The 3DS XL

Just when I thought the games room was full….

Ohhh Pikachu. You have a lot to answer for my furry little friend. Not only has the electric rodent ensnared my very soul with Pokemon Go, but he’s got Katie wrapped up in the hype as well! Now we’re watching the Anime show, and she decided she’d like to play a NEW Pokemon game. Not the classic Red, Blue and Yellow, though. She wants newer, shinier graphics. Her games have to have a “modern” feel to them…. so she gets a 3DSXL with Pokemon X for her birthday!

Guess what would be fun? If I had Pokemon Y…. we could battle each other! And trade with each other!

A fortnight later……

3ds

Well, who am I to say no to new hardware?

Now I know the 3DS has been around for a while now. The original console was released here in the UK on March 5th, 2011, and I’ve sat back and watched the sales numbers, the reviews, the comments online, both good and bad. 3DS Wasn’t something I was majorly interested in to be honest, but some of the games looked nice.

Now that I have my own XL sat in front of me, in a fetching shade of blue… I thought I’d give my initial thoughts!

Form

The XL feels great sat in my hands. The edges are much more rounded than my boxy old DSLite, and the smooth metallic finish beats the Lite’s plastic coating any day of the week. Obviously being XL is great for a guy like me with larger hands, and as you’d expect from Nintendo, face buttons are all easy to reach. Shoulder buttons are nice and clicky.

Battery life

This surprised me. I find the XL’s battery to be it’s biggest letdown, and frankly expected more from Nintendo here. After reading an article online it seems you can expect around 3.5 hours gameplay before having to re-charge! (The recharging process takes around 3 hours) I began turning off features such as 3D, Wi-Fi and even sound to increase the battery’s life between charges. And it did work – I got an extra 90 minutes or so – but at this point I’m wondering how much of the experience I was missing out on, just to stay unplugged!

Features

First and foremost, the 3D. It works and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Late to the party I know, but this is the first time I’ve sat down with one of these things and had a proper playtest. It’s a great feature for sure, but I imagine the novelty wears off after a while. I soon powered it off to save battery life and I suppose time will tell me if there are any games that REALLY make use of it.

There are plenty of apps to download, Youtube and Netflix are available for video streaming, while messaging apps like swapnote are great for chatting with friends.

The 3DS has 3 cameras built in, 2 front facing and one for selfies. Having a camera on board is a nice addition, and you’re able to edit your photos on the fly. 3DS even lets you take 3D photos! (Another novelty that wore off quite quickly) The cameras themselves were probably pretty good back in 2012, but the quality is awful by today’s standards!

Games

3ds2

First up is the virtual console, offering a whole host of classic Nintendo games for download. The prices are steep as hell, though. £7.00 for the ORIGINAL mario kart? Yeesh, I could pay less for the SNES cartridge!

There’s a nice selection of original titles in the store too including exciting indie games, which I’m sure I’ll get to eventually!

Retail games on the 3DS (game carts sold in shops) are still super expensive too, the age of this system doesn’t seem to matter to retailers! New games are £35+ which is fair enough, but used titles still hover around the £30 mark…. there must still be plenty of demand for these titles. And who said mobile gaming would kill the industry?

final

I’m presently surprised with this system, and I’m certainly looking forward to spending some quality time with it! However I’m still narked with the battery life. How can a console be classed as portable when it’s going to spend 40% of it’s life connected to a plug socket??

Once I’ve got some decent game time under my belt, 3DS game reviews will be included with the rest.

It’s been a real quiet September here on Load/Error, and I’d like to apologise to you all for that.  Work, birthdays and a sudden compulsion to re-watch the Walking Dead from episode 1 have slowed down my posts to a mere trickle.  We’re through the worst of that now, so normal service will be resumed in October.  In fact, I’ve got two very special posts planned this month!

Thanks for following, thanks for reading.  See you next time!

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