Now that I've had my 3DS for about a month, I thought I should share a few more impressions and opinions of Nintendo's latest dual-screened handheld. So, here they are (in no particular order):
1. The eShop is a bit of a mess--I like a lot of things about it--a trailer is available for seemingly every game, you can buy games using stored credit cards, you can save games to a wish list, etc.--but I also hate a few things about it. For instance, it feels kind of constricted and suffocating to me--especially when compared to the Wii's online shop. (Which, admittedly, had its own share of issues.) Closely associated with the eShop's claustrophobic design: I have a feeling a lot of games--especially old DSiWare ones--are going to get ignored due to the fact that people simply don't know they exist.
2. I'm glad Nintendo's finally offering game demos to European and North American 3DS owners--Without question, this should have been a part of the 3DS' eShop from day one, especially since demos have been on the Wii's online shop for some time now. Anyway, what really matters is that they're finally available. Sure, there's only one on the North American eShop at the moment, and it can only be played 30 times before it self-destructs (or something like that), but I'll take what I can get. Here's hoping Nintendo opens the floodgates (even a crack) and puts up more such demos--especially of niche releases like Sega's Rhythm Thief--sooner rather than later.
3. Swapnote is a killer app--I'm sure this adorable, animated, doodle-centric message app doesn't appeal to everyone, but it certainly appeals to me--and I have to imagine it'll appeal to many other current and future 3DS owners, too. I don't see it prompting people to pick up a 3DS just so they can gain access to it, of course, but it's definitely a nice, enjoyable freebie for those who purchase one for, say, Mario Kart 7 or Super Mario 3D Land.
4. The built-in pedometer is surprisingly cool--And addictive, especially as its use relates to the similarly built-in Find Mii. I know you can game the system (pun intended) if you so choose, but I've actually found myself going on walks--ah, the benefits of working from home!--just so I can earn enough coins to hire a few of this included software's "wandering heroes." (Mine are cats, by the way.)
5. I hate that Nintendo decided to region-lock the system--I can't believe I forgot to harp on this in my first "thoughts on the 3DS" post. I know it should have been expected given Nintendo's decision to region-lock the DSi and DSi XL, but I couldn't help but hold out hope that the company would reverse that terrible (for those of us who enjoy playing niche games that will never be released in our particular region) decision. As it is, I honestly can't wait for someone to "hack" the 3DS just so I can import and play games like Beyond the Labyrinth and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy should they fail to make it to our shores.
See also: 'A few thoughts on the 3DS'