Three Cheers for the 3DS! Part 2: Physical Cartridge Games

In the first part of my 3DS tribute blog, we looked at my favorite downloadable games.  Now we’re going to look at my favorite physical cartridge games.  Now of course, you could download many of these games, too, but I had them in cartridge form so they’re going here.  There’s a lot to cover so let’s get started!

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?

I have reviewed a lot of Adventure Time games over the years.  The earlier ones on the 3DS were made by WayForward, and this one played like Zelda 2.  It was fun, and had awesome music.  Seriously, look up “Party in the Clouds” and tell me what you think.

Art Academy

These drawing lesson games started on the DS, but got a few 3DS games as well.  There was the regular “Lessons for Everyone,” but they also had Art Academy games that showed you how to draw Disney and Pokémon characters.  Great educational games!  Speaking of educational games, Brain Age: Concentration Training was neat, too.

Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

When the second Epic Mickey game came out, they made a 2-D spinoff game on the 3DS, and it was actually considered a sequel to the SEGA Genesis classic Castle of Illusion.  So that was kind of neat.

Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Rune Factory 4

I reviewed a couple of these games on the 3DS.  Harvest Moon: A New Beginning was fun because you could pick up whole houses and move them around, and Farmer Man Cary married Iroha the Blacksmith I believe.  The 3DS was around for so long that at one point, the Harvest Moon games changed hands and were called Story of Seasons since Natsume still owned the rights to the other name.  Story of Seasons was good, too, and Farmer Man Cary married Iris in that one.  Rune Factory 4 was also on the 3DS.  It’s like Harvest Moon except you can fight monsters in dungeons as well.  I can’t wait to see the Switch remake of it.

Kingdom Hearts 3-D: Dream Drop Distance

This spin off game tied in some events between KH 2 and 3, and had some neat worlds like a Fantasia world and one based on the TRON sequel.  And it used AR cards as well as many other 3DS capabilities.

Mario Kart 7

Another fine game in the series and many of the great elements of Mario Kart 8 started with this game.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Even though it was more of the same, I liked the added goal of collecting tons and tons of coins.

Nintendogs + Cats

This was a 3DS launch title and adding cats to the mix made it pretty interesting, even if you couldn’t teach cats tricks!

Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions

This was a good way to play handheld versions of Pac-Man: Championship Edition and Galaga Legions, two Xbox 360 favorites of mine.

Mario & Luigi Series

Even though the series started out on the GBA, thanks to remakes and things, I think all but one of the Mario & Luigi games are on the 3DS.  Dream Team was neat because it featured Luigi in the Year of Luigi and kept the 2-D area ideas from Bowser’s Inside Story.  Unfortunately it was too long and bloated so I never beat it. Paper Jam was a crossover with the Paper Mario series (which was not good on 3DS).  Nothing noteworthy about that one but I must’ve liked it somewhat because I actually beat it.  Then there were the remakes:  Superstar Saga and Bowser’s Inside Story, which were both pretty fun.  Only one we didn’t get was Partners in Time.  I wonder if they’ll continue the Mario & Luigi games on the Switch?

Pokémon Rumble Blast

This game features battles with toy Pokémon and reminds me of Gauntlet.  Just mindless fun.

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure

I reviewed this one a long time ago and don’t remember much about it, but it is a story based music game with references to Space Channel 5, so it can’t be all bad.

Spirit Camera

Did you know that this is actually a Fatal Frame game?  Normally I don’t get into horror games, but I like ghosts so this series has always interested me, even if I haven’t played many of the games.  Spirit Camera uses a lot of the 3DS capabilities in unique ways.

Super Mario 3D Land

When the 3DS first came out, it actually wasn’t meeting Nintendo’s expectations at first.  That is until this game came out.  I like the fact they kept it simple and pretty easy to beat, but then you open up twice as much game with harder worlds.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy & Curtain Call

I like Final Fantasy music, even in the FF games I don’t play.  And this is a music game with nothing but FF tunes mixed with cute chibi versions of heroes and monsters.  I liked this game so much that it was my Game of the Year back when it was released.  The sequel, Curtain Call, is good, too.  Did you know there is an arcade version of this game as well?  I’ve played it!

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Due to the mission based structure of this game, I like the original better.  But this game is still tons of fun with lots of personality and Polterpup will steal your heart at the end!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

If I had to pick a number one favorite 3DS game, this would be it.  Regular readers should already know how much I like the Animal Crossing series, and I’ve already wrote about this game several times.  It’s really the first one that offers any significant improvements to the formula.  I have many memories about this game.  Some good, like buying a pink 3DS and this game for my mom for Mother’s Day, and some bittersweet, like playing this game with my cousin and her kids after our grandmother’s funeral dinner.  I can’t wait for New Horizons on the Switch!  And speaking of Animal Crossing, Happy Home Designer was on the 3DS as well and I didn’t think it was a bad game either, for what it was.

