I finally got around to putting some quality time into Steel Diver last night. As I had mentioned, my initial time with it was very disappointing and it obviously took a very long time for me to get up the interest to give it a spin again. I'm glad I did, because I finally figured out how to play it right. I guess it would help if I bothered with the manual, but there you go. Initially I was trying to play it with a combination of buttons and using my fingers on the touch screen (and anyone who knows the DS/3DS, knows that you really can't use your fingers much on the screen--it's really designed for the pen (it looks like the Wii U's controller is OK with both)). That didn't work too well and combined with the somewhat obtuse interface and the poor use of 3D, I put it away until last night.
Anyway, I finally figured out that you need to play the game 100% with the pen on the touchscreen. It's not a pure action game and can't be played as such, though everything, from the control to the action, does happen in real-time and you need to be on your toes. Actually, it plays exactly like I thought it would when that was the game I was most excited about at launch. Anyway, the game itself is still not exactly stellar, but it's a unique experience and one I'm glad I own. Outside of the periscope mini-games, it makes mediocre use of the 3D capabilities of the system. So anyway, not exactly deep thoughts here, but I just wanted to make clear that I've changed my mind about the game.
Prior to playing Steel Diver I put quality time in with the Excitebike 3D downloadable freebie, which is the NES version converted to 3D. I never played a great deal of Excitebike on the NES or in the arcade, but I eventually got the hang of things. Despite the frustrating crash mechanics (it takes forever to get back on the course), it's certainly a fun game. The 3D is superfluous, of course, but it is still nice to look at.
One thing I did notice in my little used 3DS is that the hinge that keeps the top screen open is a bit wobbly. That's rather annoying. There's definitely something to be said for hinge-less designs.
I also tried the Web browser. Functional and fairly speedy, but of course the screen is a bit too small to make it a particularly enjoyable experience. It's nice it's there, but I'll probably get about as much use out of it as I do the Web browser on the Wii, PS3 and DS/i, which is not much at all.