In my humble opinion, the best motion games are the ones that make you look embarrassingly stupid. Face Raiders continues Nintendo's long legacy of making you look foolish ... but usurps its predecessors by making the stupidity contagious. With its clever use of photo manipulation, motion controls, and augmented reality, Face Raiders is not only one of the most technologically impressive games available at the 3DS preview event today, but also one of the most fun. The fact that it's included for free on every 3DS system makes it that much more compelling.

Face Raiders is an extension of one of my favorite E3 tech demos: the augmented reality shooter. Thanks to the built-in 3D cameras, your world is your playground, whether you're at the office, at home or outside. Enemies will appear all around you, and you'll have to move your body to find and destroy these virtual baddies. Unlike the tech demo, though, you don't just fight random blocks and cubes. Instead, you fight people's faces. Yeah!

At the start of each level, you must take a portrait photo of someone, aligning their eyes and mouth with the on-screen indicator. Once you snap the picture, that image is morphed into a disembodied floating head that, for reasons unknown, will try to attack you. The novelty should be immediately apparent: shooting pellets at a mutated version of a friend's face is oddly compelling. As the level continues, you'll notice that the faces will morph, adding costumes, expressions and more.

This is probably exactly the kind of game you don't want to play in public, which is why it's great to see Nintendo reward players that do. Whilst you're ducking to dodge oncoming projectiles, the 3DS will search for any additional faces in the background. As someone stops to wonder "what is this guy doing?," the cameras can capture that person's face and add it to your shooting gallery. You're rewarded for raiding as many faces as you can, in fact, as you get a score bonus for each one you discover.

As with other gimmicks, Face Raiders probably will probably overstay its welcome rather quickly. But, given its novel gameplay and attractive sticker price (free!), it's one of those games that every 3DS owner will try. It may not be a system seller in its own right, but it's definitely a good way of showcasing what the system is capable of.

Also, it's called Face Raiders.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.