Nintendo's unique handheld is facing a tough battlefield for best portable gaming experience.  Android and iOS devices are relatively easy to obtain through cellular contracts, and have a huge selection of casual games that grows every day.  Playstation is only a few months away from releasing their new handheld, the PS Vita, which they have stated will be insulated from other systems and dominate the market.  With all this upcoming competition, and a lackluster launch for the handheld, how will the 3DS hold up this holiday season.  I'd say a lot better than you might think.

When the 3DS launched back in February this year, there wasn't any real reason to go pick one up.  While the glasses free 3D tech is very cool, there just weren't any good games and features such as the browser and eShop weren't up and running yet.  Now jump ahead to the present.  It's now the middle of November.  The eShop is up and finally starting to churn out some good quality downloads.  Early adopters of the system were treated to 10 free NES virtual console games, and still have 10 free GBA virtual console games on the way.  For everyone else, the virtual console has released many awesome original GameBoy games including the original Kirby, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, and many others.  There have also been five 3D classics released, the most recent was Kirby's Adventure from the NES.  These 3D classics and the Virtual Console games have been great since a lot of the younger generation have had no experience with these titles from early in Nintendo's history.

The drought for decent 3DS cartridge titles is also finally over.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 3D were good diversions while waiting, but we're finally starting to see some of the big Nintendo franchises finally releasing some of their new ideas.  The most recent of these was Super Mario 3D Land released just a few days ago.  This is the best use of the 3D capabilities I've seen in the system since release.  It is also one of the best 3D platforming games I've played since Super Mario Galaxy 2.  Another game featuring the Italian plumber is Mario Kart 7, out December 20th.  That's a boat load of both classic and new Mario all before the end of the year, which means inevitably this system will be at the top of a lot of kid's lists for the holidays.

A recent price drop for the system will also help boost sales this December. The whole reason for the Ambassador program was to sooth early adopters after Nintendo dropped the price down to $169.99 back in August.  That's $100 bucks less than the PS Vita is retailing for, and it'll be out this holiday season while the Vita isn't being released until February.  On top of that, there is a great lineup of games coming out in 2012, such as Resident Evil: Revelations, Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario - 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater.  Now to be clear, I'm not saying the 3DS is going to destroy the Vita once it's released, I'm just saying that Nintendo's newest handheld is not going anywhere any time soon.  It's just taking a little time for the system to settle into place.  But that's just my guess, we'll have to wait to see what happens after the holidays.  Either way, right now is a good time to be a gamer!
 
 
Skyrim is probably one of the biggest games I've played yet.  The number of quests you can undertake is mind boggling (possibly because there are an infinite number of quests, as was released recently in a statement from Bethesda studios).  Since stepping into this epic world, I found myself yearning to simply run away and explore.  I dutifully completed the intro sequence as required, but as soon as the game let me outside to explore, I ran off to the far corners of the map.
Spoiler Warning! This contains minor spoilers for the College of Magic quests. If you haven't finished the College of Magic questline, do not continue to read!
My first item on the agenda was to find this College of Magic in Winterhold to see if I could rise through the ranks like in Oblivion.  The first thing I noticed, mages do not seem to be as organized as they were in Cyrodiil.  There aren't guilds in the cities, but rather just one central location at the College of Magic.  It makes sense though since Skyrim is a remote and far less civilized province than Cyrodiil.  The mages here are not any less dedicated to the study of magic however, as I soon found out after the first couple tasks they set me upon.  I eventually revealed the "main quest" for the college and set out to complete it.  This led me to discover some awesome ruins, a few new enemies, and some sweet loot.  Upon finally completing this task (about 8 hours later since I never use fast travel), I set off toward the city of Solitude to uncover a new mystery I discovered in an ancient stone city.

This is pretty much why I'm addicted to Skyrim.  You can set off and do whatever you feel like at your own pace.  I'll continue to post updates here on my time in Skyrim, so if you want more, check back in a few days!  I also recently created a Twitter account so go follow me @Eh_Rok if you want more updates!
 
 
What's up everyone??  My Uncharted 3 Review is on it's way tonight!! So be sure to check back for it later!  I also just picked up Skyrim on launch date, and can tell you from what I've played so far it's EPIC!  I'll try to keep updates on my playthrough as soon as possible.  I'm playing as a High Elf specializing in destruction magic and one handed weapons.  I'm also getting killed a lot because I keep looking at the beautiful landscapes when I should be fighting enemies.  I have a ton of quests in my log so I should get back 
 
 
I'm sorry I've been so bad at getting posts out more than once a month, but I promise it's been for a really good reason.  As I'm sure you're all aware, we're right in the middle of a large string of really good games being released every week.  I've been out gaming a lot recently, and working on several reviews that I should be able to start putting up later this week.  These include Uncharted 3, Catherine, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and The Elder Scrolls V (after it comes this weekend).  So stay tuned for some great reviews.  Also, I'm changing up the format for these daily posts.  I've gotten pretty bored just writing the new releases and what I'm playing every week, so I think I'm going to start writing updates with whatever I feel is relevant to the current week.  This could be news updates, my musings over what I recently played, or just general rants (all about video games of course, this is a gaming blog after all!).  So stay tuned for some new content coming soon.  And while you're waiting, check out what Reaper's been working on under the new "Vita News" tab and under the "Playstation Vita" section in the "Game Reviews" tab.  That's all I have for the moment, now pick up your controller and play some games!