Cramp it up
In use, the 3DS XL is a good deal more comfortable, as the slightly wider button placement means fewer hand cramps and longer sessions bashing away. In my experience, this certainly applies more to certain games, though, as I found out when playing Kid Icarus Uprising.
The Project Sora-developed game screamed for a second analogue stick, which, as you can see from the pictures, isn't there. Alas – just like the previous 3DS – customers must invest in an additional peripheral for such improvement, a device-widening attachment that has yet to hit the market.
As decent a game as it is, Kid Icarus clearly suffered and changing character direction with a stylus is beyond inconvenient. It means shooting with the left trigger, as well as controlling the analogue stick with the left hand – my poor thumb was soon crying out for rest and recuperation.
Indeed, Nintendo could have done more to address this sort of issue without customers needing to fork out more for add-on hardware. There isn't even an AC adaptor included, meaning unless you already have a DS charger of some kind, you'll be splashing out again.
Battery life has also been enhanced, albeit only by an hour or so, although I didn't notice a huge difference. The company claims it'll now run for 3 to 6.5 hours with 3D games and remain in sleep mode for days. Considering the size of the display, these figures seem quite respectable.
The 3DS XL launches with three colours – silver, blue and red – for a smidgeon under the £200 mark. That includes a 4GB SDHC memory card, double that of its predecessor.
If you're hellbent on getting your nipper or yourself a 3DS, then the XL is the obvious choice. However, without the additional thumbstick, Nintendo has once again failed to deliver the means to comfortably explore 3D environments. Considering the third dimension is supposed to be the product's USP, I can't get my head around Nintendo's reasoning unless it really is determined to make extra wonga through peripheral sales.
If Sony has the space to include a second thumbstick on the Vita, though, why can't Nintendo do it here? Perhaps it has too much pride to hold its hands up and admit the original design was flawed, but having had over a year to listen to community feedback, its omission now is quite frankly inexcusable. ®
Nintendo 3DS XL review
Problem there is that smartphone designs are moving away from physical buttons; for "proper" gaming you need them. Trying to play GTA:Chinatown on a phone is a very unpleasant experience compared to a proper console.
Re: "Cue fanboys."
Zelda skyward sword is "just" zelda (i mean "just one of the best games ever made"), but the controls aren't worse than ocarina on an n64, both are perfectly tuned to their control mechanisms. And the idea that the 3d marios play like the 2d ones is misguided. 2d mario has a special momentum that i've never managed to get the hang of, 3d mario I can control fine, even in 2d style sections. Super Mario 3d land is structurally similar to the 2d ones (in terms of worlds and levels within them) but the gameplay is markedly different. If it wasn't I'd be as shit at it as I am at the SNES mario games.
I totally appreciate that some people don't "get" nintendo but to claim that they don't innovate is bizarre, of the 3 big console manufacturers they're far and away the most inventive. Admittedly when they find something that works they iterate it but compared to the yearly fifas, cods etc. they're very restrained. It's one smash bros per platform not one per year...
There are no doubt a load of interesting cheap games on pc, but you buy a console (well, nintendo one) to get simple quick access to games that work. I've just spent too much time fucking around with pcs trying to get games working in the past, just can't be arsed anymore....
"Smart phone gaming is making this design redundant unless your parents won't let you have a phone."
Phones are not equipped with the correct user interface for gaming, so until thats sorted then I will have to stick to dedicated portable gaming systems for my kicks.
"And for people who doubt that try using MAME on a touch screen smartphone, it's not the best experience."
RE: Smart phone gaming is making this design redundant..
Bullshit! For many types of games touch screen control is nothing but a total fucking pain in the arse.
Don't understand the logic?
Don't understand why they didn't include a second analogue? It's pretty straightforward. They don't want to splinter the 3ds games market by having games the won't work on older handsets because the only have one.
To my mind, the real problem with the 3ds is a lack of killer software. While the console itself comes with some fun games and stuff built in, finding a full price game worth buying is tricky. I've been playing wario land 4 on mine recently, that's a gameboy game... If they don't get themselves a killer app soon the phones will win!!!