Friday, 1 January 2021

Top 10 Nintendo DS / 3DS Hidden Gems

10. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is the perfect balance between hilarious silliness and serious gameplay fun. At its core, it’s a turn-based tactical strategy game, with elements of third-person shooting; but that only tells part of the story. It’s all set in a magical steampunk world, where you control a squad of equally steampunk-ed versions of historical and fictional figures, including Abraham Lincoln and the Cowardly Lion. Each has a unique skillset, so picking the right squad for the job is vital. It’s an irreverent adventure you won’t want to miss. 

9. Ridge Racer 3D

This exciting 3D racer is an absolute blast, allowing players to drift into victory with many high-octane cars to choose from across truly breath-taking environments. Incredible stereoscopic 3D allows drivers to see the distance between them and the competition for a more immersive and intense racing experience, this unique and addictive title makes full use of the 3DS’ technology while never reducing it to a gimmick, resulting in one of the finest games on the console.

8. Dementium

Benefitting from smoother gameplay and a deeper narrative than its predecessor, Mass Effect II’s improved Morality meter meant that decisions in the game’s choice-based play were not taken lightly and led to drastically different conclusions and interactions. This epic space drama stills holds up as one of the finest examples of make-your-own-adventure gameplay and truly feels like it is uniquely developing around the player.

7. Ever Oasis

Ever Oasis offers a unique blend of RPG action and town management satisfaction. You’re tasked with turning a barren patch of desert into a thriving oasis community, but the only way you’re going to attract potential citizens to stick around is by completing quests for them, and these quests can be as varied as what you can expect in any Zelda title. It’s super rewarding watching your efforts pay off as your town grows from nothing, into a bustling community of families, traders and more.

6. Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil: Revelations manages to balance both ends of the franchise’s spectrum. It offers both tense, nail-biting survival horror segments, with more action-packed levels that allow you to release your nerves in the form of a hail of bullets. Starring series icon Jill Valentine, it’s a quintessentially bombastic story, with world-ending stakes and a brand new roster of horrific enemies to defeat.

5. Heroes of Ruin

Choose from four distinctive mercenaries and battle forth on your own or with other heroes in this action-packed RPG, with many strange and dangerous creatures to confront on your journey. With an exciting campaign, a thrilling and addictive multiplayer mode and fantastic 3D visuals, Heroes of Ruin is one of the most underrated handheld RPGs available and a fantastic demo of the 3DS’ technology.

4. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

Devil Survivor Overclocked is a turn-based strategy game, set in the Shin Megami Tensei universe, that also includes the hugely popular Persona series. Originally released for the DS, this 3DS remaster sees you fight with upgradeable demons, rather than conventional weapons or spells. This makes it truly unique, and the added benefit of recorded dialogue, new levels and an engaging narrative makes it one of the 3DS’ true hidden gems.

3. Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Luigi has once again been called upon to clear haunted mansions of their spectral interlopers in Luigi’s Mansion 2. This lovingly comedic, surprisingly varied slapstick adventure is an absolute delight, exuding charm while offering seriously challenging puzzles. It employs the 3D capabilities of the console with aplomb, allowing the already incredible settings to pop with detail and depth. Give it a go - you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face! 

2. Elite Beat Agents

Elite Beat Agents might be one of the most bizarre titles to release for the DS, and for that reason we love it! Starring 3 special agents who use dance to help people through their problems, this rhythm game is unlike anything you will have played before. Told in an outrageously exaggerated comic book style, expect songs from the likes of Madonna, Sum 41 and even The Rolling Stones.

1. Shovel Knight

If the world was a fairer place, then Shovel Knight would be considered one of the greatest games of the past decade. The retro-inspired platforming side scroller takes elements from some of the best games from the 8 and 16bit eras. Its boss battles are inspired by those found in Mega Man; the combat has the pace of Ninja Gaidan, and the town exploration and role-playing elements are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda 2. Yet it still manages to come off as fresh and unique, and can easily be enjoyed by younger gamers as well as those versed in more vintage titles.

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