Okay, so we all know that that the list of launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS failed to provide the most compelling reason to make an early purchase of Nintendo’s most recent handheld. We also know that really no Nintendo hardware should ever be launched without at least one such title (that isn’t a port of an older game) that contains the word “Mario” in that title (or at the very least, “Zelda”).
That being said, what I really don’t understand about the 3DS launch line up is its complete (or near complete) ignorance of the heart and soul of 3-D as a medium: action and salaciousness and, of course, salacious action. Now, I come to the discussion of this most recent round of the “3-D revival” (a revival that seems to occur at least once a decade, since at least the 1950s) as a skeptic. “They” tell me that this time is different, 3-D is here to stay in general (in the movies, on television, in video games) and this time it will not be a mere novelty. The tech is better, and, thus, it will integrate with various visual media and become a normative part of those media.
As I noted recently after viewing Captain America in 3-D (a movie I liked very well, by the way), I already knew that that guy was standing in front of that other guy in the movie. I don’t really need 3-D to communicate depth to me in film. My eyes work just fine.
Now, I don’t want to seem curmudgeonly. I see advantages to adding, say, color to moving pictures or making things high def. I just don’t really get what 3D adds to my enjoyment of a film or television show or video game. I can already see depth quite clearly in these media, and I certainly don’t understand why it should be integrated with every viewing experience. I don’t see, for instance, why one would need to see Kramer Vs. Kramer in 3-D or an episode of The Facts of Life (maybe, I should update my examples to seem less curmudgeonly, but seriously, what would 3-D add to a drama or a rom-com?).
I do, however, get why 3D is a constantly revived technology. For certain kinds of films, 3-D adds the opportunity for extended thrills. This is what I meant by Nintendo ignoring the heart and soul of what has made 3-D successful for various brief periods of time. Frankly, they have ignored the history of 3-D film.
A quick scan of Wikipedia’s entry on “3-D Film” will indicate what I am talking about. The article indicates that some of the earliest 3-D movies made in the 1920s were shorts with titles like Zowie, Luna-cy, The Run-Away Taxi, and Ouch. Are you seeing where I’m going with this? I feel fairly certain that these are not a series of art-house dramas.
Let’s see, here’s a few other classic 3-D titles of later decades: Third Dimensional Murder, Six Girls Drive Into the Weekend, Bwana Devil, The Man in the Dark, House of Wax, It Came From Outer Space, Robot Monster.... Need I go on?
What these movies are and what they ask of 3-D is to provide shock, surprise, sex, violence—all that fun stuff. That’s what 3-D is good at: salaciousness and action. Something that the crop of 3-D games launched with the 3DS is largely bereft of.
And, yeah, I know this is Nintendo, so they don’t really do that kind of stuff. But if you ask me, here are the titles that should have really launched the 3DS:
If you are going to jump on the current 3-D revival zeitgeist, why, oh, why, would you not go for the license to do an additional tie-in (because, yes, Avatar already made its way to the Wii) to the movie that caused the current mania for all this new tech in the first place?
Look, B-grade sci-fi is a winner in 3-D, offering strange back drops for the action up front, grotesque aliens potentially exhibiting strange, unidentifiable organs to the viewer, and the chance to launch vehicles through the skies and at the audience (or player in this case).
Hell, these aliens wear loin cloths in the movie. This is so much a win-win, I can’t stand it.
B-grade horror is equally (if not more) of a winner in 3-D for obvious reasons, such as: jump out scares, jump out scares, and jump out scares.
I guess in that regard, I really should have picked Resident Evil as the “go to” IP for a horror title, but Capcom already blew it by bringing an action version of zombie horror to 3-D, instead of going with bumps-in-the-night as one should in 3-D.
Plus, I just like the Dead Space series better.
3-D alien evisceration? Duh.
3.Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball
This is yet another obvious bad call on the part of a software developer and the 3DS. Team Ninja gets high marks for the title of their 3DS release, Dead or Alive: Dimensions. The DoA series is known for the unusual… ahem… dimensions of its female fighting cast, so you get to see those “dimensions” in 3-D. I get it. It is just sexy, stupid enough for any self-respecting purveyor of 3-D pleasures to be proud of your creativity, but you chose to go with the more vanilla fighting game version of the series?
Seriously, while the fighting game has action, the title that you chose spoke of providing a view of sex in three dimensions. Go with bikinis, go with sexploitation… this is 3-D we’re talking about.
Oh, and Team Ninja is the reason for the phrase “breast physics”. They don’t want to be the reason for the phrase “scantily clad, 3-dimensional breast physics”? Yeah, I don’t think that they are taking a pass on that either.
2.Shadows of the Damned
While the “blah” title of the game may have stymied its U.S. sales, this might be the most perfect port of a video game IP to 3-D. It has sex, violence, horror, blood, etc., etc., etc. Oh, and in very large amounts. Since playing SotD is kind of like playing Robert Rodriguez’s Machete (a movie that is tailor made for the 3-D genre—do it, Rodriguez, you can thank me later after you cash in the box office receipts), this move to 3-D might be a given. Suda51’s game clearly has enough potential for exposing 3-D flesh and for provoking 3-D scares, and I just know that Suda51 would love to do it (again, Suda, send me a check). This is exactly his style.
Just wait until Garcia “Fucking” Hotspur extends his Big Boner for the first time right at you (that’s the name of his gun for the uninitiated, and it should also tell you why 3-D and SotD would get along swimmingly).
Okay, so you probably think that this choice is just a retread of my reasoning for making an Xtreme Beach Volleyball 3DS title. And, yes, Bayonetta, as a character, is all tits and ass.
However, the real reason that Bayonetta should be a 3DS game is why anything should be made specifically for 3-D in any visual medium. Bayonetta is sheer, unadulterated, and unending spectacle.
Bayonetta revels in the most insane set pieces of any game in recent memory. This is a game in which you can eat a giant baby with your hair. This should be in 3-D.
The game is almost exclusively interested in just (for lack of a better or clearer descriptor) throwing as much shit at the player as it can (which might be the best definition that I have suggested yet for what makes a good 3-D anything—a film, television show, video game that “just wants to throw shit at its audience”).
I have played Bayonetta, and I can tell you that Bayonetta wants to be 3-D. And it should be.
0.God of War
Oh, and God of War should be in 3-D. But I don’t think that that will be happening anytime real soon. Right, Sony?
You can follow the Moving Pixels blog on Twitter.
// Sound Affects
"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layer and texture to music.READ the article