Dust off your 3DS systems, the clock is ticking on this handheld’s eShop. Nintendo originally released the 3DS back in 2011, and has since been overshadowed by the Switch. The 3DS has acquired an incredible library during its era. You’ve got your usual offerings such as Super Mario titles, Legend of Zelda titles, etc. Sadly, there are some titles that have fallen by the wayside as time progressed. However, this fact does not take away from their quality and these RPGs will easily give you many hours of content. This is a list of five such RPGs that I believe are worth investing your time and money into.
Stella Glow is a fun, colorful tactics RPG developed by the now-defunct Imageepoch, and published by Atlus. As Alto, an amnesiac who is set on a journey across the land of Regnant. You recruit witches along the way to battle the evil witch Hilda. Gameplay is your pretty standard tactics fare, with unit placement, directional facing, and more. Despite this, the game is quite enjoyable with great music and a very competent roster of voice actors. Give it a try if you’re looking for something with an engaging story and strategic combat.
eShop price: $19.99
7th Dragon III: Code: VFD
Another great title from Imageepoch, 7th Dragon has you traversing different time periods to stop an ancient evil dragon. You join Nodens HQ, the developer of the latest trending video games. One of those video games just so happens to be a test to see if you have what it takes to defeat a particularly powerful dragon known as VFD. Even though this is the third entry, you do not need knowledge of the past games to enjoy this one.
Gameplay may be familiar to those who have played the Etrian Odyssey series, in which you are able to freely choose what roles you want your party to fulfill. 7th Dragon boasts particularly good character creation for a 3DS game, and you can outfit your party however you want. The game has you exploring new areas with each new chapter, and fighting turn-based battles which can be surprisingly difficult, so don’t take this game lightly.
Check this game out if you need more JRPG goodness.
eShop price: $29.99
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Need some demons in your life? Or how about a JRPG with horror movie vibes? Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux has you covered. This lesser-known remake in the now 30-year-old Megami Tensei franchise has you assume the role of an elite U.S. soldier. You join the ranks of a special task force outfitted for investigating an enigmatic occurrence known as the Schwarzwelt. You enter the Schwarzwelt and things immediately go awry as your transportation vessel is rendered immovable; with a slowly depleting energy supply to boot.
To make matters worse, your crew is slowly being taken out by what appear to be demons. The whole premise is very Alien-esque, and just as atmospheric. Gameplay is similar to other SMT titles; however, this time around, you are outfitted with the Demonica. The Demonica can be upgraded as you progress through the game to give you even more abilities, such as demon negotiating, special elemental attacks and more.
Dungeon crawling may be a bit arduous in this title, but it is nevertheless an engrossing experience. Give it a look if you enjoy the SMT series, or want something a bit darker in tone.
eShop price: $39.99
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
The Shin Megami Tensei franchise is no stranger to putting out amazing titles, and this one is no different. Originally released as a Sega Saturn title, this enhanced 3DS port sees you taking on the role of a member of the Spookies. In the city of Amami, technology is paramount. The city-goers are all abuzz about the newest online video game known as Paradigm X. You, the hero, use your hacking ability to gain early access to this game. However, things take a strange turn as you meet an entity known as Kinap. Soon after, you are sent on Vision Quests; a sort of spiritual journey in which you witness the final moments before certain people’s deaths.
Similar to the last title on this list, Soul Hackers has you venturing across dungeons in the first-person perspective. The 90’s anime vibes and atmosphere in this game are on-point, although the combat mechanics are certainly a bit dated. Demons act on a loyalty system, and have different dispositions as well. Some demons do what they want, others are lazy, while others will obey you without question. This sort of mechanic can be a bit frustrating to work with at times, but the game is definitely worth a playthrough, regardless. Now is the perfect opportunity to check this title out before playing the sequel that launched earlier this year.
eShop price: $19.99
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Another Atlus remake, and man, this is a great one. Perfect Chronology is a retread of 2010’s Radiant Historia back on Nintendo DS. You are Stocke, a special intelligence agent from the nation of Alistel. Any fan of Chrono Trigger will feel at home in this game, as you quickly gain the ability of time travel through the White Chronicle. As Stocke, you are burdened with the task of stopping a villain with the Black Chronicle who will destroy the world.
In this game, you travel on a timeline. Stocke will reach several points in his story where the timeline branches. You will have to make many heavy decisions that could mean life or death for yourself or your friends, so choose carefully. No need to get caught up deliberating too much though, as getting a bad end is merely a slap on the wrist; you can immediately travel back to the failed branch to try again. Alongside timeline branches, there is an alternate timeline you will need to keep track of, as well as a newly added “possible” timeline. Actions you make in one timeline may affect another, and vice versa. This sounds daunting, but it is well organized and you can access either one at any point in the game.
Combat is mostly a standard turn-based affair, but with a bit of a twist. Enemies move around on a grid, and your techniques also move them around that grid. Certain party members can lay traps, and you can forcibly pile up all the enemies into one, often taking them all out at once. It’s a lot of fun and makes you think outside the box. This remake also adds some new characters and story, as well as some top-notch voice acting. An absolute must-play for JRPG fans!
eShop price: $39.99
Despite some of these still being full price, these digital versions are a steal compared to their physical counterparts. Don’t wait until the last minute and risk forgetting. Pick up these incredible games on the Nintendo 3DS eShop while you still can.