With so many games coming out over the next three months, we’ll need another job to afford them all. Sony has a quality PS4 lineup this holiday season and Microsoft hopes to make up some ground with promising Xbox One games and system bundles. Nintendo, meanwhile, has a sort of one-two punch. Not only does it have games for the Wii U console, but also its dual screen handhelds, the 3DS and 2DS; essentially the same system, minus 3D effects in the latter.
If you enjoy portable games, get ready for a stellar lineup from both Nintendo and third parties. There’s a conspicuous lack of new bundles and redesigns, but considering Pokemon plays a huge role in the big N’s 2014 holiday season, there’s still a chance of seeing a 3DS or 2DS with exclusive artwork and colors.
On that note, let’s get started.
Nintendo 3DS and 2DS First Party Buffet
October 3. Circle the date on your calendar and start counting the days, because that is when Nintendo releases the handheld version of Super Smash Bros., presumably a month or so before the Wii U edition. This pintsized version of the highly anticipated brawler features the same roster, including the likes of Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Mega Man and Donkey Kong, but it comes with levels you won’t see in the Wii U game and vice versa. Perfect example, a train stage inspired by the epic DS adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
We still don’t know how great the 3DS/2DS Smash will be (recent demos are a blast), but having the option to take the series on the go for the first time is too good an opportunity to pass up. Again, this game drops October 3.
What will you do in the meantime? We suggest kicking back and enjoying Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. This joint venture (between Level-5, Capcom and published by Nintendo in the U.S.) brings two of the sharpest minds together in what should be a memorable title. On one side, you have the puzzle-solving super sleuth, and the other, the cross-examining (OBJECTION!) no-nonsense lawyer. They get transported to a magical city plagued by a witch, and must combine forces to unravel the mystery. Considering each universe has millions of fans around the world, this mash-up will be at the top of their must have lists.
Pokemon fans have much to look forward to. First up is Pokemon Art Academy on October 24. This spin-off to the excellent art series lets players sketch and paint their favorite critters from the popular franchise, using a plethora of different markers, colored pencils and other tools of the trade.
If you care to double dip October 24, Nintendo should release Fantasy Life, yet another game from storied developer Level-5. While the company has yet to go into much detail, you’re free to experience the adventure as one of 12 different classes, such as a lumberjack or fisherman. You can try them all, and the game changes each time you do. Suffice to say, it’s unlike anything we’ve seen in the RPG genre.
From there, we have Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire November 21, but don’t call them simple GBA ports. While each title shares similarities with the original Ruby and Sapphire games, the revamps are in full 3D, feature new Mega-Evolved Pokemon, special cosplay Pikachu (even one dressed as a Mexican wrestler) and other enticing features.
The 3DS Third Party Report
While solid overall, two third party games stand out. The first, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call from Square Enix, builds off the entertaining prequel with even more music and modes than before, pulled from the legendary role-playing series; look for it September 16.
From there, Activision plans to release the 3DS/2DS version of Skylanders Trap Team on October 5. Don’t ignore this portable effort, as previous handheld versions do an excellent job complimenting the console games.
There’s more, of course. You can feast upon Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit! September 16, and EA Sports releases FIFA 15 on September 23. Bandai Namco, meanwhile, has a trio of games in October. Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle launches October 7, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 hits shelves October 14 and Power Rangers Super MegaForce comes out October 28. Finally, Sega ushers in the next generation of Sonic the Hedgehog with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on November 11.