After some in depth time spent with the new new Nintendo 3DS XL I thought I would take a few moments to give my take on all the things it does well…and a few items needing ongoing improvement.
It has seriously good build quality (regardless of Brad’s apparently bum unit). The exterior is smooth and solid with a really slick “carbon fiber” type feel to it, and even with the extra shoulder buttons feels solid and not cheap and clicky. The movement of the rest of the button configuration (start and select) and moving them to the side is more akin to the feel of the Wii U Gamepad setup for a more familiar feel for you Nintendo lovers. The added c-stick is really nice and it does get used a LOT more than I expected. So much so that it could be detrimental depending on game play. For Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D I found myself LOVING the flexibility of moving the camera around which works well when roaming the fields, but a bit more frustrating in dungeons and tight spaces. Although nice to have, it can be slower to adjust that a more formal controller stick would lend itself to. Overall however…a nice and welcomed addition!
The face-tracking 3D is superb! So good so much of the time, that it is really what should have been launched with the system. Period. It’s that good. Low light situations can make it a bit jumpy, but honestly…works well enough that it is the technology we all expected it to be and that’s saying something. For a portable, and although I used 3D before most of the time, this has made me fall in love with it all over again and that is a wonderful thing!
The system is fast! Much more in line with what I think people are willing to tolerate versus the prior version. Downloading old games is snappy and timely and that makes for a more modern feel that really adds icing to the cake.
While the downloading and system transfer process is super complicated for younger gamers, I was able to handle it with ease and put in my own 32GB microSD without any problems or challenges, and the transfer took maybe 15 minutes using the infrared process for a nearly full 4GB data set. Call me impressed.
Overall from top to bottom this is a worthy upgrade, solid and gorgeous for a more mature audience with enough bells and whistles to make it worth your time and money.