The hip thing to do at the end of any year is to look back on what transpired and do a year in review. That, or do a Best of list for the year that just ended. But why focus on the past when we could look forward to the future? That’s what I’m going to do – talk about the notable 3DS titles that are going to be released (for the North America region) in the first three months of 2016. And to be frank, I didn’t buy a lot of the games released in 2015 so if I did a Best of 2015 3DS games, it’s going to be a short two item list.
This isn’t a list of “good” releases because, well, I haven’t played any of these games yet so I don’t know if these games are good or not. I mean, they haven’t been released yet. And I’m only going to talk about the games that are notable to me, not all the 3DS games that are scheduled for release this year. If there’s a 3DS game that I failed to mention, either I don’t know about that game or I don’t have the slightest bit of interest in it.
Oh and yeah, I originally planned on writing about all of the games scheduled for release in 2016 that I have my eyes on but when you get to the end of this article, you’ll see why I ended up restricting myself to just the first quarter of the year.
With all that said, here are the games coming out between January and March 2016 that have my attention:
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (Jan. 2016)
I’ve always considered Paper Mario to be Mario, but presented as flat paper cut-outs. I never thought that the Paper Mario world was totally separate from the world that the Mario Bros. are existing in, but it looks like that’s the case as this game is a cross over between the Mario Bros. world and the Paper Mario world.
The potential for hilarity when Mario and the gang discover that there are paper versions of themselves should already be enough for people to consider playing this game, but I’ve been hearing some good stuff about this already, particularly how Paper Mario’s involvement adds to the variety of solid RPG gameplay that Mario & Luigi games already provide. I wouldn’t call this a must buy, but definitely something to look at especially for fans of the past Mario & Luigi and/or Paper Mario games.
Final Fantasy Explorers (Jan. 2016)
The quickest way to describe Final Fantasy Explorers is to call it a Monster Hunter game but in the Final Fantasy universe. Of course it’s not as simple as that, since players are presented different goals in each series: hunt monsters in Monster Hunter, and hunt for crystals in Final Fantasy Explorers. But the games are said to have similar action RPG elements that support single- and multiplayer gameplay modes.
Sometimes, a familiar brand can make games more intriguing. I’ve never really been interested in any of the Monster Hunter games despite all the positive feedback that I’ve read/heard about them, but the idea of playing a similar game but with the various elements of Final Fantasy is enough to put Final Fantasy Explorers on my radar.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (Jan. 2016)
Historically, games that are based on movies tend to be poor. Unless it’s a LEGO game, which you can expect to be decent at the very least. Which is why I’m keen on LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, a game set to be released across different platforms early this year. This is also the first game that will feature the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Avengers which I am a fan of.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers probably won’t be revolutionary or even great, and the 3DS version can be expected to be a weaker version of its home console counterparts. But LEGO movie tie-in games aren’t made to be special or revolutionary – they’re meant to give players a chance to relive scenes from their favorite movies in a more interactive manner. And that’s what I’m expecting to get from this game: the chance to relive events from Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and of course Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s almost the entirety of Phase 2! Definitely worth considering, especially if you’re a fan of the Marvel Studios films.
Project X Zone 2 (Feb. 2016)
Crossovers seem to be popular in today’s time so I can definitely see the appeal of Project X Zone 2, a strategy RPG with characters from games made by Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco, and even a few from Nintendo. I’m sure that anyone who enjoys playing video games must have come across two or three games from these companies, games like Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Tekken, Mega Man X, Virtua Fighter, Sakura Wars, Shenmue, Yakuza, and so on.
Seriously, think about this: a strategy RPG where you have Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Jin Kazama, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Kazuya Mishima, Leon Kennedy, Phoenix Wright, Axel Stone, Ryo Hazuki, and even Heihachi Mishima all in your army. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Awesome enough to be worth a look at least, in my opinion.
