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Those who feel comforted by the fact that the Nintendo 3DS has a slider to flatten the screen back to 2D gaming might be interested to know that of all the Nintendo 3DS game demos I tried today, only once did I have the 3D set at less than full whack. I got my sweaty palms on Pilot Wings, Nintendogs and Cats, and the 3D camera, plus a bunch of trailers for games including Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. But more on these trailers later. Let’s talk about the games…

Sadly, we can’t show you much, as Nintendo don’t want to soil the promise the 3DS holds by letting a bunch of non-3D stills of the game play out of the bag. It’s not worth trying to capture this in images either – it’s one case where you really have to see it to believe it.

The full 3D capacity of the Nintendo 3DS is best tested with the 3D camera. The two front mounted cameras can take a picture, then squish it to make a 3D image. There’s an extra 3D slider for this function, displayed on the lower screen, aside from the physical slider on the right hand side of the top screen.

This slider display, is to control the 3D, but more in the sense of setting the depth control of the image. So, take the photo, and it’ll look like double vision, but slide the 3D depth control, and the photo will slip into a 3D image that really pops.

Pilot Wings is a simple cartoonish flight simulation game for the Nintendo 3DS. In it, you’re a bubble-headed pilot in a dinky aeroplane, and you use the circular joystick to navigate the skies and pop through glowing sunshine targets.

Pilot Wings is a sweet little game, but doesn’t really do justice to the 3D. However, it does offer a good chance to put the newly added circular joystick through its paces. The Nintendo 3DS joystick is a curious controller. It’s part joystick, part slider, and swivels across an almost flat plane. This means it’s difficult to make sharp movements, as everything seems to move in a curve. This may have been a quirk of Pilot Wings though, and it’ll be hard to see whether there are limitations until there’s a first person game to demo.

Nintendogs & Cats on the Nintendo 3DS adds an extra dimension of cute, and is great, if you’re under 15. The demo has a choice of three puppies, and game play is limited to chucking around a boomerang, frisbee or tennis ball, but it’s a good show of the 3D capabilities too.

I go for a beagle Nintendog, and add sunglasses, an Elvis quiff, and a red neckerchief. The beagle is not pleased. However, happy beagle or none, the 3D graphics means that when you call your 3DS beagle, and it bounds up to you, and puts its paws up against the screen, the paws look soft enough to touch, and the beagle’s face pops out, in cute fuzzy profile. If I was nine, I would go absolutely wild for the 3D version of Nintendogs & Cats.

However, although showing us that yes, the Nintendo 3DS is definitely deserved of the hype, the short game demos we play leave more questions than answers. What’s a first person player like? How well does the circular joystick work, and how are different games employing it? Will my eyes get tired with more immersive game play?

Watch this space for more coverage of the Nintendo 3DS, as we get in depth with the game trailers, and into the nitty-gritty of the 3D screen. Got your own questions? Drop them in the comments…

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