Turn-based battles travel well, too.

E3 2019 kicks off this week in Los Angeles, and I’ll be heading back to cover it for the first time in four years. Aside from learning to deal with the influx of influencers filming their inflated reactions to various announcements, I’m preparing for the expo the same way I always have—borrow a MacBook, pack light, and schedule my meetings in the separate halls on separate days.

The travel time is the big conundrum. Whereas my flight entertainment options were once just a book and a Walkman, I’ve now got my iPhone, iPad, that borrowed MacBook, and the Nintendos Switch and 3DS at my portable disposal. What makes the most sense when you factor in the times of my flights and their durations with layovers. To help formulate my travel gaming strategy, I asked my Pure Nintendo E3 companions—Harrison Milfeld and Trevor Gould—to share their plans.

It seems the Nintendo 3DS (and turn-based battles) still win the day.

Harrison Milfeld

My gaming travel habits tend to differ depending on a few factors. One is based on how I’ll be traveling, and the other is how long I’ll be gone. If it’s a semi-short car ride where I am not the passenger, I usually stick to some pick-up-and-play fare such as puzzlers or a platformer. When I’m on a plane, I usually stick to games that need more of my attention like a JRPG or an action-adventure title. Now, these methods aren’t set in stone for me, but when it comes to gaming while traveling I do try to figure out the best course of action. That is, how many games should I bring? Do I need my portable charger? Do I really need to bring anything or should I just read a book or listen to podcasts instead? All of these are questions I ask before I leave. But, whatever the case, I feel like I make things way more complicated than I should.

But, what system will I be playing as I fly out from Missouri to California for my second E3? Well, I’m going exclusively with the 3DS. Last year I hauled both my Switch and 3DS to my first E3, and I found having the former with me was a bit cumbersome. That’s not to say I’m never bringing my Switch on a trip ever again, but rather I find the 3DS’s portability fits my needs for traveling light. Plus, with this most likely being the final year of the 3DS’s life cycle, it seems fitting to get some needed playtime with one of my favorite portable machines.

Now, the game I’ll be playing? With Fire Emblem: Three Houses releasing fairly soon, I figure it’s time to finally finish Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

Fire Emblem Echoes

My 3DS playtime decreased dramatically once I got my Switch and I never found time to play through the latest 3DS entry. Since I’m a huge Fire Emblem fan, playing through Echoes should be a good appetizer on my flight (and while waiting in various demo lines) to what I hope will be another great entry in the form of Three Houses.

Trevor Gould

Once the combination of anxiety and excitement subside from my first flight in 16-17 years, I’ll be settling down for some gaming on my long trek. Like my colleagues, I’ll be leaving my Switch docked at home in favor of the true portability of 3DS. Nintendo may have no new games to announce for the old handheld, but it’s nice to see a bit of a revival among a few of us on team PN.

But what to play? I recently revisited Pokémon Sun to coincide with the theatrical release of Detective Pikachu. So I’ll probably continue to chip away at that during the down times of my trip.

pokemon sun

I have a ton of digital games downloaded if I want to play something else. New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes to mind…maybe I’ll finally get 1 million coins?

Kirk Hiner

My trip to L.A. will involve getting up at around 2:30am to catch a 6am flight from Cleveland to Chicago, then from Chicago to L.A. after a 1½ hour layover. My flight back to Cleveland is direct, but it’s also a redeye. It’s therefore important that whatever game I’m playing automatically stop the moment I fall asleep in the middle of a boss battle. How many times did I wake up during a Xenoblade Chronicles or Legend of Zelda game only to find I’d run off a cliff while dozing off?

As such, it’s turn-based-strategy for me. And I’ve dusted off the 3DS and purchased Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux specifically for this trip.

strange journey redux

Having completed both Shin Megami Tensei IV games and about half of Devil Survivor Overclocked, it seemed like a solid choice. Plus, it’ll be good to have the 3DS with me for the show so I can relive the days when Street Pass was actually a thing that gamers had fun with. I’ve still got a few countries to fill in.

And so, having conquered levels during our flights, hopefully we’ll all arrive in Los Angeles ready to conquer the show. Be sure to stick with Pure Nintendo for our full E3 coverage from on and off the show floor.