This week I went to The Vitality Show and in between dodging the eyebrow merchants, finally got to have a go on the Nintendo 3DS. I first heard about the 3DS last June at E3 in Los Angeles. The console proved to be the Justin Bieber of E3 - mobbed by thousands, but too small for most people to get a proper gander at.
If you've seen the ads for the Nintendo 3DS (which arrives in UK shops this weekend) you might have noticed that they only ever show the player's reaction, and not what they're playing. It's impossible to show 3D action properly on a 2D TV screen. This is one product that needs to be seen to be believed. And believe me, it's worth seeing.
I played a couple of 3D games including Nintendogs. The puppy was so real, I just wanted to scoop him out of the screen. The effect is truly amazing. However, it did make my eyeballs feel a bit squiffy (yes I was sober, for once). Though the 3D effect works amazingly well, I'm not sure if I'd let my child play this for long, especially travelling in the car - seems like a recipe for motion sickness to me.
Luckily ye olde NIntendo DS rumbles on. Disney Interactive Studios sent me two of their latest titles to try out. Both are based on Disney Channel programmes, and are newly released in the UK this week:
Wizards of Waverly Place: Spellbound is one for the girls with a magical twist. Mixing fashion and spells, it's the kind of game Gok Wan might come up with after a term at Hogwarts. The DS has always had a good selection of games for girls, and this is another one to add to the library. It's a teensy bit cheesy, but thumbs up for being the only game I've come across where you can turn yourself into a hamster. Now that's a spell I'd like to be able to cast.
My daughter's not a big game player, but I had to wrench this one out of her hands. Then again, she could have been stalling because it was bedtime.
Wizards of Waverly Place: Spellbound is out now for Nintendo DS, RRP £34.99, though Amazon have it reduced to £27.99. Suitable for age 3+, but realistically girls of six and over are going to enjoy this most.
The other new Disney game sent to us for review is Phineas and Ferb Ride Again, based on the Emmy Award-winning original show. When my son started playing it, at first he said "This is great!" and then five minutes later: "This is terrible!". On paper he should have loved it, since it's a wild ride of a platform game involving spaceships, skateboards and all manner of gadgetry. But really he's a Mario Kart kid at heart. I think if he'd seen the original series then this might have been more of a hit, always an issue with games based on TV shows.
This somewhat noisy trailer gives you a fair gist of what Phineas and Ferb have to offer:
Phineas and Ferb Ride Again is out now for Nintendo DS, retailing at £34.99. Again Amazon have a better deal at £27.99.