Gaming in Japan and with the New 3DS

Gaming in Japan. That sounds like a dream to some Americans who long for games that may never reach our shores. Over the past week, I had the opportunity to visit Japan. Yes, the typhoon hit, but that actually gave me time out of a packed schedule to go exploring the used video game world in Japan. Since my visit corresponded with the release of the New 3DS, I also stopped by an electronics shop to try it out, but more on that later. My first impression when I saw the prices in Japan is that video games are crazy expensive. If there is one reason why Nintendo is so insistent on region locking, this would explain it. Gameboy Advance games still are being sold for $30+, USED! (Note: $30 is a bit more than 3,000 Yen)

Found Mother 3, but with a price tag of $40. The other games are Final Fantasy and Fire Emblem

Found Mother 3, but with a price tag of $49. The other games are Final Fantasy and Fire Emblem

I also found Mario Kart DS being sold new for about $40. To be fair, I found some games like Bowser’s Inside Story for $2.50. On the flip side, that is half the cost of the golden gem known to the world as Pokémon Green.

Forget about catching them all, I gotta catch Mew!

Forget about catching them all, I gotta catch Mew!

As I was in Japan, I kept thinking that maybe I should pick up the New 3DS or an old one so I could play the Japanese Exculsive titles. However, seeing games like Batman Arkham City and Zombie U still going for $50 in the Wii U section forced me to step back a little. It’s really just an unreasonable and impractical idea at the moment. Maybe if my Japanese was better and if I wasn’t struggling through Digimon Story: Super Xros Wars. I actually picked up the Pokémon game for the gameboy because it was probably at the level I can read. Newer games have so much text and tutorials, it’s hard to pick up for a beginner, let alone someone who doesn’t have a firm grasp on the language.

Anyways, I’ve been holding you off on the New 3DS long enough. Quick summary: it’s good. It is a good improvement on the old 3DS that I used to take pictures of the new one with. It was hard to say if the 3d effect is deeper or not since I didn’t have any games on my old one to compare with the demos on the New 3DS. However, I did open up some demos and it did look nice. The head tracking does work, but not as nicely as I’ve heard some people say. The viewing angle might be larger, but I still found some occasions when it did not line up right, leading to a double image that would hurt your eyes if you aren’t careful. On the plus side, the worry I had if there was a second face doesn’t seem to be a problem. It still tracked mine and gave me a slight double image in some cases but otherwise it was good.

This was actually to see if I could see the 3d effect of the New 3DS on through the old 3DS

This was actually to see if I could see the 3d effect of the New 3DS on through the old 3DS

As for added gameplay, I found that the added buttons and “C-stick” are not seen as a circle pad pro. This means I was not able to use them at all in Monster Hunter 3G, unless there was a setting I failed to find in my short time playing with it. Smash Bros. was the only game I found that utilized these controls and it was interesting. The default setting is the ZR and ZL are the same as the L and R but swapped. This means R can be your Shield but ZR is a grab and the reverse is true for the L and ZL. The biggest surprise, though, was how the c-nub as I call it, worked. I don’t know why Nintendo is insistent in calling it a “C-Stick” since it doesn’t move. If it does, it is so slight that you may question how the game knows that you’re using it. To be honest, it worked perfectly in Smash Bros. The bigger surprise was that you could charge smash attacks using the “C-Stick.” This is going to be a big game changer as those smash attack used to require some skill to pull off, but now anyone can master them quite easily.

That’s all I have for my trip. There were a few other things I saw on my trip, such as a soundtrack that cost more than the actual game and that Tomodachi Life was a DS game, but these were the big impressions I came across as I explored the video game world in Japan and filled my 3DS with Streetpasses. All I can say is that I want a New 3DS but it’s best to wait until it comes to America because buying new games in Japan is way too expensive. Now excuse me as I go and catch Mew.

Looks just like the 3DS game

Looks just like the 3DS game

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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise