New Nintendo 3DS & 3DS XL review

I've been using the 3DS for more than a year now, and I love it, but there have always been several annoying quirks about it that I wished Nintendo would address. Enter the New 3DS, which eradicates pretty much every one of those issues thanks to some much-needed tweaks and improvements.

The first thing that annoys me about my 3DS is the actual 3D element. I often find myself switching it off completely and playing in 2D because it's so difficult to keep the 3DS in just the right place for the 3D to look good whilst you're playing a game, and that surely defeats the point of owning a 3DS in the first place.

When I picked up the New 3DS, which Nintendo says has 3D face tracking to help improve the 3D experience, I was dubious, but within seconds I was cranking the 3D slider up to maximum. It's fantastic.

For the first time, I was able to play Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate with the 3D turned on and become fully immersed in the game rather than constantly getting frustrated about the viewing angles, which meant those nasty monsters were getting slayed in no time.

Many gamers have been crying out for a second joystick on the 3DS, particularly for games that require you to rotate the screen in addition to moving your character – it can get tiresome having to reposition your hand to use the touchscreen for screen rotation, that's for sure.

Nintendo offered a solution for original 3DS and 3DS XL owners in the form of the Circle Pad Pro, an attachment that added a second joystick and two additional buttons but also added bulk and weight to the otherwise super-portable device, so it's less than ideal.

The New 3DS, however, has a tiny C Stick built-in, something we really wish Nintendo had thought of four years ago when the 3DS came out (it really has been that long).

I'm so used to playing without the C Stick now that I found myself completely forgetting about it when I was playing Monster Hunter, one of the games that the C Stick should be particularly beneficial for (which is probably part of the reason the release of the new Monster Hunter game coincides with the New 3DS).

It's brilliant that the C Stick has finally been built-in to the 3DS, but for me it's already too late. If you don't own a 3DS yet then you'll probably find that you'll use the C Stick from the get-go, and if you've been using the 3DS with a Circle Pad Pro attached then this is a much better solution, but for me it's not a big reason to upgrade to the New 3DS because it's likely the C Stick will just get neglected.

The ZL and ZR buttons, which you'll find fall beneath your index fingers beside the already present L and R buttons, are another extra that isn't particularly useful right now, but we imagine that when developers begin integrating the buttons into their games they could be a real boon and offer further control and gameplay features.



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