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    Cool 10 Years of Nintendo 3DS

    Nintendo 3DS was launched in North America during March 27th, 2011. That means that this month marks ten years of the Nintendo 3DS. I actually bought four at launch - one to keep and three to resale! It is one of my favorite consoles. I play 3DS almost every month. Remember how swamped the eShop was during the first two months of its life? How about the Ambassador Program? Recall the big price drop? How about the awful cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3?

    How about all of the (unfounded) Health and Safety Warnings about how children younger than 7 or 8 years old shouldn't play the 3DS as the stereoscopic 3D visuals might negatively affect the development of their perception of depth? (And how that actually only applied to children aged 0 - 2 years old and thus didn't really apply as how is an infant going to play a 3DS while focusing on the screen anyway?)

    Some of my favorite features were StreetPass, SpotPass, and Play Coins. Too bad Nintendo jettisoned all of those features with Switch. I guess the Switch notifications are kind of like SpotPass at least. Oh, and it was nice to see the Virtual Console return, the formerly Japanese exclusive Famicom game The Mysterious Murasame Castle get an official Western release, the addition of the Game Gear to the Virtual Console, and the abandoning of "points" to purchase games in favor of regular old currency units like dollars and cents. And hey, how about those snazzy themes from the Theme Shop? There were even some cool themes available for free or included with the purchase of select games like Ultimate NES Remix and the DLC for Ace Attorney 6.

    There were some fantastic games for 3DS too: the Theatrhythm games (Final Fantasy, Curtain Call, Dragon Quest), Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Ace Attorney games, the Layton games, Asphalt 3D, Bust-A-Move Universe, Crash City Mayhem, Detective Pikachu, the Japanese Rail Sim 3D series, the Kirby games, The Legend of Zelda games, the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games games, Mario Kart 7, RPG Maker Fes, Rodea: The Sky Soldier (though it was better for its intended platform, the Wii), Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, some of the other Sonic The Hedgehog games, Star Fox 64 3D (now with save support!), Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, Urban Trial Freestyle 2, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, WarioWare Gold, Rhythm Heaven MegaMix, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, SEGA 3D Classics Collection, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Hey! Pikmin, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk, LBX: Little Battlers' Experience, Attack of the Friday Monsters!: A Tokyo Tale, Rusty's Real Deal Baseball, HarmoKnight, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, and so many more.

    Even some of the games included with the 3DS were neat for their time. Recall the fun of the note-and-drawing exchange programs Swapdoodle, Flip Note, and Swap Note? My friends and I exchanged quite a few fun cartoons and holiday greetings that way. The mini games (both free and for cash) for StreetPass: Mii Plaza were some of my favorites as well including Find Mii, Find Mii II, and Puzzle Swap. A few had some real depth! I actually bought all of the DLC mini-games: Battleground Z, Feed Mii, Flower Town, Market Crashers, Mii Force, Mii Trek, Monster Manor, Ninja Launcher, Slot Car Rivals, Ultimate Angler, and Warrior's Way. It was really cool taking my 3DS to conventions and even Japan and getting StreetPasses from the people there. I imagine that I provided the first StreetPasses from the United States for many of them. I know that I acquired my first Japanese StreetPasses from them. My world StreetPass map marked many Japanese prefectures with color thanks to that trip!

    How about when they added Amiibo support with the 3DS NFC Reader / Writer Accessory? What about the New 3DS line of consoles with improved, head-tracking stereoscopic 3D, the C analog pad, the ZL and ZR buttons, the improved CPU, GPU, RAM, and Web browser, and the included Amiibo NFC hardware? How about the 2DS and XL line-ups? What about the debacle of Nintendo not including power chargers with the consoles? Or how about the phasing out of printed instructional manuals?

    I was glad when the homebrew and custom firmware makers were able to figure out how to get their software running on the 3DS for the general public. I gladly installed CFW so that I could play my games which I had imported from Europe and Japan. Plus all of the homebrew media software, FTP server programs, emulators, and other applications really made it an awesome option.

    Shoot, I even recently bought a ton of 3DS games just back in November 2020 thanks to GameStop's Cyber Monday sale. It was something of a Buy One, Get One free sale, and there were a lot of games which I wanted to acquire!

    What are your favorite games and fond thoughts about the Nintendo 3DS after its first decade of existence? Is it retro now?

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