The 3DS has gained some much needed momentum since its disastrous early days. 2012 saw the bigger and better model redesign we should have had day 1, substantial free updates for StreetPass and more games supporting the peripheral feature, and more quality first-party titles that weren’t just Nintendo 64 updates, such as Kid Icarus, Resident Evil: Revelations and Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
2013 looks set to be the best year for the 3DS yet, with a wave of upcoming quality titles that cater for all types of gamers. Take a look at the best games you should be paying attention to this year.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is arguably this year’s biggest first-party 3DS title outside of Pokemon X and Y, having broken ridiculous sales records in its release last year in Japan. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, New Leaf sets the player character, who is customised to your pleasure, to live in a rural village populated by anthropomorphic animals, where you set off to work towards building and paying off your home, interacting with the villagers, fishing, foraging, catching bugs, and more, all with the Nintendo-unique charm.
The game will differ from its predecessors in assigning you as the Mayor of your town, giving you more control over how the village is customised and more duties to attend to. The game will also allow players to see each other's house designs using StreetPass. Have a look at the trailer for yourself and breathe easy knowing that the most underrated Nintendo exclusive is finally releasing.
Release Date: June 9th (North America), June 14th and 15th (Europe and Australia)
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is a direct sequel to the reboot of the franchise, Lords of Shadow, released on consoles in 2010.
Players will control Trevor and Simon Belmont -- the son and grandson of Lords of Shadow protagonist Gabriel Belmont -- in full 3D gameplay, using a mix of melee and shadow magic attacks. With an extensive backstory for each character, Mirror of Fate is shaping up to be an interesting title.
Release Date: March 5, 2013 (North America), March 8, 2013 (Europe Australia)
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Nintendo's best turn-based tactical JRPG makes a return on 3DS this year, with plenty of new and returning popular features added to the core gameplay. The most prominent of these is the "My Unit" feature, which allows you to create your own unique player character.
Awakening also seems set to expand upon StreetPass's potential; when StreetPass'ing with another player, their customised avatar will appear on the map along with their party, allowing you to buy their weapons and even recruit the avatar into the party.
Release Date: February 4, 2013 (North America), April 20th, 2013 (Europe and Australia)
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon looks to be a welcome return to the quirky and spooky adventures of the unfairly ignored Mario brother, last seen on Gamecube 11 years ago.
Similar to its predecessor, Dark Moon tasks the player as Luigi to explore a haunted mansion -- now more than one -- and capture ghosts with the Poltergust 5000, a specialised vacuum made for ghost catching and treasure hunting. Catching ghosts allows you keys to rich deeper parts of the mansion, and there are also plenty more puzzles and hidden sections to solve and discover this time around.
Release Date: March 2013 (North America, Europe and Australia)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
For those that have played Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, you'll be familiar with the addictiveness that is Monster Hunter. Ultimate is the 3DS port of the popular action-roleplaying game, with new 3DS-specific features, more monsters to capture and quests to complete, and underwater gameplay missing from Tri.
Release Date: March 2013
Pokemon X and Y
If you ever needed a final reason to take the plunge and buy a 3DS, Game Freak had you covered last week with the announcement of Pokemon X and Y: the first handheld entry in the franchise to feature fully polygonal 3D graphics in both the overworld and battles, and the first Pokemon titles for the 3DS. Also for the first time in the Pokémon series, the games will be released worldwide simultaneously this October, so 3DS owners everywhere can begin their adventure at the same time.
The game features three new starter Pokémon: Froakie, Fennekin and Chespin, and two legendary Pokemon shaped in the form of the titular X and Y, Xerneas and Yveltal. While more details have yet to be released, X and Y is a the killer reason to finally own a 3DS.
Release Date: October 2013 (Worldwide)
Other 3DS releases of 2013 (UPDATED 03/06/2013)
Ace Attorney 5
Code of Princess
Lego City Undercover
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros
Monster Hunter 4
Professor Layton VS Ace Attorney
Project X Zone
Super Smash Bros
The Legend of Zelda (working title)
What 3DS titles are you looking forward to this year?
By Nathan Misa