Look at this little lot...
2016 has gotten off to quite the start for 3DS owners with the fantastic Fire Emblem game and Bravely Second coming out. There are also loads of great RPGs to look forward to and plenty of new Monster Hunter, not to mention new Pokemon series entries Sun and Moon. Come along as we check out the newest games worth getting excited about this year. And if you're looking for the best of what's already out there, have a look at our 25 best 3DS games.
Dragon Quest 7
Release date: Summer 2016 (out now in Japan) The Dragon Quest series once was as well known for retro graphics as it was for hardcore JRPG goodness, but the remake of the franchise’s seventh entry is one of the prettier games on the 3DS. Originally released on the PSOne, Dragon Quest 7 tells a seriously epic tale of a young boy that has to restore entire lost continents on his sparsely populated planet. Just how epic is it? The original took easily more than 80 hours to complete, and that’s ignoring much of the side content. Fortunately, this 3D update not only improves the graphics, but also the pacing, unlocking many of the most engrossing features earlier on. This gussied up re-release is already a huge hit in Japan and will be coming West some time this year.
Pokemon Sun and Moon
Release date: Holidays 2016 The Pokemon series had its 20th birthday earlier this year and what better way to celebrate than by bringing out a completely new entry to the series. Aside from the fact that we know it's coming out late this year, little else has been revealed. It's safe to assume that we'll be seeing some entirely new Pokemon but that's a given. There is a rumour that it'll be set in a region just south of X&Ys Kalos due to a few mentions of such an area existing in other games. Expect more details to trickle out over the course of the year.
Dragon Quest 8
Release date: 2016 It's not just Dragon Quest 7 that's making it to Nintendo's handheld, but Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the cursed King too. This was one of the all time great RPGs back on PS2 and follows the story of a silent hero helping a King who has been turned into a troll and his daughter who has been turned in a horse by a wicked mage who has cursed his kingdom. The 3DS version will include new dungeons and scenarios, as well as two new playable characters - Red and Morrie who appeared as NPCs in the original - and an alternate ending. Which is a heck of a lot to add to an already huge RPG.
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice
Release date: September 27, 2016 There were some things to learn with the previous Sonic Boom games, so for Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice, the developers have made quite a few changes. Sonic and his friends have been sped up and there are five playable characters who you can swap between at any time. Sonic can dash in the air, Tails has his classic hover ability, and Knuckles can dig underground. Each of their abilities can be used to acquire collectibles and discover shortcuts hidden in the stages. The levels are no longer focused on the previous game's exploration mechanics and instead bring back more of the classic level design built around speed. Fire and Ice also has a plethora of side activities and mini games to discover - one of which is a call back to the Sonic 2 tube challenges you'd have to complete to get a chaos emerald. Although the Sonic Boom series is geared more toward younger gamers, the old school crowd will definitely recognise a few nods to the classic games. We'll just have to wait and see how Fire and Ice stands up to the series’ beloved sidescrollers.
Monster Hunter Stories
Release date: 2016 Now that Monster Hunter has achieved mainstream success courtesy of 3DS hit Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Capcom’s decided to spin-off in a decidedly less action-packed direction. Dubbed Monster Hunter Stories, the game features a light-hearted art style, and a young protagonist. Instead of hunting down the world’s monsters, players are cast as “Riders” that prefer to flee from the oversized reptiles on the backs of tiny, tamed dragons. If you’ve murdered your share of Rathians, but want a close-up look at the backstory behind that universe, this is your opportunity. Unfortunately, it’s not certain that Monster Hunter Stories will be available at a Gamestop near you any time soon. Capcom is aiming for a 2016 release date, and even then, the game’s only been confirmed for Japan. Still, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate sold really well in Western territories, so odds seem good that Monster Hunter Stories would inevitably leave Japan.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Release date: June 10, 2016 Bored of clay and woollen landscapes, Kirby has now moved onto terrorising the locals with mechanised robots. While he was busy sleeping Dreamland came under attack and King Dedede and Meta Knight were unable to fight off the metal invaders. Not that Kirby has finally woken up it's up to him to sort stuff out by eating their tech and using it for himself. It's a typical 2D platformer, and will see 3 new absorbed abilities as well as the use of bigger robots. There's also a multiplayer mode bundled in that sees you team up with others to take down large bosses.
Monster Hunter Generations
Release date: Summer 2016 (November 28 2015 in Japan) Unlike previous list entry Monster Hunter Stories, MHGenerations is a main series entries (yes, we get just as confused as you about their naming process). You create your own character and then head out into the wilderness to kill monsters and carve them up for body parts to turn into lovely new weapons and armour parts. You can either head out with AI felyne companions, or team up with friends online to make hunting easier. Alongside all of the new monsters, armour types, and a graphical upgrade, this time you'll actually be able to play as a Felyne yourself. Meowsic to our ears!
The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
Release date: TBA The next entry in Capcom’s Ace Attorney franchise ditches impeccably coiffed defense attorney Pheonix Wright in favor of his ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, who served as a defense attorney during Japan’s Meiji period. Not only will players protect the innocent by solving puzzles and tossing out objections in 19th century Japan, the game also features chapters in Victorian England. Of all the games on the list, this seems the least likely to reach The West. Capcom’s grown increasingly hesitant to release new Ace Attorney games outside of Japan, and the Meiji era customs - which would be common knowledge to Japanese players - would require a great deal of localization work. Capcom has yet to pin down a Japanese release date, much less a window when Western territories might see the game.
Dragon Quest 11
Release Date: TBA (2016 in Japan) Another Dragon Quest game? Yep! Though this time it's an entirely new one rather than a remake that's set to release on both PS4 and 3DS. So far details are scarce, but we do know that the 3DS version will have a very unique quirk in that you'll be able to play it as both a standard 3D game and an old-school, top-down adventure with dinky little sprites. It's a cute addition, especially for series veterans. While it hasn't been confirmed for a release in the west yet, the 3DS has been getting quite the Dragon Quest love-in lately so it feels like safe bet.
Theatrhythm Dragon Quest
Release date: TBA, Available in Japan The two Theatrhythm Final Fantasy entries were addictive rhythm games backed by decades of epic music, but they lack a certain something. A certain whimsical glee that suggests the local monsters might want to eat you, but will undoubtedly look cute as a button while doing so. Enter Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, a rhythm adaptation of Square Enix’s other wildly successful roleplaying game franchise that will see players tapping along with a wide range of phenomenal music that’s come from the series over the past 30 years. Square Enix has promised new gameplay modes, a wide range of familiar Dragon Quest characters and monsters and a huge collection of music. If 2014’s Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is an indicator, you can also expect a massive selection of DLC tunes to add to your collection at 99 cents a pop.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Release date: 2016 A spin-off to the Metroid Prime series, this upcoming game received a lot of criticism when it was first revealed as Samus is (so far) nowhere to be seen. Instead you play as a Galactic Federation marine who can form a party of four with other players and has more of a focus on shooting over exploration like in previous series entries. You might be sceptical of the look of it, but the Blast Ball (think a Rocket League-style game) multiplayer mode I played earlier this year demonstrated how well it controls. Definitely one to keep a cautious eye on.
Mighty No. 9
Release date: TBA