The amount of hype and anticipation surrounding Nintendo's 3D pocket gamer has been incredible. Nearly a year after those 3DS whispers began to infiltrate our web browsers, the 3DS has officially entered the third dimension to change handheld gameplay as we know it. But what titles are you going to spend hours playing with (read: ignoring your partner) when it lands on March 25?
Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Ryu, Ken, Blanka and 32 other Street Fighting favourites are back doing what they do best - only now, they all look like they're on steroids, which looks all the more impressive in glorious 3D. The original beat 'em up game offers two fighting modes: Pro and Light. Using the touch screen, deliver one of four combo moves which you can earn the right to use or execute manually (Pro offers the manual control). Nintendo's multiplayer mode, just makes the games all the more awesome. And as it delivers the same gameplay as Super Street Fighter IV, you'll be familiar with all the modes.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
What started in 2001, has evolved into one of the greatest football games to have ever graced the gaming industry. According to Nintendo, the 3D football experience "really feels like you're playing football on a football pitch"? We're not quite sure about that - unless you're a Borrower or Old West cowboy Jedediah… or Nintendo genuinely believes we all live in a small screen, controlled by giants. We still don't white get what they meant by that, so we'll just put it down to excitement.
It wouldn't be a proper Nintendo launch without seeing everyone's favourite portly, Italian plumber, would it? And the legendary kart-racing series is back, staying true to form with beautifully animated environments for you to compete in, while you battle your way to first place with 3D bananas, red shells, lightning strikes, mushrooms and the rest of those classic items to sabotage your opponents. Everything else is pretty much what you'd expect, like giant Goombas, inking, time trails, battle mode and themed cups.
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
So Resident Evil has moved into 3D territory, bringing with it the Mercenaries mode from Resident Evil 4 and 5 and loads of impressive graphic capabilities. As ever, the aim is to keep moving, while trying not to get surrounded, killing as many bad guys as possible, while thinking strategically about adding more time to that clock to maximise points. Familiar item pickups such as ammo and grenades put in an appearance too and appear alongside your arsenal of weapons on the lower touchscreen. All you need to do is choose your poison - by which we mean a character and main weapon.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
It's only been nineteen years since the previous chapter in the Kid Icarus saga - Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters - so there will be many applauding its return, while others moan "that's it's about blimmin' time". Now he's up and flying again, Pit must go up against a reborn and hideous looking Medusa, using his nifty power of flight and ability to shoot arrows to destroy enemies. Two modes of gameplay are on offer here: aerial cobat and third person ground shooting (and swording), and the inclusion of the analogue stick takes gameplay up a notch, so expect some real multi-tasking action and the usual fast-paced, laser dodging action.
Super Monkey Ball 3D
SEGA's classic title really makes sense on the 3DS, as it relies quite heavily on the tilt and roll action, allowing you to manipulate your ball with extra precision thanks to the built-in gyroscope and analogue controller. With classic gameplay on the card, just choose from a selection of Challenge Mode tracks and navigate your entrapped simeon along winding paths and deathly drops, while trying to amass as much bananas as possible.
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Street fighter isn't the only fighting action we've got to look forward to. Dimensions brings Dead or Alive to Nintendo for the first time, with 15 stages and a choice of more than 20 characters, including a few new additions, for what will apparently be the biggest roster to have ever graced the game. The top screen is used for all the action, while the bottom screen is where you access your moves and combos list, in addition to touch controls to hold, throw and guard. Haven't played it before? Fear not, Dimensions covers the entire story right up to Dead or Alive 4, in addition to a host of new content, so you'll be up to speed in no time.
A submarine game hardly sounds riveting, but Steel Diver has been transformed into a motion controlled periscope, by making you physically turn around to fire missiles to sink oncoming ships. Once you track down enemy ships, controlling your sub a in side-on view, the game makes the transformation to periscope mode, as the gyroscopic sensors detect your orientation. So it's probably not one for playing on the train platform, and you should probably expect to do a lot of sitting and spinning; which probably means you should invest in 360-degree swivelling chair. And lastly, thanks to its Naval battle mode, you have the choice to challenge the computer or a friend using download play.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
It's none other than a remake of the N64 classic, set to deliver some adventure action in the third dimension. Set in the familiar kingdom of Hyrule, gameplay involves the role play and puzzle elements that have become synonymous with Zelda games, oh, and a rescue mission involving a certain princess. On your quest, you will meet a cursed tree, a magical crystal, wonder through dark dungeons, a haunted desert and even through time.
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
The LEGO Star Wars franchise is back. The game's storyline revolves around the events of the animated Star Wars series, with the goofy sense of humour still intact. Choose between a Jedi or a Separatist - we imagine Jedi will be the popular choice - to take on your quest, and get stuck into a new story, all new mini games, improved space flight and new combat abilities, like the Jedi straighter to engage in 3D dogfights. Character options sound a bit boring? Fear not you'll have plenty of chances to unlock classic characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.