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Thursday, 13 February 2014

3DS XL Review

Anyone who knows me i am a MAHOOSIVE Zelda fan. I have played, completed, then played a million times again, every single zelda game brought out.
I was massively gutted when Nintendo brought the 3DS out and announced the updated 3DS version of Ocarina of time - by far the best out of the lot! Retailing at nearly £200, the prospect of even owning a second hand one was slim, especially considering the games average at around £30 each for new releases!
As with everything, a newer version comes out and the older one goes down in price. Around xmas 2013 the hubs decided they were cheap enough at second hand prices to band together with my mum and dad and buy me one along with the newest Zelda release - A link between worlds. Of course i had no idea and this was a complete surprise. Yes i cried like a baby when i opened the suspiciously shaped box and saw it staring me in the face!

A shiny new 3DS XL! :O

Gareth had got together with my mum and dad and thanks to Argos my christmas was well and truely special!

The 3DS XL is available in a range of colours, at a really reasonable price of £179.99. Click here to check out the whole range.

Now for the amazing bits :D
*Please note the 3DS has the same features and the only noticable difference is the size. My comparisons is between the dsi/ds lite and the 3DS range*


The 3DS XL is much larger than the dsi/ds lite and the 3DS with a 90% larger screen. For me this takes gameplay to a whole new level. The handheld itself is more comfortable to hold and has a much crisper. clearer image on a much brighter screen... no straining my eyes to see the screen now!

(not my image)

Im quite abit away from the screen to be honest, no zoom used. The screen is very very clear.


As mentioned, its much more comfortable to hold than previous versions. Everything is within handy reach of your thumbs making game play effortless.
  • The sensitive circle pad (joystick) gives precision movement
  • Familiar controls are still present. The D-Pad, A,Y,B,X buttons, power button, start and select, touch screen controls and volume and headphone slot. 
  • 3D visuals with no need for 3D glasses. There is a little slider on the side on your top screen, you can switch between 2D and 3D easily or set the 3D level to your preference. 
  • Much louder and clearer volume. At max level it is not recommended to be used with headphones.
  • Backwards compatible. You can choose to play ds games or 3DS games. DS games will only play in 2D. 3DS games play in both 2D and 3D.  
  • Three cameras, 1 inner and 2 outer, making game play more realistic, picking up real things around you to effect game play. As an example the girls were messing about on a game of nintendogs. The camera would pick up her face and her pup would come running - just like a real dog would. Of course this a 3DS, you can take 3D photos and videos. 
  • Extended battery life. The 3DS XL has an average of 3 hours more battery life than the 3DS. Battery life *Battery life is dependant on usage*
  • SD slot - a 4GB sd card is included giving more space to save photos or games. The 3DS XL supports up to a massive 32GB SDHC card giving approximately 200k blocks of space! 
  • Augmented Reality Gaming. The 3DS XL comes with 6 AR cards. Simply aim your camera over the cards follow the instructions and watch games come to life.
  • Home button - making it easy to change function or pause your game.
  • Motion play - Some games allow you to use motion controls to move yourself in the game. Tilting your handheld for example. 

Wifi enabled


On the side of the console is a slide button. This switches the wireless feature on or off. In order to enable wireless you must preform a system update which took me all of around 2 minutes. Follow the instructions and you care connected. From the home menu press the little globe at the top to connect.

Browsing the net is relatively easy. I found it rather fiddly scrolling through pages. They appear on both screens and i personally found it slow to browse through. Easily suspend your game play to browse the net by pressing the home button.

Parental controls

As there is internet useage, it makes sense that parents are able to place parental controls to keep innocent eyes seeing the nasties they shouldnt be. The parental controls can be accessed from the home screen and scrolling across until you see the spanner symbol.

I feel like ive rambled on for so long but there is sooooo many more features. Hers a quick round up of the other cool stuff you can do with the 3DS XL.
  • Miiverse. Anyone with a wii console upwards will be aware of Mii's. For those who are not they are basically little people you can personalise - little mini you's!. Miiverse is basically Nintendos networking site. You can share tips, ask advice. make little handwritten letters to send to people or even post screenshots. Its a fantastic way of bringing players together. Its also accessible using a smartphone or pc by clicking here. You need a Nintendo network id to experience Miiverse. A nintendo is is also for downloading free software- demos etc but not needed for purchased software. You can find options in the parental controls to restrict access to Miiverse and Nintendo e shop. 
  • Mii maker is where you make your Miis. You can create up to 100. Make some for your family (my kids love it!)
  • Streetpass. I imagine this will be a popular feature but for me its not something i want to use. Streetpass allows your to connect with other users if well you pass them in the street. Assuming you are carrying your 3DS with you and another person is too. If streetpass is enabled on both consoles both your Mii's will transfer to each others system along with your game play profile *Please note no personal information is carried forward its just your name and the games your playing* On your handheld is the streetpass plaza where you can see all the Miis you have met on your travel. This feature can be turned on or off at anytime and there is also a block list for any Miis you may find offensive. You can now also purchase streetpass Mii plaza games. 
  • Spotpass. This requires wifi in order to work. The idea is that your handheld will pick up wireless hotspots and in doing so pick up various bits of information for your device - 3D content, free downloads and so forth. 
  • Face Raiders. This is just a highly hilarious game. Use any photo stored on your handheld and place it in the centre. It will multiply and the aim is to get rid! Use motion controls to play the game. You can even build up a collection of faces for even more fun. My Kaycee prefers this over animal crossing :O
Last but not least... the sound. I mentioned that its alot louder than previous consoles but there is so much more you can do.
  • You can listen to your music by saving them to your SD card
  • Record clips using the microphone and modify them using 12 funny filters. 
  • Use your own songs/voice clips and turn them into karaoke. (you can not dub the music out of all songs)
  • Use streetpass to find players with the same taste in music. 
When the 3DS first come out i was excited just because it was 3D game play. It was only once i had torn open the box and had a little play that i found out the extent of the features this little console holds! To say im excited is an understatement!

This little piece of brilliance scores very highly on my geekdar and guaranteed to keep me busy for quite some time. Id love to hear other peoples views on this console.

Did anyone else receive one? How do you rate it compared to previous models?


  1. I got my lad one for xmas (using up the last of a big Love2Shop vouchers win) - he is loving it but have to admit I didn't know it could do half of the stuff you've posted up. He only has the two games - the Super Mario world (which came as a free download) and Luigis Mansion 2 which he is *loving*!

  2. Ill be honest, i didnt either :D I still have to get that download. I completely forgot about it :O




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