LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars 3D is a game that comes so, so close to being terrific. The story is fun, even if you don’t follow the cartoon series and don’t grasp its nuances. And the puzzle solving elements are fantastic. Using the characters at your disposal to figure out how to progress is challenging, but never frustrating. Where it falls short, though, is in its save features. Levels are long — with some lasting 30 minutes — and you cannot save the game mid-level. Given the rather weak battery life of the 3DS, that can be problematic for players who don’t have that long to dedicate to the game. And with the 3D effects turned on, looking at the screen for a period that long can result in severe eye fatigue. A simple save at will or autosave feature would boost the game tremendously. As it is, it’s still one that’s worth your time — if you know what you’re getting into.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape is often cited as one of the best games of all time — and it hasn’t lost a lot of its luster. The game, now called Rayman 3D, is reinvigorated by the 3DS’s 3D effects, which do a good job of simulating a world with depth. But the 3D effects can sometimes make the game a bit more difficult — and many players may feel eyestrain after playing for an extended period (or even a short one). While the gameplay elements are still a lot of fun, UbiSoft did not take advantage of many of 3DS features, such as the gyroscope or touch screen functionality, which is a bit baffling. Still, this is a fine port of a very good game — and one of the better launch titles for the 3DS.
While Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is one of the best (and most elegant) multiplayer games to ever appear on a Nintendo platform, it’s worth remembering that this is, at its heart, the second update of a two year old game. That means the graphics aren’t as impressive as you might expect from a launch title for a system whose main selling point is its graphical differences. In 3D mode especially, the backgrounds appear incredibly static — almost cardboard-like.
At its core, though, the game remains a good fighter. The action moves quickly and there is a tremendous variety of moves among the large collection of characters. Finding a random online opponent is easy (though the matchmaking service isn’t fully up to snuff yet), as is connecting with friends. Fighting in the system’s 3D mode takes some getting used to, but it’s a nice (though unnecessary) addition, letting the characters stand out as they battle. Longtime fans of the series don’t need to buy yet another version, but for new 3DS owners looking for a quality game for older teens, this isn’t a bad choice.