come to me for the rants.  If you like a rant, we can be friends, I might not like you, but you can pretend.

Marshal ‘StealthBuda’ Potts

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