The games of March 2011

More games this month than you can shake a 3DS at

MARCH 27

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Handheld fighting games usually pale in comparison to their console brothers, but this 3D-enabled version of SSFIV will likely buck the trend. We’ve spent a good amount of time with it and, cramped controls aside, found it was possible to pull off any and all combos found in the console versions. The visuals and animations are also on par (when scaled down to fit on the 3DS screen, that is) and the game’s many online modes show Capcom has full confidence in its multiplayer capabilities. Honestly, we’re rather surprised with how well this has turned out, and while the 3D is superfluous and it won’t replace the console versions, Super SFIV 3D should make a great on-the-go solution for people who want to bone up on their FADC-ing. For more infocheck out our interviewwith its producer, Yoshinori Ono.


Handheld fighting games usually pale in comparison to their console brothers, but this 3D-enabled version of SSFIV will likely buck the trend. We’ve spent a good amount of time with it and, cramped controls aside, found it was possible to pull off any and all combos found in the console versions. The visuals and animations are also on par (when scaled down to fit on the 3DS screen, that is) and the game’s many online modes show Capcom has full confidence in its multiplayer capabilities. Honestly, we’re rather surprised with how well this has turned out, and while the 3D is superfluous and it won’t replace the console versions, Super SFIV 3D should make a great on-the-go solution for people who want to bone up on their FADC-ing. For more infocheck out our interviewwith its producer, Yoshinori Ono.


Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

American football fans may be satisfied with Madden going 3D, but the rest of earth’s population is probably more interested in Konami’s first 3D soccer game. Our UK colleaguesplayed it pretty recentlyand were into the game in 3D and 2D, even if the graphics seemed just on par with a PSP version of the footie series, calling it the strongest 3DS game they’d played so far.

American football fans may be satisfied with Madden going 3D, but the rest of earth’s population is probably more interested in Konami’s first 3D soccer game. Our UK colleaguesplayed it pretty recentlyand were into the game in 3D and 2D, even if the graphics seemed just on par with a PSP version of the footie series, calling it the strongest 3DS game they’d played so far.


Nintendogs + Cats

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Believe it or not, Nintendogs + Cats is the first true sequel in the franchise’s history, even though the virtual pet genre was lousy with Dogz, Catz, and Monkeyz, but Nintendo hopes to make it new again. Not only can you now give your love to virtual canines in the third dimension, as well as incorporating the cameras in cute ways, kitties have been added to compound the adorableness. This game was the best reviewed of all the launch games in Japan, so maybe Nintendo can hit another home run with the portable pets.

Believe it or not, Nintendogs + Cats is the first true sequel in the franchise’s history, even though the virtual pet genre was lousy with Dogz, Catz, and Monkeyz, but Nintendo hopes to make it new again. Not only can you now give your love to virtual canines in the third dimension, as well as incorporating the cameras in cute ways, kitties have been added to compound the adorableness. This game was the best reviewed of all the launch games in Japan, so maybe Nintendo can hit another home run with the portable pets.


Pilotwings Resort

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 27

Though dormant for years, the Pilotwings games launched with both the SNES and N64, and now it launches with the 3DS and it isn’t overshadowed by some brilliant new Mario game (yay?). Taking the series’ friendly approach to flight sims and mixing it with the Miis and setting of the Wii Sports games, Pilotwings Resort could be Nintendo’s strongest launch game, though we’ll see just how sick we feel after floating on a hang glider in three dimensions before we pass judgment.

Though dormant for years, the Pilotwings games launched with both the SNES and N64, and now it launches with the 3DS and it isn’t overshadowed by some brilliant new Mario game (yay?). Taking the series’ friendly approach to flight sims and mixing it with the Miis and setting of the Wii Sports games, Pilotwings Resort could be Nintendo’s strongest launch game, though we’ll see just how sick we feel after floating on a hang glider in three dimensions before we pass judgment.


