3DS

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Sometimes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon likes you a lot. You’re its pal, and it wants you to have a nice time. You’re gonna be buddies for dozens of hours, after all. Other times, Etrian Mystery Dungeon misses out on its morning coffee or something, and takes its frustrations out on you with a targeted viciousness. In sum, surprise! It’s a Mystery Dungeon game! READ MORE

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The schism of the farming game world — that of developer Marvelous and Western publisher Natsume —is finally starting to show its repercussions. Since Marvelous decided to hand its Bokujou Monogatari series to its own team at XSEED and Natsume forged ahead with its Harvest Moon IP, it’s easier to see what each brought to the table. In Natsume’s case, it turns out that’s not much more than enthusiasm and good intentions. With its first separated release in Story of Seasons, Marvelous shows this move to have been only a good thing. READ MORE

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Intelligent Systems has had a pretty good strategy game track record. With many successful and multiple entries in both the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series under its belt, the company took a chance in adding another strategy game to the mix. Does Code Name S.T.E.A.M. do enough to shake up the formula and add another excellent game to its repertoire? READ MORE

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I might have mentioned Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate a few times over the last two years. You might also notice that we don’t have an actual review of MH3U here on Snackbar Games. The reason for this is that I bought it the same day I bought LEGO City: Undercover and that review took precedence; by the time I was able to play MH3U, it was too late for any review to be useful. I don’t have that problem this time, as indicated by the over 80 hours I’ve already put into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate since picking it up — which officially makes it my second job if you do the math! READ MORE

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Citizens of Earth feels like a tribute to the SNES classic (and tragically underplayed) Earthbound. I am a huge fan of that game for its irreverence, setting and gameplay, and Citizens of Earth takes liberally from its best elements. It’s genuinely funny and strategically deeper than it first appears, while leveraging its characters and setting well. Its attempts to reclaim the magic of its source material are largely successful, but most of all, it’s just a lot of fun to play. READ MORE

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The release of X & Y was, in many ways, one of the best things to happen to the Pokémon series. The entries finally moved into a polygonal world, and streamlined many of the processes that were considered to be tedious in previous games. It’s been roughly ten years since Ruby & Sapphire released, making them (until now) the oldest generation without an updated edition. Like HeartGold & SoulSilver before them, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire update the mechanics while preserving the original’s world and quirks, and these latest releases serve as a reminder of exactly how much X & Y changed the game. READ MORE

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Due to the popularity of the recent Persona games, specifically Persona 3 and 4, we’ve seen a good number of spin-off titles released featuring both casts. If you find yourself interested in these two groups of characters interacting and aren’t particularly fond of fighting games, you’re in luck: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is finally here.

Featuring every character you know and love from both titles and gameplay reminiscent of the Etrian Odyssey series, Persona Q seems to appeal only to a very specific audience, but one that will find plenty to keep them busy.

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Fantasy Life is a game about filling up bars. A collaboration between Level-5 (Dragon Quest IXNi no Kuni) and 1-Up Studio (Mother 3Professor Layton and the Last Specter‘s London Life mode), it’s filled with fetch quests, grinding up skills and crafting items and equipment. These aren’t ways to pad the game length or diversions from the main attraction — they’re the reason you’re here — and it’s not ashamed of that for a second.

And that’s okay, because Fantasy Life is a really good game about filling up bars. READ MORE

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The original Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, despite its ridiculous title, was one of the best early offerings on the 3DS. It made several of our year-end top ten lists, was a runner-up to our Best 3DS Game award that year and was a virtual lock to make our 3DS Best to Own Forever list earlier this year. And it would have, were it not for the fact that a sequel, Curtain Call, was about to be released.

Curtain Call takes everything that made Theatrhythm great and adds more of it: more songs, more characters, more titles from which to draw those songs and more of the original’s “Dark Notes,” now turned into the new Quest Medley mode. It even removed some of the minor flaws, like the pointless (if optional) tap-fest Intros and Epilogues and restricting the characters’ skill slots to a specific type. READ MORE

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Until this point, the Super Smash Bros. series has been almost entirely defined by its local multiplayer experience. Sure, there have been single-player modes, and sure, Brawl had online play, but the true focus has always been on jumping in and battling it out with a friend or three on the couch. Almost out of necessity, this new 3DS entry of Super Smash Bros. shifts that focus to something more personal, something more customized and about reaching goals on your own.
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