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Got the New 3DS last Friday. There were a bunch of people at Gamestop alongside me to pick theirs up, and Nintendo has been having stock issues (surprise surprise). I'm glad I preordered something, for once...
At any rate, a few early impressions:
- The system feels a lot sturdier than the original 3DS. Heavier, too, but not so much it gets hard to keep holding it for extended periods.
- The UI is FAR more responsive and quicker. The spec improvements are small, but they help in a big way.
- The 3D headtracking is better, but still not consistent enough for me to just "set it and forget it". I still just leave it off most of the time.
- The speakers are much louder, and the screen itself is a bit better. The resolution is still low for a screen so big, though.
- Nintendo's handling of online content/network features is still crud. You have to jump through so many hoops just to get your account set-up, there are too many different accounts, and there's no easy way to interact with people you played against online. It's just awful.
All in all, I'd say it's an impressive improvement on the original 3DS in a lot of ways...but if you didn't have problems with the first 3DS XL, I don't see much reason to upgrade. Not unless you HAVE to have Xenoblade on the go, or Smash shutting everything down really bothers you.
So that's the 3DS. As for Smash?
- The graphics are truly impressive. Sakurai and Nintendo/Namco did a bang up job getting the game running at 60fps--even in 4 player mode in 3D--and load times are minimal. Having seen a raft of shitty running games with endless load times on the PS Vita, Nintendo's optimization efforts put Sony's to shame.
- There is a raft of fun single player content and unlockables available, something that several other fighting games tend to short shrift. I quite enjoy Smash Run, collecting trophies, and unlocking stuff to customize characters.
- The combat strikes a solid balance between intensity and manageability in a way neither Melee (too fast for me) nor Brawl did (too slow, and fuck tripping). It's the most all-around solid of the 4 Smash Bros. games IMO.
- Online is a mixed bag. 4 player mode was unplayably laggy every time I tried it, while 1v1 For Glory runs well for the most part. Beyond that, the community surrounding the game is still quite healthy despite the WiiU version being available.
Overall, I'd give it a 9/10. Nintendo did an excellent job with it. Now I need to figure out what to buy for the system next...