The best Nintendo 3DS launch games

It's official - the long-awaited Nintendo 3DS will be coming to the UK on 25 March. According to Nintendo, they'll be a lineup of more than 30 games available for the 3DS between the launch date and the beginning of June, which is when the E3 gaming show kicks off. We've pulled together a round-up of the highlights including a list of the rest at the end.

Nintendogs + Cats

This popular, puppy-laden game has already been a huge hit on the DS, so it's no surprise to see that it's part of the launch lineup for the 3DS. The utterly pointless but oh-so-cute Nintendogs + Cats will be largely similar to the original and will include various breeds of dogs. If you're more of a cat person than a dog person, then you'll be pleased to hear that the furry felines have been added into the mix.

The touchscreen, microphone input and facial recognition technology mean that you can interact with your virtual pet and after a while your puppy or kitten will recognise and greet you. If you put your face close to the camera then they'll even come up to the screen and give you a lick. Sort of. Beware though, if they're greeted by a new player - a face that they don't recognise - then they might just kick off and start barking at them. Naturally, all this nonsense will take place in 3D.


Pro Evolution Soccer 3DS

This game needs little explanation. Known in Japan as Winning Eleven, the PES series first started back in 2001 and is still going strong today. Players will be able to select from 60 national and 170 club sides, and attempt to lead them to glory by playing in a range of challenging tournaments and leagues.

The UEFA Champions League option means that you can partake in the game’s greatest club competition, while the Master League invites players to build a team from scratch. What's more, the new device's wireless capability means that you can compete against other 3DS users. If you're a footie fan then this could be the one game that sways your decision as to whether you invest in one of the new 3D handhelds or not. The depth given by 3D should help with judging distances during gameplay so now you've got no excuse for buggering up that long pass.


Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

If you like beat 'em ups, they don't come much better than this one. The Street Fighter saga first appeared in 1987, so its got a fairly hefty heritage behind it. Unsurprisingly, this version will feature the same gameplay as Super Street Fighter IV with the added advantage of autostereoscopic 3D, so you should see all of the usual modes that you're used to. You'll also be able to use the touchscreen to set up to four hotkeys for moves and combos. You might also be able to play from an over-the-shoulder perspective, although that has yet to be confirmed.

All 35 of the console characters will be included, so it shouldn't be a problem if you simply want to play as Dhalsim and stand ten feet away from your opponent while repeatedly kicking them in the shins with your extra-stretchy legs. Never fails.


Samurai Warriors Chronicle

This title belongs the to the quaintly named hack and slash genre of games and it's safe to say that it will involve plenty of swordplay. Obviously there is a plot, of sorts, but your main objective, in your role as a Dynasty warrior, is to cause as much carnage as possible within the shortest space of time earning points and moving up the levels as you go.

The game is set to include a selection of new features - while the top screen of the 3DS displays the main game, the bottom screen will show maps, KOs and mission info. They'll also be several new characters to choose from and you'll be able to switch between four different characters during battle, changing the screen to show their different locations as well.


Puzzle Bobble Universe

As the name suggests, this is a puzzle-laden affair based on the popular Bubble Bobble arcade game from 1986 featuring two dinosaurs called Bub and Bob (see what they did there?). There are no details on the 3DS version, but we imagine that it'll be largely the same as previous incarnations, with the added bonus of 3D. If gameplay is similar, then it will involve your dino character trying to clear all the bubbles from subsequent arenas on each different level without carking it.

This probably isn't the most sophisticated of the 3DS games, but it's certainly the kind of title that could get mighty addictive, although you'll probably end up having to turn the theme music off to stop yourself from hurling your new 3DS out of the window in a musically induced rage.


Lego Star Wars III The Clone Wars

The Force is strong in this one. We would have been surprised if there wasn't a film-related Lego title available for the 3DS pretty early on and we were secretly hoping that it would be a Star Wars game. As with previous chapters in the Lego Star Wars saga, the title will include characters from the movie, fashioned out of virtual building bricks from the Danish toy company. The game will include new battle modes enabling hand-to-hand combat and level builder that lets you create in-game battlefields.