Steel Diver

Platform: 3DS
EU release: TBA

Announced first as a DS launch game (!), the Steel Diver concept collected dust until Nintendo decided to give it another try on their next handheld. A submarine battle game, the simple, mostly 2D graphics don’t seem to lend themselves to the whole gimmick of the 3DS. We have our doubts about this one, but if Nintendo bothers to publish something, it’s at least worth a play.

Announced first as a DS launch game (!), the Steel Diver concept collected dust until Nintendo decided to give it another try on their next handheld. A submarine battle game, the simple, mostly 2D graphics don’t seem to lend themselves to the whole gimmick of the 3DS. We have our doubts about this one, but if Nintendo bothers to publish something, it’s at least worth a play.

Announced first as a DS launch game (!), the Steel Diver concept collected dust until Nintendo decided to give it another try on their next handheld. A submarine battle game, the simple, mostly 2D graphics don’t seem to lend themselves to the whole gimmick of the 3DS. We have our doubts about this one, but if Nintendo bothers to publish something, it’s at least worth a play.

Announced first as a DS launch game (!), the Steel Diver concept collected dust until Nintendo decided to give it another try on their next handheld. A submarine battle game, the simple, mostly 2D graphics don’t seem to lend themselves to the whole gimmick of the 3DS. We have our doubts about this one, but if Nintendo bothers to publish something, it’s at least worth a play.


Samurai Warriors: Chronicles

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Dynasty Warriors is pretty well known to gamers, seeing as how each release is fairly similar, and the same goes for DW’s Japanese companion series Samurai Warriors. Still, the nice thing about a known quantity like this one is that it can be a nice test for new hardware like the 3DS. We all know what a button mash-a-thon like Samurai Warriors is like on other systems, how does it compare on the 3DS? If that question makes you at all curious, perhaps this is the 3DS launch game for you.

Dynasty Warriors is pretty well known to gamers, seeing as how each release is fairly similar, and the same goes for DW’s Japanese companion series Samurai Warriors. Still, the nice thing about a known quantity like this one is that it can be a nice test for new hardware like the 3DS. We all know what a button mash-a-thon like Samurai Warriors is like on other systems, how does it compare on the 3DS? If that question makes you at all curious, perhaps this is the 3DS launch game for you.


LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Crusty old Star Wars fans like us may not be all that into the Clone Wars cartoons, but we can’t argue with the series’ success. It only makes sense the show would get the LEGO game treatment in the third full-fledged LEGO Star Wars game, and it looks to be filled with the same dependable action adventure gameplay as expected. Also this is the first Star Wars anything released in 3D as far as we know, so that’s something, huh?


Ridge Racer 3DS

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

It’s Ridge Racer, Riiiiiidge Ra- sorry, we’ll stop. A stand-by of console launch line-ups since the first PlayStation, RR’s brand of arcade racing can always be counted on to showcase the newest hardware and then slink back into the darkness, awaiting the next console cycle. From what we’ve seen it looks good, but we don’t expect it to push any envelopes.

It’s Ridge Racer, Riiiiiidge Ra- sorry, we’ll stop. A stand-by of console launch line-ups since the first PlayStation, RR’s brand of arcade racing can always be counted on to showcase the newest hardware and then slink back into the darkness, awaiting the next console cycle. From what we’ve seen it looks good, but we don’t expect it to push any envelopes.


Super Monkey Ball 3D

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Monkeys, balls, and monkeys inside balls are endless fun, and Super Monkey Ball’s mix of screen tilting puzzles with simple minigames is usually a good time. That looks to remain the same for the 3DS launch game, as screens not only show off the tense banana collecting, puzzle platforming of old, but also kart racing and fighting similar in style to the Smash Bros games. If you’re looking for an early 3DS game with variety, Monkey Ball could be a good choice.

