While the 3DS has been slowly winding down since the launch of the Nintendo Switch last year, the handheld still saw the release of several standout games. Throughout its history, the 3DS has offered a variety of games that take a unique approach to familiar concepts. Whether it’s an involved JRPG experience, a narrative-focused adventure, or a bizarre puzzle-action game, the 3DS has always had something for everyone, and that certainly continued throughout 2018. In our look back on 2018, GameSpot has rounded up some of the best 3DS games released this year, some of which revived classic games in a particularly interesting way. For more roundups focusing on the best games of 2018, be sure to visit our hub page detailing the highlights of this year’s titles.
The Alliance Alive
Following in the footsteps of The Legend of Legacy, developer Cattle Call’s The Alliance Alive kept the familiar JPRG mechanics and style while also telling a darker story. This role-playing game focused on a band of characters as they traveled across several continents, facing against challenging foes to save the known the world. It all seems like traditional fantasy fare, but The Alliance Alive embraces it wholeheartedly throughout. With a clever twist on traditional JRPG character growth, where your characters gain power by repeatedly using their familiar skills, The Alliance Alive gives you plenty of options to advance the power of your band of adventurers. This JRPG was a throwback to the more straightforward games of past and as a result was one of the highlights for the 3DS in 2018.
While the Pokemon series has seen its fair share of creative spin-offs, Detective Pikachu is an especially unique addition to the series. The strange point-and-click detective game stars a wise-cracking Pikachu with a grown man’s voice, and it is up to him–and you–to solve a series of crimes. This Layton-esque turn for the Pokemon series is a clever and worthwhile entry in the 3DS’ impressive library of games. Many Pokemon spin-offs have come and gone, but Detective Pikachu’s endearing charm left such a lasting impression, that it even spawned the first live-action film for the Pokemon series. In case you missed it, here’s the debut trailer for the film adaptation of Detective Pikachu.
Luigi’s Mansion 3DS
The original Luigi’s Mansion was a particularly odd title for the titular character’s solo outing, but it still managed to play to all the strengths of the GameCube and to the character’s endearing charm. It eventually got a sequel on the 3DS in the form of Dark Moon, and after its success, the same developers revisited Luigi’s original adventure. Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS is largely the same game as the original, with some added innovations to take advantage of the handheld’s hardware–including Amiibo support. Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS turned out to be a particularly fun remake of the original, giving the character more deserved time in the spotlight.
Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology
As one of the Nintendo DS’ most unique JRPG titles, Radiant Historia offers a compelling blend of complex strategy and role-playing mechanics, along with a sprawling story set across a detailed and ever-changing time period. With the remake on 3DS, Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology went even further with its predecessor’s time-travel focused narrative, while also adding in a number of worthwhile updates and revisions to the original. It not only offers returning fans new story beats to admire but also gives newcomers a better appreciation for the constantly shifting nature of the game’s complex narrative. Radiant Historia new outing on the 3DS not only improved upon the original’s impressive systems, it also gave added incentive for fans to dive back into the complex time-travel plot.
It’s hard to fathom that the WarioWare series has already been around for 15 years–but it has, and we’re all the better for it. In WarioWare Gold, the nightmare gallery of over 300 micro mini-games are sent your way in rapid succession–things like plucking someone’s nose hair, sumo wrestling an opponent, and even repeating basic gameplay actions from classic NES games. Though there’s a story mode that justifies the nonsensical spitfire of out of context micro-games, the why is quickly thrown by the wayside in favor of having you dive head-first into the madness. WarioWare’s weird and carefree style is what made the series so endearing over the years, and its WarioWare Gold shows that the game’s charm hasn’t overstayed its welcome just yet.