I have been playing video games my entire life, but have never owned a handheld console.
Sure, my friends let me play their Sega Game Gear back in the day, but growing up I wasn’t allowed to have a Game Boy, probably because I spent enough time playing video games as it was. But now more than ever, is the best time to own your first handheld console. If you’re really looking for a great gaming experience in a mobile device, your cell phone or even your tablet doesn’t really cut it.
Your mobile device gets the job done with games like Flappy Bird, Tiny Tower, and Fruit Ninja, but that is more like gaming-lite. If you’re looking for something a little more than a time waster, with some substance, there has never been a better time to get a handheld console.
The Nintendo 3DS XL gives the single best handheld gaming experience available on the market today. And this is coming from someone who never really had an interest in handheld gaming, until I saw what the 3DS could do.
1. It’s Extremely Accessible!
One of the knocks against cell phone and tablet gaming is that the controls are usually awful. The actual control stick, game pad, and buttons on the 3DS are all very responsive, and feel extremely comfortable when playing.
The only “different” thing about the 3DS is that it incorporates actual 3D into gaming. Some people have complained that it puts an undue strain on their eyes, but I think it is a cool feature. Regardless, you can turn down the depth of the 3D, or turn it off completely with a slider on the front of the monitor.
The Nintendo 3DS is extremely intuitive, well designed, and most importantly easy to use. What Nintendo has done with the 3DS XL, is the equivalent to what Apple has done with the iPhone. It is simple with an incredible amount of depth.
2. Insane Library of Great Games
The 3DS has a ridiculous amount of great games available right now! Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, whatever genre of game that you like, there are tons of options.
Currently there is a deal going on right now through Nintendo directly, that if you purchase a new 3DS and one selected game, you can download Pokemon X/Y for free. The only thing better than great games, is free great games!
3. Street Pass
One of the most unique, and addicting features, which I discovered only after owning a 3DS, is Street Pass. Essentially what Street Pass does, is encourages you to walk around with your 3DS, in your purse, pocket, or backpack.
When your 3DS comes within a walking distance of another 3DS, like when walking by someone on the street or in the mall, the 3DS imports other Mii Characters (custom created Avatar) you pass by.
So if you happened to walk by someone who was also carrying their 3DS (which does not have to be open, or need Wifi) their character will show up on your console. There is a wide range of cool things that happens when you get new characters on your system (Mini games, new customizable items, etc.) but I’ll let you figure that out.
Personally, I think I got spoiled with Street Pass because my first week owning a 3DS I walked down to Times Square in NYC and it was Street Pass heaven!
4. Nostalgia at the push of a button
Not only does the 3DS have a wide range of great modern games, it also has a library of old school retro games all available for you to download directly to your 3DS. There are old school Nintendo games like Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and the first three Super Mario Brother games, that you can play in all of their original goodness.
So, even in the event you get “bored” with the library of current games (which you won’t) you can go back and play the classic games whenever you want for a pretty reasonable price (about $5 per classic game). I do a lot of traveling and got sick of trying to scour the App Store for a game that actually provided the in-depth gaming experience I have been used to.
After traveling with my 3DS, long flights seem short, and I actually look forward for the excuse to play my 3DS guilt free. Not to mention, my now insane desire to carry my 3DS everywhere I go, for the chance to connect and get Street Passes! If you’re on the fence about getting a Nintendo 3DS XL, just take the leap of faith and get one. You won’t regret it, but just don’t blame me when you find yourself attached to it 24×7.