The Not-So-Odd-Year of 2017: 3DS
On all sides, the 3DS has returned to normalcy. In fact, this year, in my opinion, has been the best since 2014, and it might end up being just a tad better than 2014 (This was written July, my opinions have changed, see end of article). Yet, the 3DS is will be entering what I presume will be the last good year of it's life, 2018. First' let's address the elephant in the room.
Yes, the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is doing extremely well currently, with there not actually being enough made to fulfill demand to this day.( Well, when I originally wrote this anyways) To say that the switch has caused the 3DS's demise is not entirely fair. Whilst I may have preferred a direct successor, the 3DS is old. A new system was inevitable, and needed. However, unlike some believe, the switch doesn't NEED the 3DS to die to do well. It will do just fine alongside the 3DS, as they aren't really equal machines anyway. Their form factor and specifications are entirely different. So the question is this: if the 3DS can still do well, will it still be supported? The answer to this seems to be yes, seeing as this year has a had an actually really good lineup of releases. That being said, 2018 does look like slim pickings, but we'll get there when we get there.
JANUARY: The only major release in January was a remake/demake (depends on your opinion) of Dragon Quest VIII, which released on the 20th. In reality, the beginning of the year,as we will see, is fairly weak. Big January releases are fairly rare in general.
FEBRUARY: February starts off fairly well with Poochy & Yoshi's Wooly World (an enhanced port of the Wii U game Yoshi's Wooly World) on the 3rd. The only other major release was Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, on the 28th. Both games were positively received.
MARCH: The biggest release of March was Mario Sports Superstars, which had mixed reviews. Again, the early part of the year was not great, just keep holding on.
APRIL: Aside from Bye-Bye-Boxboy, which wasn't exactly a major release, there's really nothing that came out in April for 3DS.
MAY: We all know the one major release of may: Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop! Joking aside, the major release was Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia, which came out on May 19, which was positively received.
JUNE: June brought a few smaller releases to the 3DS, such as Runbow Pocket, Mighty Gunvolt Burst, and River City: Knights of Justice, which were all decently received. The most major releases were RPG Make Fes, Coming out on June 27 to middling reviews and Ever Oasis on June 23 to positive reception.
JULY: July held the release of the New 2DS XL, which Nintendo backed up with two simultaneous releases: Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin both released on July 28th to mostly positive reception.
AUGUST: August was yet another drought for the 3DS. with no major releases.
SEPTEMBER: Here's where things start getting good. As with 2016, we see releases pick up this month with the month starting off with Monster Hunter Stories on September 8th, which was received positively. Next is Minecraft for the New 3DS releasing on the 13th , which was seen a lackluster port. soon after came the release Metroid: Samus Returns on the 15th, to positive reviews. The month is wrapped up with Yokai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres on the 29th, to mostly positive reviews. It is worth noting, however, that all these releases outside of Monster Hunter Stories were all ported or enhanced versions of already existing games, which makes the month a bit less impressive.
OCTOBER; October kicked off with Culcept Revolt on the 3rd, receiving mostly positive reception. October 6th had two major releases, Layton's Mysterious Journey: Katrielle and The Millionaire's Conspiracy and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, both of which were received positively. Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond The Myth came out on the 17th to positive reviews. The New 3DS-only Fire Emblem Warriors dropped on the 20th to decent reception. In all October might be the best month for 3DS releases.
NOVEMBER: November was obviously dominated by one, or technically two games: Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon on the 17th, which came was received positively. Other than that, there is the release of Mario Party: The Top 100, which was a compilation of already existing mini-games. It came out on the 10th to middling reviews. November was definitely a bit sparse, but it does get something of a pass for having the 3DS's most anticipated game coming out.
DECEMBER: December was very sparse, with the only major release being Style Savvy: Styling Star on the 25th, to so far what looks like positive reception.
2017 was not a surprising year for the 3DS. Really, it's mostly just a bit of a rehash of 2016, maybe not being quite as good as 2016, but just slightly. To address my change in opinion, it's purely due to how disappointing may of the year's releases were (Looks over at Miitopia). The year definitely wasn't as bad as the year which seemed to only have disappointments, 2015. In my mind, that year is at least as bad as the launch year of the 3DS, 2011, if not worse. That's why 2017 was so not surprising: It merely performed decently, not amazing but not horribly disappointing either. Looking ahead to 2018, the only thing I can really expect is more localizations of Japanese games that came out this year or last year, Like The Alliance Alive, or possibly Yokai Watch 3 or Snack World: Trejarars. While 2018 might not be the most notable year for the 3DS, I've more or less made my peace with it. I still don't agree with those the say the 3DS NEEDS to die, but I've made my peace with its death. Who knows, the Vita is still alive, maybe the 3DS can make its way well into 2019? I'd like that, but I'm not exactly holding my breath.