Monday, 22 August 2011

3D Classics Review: Are These 3DS Retro Gaming Titles Any Good?

They have pixelated graphics and cheesy electro-pop background music, nevertheless, the 3D Classics series on the Nintendo eShop still managed to seriously impress us.

Here, Mini Gamers outlines the first three games in the series and discusses why we reckon they are all worth your money.

Each of the games in the 3D Classics range has been adapted from popular NES games and suchlike, but have all been given an updated autostereoscopic 3D look.

Each game can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop for under £6 each, which in our opinion is quite a bargain under the circumstances.

3D Classics: Excitebike

This Motorcross racing title first made its debut as a NES launch title back in 1985. In the 3D version of the game, players must race around a three-lap track, avoiding obstacles and trying not to fall off their bike or overheat the engine.

The game itself is very simple to play. Use the 'A' button to accelerate and 'B' to apply a turbo boost when tackling various jumps or barriers. Be careful to only use your turbo boost when you really need it though, as overheating your engines will cost you valuable seconds on your overall lap time.

The main object of the game is to complete the course as quickly as possible and achieve a highscore rating which beats the previous 'best time'. The quicker you race, the higher your overall ranking will be.

When you have completed all the courses on offer, you can also create and race around several of your own tracks, using the in-game track creator tools. The creator has several obstacles and templates to choose from, all presented in a simple and intuitive format, so that even gaming novices can create some challenging courses in only a few minutes.


Graphics Rating: 3/10 - very small graphics, highly pixelated, with a garish blue, yellow and green colour-scheme.

Gameplay Rating: 8/10 - tracks get more difficult as you progress through the game and the chance to create your own tracks adds to the replay value.

Value-For-Money Rating: 7/10 - at £5.40, this game is definitely worth the money, although some gamers may be put off by the old-style graphics, but definitely worth a look.
3D Classics: Xevious

Xevious is a vertical-scrolling arcade shooter game, which was originally distributed by Atari in 1982.

Players take control of an aircraft called a Solvalou, and must try and shoot at enemies whilst avoiding strange but deadly objects. The player gets two chances to complete each level before the 'Game Over' screen appears, which makes it very challenging.

Unfortunately, Mini Gamers found it a bit of a struggle to complete the first level, so we did not see as much of the game as we would have liked, but from what we did see, it was a very good game.

The new 3D graphics are very good, and really does add depth to the environment. The main ships and objects are relatively small and pixelated, but this is to be expected given the age of the original game.


Graphics Rating: 7/10 - objects and ships are pixelated but still distinguishable from each other. The background environment looks amazing in autostereoscopic 3D.

Gameplay Rating: 8/10 - Although this game proved very challenging, it did encourage us to play it over and over again to try and progress further through the level, which we think is a good thing, lots of replay value.

Value-For-Money Rating: 7/10 - at £5.70, this game is relatively expensive, but the game itself is very good and has various levels to explore, so we think that you will not be disappointed if you do choose to purchase it for your 3DS.

3D Classics: Urban Champion

This side-scrolling beat-'em-up was first developed by Nintendo in 1985 for the NES. It has already appeared in the Wii's virtual console, and has earned a slightly tarnished reputation for being boring and repetative.

Nevertheless, it is a neat little game, which has simple but humorous gameplay, complete with detailed and colourful graphics. As a result,  Urban Champion is also our favourite 3D Classics game to date.

Players can choose whether to compete against the computer or against another player (using the 3DS' wireless settings) please note, however, that if you do use the multiplayer function, both players must have purchased and downloaded a copy of the game.

Your character must fight his way against an opponent in order to reach the next level. The character starts with the rank of 'Lonley Champion', but will recieve a new rank after each successful level.

As well as defeating his opponent, your character must avoid certain traps and obstacles during the brawl. For example, flowerpots are periodically dropped from appartment balconies. If your character gets hit on the head by one of these, it will instantly reduce his stamina and make him easy to beat, so be careful!

Police Cars also patrol the area from time to time. If your character is caught throwing a punch when the car is in the vicinity, your character will be arrested, leading to an automatic 'Game Over'.

The 3D graphics are fantastic and suit the cartoon-style of the game, which is slightly reminicent of the late 1980s Amstrad graphics. The detailed backgrounds in this game are really impressive, but can feel a little bit repetative on occasions.


Graphics Rating:7/10 - Cartoon-style, but very clear 3D graphics, however a bit repetative after a while.

Gameplay Rating: 9/10 - simple, funny and surprising. Tons of replay value. Good for those odd few minutes when you are searching for something to do.

Value-For-Money Rating: 10/10 - This game was excellent, especially when played against another person. Very amusing and entertaining. At £4.90, this game is definitely worth your time and money. Not to be underestimated.

So, that's our review of the 3D Classics series. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the games that we tried. These games are unlikely to appeal to many hardcore gamers, but for a bit of inexpensive, time-filling, these games are the perfect solution.

Trailers and screenshots of each of these games can be viewed now in the Nintendo eShop.

Have you already bought any of these games? Why not let us know what you think by leaving us a comment? We'd love to hear your thoughts. 

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