I know you’re sick of every single love letter I have been writing to Nintendo for the past year. It seems like every other post is about how great The Big N is. Well, it’s hard to argue against them; the WiiU hit its stride in 2014, the 3DS has continued to be a mammoth of a console. To top it all off, just this past February, Nintendo released a real marvel of handheld gaming, the New 3DS XL.
I want to be up front with the readers out there, I never used the 3D functionality on the original 3DS. I would leave the slider in the “off” position and just play the games as though there were on a miniature TV a few inches from my face. The original model required too strange and uncomfortable of an angle to offer real, glassesless 3D. All to often I found myself turning my head the wrong way and giving myself motion sickness. If I played it in a car, it instantly ruined any roadtrip. So I just decided to throw my 3D off and enjoy some of the best handheld gaming experiences around.
Eventually Nintendo released a bigger 3DS, with bigger, better screens, but with the same 3D issues. I never bought a 3DS XL because it was expensive and I didn’t feel it necessary. Then Nintendo shocked the world by releasing a 3rd 3DS and what I have been calling the definitive version of the world-favorite console. The New 3DS XL is a masterpiece. How? How is it that better? There are plenty of reasons why…
Nintendo Has Greatly Improved The 3D
The old 3DS used to make me sick. However, with New 3DS XL the system’s camera tracks the players face seeing where their eyes are and how far away the console is. It adjusts the 3D imaging on the fly so that those awkward moments of seeing 17,000 Links on the screen don’t happen. There is still a slight adjustment period (two seconds) to allow your eyes to get it, but once you see 3D there’s no going back. The screen feels deep, as though you could jump in or dip your hand in to fish out the characters on your screen. This depth perception makes every game feel so much more engaging and engrossing. It’s easier to now get lost within the world of a handheld game, something that I always felt was lacking from those consoles. With the intelligent 3D technology, pseudo-surround sound, and large screens these games now create a perfect ambiance. It’s actually scary how good the 3D imaging is, I keep asking how they trick our eyes to get it to work. Also, after using the New 3DS XL, playing games with the 3D off just looks ugly. I tried playing Majora’s Mask without 3D on my new console and audibly said “Eww…” to myself.
The C-Stick Is Amazing
What originally looked like a little useless nub is one of the new 3DS’ newest and greatest features. What’s the C-Stick? Well it’s a small “nub” of a control stick that is generally used as a second analog. It typically allows you to control the camera around your character making 3D gameplay controls that much better. Playing Majora’s Mask with real 3D controls is a great help. It allows the player to see the game from a different perspective, something very foreign to 3D Zelda games. I can totally see how this small control element will greatly change and enhance the types of games that the console will be able to run. It’s so much better than that circle-pad pro…that thing made my 3DS look like Frankenstein’s Monster.
It Has an Amazing Library of Games, and More to Come
If you haven’t bought into the 3DS revolution yet, now is absolutely the time. The 3DS already has an extensive library of amazing games, but there will come even more with the new 3D and control functionality. Later this year JRPG fans (like myself) will get to play the 2010 neo-classic, Xenoblade Chronicles on the go, all the time. That just adds to the list of games like: Bravely Default, Super Mario 3D Land, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Fire Emblem, Pokemon, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Smash Bros. and oodles of downloadable virtual console games. It still plays original DS games as well. This new system is going to be bringing more heavy hitters in the future. I just hope that we finally get to see some real 3D platforming on the 3DS, N64 games please?!
It’s Big and Beautiful
This handheld’s a big on the big side, and that’s perfect. I commonly found myself not loving the original 3DS screens, wishing I could see more of the environments. The New 3DS XL corrects that problem. These new screens are big, bright, and beautiful. There’s just so much to see! Add 3D to that, and you’ll be lost for days, years, weeks even! All joking aside it makes a huge difference. Nintendo has made handheld games feel a bit more intimate, and shows that you can have a real “big game” experience on a small console.
You Can Still Play Shovel Knight
Do you have 15 bucks? Do you have a credit or debit card? Then you should go to the 3DS E-Shop and buy Shovel Knight. It’s one of the best games of 2014, and one of the best experiences around. The 3DS is the only handheld console you can currently get it on. So do yourself a favor, if I haven’t been able to sell you on this new 3DS enough, then just see if you can give Shovel Knight a shot somewhere, then run to a store and buy a New 3DS.
This console rules, I’m incredibly happy with my purchase.