While most of the games exhibited at Nintendo's 3DS event could be enjoyed while wandering around the main show floor, Steel Diver was one of those only playable in the Special Room. You had to queue up to get into the Special Room, and no food was allowed inside (as explained by the rather aggressive man at the door, who seemed to be drunk on the power to sequester chicken burgers).
Considering all this, you might expect Steel Diver to be looking pretty Special. Um.
It's a submarine combat game, basically. You navigate your sub through a series of side-scrolling underwater levels, controlling its depth, avoiding obstacles, attacking enemies and making sure you return to the surface regularly so you don't run out of air. Think Ecco the Dolphin with submarines instead of marine mammals and torpedoes instead of rubbish sonic stun blasts.
Then there are the Periscope Strike missions. You use the touch screen to control your periscope and fire missiles, while scanning the horizon via the 3D screen. You angle your viewpoint by moving the 3DS around. Because a front-on perspective is required at all times for the 3D effect to work, this involves rotating your whole body. Which feels, to be frank, a bit daft.
Still. Steel Diver also comes with a 21st century-style Battleships mode for two players, which wasn't available to try out at the showcase but which sounds fun. Plus there's a Hunt for Red October feel to the whole thing which should please fans of pretending to be Russian submarine captains with Scottish accents. All together now: "A great day, comradesh, we shail into history! Ski!"
Ridge Racer 3D
Ah, dear old Kaz. Since that fatal E3 press conference, no one has been able to read the words Ridge and Racer without adding an extra i and picturing your face. "Whoops" indeed.
Mr Hirai was of course demonstrating the PSP version of RR. The first thing you notice on picking up the 3DS instalment is that it looks remarkably similar - with the added twist of depth of perspective, of course. Objects on the horizon now move into view in a more realistic fashion, and the way you perceive the distance between you and the cars ahead feels slightly different. The 3D effect is even more noticeable in first-person mode.
But aside from that, this is classic Ridge Racer. Namcai Bando doesn't appear to have mucked about with the formula at all - there are no Burnout-style crash mechanics, as seen in the recent trailer for the forthcoming PC and console game.
Instead you're driving down familiar-looking tracks, employing traditional drifting tactics to rack up turbo boosts and speed past the competition. (Special thanks to the demo pod person who took great care to explain what "drifting" was to me, and was then surprised by my ability to be quite good at Ridge Racer. You can't blame him for assuming I was not a games journalist but a home entertainment software buyer for Asda - he was no doubt understandably confused by my sharp boardroom attire, professional demeanour and vagina.)
There are a few other neat tricks - you can opt to see photos of yourself and other players above cars during races, and swap Ghost data via the StreetPass feature. But on the whole this looks like pretty standard Ridge Racer stuff, which should please fans of the old school titles. Including Kaz.