5 Nintendo 3DS games to play during the summer drought

Bravely Default Screenshot - Nintendo 3DS

Summer vacation is full of opportunities to travel, and visit places you've previously only dreamed of visiting. But you're always going to have down time. Maybe it's a 10 hour flight? Or perhaps a multi-day road trip? Or maybe you're not the adventurous type, and you prefer the comfort of your own home. Whatever the case may be, chances are you'll want to bust out that 3DS of yours and experience any of the myriad of fantastic games for the system.

Here are five great recommendations that are sure to keep you busy, even beyond the summer months.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Legend of Zelda

As breathtaking as the 3D Legend of Zeldas were, it was great to Nintendo going back to basics with A Link Between Worlds, and yet still adding a slew of new gameplay elements that made the experience feel fresh. Since it's a direct sequel to A Link to the Past, those of your familiar with the title will feel right at home.

The new weapon rental system allows you to tackle dungeons in any order, which is a first for the franchise. The new wall painting mechanic which allowed Link to transform into a 2D version of himself to traverse walls was a genius puzzle mechanic that fit perfectly into the game. If you're a Zelda fan, chances are, I'm preaching to the choir, but if you've been hesitant or perhaps never played a top-down Zelda game before, this is a great place to start.

Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life

What better to recommend for lazy summer days than a game about nothing? Tomodachi Life has you populating your very own island with Miis based on your friends, family, celebrities or video game characters, and lets you watch watch as they interact with each other, fall in love, and even have babies.

It's a game that doesn't take itself seriously, and won't get offended if you happen to forget to play it for a few days. Your Miis will always welcome you with open arms, waiting to play various quirky games with you, or share their unbridled wisdom.

Unfortunately, Tomodachi Life is one of those games you simply have to play to understand, so me telling you how great it is simply won't do it justice. However, you can always check out our review and decide for yourself.

Yoshi's New Island

Yoshi's New Island

Bright, colorful, and happy. Those three words describe summer perfectly, and just so happen to also apply to Yoshi's New Island. Nintendo has a track record of revitalizing their franchises of the past in new ways, and Yoshi's Island is no exception.

If you're the type that doesn't like overly complex games, that don't really reinvent themselves, but can still be enjoyed to the fullest purely based off of their great platforming mechanics and fun level design, then Yoshi's New Island is a no-brainer. Also, the title screen song is pretty much my summer anthem. So good.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Sakurai's take on the winged angel who can't fly on his own was a fantastic rollercoaster of a game, filled with memorable characters and action scenes that have no right to be that awesome on a 3DS screen. And the humor is so meta, that you just can't help but have a smile on your face throughout every conversation.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is part rail shooter and part action game. Levels start out with Pit flying through amazing vistas that beg to be played in 3D, with enemies rushing out at you from all sides as you try and dodge and shoot them down. Ultimately, you'll touch down and traverse the remaining level on foot, which can be tricky given the odd control scheme, but still immensely satisfying.

Containing easily the best difficulty rating system, which changes up enemy layouts drastically, makes replaying levels fun, and never monotonous. There are tons of weapons to collect which also alter up Pit's offensive capabilities. If you own a 3DS, there isn't a reason not to have played one of the system's best games.

Bravely Default

Bravely Default

The best and most recent Final Fantasy game that's not called Final Fantasy graced the 3DS earlier this year, and gave JRPG fans a reason to be excited. The story was compelling, the job system was extremely flexible and addicting, and the battle system completely turned the traditional system on its head.

Like its name, players would either Brave to act multiple times in a single turn, but then have to wait those turns subsequently, or Default, and store up extra turns in order to unleash a barrage of attacks. This addicting battle formula made turn-based combat fun but also very new.

While the latter half of the game isn't nearly as great as the first, it's still certainly a game worth experiencing, especially if you loved titles like Final Fantasy III, IV and V. And make sure to play with headphones, as the soundtrack is superb.

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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