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3DS launch software round-up

Well, the verdict of both critics and the public is pretty clear: the 3DS is great. The Observer, for example, noted that it's 'much more powerful' than its predecessor the DSi and said of the glasses-free 3D screen: 'the wide-eyed stares and even wider grins featured in Nintendo's marketing feel like a genuinely plausible reaction to that initial viewing.' And judging by the queues around the block on Friday, it's fair to say the public agrees.

But what about the games? Ah, there's the rub. There's been a decidedly mixed response to the launch line-up of software, with one reviewer saying 'in the rush to make it out on Day One, developers have cut corners.'

For starters, there's no Mario game available at launch, making the 3DS the first Nintendo console for... well, a very long time, anyway, without one. The official Nintendo games that are available seem OK, but a bit thin: Pilotwings Resort, for example, is apparently fun but over way too quick. 'The good news is they’ll have fun with it; the bad news is the joy ride won’t last long,' a reviewer put it. Steel Diver is dubbed a 'weird little throwaway launch game'.

Third-party titles are even patchier. Ridge Racer is deemed simple-but-fun, but not a great use of the 3D function (we're kinda OK with that, though). Alternative racer Asphalt 3D is scrappy but entertaining, which would be fine for a £5 iPhone game but not for a £40 3DS game.

It doesn't sound like any of the launch titles are awful, but several of them sound a bit rushed or stripped-down to get them out in time for launch. Madden Football, for example, is described as 'a seriously pared-down experience: no franchise mode, no minigames...not even multiplayer (no joke). For the hard-core fans only.'

Our advice? Get PilotWings and Street Fighter, embrace the weirdness that is Nintendogs & Cats, and wait for the promised Mario game to drop in a couple of months. (Of course, this is all moot: if you didn't get a 3DS at the weekend, you probably won't be able to get your hands on one for a few weeks anyway.)

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