What a difference a few years can make. I remember on a whim I headed to my local F.Y.E. to check out Nintendo\’s newest handheld the day it was released. I was excited especially after the crazy amount of fun I had with the original DS. I picked up a black system and the only title that interested me, a port of Rayman from the Dreamcast era which was redone in 3D. As you can imagine it wasn\’t the best example of the system\’s processing power and 3D capabilities and the screen that was supposed to showcase the glasses-less 3D was pitifully small. Couple those drawbacks with the price of entry that was $250 at launch on top of a launch lineup lacking any compelling software and everyone spelled doom for the new system. The internet was set ablaze with the familiar chatter we hear today regarding the Wii U—Nintendo is doomed!The first iteration of the hardware just didn\’t impress me much although it showed promise. The 3DS was indeed off to a rocky launch. So much so that Nintendo droped the price down from $250 to $170 around the first six months!

I eventually got bored of the system, sold it, and stopped following Nintendo news altogether for a while. Then my fiancé got a job in New York and I had to stay behind in Philadelphia for what ended up being five months. During my commute back and forth I wanted something to help pass the time and I walked into GameStop and played a demo for New Super Mario Bros 2 on the 3DS XL. I fell in love instantly. The 3D screen was almost double the size, the build quality felt more solid, and the 3D affect didn\’t seem forced and gimicky. I played NSMB 2 with the 3D slider maxed out and had a blast. The 3D affect added depth to the levels in the game and I was so impressed I immediately bought a blue 3DS and have it to this day. Since then there have been a ton of great games to grace the system. Hell, 2013 alone saw some very well received games both AAA and indie in nature. Some of my favorite titles on the system thus far are Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 7, Yoshi\’s New Island, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Luigi\’s Mansion Dark Moon, Paper Mario Sticker Star, and Mario and Luigi Dream Team. There are also many other fantastic games but the aforementioned list are some of my personal favorites. I realize they’re all Nintendo games but damn it they still make some of the best games I’ve ever played. (I’m looking at you Super Mario 3D World for Wi U)

Overall Nintendo has made admirable improvements with the 3DS XL from the significantly larger display to the marginally better battery life, but it is because of the all the great games ranging from Virtual Console classics like Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario Advance: Yoshi\’s Island to newer hits like the games mentioned above on top of the existing games from the original Nintendo DS that I can wholly recommend the 3DS XL. All it took was a few years, a better iteration of the original system, and some really good games. Maybe Nintendo can turn the tide with the Wii U like they did with the 3DS and convince people why they should have one too.

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