Project X Zone 1 & 2

Back in the PS2 days, I was sad we never got Namco X Capcom, but these are basically the sequels and we got them on the 3DS.  These strategy RPGs really aren’t THAT good, but it was neat seeing all my favorite Capcom, SEGA, and Namco characters all in one game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

A direct sequel to A Link to the Past, one of my top favorite Zelda games?  Yes please!  This quickly became one of my top favorite Zelda titles, too, and if I were to replay one, this would be it.  Only problem I had with this game is that it was so much like the original, I was able to beat it very quickly.  If you have friends who say that Nintendo rehashes their ideas, don’t show this this game!

Yoshi’s New Island

And speaking of games that are like rehashes, this is basically that for the SNES Yoshi’s Island classic.  But it’s still a fun game, which is a testament to how good the original is.

Cooking Mama series

The Cooking Mama games started on the DS, but continued strong on the 3DS.  We got Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends, Cooking Mama 5:  Bon Appetit, and the last one which let your run a dessert and candy shop!

Tomodachi Life

This was kind of an Animal Crossing Lite with Mii characters.  You could even marry Miis!  Please don’t tell Link, but my Cary Mii married a Princess Zelda Mii.  They had a baby, too.  I named him Zelda Jr.  This game was the basis for Nintendo’s first mobile title: Miitomo.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

I was impressed they were able to cram a whole Smash game on a handheld and not sacrifice too much, and because of that I probably played this more than the Wii U version.

Chibi Robo: Zip Lash

It was kind of a generic 2-D platformer starring Chibi Robo and kind of lost some of the charm, but I beat it so I must’ve enjoyed it somewhat anyway.

Gravity Falls

I LOVED the Gravity Falls cartoon.  So much so that I rank it as high as DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, and Animaniacs.  So that’s high!  So I was glad I got to review this game.  Sure it’s a generic 2-D licensed platformer, but it was made by the same Ubisoft team who did Child of Light and some of the later Rayman games, so it was still pretty good.

Yo-Kai Watch

This was a Pokémon clone featuring characters from Japanese folklore and myths, mostly on the paranormal side.  I didn’t like the game as much, but it was fun to learn about these characters from Japanese folklore and the characters certainly were charming.  The game was HUGE in Japan, too.

Kirby Series

Most of you readers know I’m a huge Kirby fan, and there were LOTS of games on the 3DS!  Two of them ended up being some of the best single player Kirby games out there: Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot.  Other games like Kirby Battle Royale and the port of Extra Epic Yarn, eh, not so much.  But the 3DS was a great system to have if you were a Kirby fan!

Metroid: Samus Returns

This was a remake of the Game Boy Metroid game, which I was glad to get since I never played the original much.  This was a very good game!

River City: Tokyo Rumble

This was less of a remake and more of a reimagining of River City Ransom, but it turned out better because of it.  There are tons of these Kunio-Kun games in Japan!

Detective Pikachu

This was a really weird point and click adventure that I described it as “Phoenix Wright for kids.”  But it is really charming and a must play for Pokémon fans.  Heck, it must’ve been charming enough, as they did make a movie about it!  And it was pretty good, too!

WarioWare Gold

This was kind of a ‘best of’ WarioWare game.  I still enjoyed it, though, as I’m a big fan of the series.

Mega Man Legacy Collection

OK I mainly got this one for the gold Mega Man amiibo.  After it was on sale, I did get the PS4 version of this as I prefer playing it on the big screen.  I guess it’s a good collection of the NES titles, even though back on the PS2, there was a collection that had more on it!

Ultimate NES Remix

Speaking of WarioWare, this was kind of like that except with NES games.  I wish they’d do it again with SNES titles!

Hey! Pikmin

Surprisingly I’m not much of a Pikmin fan.  But when I heard about this game being a 2-D platformer that played similarly to Kirby Mass Attack, I decided to give it a try.  And even though most Pikmin fans didn’t like this one, I enjoyed it!


And that’s all the games!  I had a few more things to say about the 3DS that I forgot to earlier that I’ll conclude with.  First, even though the 3DS was GREAT, I think I like the DS a tiny bit more.  Not sure why.  Maybe because it didn’t have the 3D gimmick, and since I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth, I can’t see the 3D effects anyway.  Or maybe it’s because the DS came out before cell phones were big so it had a lot of more little games that would later just be on mobile.

I also forgot to talk about the Ambassador Program.  When the 3DS first came out, it had a little trouble, so Nintendo lowered the price fairly quickly.  To keep the early adopters happy, they gave them a bunch of free NES and GBA Virtual Console games.  So I had even more games on my main menu!  I like the fact that the 3DS Virtual Console had a lot of Game Boy games.  I even downloaded a few I never played before, like Mole Mania.

Anyway, in the comments section, tell me what you think of my list, and let me know your favorite 3DS games, too!  Later!  –Cary

One Response to “Three Cheers for the 3DS! Part 2: Physical Cartridge Games”

  1. Boy, I forgot how many good games there were on this system. I haven’t touched mine in a few months (even though I have 2 or 3 games on there in my backlog…) but I must have spent hundreds of hours on it over almost a decade. I’d still buy a Switch the size and shape of a 3DS XL in a heartbeat!

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