Monkeys, balls, and monkeys inside balls are endless fun, and Super Monkey Ball’s mix of screen tilting puzzles with simple minigames is usually a good time. That looks to remain the same for the 3DS launch game, as screens not only show off the tense banana collecting, puzzle platforming of old, but also kart racing and fighting similar in style to the Smash Bros games. If you’re looking for an early 3DS game with variety, Monkey Ball could be a good choice.


Bust-A-Move Universe

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Apr 22

A classic from the ancient 8-bit days, Bust-a-Move, aka Puzzle Bobble, is helping to launch the 3DS, even if it looks pretty darn similar to all the previous games in the series. Sure, its 3D looks nice, but it doesn’t look to have anything more than the standard puzzle action players are fairly familiar with. We’ll wait and see if it’ll be more than just the same old gameplay with a new, 3D coat of paint.

A classic from the ancient 8-bit days, Bust-a-Move, aka Puzzle Bobble, is helping to launch the 3DS, even if it looks pretty darn similar to all the previous games in the series. Sure, its 3D looks nice, but it doesn’t look to have anything more than the standard puzzle action players are fairly familiar with. We’ll wait and see if it’ll be more than just the same old gameplay with a new, 3D coat of paint.


Rayman 3D

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Rayman 2 is perhaps the best reviewed game in the series, but you must admit it has been repackaged many times. It has been on the N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, iPhone and Game Boy Color. Hell, it premiered on the DS almost six years earlier to the day, and it didn’t get great reviews then. We’ll give the limbless wonder another chance here, but how about you guys try making a new Rayman game instead of remaking something from 1999 for the umpteenth time?


The Sims 3 3DS

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25


One of the best selling franchises in gaming history, The Sims is more than just a virtual doll house, it’s an addictingly real bit of escapism. Along with the new dimension, the game will also take advantage of the camera for character creation purposes. Other than that, it’s more Sims, which if you’re one of the tens of millions that enjoyed the games, is a pretty good thing.


Madden NFL Football 3DS

Platform: 3DS
EU release: TBA

It wouldn’t be a US launch of a new system without a Madden. The only game legally that can have NFL teams, the Madden franchise hasn’t rested on its laurels, remaining consistently good for years and years, so here’s hoping that the streak can keep going once glasses-free 3D gets added to the series. Plus, from what we’ve seen its one of the best looking launch games, so graphics whores might be into it just for that.


Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Out of all the Japanese launch games, Dinosaurs 3D got the worst reviews, but how can a fighting game with dinosaurs be bad? And wouldn’t it be even better to watch dinosaurs try to kill each other in 3D? It’s seems outside the bounds of logic that this game would be anything but awesome.


Asphalt 3D

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

If you want a 3D racer at launch but feel Ridge Racer fatigue, you have Asphalt 3D as a second choice. A series born on phones and made by workman-like developer Gameloft, it looks drifty and street-racer-y, plus the series is known for a bigger emphasis on fun than reality. We’ll know whether it’s just a bulked up iPad game soon enough.


If you want a 3D racer at launch but feel Ridge Racer fatigue, you have Asphalt 3D as a second choice. A series born on phones and made by workman-like developer Gameloft, it looks drifty and street-racer-y, plus the series is known for a bigger emphasis on fun than reality. We’ll know whether it’s just a bulked up iPad game soon enough.


Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Platform: 3DS
EU release: Mar 25

Though not all of us here are the biggest Ghost Recon fans, when we heard it plays like a top-down strategy game akin to Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, we started paying attention. We want to see more of it in action first, but at the very least this strategy game could make the wait easier until Nintendo puts out 3DS versions of Fire Emblem and Advance Wars of its own.

Though not all of us here are the biggest Ghost Recon fans, when we heard it plays like a top-down strategy game akin to Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, we started paying attention. We want to see more of it in action first, but at the very least this strategy game could make the wait easier until Nintendo puts out 3DS versions of Fire Emblem and Advance Wars of its own.

We recommend