Nintendo Gaming #7: Using the 3DS and playing Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon

Cobolt Blue 3DS with Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon

In this blog post I wanted to give my initial impressions of the 3DS. After openeing up the box shown above, I pulled out my 3DS system. I needed to charge the battery first, and that’s what I did.

After that, I flipped opened my 3DS and held it in my hands, ready to power it up for the first time. I was surprised at how nice the 3DS system felt in my hands. It felt better than how my DS Lite feels in my hands. I couldn’t wait to get some serious play time with this 3DS system.

Cobalt Blue 3DS (Closed)

Cobalt Blue 3DS (opened)

When you first boot up the 3DS, one of the things the system tells you to do while you’re setting things up is to turn on the 3D effect to test it out. Well, I did that for about 2 seconds then I turned off the 3D. That is the first and probably the last time I will use the 3D effect on my 3DS. (haha!)

Those of you who read one of my previous “Nintendo Gaming” blog posts will remember me saying that I got a minor headache after testing out the 3D effect when I was playing the 3DS at a local store a few months ago.

The 3DS system does have internet functionality. There’s a wireless switch on the system that you use to enable the system to have internet access. You can browse the Nintendo eShop from your 3DS system and buy digital content like games and DLC. There’s even an internet browser for you to use to surf the internet.

Unfortunately, my experience with using my 3DS got off to a very bad start. Looking back, if I wanted to test a game out, I guess the ideal thing to do was play a 3DS game first on my 3DS system. But I am currently playing Nostalgia, a DS game, on my DS Lite. Nostalgia is an RPG developed by Matrix (who also developed the DS versions of Final Fantasy III and IV) and published by Ignition (in North America).

I was curious to see how my DS games would fare on my 3DS, so Nostalgia ended up being the first game that I played on my new 3DS system. I inserted my Nostalgia game card into my 3DS, booted the game up, loaded up my save, and started playing it.

Within 2 minutes of playing, the game froze up. It froze while I was piloting my airship around on the overworld map. Man, this ticked me off so bad. But I guess a good thing is that even though the game was frozen, I was able to exit out of the game and go back to the HOME menu. I wish I could do the same and exit out of a game when my Xbox 360 and PS3 games freeze up.

Prior to this, I had played Nostalgia for about ten hours on my DS Lite and the game worked flawlessly. It never froze on my DS Lite. After testing it out on my 3DS, I would later play Nostalgia on my DS Lite. I played for about a an hour and a half. There were no freezes.

Needless to say, Nostalgia freezing up on my 3DS really left a bad taste in my mouth. Like I said, I didn’t even play the game for more than 2 minutes before it froze.

Anyway, if you have a DS game inserted into your 3DS, another (somewhat) negative thing is that in the instruction manual, it states that you have to enable wireless (internet) prior to starting a DS game but you can shut it off when you are actually playing the game. The manual (as far as I can tell) says nothing about needing to enable wireless for starting up 3DS games.

I did not know about this prior to buying my 3DS system. I don’t know what the reason(s) for this requirement is, but it feels like a form of DRM to me.  Okay, I know that most people buy a 3DS system mainly to play 3DS games, and even if I did know about this beforehand, it probably wouldn’t dissuade me from buying a 3DS system.

As I have stated on many occasions, I do have a DS Lite. I don’t know if this “having to enable wireless” thing had anything to do with Nostalgia freezing up on me. But I guess I will be using my DS Lite system to play all my regular DS games for the time being.

Fortunately my next experience was more positive. The next game I played was Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. As I mentioned in my previous “Nintendo Gaming” blog post (and you can see it in the picture at the top of this blog post), I bought the Cobalt Blue 3DS system with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon pre-installed. That means that my copy of this game is the digital version, and it’s already installed on the SD card that came with this system (I believe all 3DS systems come with an SD card, but don’t quote me on that).

So I started up Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and the first thing that jumped out at me were how gorgeous the graphics are. Yes,  I know that the 3DS is a more powerful system than the DS and the 3DS is capable of better graphics. But I didn’t expect them to look this good.

I’ve only played about 3 and a half hours into it, but so far I’m enjoying Luigi’s Mansion a lot. The game is fun to play and the cutscenes are very charming. Other than a few voices here and there, there is no voice acting but I’m fine with that.

Exploring the mansion is a blast. I’m always on the lookout for secrets and collectibles. Fighting the ghost enemies is fun too, for the most part.

The game does have a few minor control issues, such as the Luigi not always facing in the direction I want him to. This is okay when I’m in a room with no enemies but when I get to a room with multiple enemies sometimes this can be a small problem. Sometimes I feel like I unfairly lost some health.

Yes, you can die in this game. You have health, in the form of hearts. The game isn’t too hard (at least not the initial missions) and there are lots of opportunities to refill your health. But you can mess up and die, which is something I found out when I got too careless and died during the second mission (haha). I had to start the entire mission over again.

Now I don’t think you are able to save your game during a mission. I really wish there was a way to save your game during a mission, even if the save is just a temporal save that gets erased when you load it up the next time you play. As a adult, unexpected things come up all the time and sometimes I need to suddenly go do something or go somewhere.

Granted, I could put the game in sleep mode, which suspends the game and puts my 3DS system a low powered state. But if I have to go somewhere, I’d rather just save my game and turn off the system.

Yeah, I know that the missions (so far) are quite short and can be completed in a couple of minutes – if you knew exactly what you were doing, that is. But playing the game the first time, I just want to take my time, explore the mansion, and just enjoy playing the game. I mean, the game is short enough as it is, without me rushing through it.

I also believe that this means should you fail a mission, all the stuff and data you collected (coins, gems, collectibles, ghost data, etc…) during that mission also gets erased. But I could be wrong.

The final thing I wanted to mention in this blog post is the short battery life of the 3DS battery. The manual says the battery lasts about 3-5 hours before needing be charged. I did know about this before buying my 3DS.

For me, during this first use of my 3DS, the battery lasted about 4 hours before needing to be charged. As I mentioned, I played about 3 and a half hours of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I also browsed the eShop for about 30 minutes.

I’m going to see if I can do a few things to extend the life of battery, like dimming down the brightness of the screen (the factory settings have the brightness set to the highest setting) and turning off the wireless while playing a game that doesn’t use any online features. Hopefully doing those things will let the battery in my 3DS will last a bit longer.

By the way, I’m sure some of you know that the Nintendo Network including the eShop went down for a few days during Christmas, and maybe you are concerned about it. Well, I browsed the eShop a few days ago on my 3DS and encountered no problems at all.

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