Nintendo 3DS: PES 2011 3D hands-on

The launch of the iPad 2 may be dominating the news at the moment, but we haven't forgotten the other entertainment device that was released in the UK on the same day (25 march), the Nintendo 3DS. And as we've now got a few games to go with it, we thought we'd cast our beady eyes, in true stereoscopic fashion, over each title.

However, we haven't had enough time to play them fully enough to review them outright (those will come next week when we've played them more), so here's our initial thoughts.

First up is Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D (PES 2011 3D to its friends), and the first thing that strikes us is that its use of the 3D screen is the best we've seen. However, it's also impossible to play in any mode other than the traditional sideways-scrolling "wide", thus negating the best visuals.

That's not to say that you don't get a half-decent 3D spacial experience with the conventional way of playing PES - indeed, it has a palpable sense of depth - it's just that you kind of want to feel really absorbed, rather than on the periphery looking in. That's the point in three-dimensional gaming, after all.

Better news is that, from the few matches we've played so far, this version of PES is far better than anything that's come out on an Xbox 360 or PS3. It plays much more like PS2 Pro Evolution Soccer, and the 3DS' newly-adopted thumbstick allows you to actually play the game in a fluid and natural fashion. It's almost worth the purchase just for that.

The one thing to note though, is that you may need to adapt your game to avoid waving the 3DS around, or else you'll visually lose track of what's going on as the 3D screen blurs out of view. The sweet spot is fairly small, so you have to stay predominantly still.

We haven't had a chance to play multiplayer yet, but will do before launching into a full review. And from a rapid whizz through the options and menus, the set-up is as PES as it comes, right down to the mocked-up team names for unlicensed properties (such as Merseyside Red for Liverpool). Naturally, you can change the names and kits in the editor, and we wonder if there'll be online fan edits to download and store on the SD card. Hopefully, there'll be an unofficial transfer update too, as Torres is still with the Reds, and such like.

Initial impressions are grand, but mainly because the gameplay is right. We're just not sure, at present, what the 3D aspect adds, if anything.

PES 2011 3D is available now for £39.99, although you can get for around a tenner cheaper if you shop around.

Have you played PES 2011 on the 3DS yet? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below...

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