Fire Emblem Fates (Feb. 2016)
Fire Emblem Fates is the game that I’m really looking forward to this year. Scratch that – the Fire Emblem Fates games are the two games that I’m really looking forward to. Ummm, make that two point five games. Okay, let me expound further – Fire Emblem Fates is the next entry in Nintendo’s renowned strategy RPG franchise which comes in two versions (Birthright and Conquest) and a third version (Revelation) as DLC.
I’m really high on Fire Emblem Fates because of its plot, which involves the kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr fighting over the allegiance of the game’s central character. In Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, you as the central character will help defend Hoshido against Nohr; Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest offers the opposite experience, with you siding with Nohr against Hoshido. In Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, you reject both kingdoms and as such become opponents to both sides. I find this approach to be really intriguing, especially since the game won’t present either of the kingdoms to be clearly good or evil, which is a reflection of how conflicts between countries are in the real world.
Personally, I think the Fire Emblem Fates games are THE 3DS games to get in 2016 unless you don’t like strategy RPGs. I’m going to talk about these games further this month in a separate In the Crosshairs article so watch out for that.
Mega Man Legacy Collection (Feb. 2016)
Mega Man Legacy Collection is a compilation of the first six Mega Man NES games that is set to be released across multiple platforms, including the 3DS. All versions will have new features such as boss rush modes, remix modes and speed trials. What makes the 3DS version a little more special than the others is how it will support the Mega Man amiibo figure (which I have) – you can unlock an additional set of “challenges” (ten according to some sources, eleven according to others) that are exclusive to the 3DS version if you have the said amiibo figurine.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything about the game that pertains to the 3DS version having stereoscoping 3D effects which is a shame because I’ve seen how much the addition of 3D effects can have on older 8-bit and 16-bit games. I’d also prefer to have a Mega Man X collection, simply because the NES Mega Man games are already available in Virtual Console form and because I already have the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Gamecube (a similar compilation that also includes Mega Man 7 and 8). But I’ve been waiting for a game that my Mega Man amiibo can be used on aside from Super Smash Bros. and I’ve never been able to beat any of the Mega Man NES games beyond 3, so I’m definitely considering this. This is also a good chance for those who missed out on the original NES releases or on any of the previously released compilations to experience what the classic Mega Man games were like.
I’m not a fan of any of the Pokemon games and even I can’t ignore the release of the original Pokemon games on the 3DS Virtual Console. Yes, 3DS owners will be able to play legitimate versions of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow on their 3DS – it will even allow players to do trades using wireless connectivity! Unfortunately, these games are digital-only, but even I don’t mind as these are GameBoy games and thus should have small file sizes. Japan is even getting Pokemon Green, similar to the treatment that they got when Pokemon was originally released. Diehard Pokemon fans are sure to buy copies of these.
Hyrule Warriors Legends (Mar. 2016)
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a hack and slash game from Koei Tecmo for the 3DS. Think Dynasty Warriors but with characters from various games in the Legend of Zelda series and you basically know what this game is about. A port of the Wii U game Hyrule Warriors, the 3DS version will come with all the previously released DLC plus a few more additional playable characters like Skull Kid (the main antagonist of Majora’s Mask) and Linkle, a female version of Link.
Hyrule Warriors has gotten mostly positive reviews and is one of the Wii U games that I wanted to play but previously couldn’t because I don’t have a Wii U, so I’m very excited about the release of the 3DS version. All those bonuses are just gravy to the meat and potatoes of solid hack and slash gameplay.
I just realized – 3DS owners have a lot of new games to look forward to this year, and most of them are getting released in the first three months! I didn’t even get a chance to talk about Bravely Second: End Layer, the controversial Metroid Prime: Federation Force, or the different Dragon Quest games that are all scheduled for release sometime this year. I thought that the 3DS was nearing the end of its lifespan, but it looks like the handheld is just about to hit its peak.
What do you think about the upcoming 3DS titles? Is there any title that I missed? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!