Play at Home Or Play on the Go: Getting to Grips with the New 3DS XL

Written  by:  J.H.  Longman

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a home console gamer. I understood the appeal of handheld, they appealed to me very much so, being able to game on the go, when riding to work or just on a long trip and yet, I never bothered to make the leap, until now. I’m a Zelda boy through and through and there are some handheld titles I have missed out on, purely because I have never had the means to play them, until now.

Life is full of those Zelda moments, you know when something so great happens and you’re instantly overjoyed and you just want to kick open a chest and hold up the object that has brought you so much joy, be it a dungeon key, your acceptance letter from your first choice college, or the love of your life said yes when you asked her to marry you and you just want to hold her up. For me that moment came when a special delivery package graced my hands, one that not only possessed my new and first 3DS, make that a metallic black New 3DS XL, I was pretty ecstatic, especially since it wasn’t alone, as I made sure to purchase the AC adapter, seeing as the charger does not come with the handheld, but the official one is cheap, so you won’t break the bank picking one up.

Oh and what good is an all new toy to play with, unless you have something to play on it? So to make sure I had plenty, I also made sure to pick up two games that would more than fully introduced into the world of playing on the go. The two titles are none other than 2013’s A Link Between Worlds and the newly released Triforce Heroes. Sure I could have played it safe and went with Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask 3D, but with an all new way to play, nothing but all new games would cut it and as a Zelda Fan, these are just two games I have to play, while I wait for the 2016 release of Hyrule Warriors Legends.

So the 3DS, how does it handle? Very, very well, and the whole setting up process is still as simple as it is on the Wii U and due to being well accustomed to the Wii U’s Gamepad, the controls and buttons are perfectly placed. Feels as if I was playing on a smaller Gamepad, which just happens to have a second up top that acts as its main and missing an analogue stick on the right hand side, but my God, the 3D is mind-blowing, it really is and that’s not the only insane improvement this handheld possesses, sure it no longer uses a normal SD Card like it’s predecessors, as now it uses Micro SD Cards, which in order for you to get to are inside the portable, but it is easy enough to get to, just flip it over, undo two screws and once you lift the plastic up, bob’s your uncle because there it is. Let’s not forget all the new and improved hardware as they are what really makes this handheld shine.

No matter where you look on the internet, there really is nothing but high praise for this device, review after review saying if you are new to handhelds, just skip 3DS and go for New 3DS, and as little as ten minutes of playing really does confirm that, so it’s been a long time coming for me but it was a step worth taking. Home consoles and I aren’t done by a long shot, but now I can play anywhere, anytime, as long as the battery on my new toy is fully charged or I am somewhere I can plug in, the new joys of handheld gaming, I really do have so much to look forwards to and the difference a day makes. My first thought after the desire to hold it high above was how small it was and how pleased I am to have ordered the XL but now I look at it and it suddenly doesn’t appear so small anymore, the sheer power this portable has, it is the doorways to new worlds.
And that’s another thing, it even supports amiibos, you know, those little figurines that could say single-handedly saved the Wii U if not, Nintendo itself, as they helped boost sales when sales really needed a boost. It also means the fun of amiibos on the console version of Smash is also there to be had on portable. Now I have a hot date with a green haired Link, apparently some princess has been cursed with bad fashion, so I’ve got to go do the Hero thing and I really don’t like to keep Link waiting, even though he does love to make us wait for Zelda Wii U. Oh yeah, I went there!

Till next time folks. Keep up the good fight and Keep on Gaming!