Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars is a new title for the “New” 3DS. I am very excited to still have new titles coming out for this system. Admittedly I don’t use my 3DS as much as I used to, so I was very interested in reviewing this game so that I could get my 3DS out again. Upon first loading up the game I was struck by how good the first area looked. It did look a little ps1/ps2 style graphics, but the mysterious atmosphere definitely had me interested.
What is the basic Story?
You start off the game getting out of your car to investigate some strange happenings on your friends ranch. You start to see many things that are unusual such as lots of dead animals. Your friend is Duke, and you are Sheriff Moss, and Duke had been reporting a lot of weird missing animals, and lights in the sky. You look all around and talk with a neighbor of Dukes, and determine that he isn’t around. You head back and then ……well then the story really begins. The next section of the game has you playing a guy named Holt who is trying to meet up with his friend to go fishing. (See Holt below) Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars revolves around a paranormal theme, specifically extraterrestrial encounters.
The graphics in this game start out very good, and generally stay that way for the rest of my play through. The weakest point in the game, when it comes to graphics, is when you are in a wide open area in daylight. The beginning scene that you play through takes place at night, and that lends itself very well to this game’s graphics engine. The big question that came through my mind was why was this game a “New” 3DS game? My guess is that the developers put this game in a slightly high resolution, and did the best with the graphics they could. The other reason that I could think of is that they rely on using the c-stick for camera adjustments.
The controls for Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars are a little awkward, but usable. Mostly they are fine, but in the middle of combat it gets a little awkward because you have to adjust the c stick and press the R button to attack, or even sometimes L to engage your primary weapon, and then aim and fire with R. My character lost many hit points because of not being aimed in just the right way to hit the monster. It didn’t kill me, so there is that, but with this being a survival horror game, it made conserving hp reviving items a little difficult.
The gameplay definitely game me feelings of games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alan Wake. The game lets you figure things out on your own, and when you do something wrong for the first time it kills you and then takes you to another setting where you learn what you did wrong and how correctly handle whatever situation you encounter. That was a little annoying, but you don’t lose progress when this happens, so it didn’t bother me too much in the end.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the game, and really liked the paranormal theme to the game. However my enthusiasm was short lived as I was only able to get to a fairly early point in the game before problems started coming up.
The major problem this game has is bugs. Not just little bugs but game crashing bugs. This really bummed me out because the game crashing problems made me hesitate to go much further because I was afraid of losing progress.
During my first play through of the game which lasted about 3 hours, I ran across a bug that crashed the game every time I left the gas station. That is where my first play through was terminated. However I wanted to give this another go, so I started a brand new play through and see if the bug I encountered was random. It wasn’t. Luckily for me it was circumvented by an autosave that started me outside of the gas station, so I could progress to the next area. However once I got to the next area, completed all of the exploration tasks, and was ready to progress to the next area, another bug crashed the game. This time there was no way around it. The auto save still put me in a scenario that triggers the bug. These crashes took me completely out of the game and rebooted my 3DS.
When you boot up the game it tells you to wear headphones to maximize the immersion. I would say that the background music is pretty good, and adds to the mysterious flavor of the game. However the sound effects are pretty lackluster.
Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars retails on the Nintendo eShop for 25.99. This is way too expensive for such a buggy game. Honestly, the publishers should take this off the eShop until the bugs are fixed.
This game should have been an awesome experience. There is a great game in this title. It hosts a story that was compelling. This game made me very sad that I couldn’t play it more. The game crashing bugs made me focus more on what was going to crash the game next rather than progressing the story. I was really surprised that these sort of game breaking bugs still existed since I am reviewing version 1.45. The saddest part is that I don’t think the bugs will ever get fixed, as this game is over a year old. (Released in January of 2020) What I would like to see is the dev to remaster this game and put it on the Nintendo Switch. If this game does receive any updates that fix the problems I had, I would happily replay it to the end.