As third-parties began to dry up, Nintendo hit hard with consistent first-party releases.
Looking at the lineup for early 2014, one thing seemed clear: Nintendo was painfully aware of the third-party situation on 3DS and was trying their best to counteract it. Outside of a few 3DS eShop titles, the only third-party games of any note in early 2014 were some Lego games and the weird Atlus RPG Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars.
Fortunately, Nintendo’s own lineup was filled and varied. RPGs got represented by Bravely Default in February, followed by some puzzle love in Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy and Pokemon Battle Trozei. Animal Crossing-like sims even got some representation with Disney Magical World. Of course not all of these games could be winners, as the divisive Yoshi’s New Island came out in March, but if you owned a 3DS, you probably at least had one game that interested you from this batch.
The deeper cuts were the eShop games, like the goofy Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder and the free-to-play continuation of the thriving (?) Steel Diver license, Steel Diver: Sub Wars. The latter was far better than it ever had any right being.
This era also saw the launch of Retro City Rampage DX on 3DS, which is a great version of a good game. Also, Renegade Kid brought out Moon Chronicles and Level-5 brought over the long-lost Guild game Weapon Shop de Omasse.
Honestly? As far as revisiting goes, not much here is too notable. In lieu of Bravely Default, I’d say just go play its sequel Bravely Second. That sequel feeling also extends to Disney Magical World and Pokemon Battle Trozei.
The scene for Sub Wars is likely dying (and it wasn’t that vibrant to begin with). Azran Legacy is probably the weakest mainline Layton game, also doubling as being the sixth entry (and third straight prequel) in a mildly stagnant story-driven series.
If you feel like you want to play an RPG where the goal is make love to a lady to make babies you can then use in combat, I don’t know I guess play Conception II? It’s a good game wrapped in an awkward and weird setup.
Neal’s Top 15 3DS Games
- Fire Emblem Awakening (February 2013)
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf (June 2013)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (November 2013)
- Super Mario 3D Land (November 2011)
- Kid Icarus: Uprising (March 2012)
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (March 2013)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (June 2011)
- Pushmo (December 2011)
- Mutant Mudds (January 2012)
- Shin Megami Tensei IV (July 2013)
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (July 2012)
- Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (February 2013)
- SteamWorld Dig (August 2013)
- Bravely Default (February 2014)
- Pokemon X and Y (October 2013)