/ Games

A brand new New 3DS XL

I hate your naming scheme Nintendo

It's been years since I gamed actively. I don't think I've started a console since 2014, at least not for more than an hour at a time.

The reason is simple. I feel like the game market is exhausted. Everything has been done or at least something very similar has already been done. I've been addicted to RPGs, I've been addicted to shooters, heck even Minecraft. But you grow tired of it after a while.

Because of this I was drawn to the 3DS for two main reasons:

  • Fire Emblem
  • 3D

Fire Emblem is a tactical game, something I haven't really worked with a lot before. I've played Command & Conquer, but that's quite different. 3D gaming is something I also haven't done much. (Also I guess I never got around to completing the new Pokémon games)

Buying the thing

Even though I had an Original 3DS, it was getting old. It had scratches on the top, a ruined screen protector and I just generally never liked the console. I never really liked it hardware-wise either, too small. So I decided to pay up and buy a so-called "New 3DS" (XL) - I ended up going for the black one:

New 3DS XL Image

Since I chose the black/grey-ish one you'll notice that it has already absorbed fingerprints and dust from all of the known universe. But that's a price I can pay, the only other option my local store had was a blue one. Blue has never been my color though, and for certain reasons, I can't order stuff online right now.

The improvements

Boy though, this console is nice. The screens are huge compared to the original, just like the DSi/DSi XL. And they've made some improvements that I think they should have done from the start.

First off, the 3D actually works for me now. And I'm not like other guys who complain about the viewing angles. I have a bad right eye. I was never able to properly see the 3D on the original. I don't know if it's because of the larger screens or something else they did behind the scenes,but the "3D" actually belongs in the 3DS' name now. At least for me. It's a whole different experience.

Second off: They finally fixed the bloody sliders. They don't slide up and down like an ice-cube down a hill anymore. They require actual force to move, good job. I no longer accidentally adjust the volume when playing, and the sliders stay where they should be. If that wasn't enough, they also moved them to the top half. So if you still manage to accidentally adjust the volume, it's probably a good idea to start by reconsidering how you hold the darn thing.

And third, but not least. The entire thing is more powerful. If you read up on its specs, they've gone from a dual-core to a quad-core and doubled the ram. And thank god. Smash Bros. can now load before the next Ice age arrives and the browser is actually usable. Now it feels like a console from the post-2010 age instead of 2006.

They were dumb enough to keep the headphone jack in the middle at the front though, fucking over anyone who doesn't have an angled connector on their headphones, or at least making it a lot less comfortable - The new ZR and ZL buttons along with the C-stick are also worth a mention though, I don't use them much personally, but others love them.

Gaming on it

Here's the part people care about: It's great

Smash bros. really benefits from the larger screen imo, since characters can become small when the camera zooms out. Not to mention that it loads in like half the time.

If only this applied to all games though. Sadly, titles have to be optimized. Which most people will find logical. However people online have revealed plenty that if you install some custom firmware, you can push the performance to 95% of games with no issues. So why Nintendo didn't just enable it for all games is a mystery for me.

One of the first games I fired up was Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, only to find out that battle scenes in 3D are still just slideshows at what seems like 10 fps - It's horrible and the reason I never played the game all the way through, it was just too annoying. Sadly it doesn't seem like they're gonna publish an update to fix this either, since the New 3DS isn't really that "New" anymore.

But hey at least the Fire Emblem: Awakening cutscenes look way better on the big screen.