I never took advantage of the original 3DS’ 3D offerings. There weren’t any games that really made good use of it at launch, and it never seemed to look right when I tried to use it. I suppose it was always one of those things that sounded better in theory than it worked in practice. “Wow! Mario is right in my face! …But only if I have my head like this, don’t move, and make sure the 3D slider remains in this position so it doesn’t strain my eyes and give me a headache.”
The 3DS XL era made 3D more tempting. Games like Super Mario 3D Land, Resident Evil Revelations, Pushmo, Kingdom Hearts 3D , and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask finally made the idea of 3D gaming more attractive, and I secretly hoped that it would be more inviting once I upgraded to a Pikachu 3DS XL in 2013. Surprise – it wasn’t, though that wasn’t such a shock. The technology hadn’t changed, so of course the 3D effect would remain lackluster.
I gave up on the notion of 3D portable games. If I wanted that kind of immersion, I’d line up to play Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus titles at conventions and industry events. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. However, after a weekend with the New 3DS XL, I’m a convert again. Truly, this handheld has made gaming 3Delicious again. The super-stable 3D, as Nintendo calls it, is a miracle. For the first time in years, I’m going out of my way to enjoy games that might make good use of the 3D effects.
The term revolutionary is often tossed around whenever new iterations are announced. I mean, what better way to get people on board the hype train? With the New 3DS and its super-stable 3D, it’s justified. Games look markedly better. Ones where the 3D effects are particularly striking, like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate , and Super Smash Bros , seem to stand out even more than usual because of the hardware improvements. Games where 3D wasn’t spiffy even seem to look better somehow.
Most importantly, the New 3DS XL allowed me to play a game the way Nintendo intended for the first time. I love Kid Icarus: Uprising , but I’m one of those people who gets so into games that I start moving around. Because even though it probably doesn’t help, there’s a part of me that knows that it really does. With this game, I felt trapped. It’s an active game where I constantly bob my head, sometimes even moving the system. It wasn’t condusive for 3D on the previous handhelds, but that isn’t an issue on the New 3DS. It doesn’t matter if I get too into the game, because the system keeps track of where I am. If I move from the “sweet spot,” it adjusts automatically. Suddenly, Kid Icarus: Uprising is even more amazing than ever.
Hardware revisions are always a bittersweet occurance. People who were early adopters can be left feeling like guinea pigs. Those who are interested have to wonder if the model they’re consider is a sure thing, or a temporary variation on the way to a stronger, better one. However, the New 3DS XL’s super-stable 3D is an update truly deserving of the term revolutionary. It doesn’t matter what your position is or the lighting is like. The New 3DS has you covered and makes the notion of 3D gaming suddenly seem not just plausible, but exciting again.