So you managed to snatch a 3DS, your eyes haven’t exploded, you’re putting it through its paces, and probably realizing, like me, that the launch lineup’s pretty stale. What next?
Hurry up and wait. Nintendo’s smack in the middle of their U.S. 3DS launch, and probably will be for the next few weeks. With nearly two dozen games already available, expect the company to bask in the launch afterglow and let those games–mediocre though many are–draft off the launch.
(More on TIME.com: What Are Nintendo 3DS Buyers Saying?)
But eventually you’ll itch for more, and significantly better. You have a right to. The 3DS has all sorts of potential, but except for the augmented reality games, no one’s tapped more than a fraction of it.
Next up is Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D, shipping April 10 (and pictured above). Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s actually a souped up version of 2005’s Chaos Theory, probably the best-received installment in this sneaker series yet. So yes, it could be amazing–or it could be an abysmal port. Either way, it’s annoying that publishers seem to think gaming’s future looks a lot like its past.
And then we pause for a full month before a May deluge, including Dream Trigger 3D (an original shooter by Art Co., who also did Coraline, Ant Nation, and Astro Boy: The Video Game), Dual Pen Sports (an action-sports game by Indies Zero, of America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking and Personal Trainer: Cooking fame), Thor: God of Thunder (a movie-tie in from Sega), LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney Interactive), Balloon Pop 2 (UFO Interactive), SpongeBob Squigglepants (THQ), and by mid-month, Dead or Alive Dimensions (Tecmo Koei’s fighter series).
From there things get iffy. Sega’s making a Captain America: Super Soldier third-person action game to go with the July 22, 2011 film. There’s ostensibly a ‘Transformers Movie 2011’ tie-in to go with Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon on July 1. And don’t forget Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, currently tracking for a possible summer U.S. release (though don’t get your hopes up, because only the Japanese June release has been confirmed).
And then we’re bouncing into the fall and beyond, with only speculative timeframes for games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64 3D, and possible Mario games, from Paper Mario to Mario Kart to a proper Super Mario title.
I can read your mind: 2011’s lineup kind of stinks, and even the most promising stuff, you’ve already played. That’s a serious problem, and one we’ll no doubt hear more about–including 2011’s hopefully brighter back half–come E3 2011 in June.
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