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 The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date

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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:06

Funnily enough the idea for this topic sprung out of my mind when I was revisiting Super Mario 3D Land, a game I now feel myself and some of us underrated back in 2011, a year after we'd been blown away by Super Mario Galaxy 2. Its level design ideas are not as ambitious as that game's, but its goal to bring 2D Mario into 3D is laudable. Most importantly though, it makes fantastic use of 3D, both from a presentational perspective and in how its levels are designed.

Now that it's been over four years since 3DS launched, what are your standout uses of 3D on the handheld? Here's what I've come up with off the top of my head.

Super Mario 3D Land
Excellent 3D with tangible depth. Two levels of "3D", the default is perhaps the best use of "close-up" 3D on the system, with subtle pop-out whenever elements get close to the camera. Other 3D mode is great for depth perception, works like other games on the platform.

3D makes the game's level design sing. Many stages have floating enemies simply waiting to be chain-bopped, heavy reliance on spatial awareness on the player's part.

Pullblox/Fallblox/Fullblox
Playing Pullblox without 3D actually made my eyes confused. 3D gives the blocks a sense of "being there" that works well with the static camera angle, allowing you to get on with the puzzling. Another great proof of concept.

Bravely Default
Watercolour, paper-thin backgrounds brought to life. Lots of depth too, which is nice.

Etrian Odyssey Untold
Etrian Odyssey IV's 3D was rubbish, with an effect that simply pushed away a 2D image into the distance. Luckily Untold's is a massive improvement, splitting up the game's labyrinths into their clearly-defined and angular pathways for your eyes to make out at a glance. The best bit, though, is the game's menus, which are layered into several parts. This makes navigating what are usually busy RPG menus a breeze, and it just looks great too.

Shin Megami Tensei IV
This is up there with Ocarina of Time 3D as some of the best uses of 3D in a third person game. It's really easy to pick out all of the details around you, and Atlus borrow a few tricks from Etrian Odyssey, employing a similar layered menu system so your eyes can quickly and easily pick apart different elements of what are usually busy RPG menus.

Ridge Racer 3D
Genuinely makes a difference in being able to react to incoming bends and turns in each course. Seeing rival cars by your side, as solid objects, is exhilarating. I still play this every now and again to marvel at how great it all looks.
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:37

I've been meaning to revisit some 3ds games since getting the New 3ds with Mario 3D land being near the top of the list, as for best uses of 3d? Off the top of my head I always thought Resi Mercs & Revelations used 3d well.
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:45

I think the only game I've fully played through in 3D is Kid Icarus Uprising. Other games have just felt necessary or uglier for it.
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 9:17

I think that the best uses of the stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS are found in it's earliest games, specifically Super Monkey Ball 3D, Ridge Racer 3D, Nintendogs & Cats, Pilotwings Resort, Starfox 64 3D, DoA Dimensions and SSFIV3D. Those are all from back when games developers assumed that 3D was the next big thing in visual media, and back when they saw it as a major priority to create some clever ways to implement the system's 3D functionality and make it relevant to the gameplay.

The only big releases in recent years that I think display an exemplary use of the 3DS's 3D are 3D OutRun and Kirby Triple Deluxe. Both brilliant.
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 9:21

The first time I saw a 3DS in action was in a shop display demo in the nearest big GAME. It was playing Pilotwings Resort, so I'm siding with Cap and mentioning that. Pilotwings may have always been a tech demo, but the tech it was demoing here blew my mind.

More thoughts when I have them - I tend to play with the slider all the way down all the time. Embarrassed
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 10:25

Hmm, I'll have a think about this one. Top thread ideas though!
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 11:47

Glad to see SM3DL getting a mention - one of the few games to make the 3D actually useful to the game rather than "just there". OoT3D also deserves a shout. I really thought that helped bring the world to life.

One that hasn't been mentioned so far is SSB3D. This is probably a bit cheeky, as it doesn't really blow me away like the other games up there did: however, the fact that it can shift everything around at 60fps and still display the 3D is incredible (take note Game Freak!).
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 15:17

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned A Link Between Worlds yet. It's one of the only games in my 3DS library that I've played with the 3D throughout my playthrough. It actually served a role in enhancing some of the game's puzzles too - that tower dungeon early on springs to mind immediately.
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 15:43

Duh! Only because I'm forgetful, Jay. I'd say that ALBW is up there with SM3DL as one of the best uses of 3D on the system.
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 19:04

Aye how could we forget ALBW?
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 20:48

I was just getting ready to big up LBW! I really liked the way it gave everything a sensible tense of existing, particularly from the top down perspective. Like Luigi's Mansion, whenever you stepped into a building, it showed off the 3DS's power to make tangible diaramas.

After tea, I'll go through the games I've played on 3DS properly and express my picks on this thread and the other.
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 21:20

Thanks everyone, I too had forgotten about ALBW. Definitely one of the best examples of 3D on the system for sure, especially given its tiered floors and puzzles.

It's also running at 60fps, much like Smash Bros, which Balladeer mentioned. Mario Kart 7's another example, and all three are quite something in motion.

I also agree with Cap, the first gen 3DS games were the best ambitious. Both in their use and applications of 3D and also how much 3D depth they offered. Whenever I play Pilotwings Resort and Ridge Racer 3D I still find my eyes have to adjust a little because of how immersive the 3D is in those games.

Nintendo's guilty of the same thing -- there's noticeably less depth to Majora's Mask 3D's, erm, 3D, then Ocarina of Time 3D's, which is a shame. It still looks great of course, but the 3D depth slider exists for a reason, why cut back the maximum level?

That does remind me, OoT 3D, MM3D and Shin Megami Tensei IV are really thoughtful -- if you move your character into the camera, you'll notice that the 3D focus moves away, preventing your eyes from stinging from focusing on something very close to you. The depth is still there, though, so it's a subtle effect, and different to games that auto-disable 3D when you use the gyroscope.

@The_Jaster wrote:
Off the top of my head I always thought Resi Mercs & Revelations used 3d well.

Agreed, I just remembered how great it looked when you aimed your weapon, too. Shame you had to go into the menu to make the 3D tangible in Revelations (and maybe Mercs?)
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySun 24 May 2015 - 11:54

I actually don't have the 3D on very often because I tend to use my 3DS on the go or out and about. However, I try and make my first go on each game a session at home in the dark with the sound and 3D all the way up just to see if its worthwhile. Here are the ones I actually recall

Super Mario 3D Land

Absolutely nails it. Looks fantabulous and uses the 3D in gameplay, either in the puzzle rooms where one block might reveal itself to be closer than the others if the 3D slides up or in massive drops onto enemy heads, the meticulous aiming made possible by the 3D. Perfect stuff.

A Link Between Worlds and Luigi's Mansion

Mentioned above, but really like the feeling of looking into caves and buildings like little dioramas.

Bonus Round: Games where the 3D is good because of nice water effects

Ocarina of Time
Steel Diver
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PostSubject: Re: The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The best uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 27 Jun 2015 - 16:04

3D OutRun. I have no idea how they've managed to translate the super-scaler graphics into true 3D, but they've done a tremendous job. The immersion on an "XL" 3DS has to be seen to be believed. And it's an improvement over 3D Super Hang-On, which had less 3D depth and awkwardly uneven sprites.
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