Thursday, February 06, 2014

Review: 3DS XL

It was my birthday last week, and my fiancé gave me a 3DS XL, the limited edition black and gold Legend of Zelda version, emblazoned with the Triforce. (Review of the game to come separately).

One of the first things I noticed on looking at the box was that it didn't come with a power adapter. Now, that seems like a bit of an odd move. Thankfully the console comes with some charge, and we had a suitable charger already, but it would have been frustrating had this not been the case. It's not usually the case that a charger has to be bought separately so it should have been flagged up a bit more. I realise that many of those getting this console may have another console with a compatible charger, so it's possibly a way of cutting costs, but I doubt it will prove a popular move.

According to Nintendo, the following chargers can be used with the 3DS XL: 3DS, DSi, DSi XL, but not the chargers that come with the original DS or DS Lite. 

Another possible cost-cutting exercise is the fact that the game this console came with (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds) came as a digital download, rather than as a physical copy. This to me harks back to the days of the Sega Master System with it's inbuilt copy of Alex Kidd. This comes with the caveat that as with e-reader books and music downloads, buying digital games is not always the cheaper option. As an aside, I signed up for the Nintendo rewards program, which has changed and therefore eaten all my previous points, after downloading the game, which I think now means that I can't get the reward points for it. Most annoying.

Those are the only real downsides to the system. In itself is a comfortable size and shape to hold, and the battery life is long. I've used the camera as a QR scanner, which is easy to do, and the actual interface is simple to use. I'm not that impressed with the Internet browser, but I have other means of accessing the Internet, so I'm not overly worried by that.

One new feature is Streetpass. When the system is in sleep mode, being near someone else with the system will allow you to trade Miis (which are not linked to the Miis on the Wii, although they may be linked to the Wii U) and play games with them. This is an interesting feature, and one that I enjoy using.

I've not yet explored all that the system has to offer, but it is a great console to play. 

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