You can play either as a Jedi or Separatist although we can't imagine many people opting for the latter when they've got the chance of being a Jedi at their fingertips


Ridge Racer 3D

No prizes for guessing that this is a racing driving game - it's also the latest offering in the Ridge Racer series from Namco. Set in Ridge City, the game lets you speed through varying landscapes as you strive to be the first to the finishing line while sliding your motor all over the place. If you're after a spot of arcade-style drift-racing then this is most certainly the game for you.

This type of game should work really well with the 3DS's three-dimensional technology, as the gameplay should look pretty realistic thanks to the added depth. If previous versions of the game are anything to go by - expect a techno soundtrack.


Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda is of the most well-known Nintendo game series, and this action-adventure is the latest in a long line of games. Featuring role playing and puzzle elements, the game once again takes place in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule and as usual, there's a preposterous plot, this time involving a cursed tree, a magical crystal, and of course, Princess Zelda herself.

The game will also make use of the new device's built-in gyroscope as you'll be able to use certain items, such as the slingshot, by tilting the 3DS to make your aim. Oh, and if you're wondering what an ocarina is, it's an ancient instrument that is usually made out of ceramic or clay and is played like a flute.


Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D

If Nintedogs is a little bit on the tame side for you, then why not try Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D instead? We don't know a lot about this one other than it follows on from Combat of Giants DS game, but what's certain is that you can expect lots of bloodthirsty dino action. Going by the available screen shots, it looks as though you'll get an over-the-shoulder point of view from the dino that you're controlling who will then engage in prehistoric-style fisticuffs with any other beasts that he finds.

When the dinos start to scrap, it looks as though the screen will switch to battle mode so that you can enjoy the tear-up in all its 3D glory


Mario Kart 3DS

It really wouldn't feel like a proper Nintendo round-up if we didn't see everyone's favourite portly, Italian plumber in there somewhere. There are no details on this one just yet, but it's safe to say that it'll carry on the good work already done by this popular spin-off. We expect to see the usual modes such as Grand Prix where you can compete in a themed cup, and Time Trial where the aim is get round the track in the shortest time.

This should be a good one for the 3DS, as the new device's built-in motion sensor should mean that you're able to steer your vehicle by turning the console in your hand, making it feel even more like an arcade game experience.


Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

This is the 5th title in the Professor Layton series and is a good one for the amateur sleuths out there. Although it hasn't yet been confirmed for the European market, it is on the list for the Japanese launch, and we'd be surprised if it didn't make it over here very soon. The game sees Professor Layton setting off for the town of miracles, Montdol, to find the Mask of Miracle. The mask can grant wishes to its wearer and when the prof arrives in town he finds that some pesky blighter is already using it to turn people to stone. That's where you come in. It's up to you to solve the mystery and save the day.

It looks as though the graphics have received a thorough overhaul for the 3DS release, so that you can now examine things in three dimensions, while some of the puzzles will make use of the new device's motion sensor.


Pilotwings Resort

This flight simulation game is one of the most highly anticipated launch titles as it's so popular with Nintendo fans, the world over. A sequel to the 1990 SNES game Pilotwings and the 1996 Nintendo 64 game Pilotwings 64, Pilotwings Resort includes the return of plane and rocket belt missions and is once again set on the fictional Wuhu Island.

The 3DS version also sees the introduction of Mii characters to the series, so you can customise your player to look (vaguely) like yourself. Apparently, this will be the first 3DS game to use Mii avatars.


Kid Icarus: Uprising

It's been a long time coming, but the Kid Icarus series has finally come up with a new game, after a mere nineteen-year wait since the previous chapter in the saga - Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters - was released way back in 1991. This time round, hero Pit, has to battle against a reborn Medusa, using his nifty power of flight when he can.

It should be simple enough for beginners, while also slaking the thirst of the loyal Kid Icarus fans that have been waiting for so long for the latest chapter in the saga.


And the rest...

The remaining confirmed titles are: Steel Diver, Super Monkey Ball, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Edition, Resident Evil Revelations, Dead or Alive Dimensions, Rabbid 3D, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Driver Renegade, Paper Mario, Star Fox 64, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Asphalt 3D, The Sims 3, Metal Gear Solid 3, Snake Eater 3D, Animal Crossing, James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes.


What do you think of the starting lineup? Are there any games that you'd like to see on the 3DS? Let us know in the comments box below.