Nintendo’s New 3DS XL has been out for about a week now and I have been playing it extensively since then. At the time of this review, I have played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and the New Super Smash Bros, all on the new 3DS. Let’s start with what comes right out of the box following the purchase of a new Nintendo 3DS XL.
The following items are included in the box: The New 3DS XL. That’s it. It is not packaged with a charger or a charge dock. This is important to note if you do not currently own an older 3DS or if you plan on trading your old one in because you’ll need to buy a charger separately.
The New 3DS also uses a Micro SD card as opposed to the larger SDHC. The console comes with a 4 gigabyte memory card but this can be traded out for a larger one. The memory card slot is conveniently located under the system behind a thin piece of plastic screwed into place. So in order to change the memory card, a small phillips screwdriver is required. Needless to say, this is a huge inconvenience and a step backwards, as previous 3DS’ had a slot on the side of them.
Once you get past the accessories, the new 3DS is a step forward. The biggest improvement comes with the fantastic 3D. After first opening up the system and playing Majora’s Mask and Monster Hunter, not once did I turn off 3D. When playing my handhelds, I move around pretty frequently, but the 3D kept up with me the entire time. This alone makes me want to replay every 3DS game I have just to see how the 3D looks. It looks fantastic and is much improved.
The second biggest improvement comes with the inclusion of the C stick. This little nub is a bit smaller than a pencil eraser but works very well. It’s not quite a thumbstick and is more of a pressure pad. I know that it sounds silly but it works pretty well. The C stick works wonders in Monster Hunter and, while not necessarily needed, it very useful in Majora’s Mask and Super Smash Bros. The only qualm that I have with the C stick is that there is no way to adjust the sensitivity, but that’s more of a personal thing.
Other than these two improvements, the New 3DS is essentially a faster XL. What I mean by that is that games do load a lot faster. The system will also be able to process bigger games that will not be playable on older 3DS’, so if you want to play games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, you’ll need to upgrade to the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Every time I talk about the New 3DS, I’m always asked about whether I’d recommend purchasing it or not. The answer is yes and no. If you have the original 3DS and want to upgrade to an XL or just want to upgrade to better 3D and the C stick, then this is a must buy for you. On the other hand, if you just purchased any other kind of 3DS or are really happy with the one that you own, then there is no reason at all to upgrade.
In conclusion, the New 3DS XL is pretty awesome. The 3D is much improved, the C stick is pretty awesome, and it’s a pretty, shiny new XL. Unfortunately, the micro SD slot is in an extremely inconvenient location, it doesn’t come with a charger, and, depending on your preferences, it’s an XL. Still, if you haven’t owned a 3DS before or you’re looking to upgrade, the New 3DS XL is definitely the way to go.
Final Score: 8.5/10