I recently got back from a trip to Bali…a trip that took almost 13 hours including transit time in airports. That’s a lot of time to kill and it’s also why every time I go on a trip, one of the first things I try to figure out is what’s going to keep me entertained. I’m going to have my Kindle that’s loaded up with a couple of books, that’s just one device I need for books. But what about video games? Should I bring along my 3DS and Vita, or just the 3DS? What 3DS games should I bring? And are there any new decent mobile games?
In February two important games came out on the 3DS: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. If you know me or follow me on Twitter, you know how important The Legend of Zelda is to me, it’s one of my favorite franchises of all time. So for a game to steal me away from that franchise, it has to be incredible. And Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is that. I’ve played Monster Hunter before, but with this latest iteration Capcom has nailed a near perfect formula for this particular genre that is welcoming to new players but keeps enough of the old formula for returning fans. So what is Monster Hunter? The title of the game is pretty self-explanatory. You go on quests and the goal of these quests is to hunt big monsters. After you slay the monster you can carve its body parts and craft weapons and armor out of them. The monsters tend to be inspired by real animals, insects and mythical creatures like dragons and unicorns. Since its release in February, the game has left my 3DS only a handful of times, I’ve put in more than 100 hours and there’s no sign that I’ll be stopping any time soon.
When I wasn’t playing Monster Hunter I was playing a bunch of classics. One of the Nintendo 3DS’s hidden gems are the Sega 3D Classics — Ports of old Sega games with added functionality for the 3DS. The library includes classics from the Genesis like Sonic the Hedgehog, Eco the Dolphin, Streets of Rage, Burnout II and two of my favorites, Space Harrier and Outrun. Sega didn’t just port these games but added 3D support which is done really well, better than some modern 3DS games. There’s a lot of care put into porting these games to the 3DS and it shows in the amount of work the developers have put into them. Each game allows you to change and adjust settings ranging from screen size to enabling touch controls. Space Harrier comes with a setting to emulate its mechanical arcade cabinet, the screen will tilt in the direction your flying, like it would if you were playing the game at the arcades, to top that off it features sounds recorded from the actual cabinet. Sega aren’t stopping with a couple of games either, Sonic 2, Streets of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes are all getting re-mastered for the 3DS.
If I didn’t feel like pulling out my 3DS or just had five minutes to kill, I would pull out my iPhone. My favorite kind of mobile games are the ones that are minimalist in play style but can offer some depth through challenge. Desert Golfing is the epitome of qualities. The game is not your typical golf game. There’s no menu, no real goal to achieve because there’s no end, each course is randomly generated. I’ve played around 300 holes and the game keeps going. Some gamers have reached up to 5,000 holes, and the game progressively becomes more and more difficult and tricky.
Travel can be uncomfortable for some people, it’s stressful, and dealing with strangers in airports and on planes can be a pain. Finding distractions can be key to making a flight go smoother. Spending ten hours on the plane is unpleasant no matter what airline you fly with, but my 3DS and Monster Hunter definitely helped. So next time you’re going on a trip, think about what games you want to play. It might make the difference between a good flight and a bad one!