the Nintendo Switch now out and selling like gangbusters, the console-handheld-hybrid looks to be the future for the Japanese gaming giant, but there’s still life in their previous handheld. Yep, the Nintendo 3DS is still going strong, and after six years, there’s still plenty of top titles on the way to the clamshell handheld.
The New Nintendo 3DS refresh has made the system even stronger with SNES games available for you to blitz through via the Virtual Console, and the New Nintendo 2DS gives you plenty of bang for your buck by ditching the 3D effect, but most importantly, plenty of devs are still crafting engaging games for you to tuck into. Forget the Switch’s middling battery life for gaming on the go and dive into these upcoming 3DS titles that’ll have you glued for ages.
Certainly the most unexpected title Nintendo have announced this year, Hey! Pikmin is a curious spin-off of the company’s strategy game franchise. Here, you play as Captain Olimar leading a herd of adorable flower creatures through 2D levels in what resembles a cross between Lemmings and Abe’s Oddysee. Odd, certainly, but Nintendo aren’t exactly known for disappointing when it comes to 2D platformers. Grab it for your handheld when it hits retail later this month.
Pokémon Ultra Sun
Yes, Nintendo have confirmed they’re working on a new mainline Pokémon adventure for the Switch, but in the meantime, we’ve got a sequel to look forward to on 3DS. This follow up to Sun returns you to the sunny Alola region, with brand new pocket monsters to capture and train, so no doubt expect more terrifying variants on classic Pokémon like elongated Exeggutor and a Dugtrio with a glorious golden wig. Look for it on November 17.
Pokémon Ultra Moon
As above, but with different Pokémon. Whichever you go for, make sure your friend gets the other.
Dragon Quest XI
Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series is one of the longest running RPG franchises, and for good reason: each one is a well crafted brilliant throwback to the narrative-driven, role playing games of yesteryear. The eleventh title in the series is on the way later this year to 3DS handhelds, first launching in Japan later this month, but expect a translation to land on our shores at a later date. Interestingly enough, Dragon Quest XI is not only releasing on the 3DS, but is also getting a differently styled PS4 version too; plus a Switch release is also on the horizon too. Needless to say, you’ll soon be addicted to hunting slimes.
Metroid: Samus Returns
A proper Metroid game for 3DS! Finally! After drenching fans’ dreams nurtured over decades with an ice bucket of water in the shape of a sports game spin off last year, Federation Force, Nintendo are finally bowing to popular demand with a true, 2D platformer. A re-imagining of the Game Boy original, Metroid 2: Return of Samus, expect all the hallmark traits of the game that made ‘Metroidvania’ a genre in its own right: Samus exploring a huge level and finding new gear to reach previously unreachable areas. It’s out September 15.
Monster Hunter Stories
Capcom’s mammoth Monster Hunter franchise has cosied up with Nintendo over the years, and now a new spin-off is on the way to the 3DS to curb your Monster Hunter cravings. It’s already been out in Japan for a few months, but it’s getting a translation for the West later this year, and looks set to give a different take on the usual Monster Hunter formula. Expect turn based combat and a load of skills to master this time around.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Not a new game per se, but a remaster of one of the very best from a previous generation, this revamp is a classic game that stands the test of time. Atlus’s roleplaying game draws clear inspiration from classic 90s titles like Chrono Trigger, letting you travel in time and see how choices you have made at one point have affected those elsewhere. This remake couldn’t be more welcome – yes, the original DS cart is still perfectly playable on 3DS, but you’ll need to pay through the nose on eBay to find one these days.
Etrian Odyssey V
Another Atlus RPG, this one’s a tad more niche, as fans of the series may know. The Etrian Odyssey series focuses on exploring labyrinthine dungeons which – here’s the twist – you have to map out yourself using the 3DS’ stylus. The fifth entry in the series doesn’t shake up the formula too drastically, but it does include 10 different classes for you to play as and a huge skill tree for you to explore and unlock. Expect it later this year for your next dungeon crawling fix.
Nintendo’s Mii characters have been a source of comedy gold for the company of late. First there was the inspired, deeply unsettling Tomodachi Life ‘simulator’ for 3DS, and then there was Nintendo’s first mobile game, the hilarious Miitomo social network which simply revolved around you invading the homes of your friends and making outrageous claims in front of them. Miitopia takes a lot of what made Tomodachi Life work, and gives it a RPG spin, letting you go on adventures with your mini Miis. Expect wacky humour and all sorts of weirdness when it lands later this month.