new nintendo 3ds XL

Pixelkin 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Nintendo 3DS

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Everyone’s talking about the Nintendo Switch. But Nintendo hasn’t exactly forgotten its premiere handheld device, the Nintendo 3DS.  This year saw new a Pokémon, Fire Emblem, and even a new Metroid release. Nintendo launched a New Nintendo 2DS XL earlier this year, providing all the functionality but without the almost always ancillary 3D feature, providing the perfect starter set for kids.

Oh, and all the games below are good for all ages, though RPGs like Pokémon require strong reading skills.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

The Dragon Quest series is renowned for its classic, cartoony art style and traditional JRPG mechanics – many of which we owe to this venerable series. Dragon Quest 8 is considered one of the best, if not the best, of the series, originally launching on PlayStation 2. The open world design isn’t as amazing these days but the story-telling and gameplay are still rock-solid, and remain some of the best in any RPG.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World

Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

Not very many people actually owned a Wii U, so I’ll forgive you if you missed out on 2015’s Yoshi’s Woolly World. But rectify that this year with this 3DS version. Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World lacks the cooperative multiplayer but retains the whimsical art style and puzzle-filled level designs.

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns

As it says in the title, the next installment to Story of Seasons features three different towns to visit, socialize, and barter in while growing your own farm. Story of Seasons is by the makers of the beloved Harvest Moon series, which largely inspired last year’s big indie hit, Stardew Valley.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Fire Emblem

The once niche strategy-RPG Fire Emblem series has surged in popularity on the Nintendo 3DS thanks to 2013’s Awakening and 2016’s Fates. This year we actually got a remake of the second ever Fire Emblem game, 1991’s Fire Emblem Gaiden. It featured the same great chess-like combat while also adding unique 3D dungeon crawls.

Ever Oasis

ever oasis

With several Zelda 3DS titles under their belt, developers Grezzo branched out with their own original game this year. Ever Oasis combines Zelda-like exploration and dungeon crawling with cultivating your own little town of shops and products. The two halves are well-integrated, as attracting and pleasing customers results in a bigger roster of potential party members to aid you in your quest to bring life to the desert.

Monster Hunter Stories

3ds

The Monster Hunter series is known for being hardcore, challenging, demanding, and nearly inscrutable to newcomers. But this spin-off is nothing like that, instead utilizing a Pokémon formula in letting you tame the beasts to fight with you. The large 3D zones often bring the 3DS to its knees, but Monster Hunter Stories offers a content-rich adventure that expertly combines the best parts of both franchises.

Metroid: Samus Returns

3ds

Metroid fans have been clamoring for a new 2D Metroid for well over a decade. For now we’ll settle with this remake of 1991’s Metroid 2. The old black and white Game Boy title has been completely rebuilt to take advantage of the 3DS’ hardware and controls, while still retaining the classic 2D gameplay.

Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition

It’s Minecraft. If you have kids and you own (or will own) a 3DS, there’s a good chance they’re asking for it. Minecraft was previously available on every gaming device on the planet, with Nintendo 3DS as the last holdout. Note that it does require either the New Nintendo 3DS or New Nintendo 2DS.

Layton’s Mystery Journey

Layton's Mystery Journey

It’s been awhile since the last Professor Layton game. Turns out the poor Professor has been kidnapped, and it’s up to his equally adept daughter Katrielle to solve a series of puzzles and quests to find him in her own adventure.

 

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon X and Y never did get the formerly common third edition, which served to enhance and remix that generation of Pokémon. We’re returning to form with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, offering lots of new content and a good excuse to return to Alola for Pokémon fans. You won’t find any new Pokémon, but old ones will make new appearances, not to mention the ability to catch every single Legendary Pokémon.

 

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns Coming to 3DS in February

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While Stardew Valley got all the love last year, the longest-running farming and life sim series it was inspired from will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with a new title. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is coming to North America on February 28 for Nintendo 3DS.

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns takes place in the intersection between three distinct regions. Each town and area is home to its own crops, shops, events, and romanceable companions. Trio of Towns will also include a multiplayer island for local and online play. A small plushie toy based on the in-game capybara pet is available for pre-order from retailers.

Trio of Towns will include unique outfits based on characters from Super Mario Bros. Each outfit also provides a special bonus.

  • Mario’s Outfit – Increases running speed
  • Luigi’s Outfit – Improves your luck at fishing
  • Princess Peach’s Outfit – Befriend people easier
  • Toad’s Outfit – Stamina recharges over time

Story of Seasons was formerly known as Harvest Moon, a series that dates back to the 90s with over two dozen titles. They’re widely considered the preeminent series of farming and life sim games.

Marvelous Inc. were the original developers but don’t own the copyright to the Harvest Moon name. The series was re-branded as Story of Seasons (published by XSeed Games), with the first title releasing in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. It received favorable reviews and became XSeed’s fasted-selling game.

To add to the confusion, the publishers that do own the Harvest Moon name (Natsume) released their own Harvest Moon title in 2014. It was called Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley and was poorly received.

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns will be available in digital and physical format. It has been rated E for Everyone by the ESRB with Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes, and Alcohol Use. It releases on February 28 for Nintendo 3DS.