Review by Vexu192

Reviewed: 03/19/12

The Nintendo 3DS is a flawed, but great handheld for any gamer.

Small Background: I have been gaming all my life. I started off as a young lad playing my dad's Nintendo Entertainment System back in the early 1990s, and from there moved on to all of the classic systems, Playstation, Nintendo 64, etc. As I've grown older I have discovered what I like and don't like in my Video Games. My score for the Nintendo 3DS is one that I have full faith in.

The Design - The Nintendo 3DS design is not too far off from the older brother, the DS, but it is different in some key areas. The biggest change is the circle pad found in the mid-left section of the handheld. The D-pad has also had some work done, and it feels great. The buttons feel smooth, not cheap. The shoulder buttons feel a little weak, and almost like they could break off, but I have owned my 3DS for about four months now and nothing squeaks or sounds like it needs repairs. The touch screens work great and are very responsive. One very huge flaw of the 3DS is the screen scratching issue. This issue can be easily fixed (and I will list ways to fix in this review), however it is still a big design issue that Nintendo needs to change with the next model. What happens exactly is the bottom touch screen is raised slightly, and since it is smaller than the top screen, closing the system will cause them to touch and scratch each other when pressure is applied. Ways to fix this are putting in stronger bumpers, putting three tiny squares of electrical tape on the side of the 3DS, and many others that you can find on YouTube.

Price & what's in the box? - The price of the 3DS now is 169.99 U.S Dollars. The items you get in the box are the typical charger, and cleaning cloth, with all the manuals and warranties. What also is included is a very handy charging cradle, which simply does nothing more than allow you to set your 3DS on it to charge, instead of plugging the system up to the cord itself (the chord will still need to be plugged into the cradle.) This value is quite good now, even for back when it came out. The 3DS competition, the Playstation Vita, currently is 249.99 U.S dollars, which is a lot more money for most people. A great value comes from the 3DS package, high quality products are sure to be found here.

The Battery - No doubt you have probably heard of the battery issues that this handheld has. Playing on a brightness of 3 (out of 5) with power saving mode turned ON, no wi-fi, and 3D off, I receive about five to six hours of game play. This is fine for one or two games, but when you start building a collection you're obviously going to want to play more, and thus you will need a better battery. Nyko makes excellent third-party batteries for the handheld, and I would personally recommend them. Still, compared to the DS, the 3DS could have had a much better battery installed in it.

The Games - Finally, we come to the games. The 3DS did not have a great starting library when it first came out. As of this review, that has all changed. The 3DS has some truly great games on it, and because of it I am able to play games that I never got a chance to play on the older systems. The best thing about is that the 3DS is just getting started, and Nintendo hasn't even served us the appetizer of the dinner that is 3DS gaming. Most of the games you will find use the touch screen as an accessory rather than a main function, which I think is for the best. Games will simply use the bottom screen for a map or item inventory rather than movement or attacking, these functions were OK at best, and I really like the new direction that has been taken with the touch screen. The games look and sound incredible, some of the titles even looking like their Wii counter-parts. Games like Resident Evil: Revelations even look like an Xbox 360 game, and that is no joke. There is a wide range of gaming on the 3DS and the best thing about it is that it's portable, which means you aren't forced to sit in front of a TV and be cut off from the rest of the world.

The 3D - I won't comment much on the 3D, but I will say that it depends on the game in question. Games like Mario Kart 7 do a decent job of showing off the 3D, but games like Resident Evil really show what the 3D can do, and Ocarina of Time gave me slight headaches because the 3D was so strong. DO NOT judge the system based off of those test models you see at Best Buy and Gamestop. When you have the console in your hand and you see the 3D comfortably and relaxed, it will truly shine out to you. Not every game does 3D the same, so be sure to remember this.

Final Thoughts - The 3DS is a great handheld for gamers. It certainly does have its flaws, but what system doesn't. The price, games, and overall design of the 3DS just works. The 3D on most games is solid, and makes you feel like you are really there. Sometimes the tiny screen might bug you a tad, especially on games that have been ported over and were obviously designed with a bigger screen in mind. That said, my final thoughts are that this a great system for anybody to own, and that no gamer should be without one.

A solid 9/10.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Nintendo 3DS (US, 03/27/11)

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