Top critical review
Many Design Issues
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2018
I originally bought one of the first 3DS models several years ago. It had the smaller screens but since this was before the trend of having bigger screens on portable devices, it wasn’t a big deal to me. However, after playing my Vita nearly nonstop for 3 years then coming back to the 3DS, I really wanted the bigger screens. Obviously I wanted the latest and greatest model, but the question became, how much did I really use the 3D function? In walks the New 2DS XL, which is basically an updated larger budget model of 3DS. It perfectly fit my needs.
Unfortunately, in practice there are a number of downsides to this “upgrade”. First is that even though it is an upgraded model, there are only a couple games beyond Virtual Console games that were actually built specifically for it. A few of my previously purchased games might use the C-stick and extra shoulder buttons, but I haven’t discovered any yet so right now they are pointless. Next is the speakers, which are located at the bottom corners of the thing. While they sound nice, my fingers constantly get in their way, blocking the sound coming out of them. On that note, the volume slider is perhaps in the worst possible place it could be. While playing, I usually end up hitting and moving it, blasting my ears with sound. While it it is a nice touch that sliding it all the way down will click it off, unless I don’t want to hear the music, this is pointless. The Vita uses buttons to control volume which are located at the top of the system, thus preventing any accidental volume shifts. Next complaint is in regards to the inane process of transferring your Nintendo account to a new device, which has been a problem for Nintendo since the Wii. This procedure takes hours and is hampered by the fact that this device still only accesses 2.4 GHz WiFi signals. Not mention how long it will take to download a number of previously purchased games. (It took me days.) One would expect any new devices these days to be able to access the 5 GHz. Then there’s the storage. It is very irritating that Nintendo tries to superficially limit how much storage you can use as only select cards up to 64 GB are recognized. Of course, this can be circumvented by downloading PC software to format a larger SD card with FAT32. Why use 32 or 64 when you can use 128 or 256 and never have to manage storage again? These last two issues go hand in hand for me because unfortunately I didn’t know that the process involved with transferring my account would apply specifically to one SD card. After buying my new card, I then found that my PC couldn’t transfer my save data to it from the old card. Do yourself a favor and DON’T TRANSFER YOUR ACCOUNT UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR PERMANENT SD CARD.
Some of these issues either don’t apply specifically to this model or won’t be an issue for those buying this as their first 3DS. However, my feeling is that all the design design issues with the hardware and the software really make a gamer’s experience less enjoyable.