Review: Arcade Classics 3D (Nintendo 3DS)

Arcade Classics 3D
Publisher: Enjoy Gaming Ltd
Developer: Enjoy Gaming Ltd
Genre: Arcade
Release Date: 10/31/2013

Arcade Classics 3D  is a game made up of six mini-game clones, namely Alleyway/Arkanoid/Breakout, Asteroids, Bejeweled, Bust-A-Move, Columns, and Tetris. For the nostalgics, this seems like a decent, if small, collection of games that might be worth a few bucks on the eShop. Don’t be fooled, however: the game isn’t worth it, even if you get it for free.

For a game that advertises itself as a collection of “six of the most playable games of all time,” it really fails on delivering the “playable” aspect of that claim. I’m not sure how someone can make any of these games bad, but they managed to do so, and with flying colors. Let’s go through them, one by one. Also note that none of these games come with a tutorial or any kind of introduction; this is fine for people who have played these titles before, but for people who are new, they’re out of luck unless they remember to check the manual.

Alleyway/Arkanoid/Breakout (they call it Bounce & Break) is actually not that hard of a game to mess up, if I’m being completely fair. Many clones have issues with the speed of the paddle, where it goes either too fast or too slow. Somehow, Bounce & Break manages to do both: the paddle moves very slowly at first, but as you hold the Circle Pad/D-Pad over, it speeds up. This was an awful idea, because you don’t last long enough to get used to it. On top of that, the paddle doesn’t actually respond to changes in direction, so if you overshoot it, forget about it. If that wasn’t bad enough, there are level ups that fall from the blocks (just like in regular Breakout), but they don’t always register you getting them, which is a pain in the butt considering that you’re going to need to get back to the ball. You don’t know what the upgrades do, and they fall so slowly it’s not really worth getting them.

Asteroids (for them, Impacts) is probably the only game in the set that actually had some effort put into it. While the controls are wonky, as with the rest of these games, they’ve added another type of weapon (so you have two guns you can fire) and a shield that protects your ship from blowing up thanks to the small particles you can’t adequately dodge, given the controls. Think of it like an HP bar: you’ll still eventually blow up if you get hit often enough or by a big enough piece, but it won’t be OHKO for the smaller pieces.

Bejeweled (for them, Jewels) basically played itself. I would swap out two jewels and watch as the game leveled itself up with combos. Of course, leveling up didn’t necessarily make the game more difficult; you get a new type of jewel every ten levels or so. If you accidentally switch two blocks that can’t be switched, you lose a credit (you have three a game). However, the blocks stay where you switched them, so I guess you could always sacrifice a credit if you wanted to set something up. Considering how well the game plays itself, though, I don’t know that it’d be worth it, unless you wanted the experience to be over that much faster.

Like the Breakout clone, Bust-a-Move (for them, Pop It Up) struggles from bad controls. There’s no guiding line that a lot of us are used to and it’s frustratingly difficult to get the launcher in the direction you want it to point. I’m not 100% sure, as I haven’t played the original Bust-a-Move games in years, but some of the levels also felt too familiar for my taste. Like I’m fairly certain some of these levels are the exact same as some of the ones in the original game.

Columns (for them, Swap) is probably the most painful game in terms of feeling like everything is going too slow. It took me around twelve levels to feel any sort of change in speed. I ended up quitting out of the mini-game out of sheer boredom, something I try not to do when reviewing a game. Surely, you can choose at what speed you’d like to start, right? Wrong. There honestly isn’t much more to say than that.

Tetris (for them, Blocks) is also incredibly slow. Granted, Tetris starts out slow, but this game starts out slower and manages to stay slower than any Tetris clone I’ve ever seen. I also managed, somehow, to not get a straight block for like five levels, and at one point I got the same block in a row six or seven times, and then another block in a row four or five time. While probably not unheard of in Tetris, it’s a rare occurrence in my experience to get a block more than three times in a row, and the blocks cycle through pretty well in most other clones. In short: they managed to make even Tetris bad.

Are there any redeeming qualities to this collection? Unfortunately, no. The graphics aren’t impressive in the least, and turning the 3D on somehow made things worse (not good for a title with 3D in the name), the music is fine enough but there’s only one track and it doesn’t even loop correctly, so you can easily tell how long you’ve suffered in a game, the controls are bad for half the games and the speed is bad in the other half. This feels wholly like a phoned-in game made to make some quick money off of other people’s sense of nostalgia, and that is offensive to me on every level I can think of.

Do. Not. Buy. This. Game.

Short Attention Span Summary

Do yourself a favor and don’t get this game. For a game that advertises itself as a collection of “six of the most playable games of all time,” it really fails on delivering the “playable” aspect of that claim.

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