Nintendo 3DS XL Review: Bigger & Better

The day has finally arrived, the new Nintendo 3DS XL is now in stores and in my hands. Is it worth a purchase for new owners as well as those looking to upgrade? This review should help you decide if the new Nintendo 3DS XL is for you or not.

First off, I should go ahead and get this out of the way. The new Nintendo 3DS XL is huge! This is very much a good thing. The old Nintendo 3DS unit looks dated and tiny next to it. Having two large screens really does improve and to the gaming experience.

So the 3DS XL is huge, how do the games look? One word: Incredible. I tried a few of the following games: Resident Evil: Revelations, Mighty Switch Force, Mutant Mudds, Mario Kart 7 and Marvel Pinball. All of these games looked amazing on the new big screen. There was some concern from people that 3DS XL would make games look worse do to being the same resolution. I can squash that fear now by saying all your favorite games look amazing on this thing.

The system itself is a beauty. Everything about it has been designed to perfection from the previous model. One of the issues with the old 3DS was that its buttons were small and not always comfortable to use for long periods of time. All the buttons including the d-pad have been enlarged. The d-pad especially has been improved, allowing it to be comfortable. The best upgrade has to be the redesigned Start, Home Menu and Select buttons. The same buttons on the old 3DS were very annoying to use, requiring you to push down hard to even use them. Any game or app, such like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, that heavily used both the Start and Select buttons made it a pain to use. Thankfully Nintendo saw the complaints and redesigned the buttons for ease of use. The only real complaint deals with no second circle pad for dual analog. Being so much larger, it feels odd that Nintendo didn’t add a second circle pad.

Because the 3DS XL is larger and uses the same old resolution, there happens to be one major advantage to this that currently isn’t being advertised. You may or may not know this, but if you hold down Start or Select while opening a DS, DSiWare or Virtual Console game, it will play those games at their original resolutions. Normally these types of games are slightly enlarged to fit the 3DS screen. On the new 3DS XL, opening one of those games in this fashion will allow you to view and play those games at the same size they were meant for on those systems. This is a very nice way to play your classic games without any added blurriness.

If you already have a Nintendo 3DS or looking to buy one for the first time. I very much recommend the new Nintendo 3DS XL. The system is very much improved in a lot of different ways, not just its looks and increased screen size, but also from the improved buttons. The system also comes with a 4GB SD memory card, allowing you to start downloading even more games then before.

Rating: 9/10


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