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Console Review – Nintendo 2DS XL

Another Nintendo DS console? Really? REALLY? Yes! Really! Nintendo have released their latest iteration of their “DS” line with the 2DS XL, I got rid of my old original 3DS 2 years ago after it lived out its usefulness and with a Wii U and a ton of games to play on it, I found myself not having any time for this portable anymore. So now 2 years when the announcement of a 2DS XL console with no 3D (that I never used anyway), a new design, larger battery life, micro SD card and charging cable included, I decided to get one. Part of my decision to purchase this as well also was the extensive back catalogue of portable games including Pokemon Moon, Animal Crossing : New Leaf, Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend Of Zelda, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Luigis Mansion 2 and Super Smash Bros, I finally had a reason to re-invest in this family.

The beautiful clam-shell design makes it look sleek and modern, while also being a great fit for your pocket and durable if you are a child (or just a clumsy adult like me who likes a good beer and Pokemon session) It comes in two colours, black and blue or yellow and orange (I opted for black and blue) the new 2DS console has amiibo support, the front two cameras are on the bottom half of the console and a second analogue stick for in-game camera control. There is a cover over the game card slot and this is where the micro SD card is housed. There is a small pen and pen house in the base of the console and this was the only surprise, it is tiny, like ridiculously tiny, particularly for man hands like myself, but alas is my only gripe for this console.

Games wise this console plays both 3DS and original DS games without needing 3D at all to function. If 3D is a big thing for you, then this is not the console for you. However it is also more lightweight, has better battery life and a sleeker design with easy to fit in your hand dimensions. It is really hard to go past this console for portable comfort. Another great feature is the micro SD card now fits in next to the game cartridge so you do not have to unscrew it to swap out your cards.

One of the biggest benefits of the 2DS XL console is the huge back catalogue of titles that are available. My first purchases were Pokemon Moon, Miitopia, Animal Crossing : Welcome To Amiibo, Donkey Kong Country Returns and a slew of classic NES and SNES titles to fill my little micro SD card to the max. I still have plenty of back catalogue purchases to get through and I can’t wait to stretch this handheld console’s legs and get some mileage out of it.

Nintendo have confirmed that they will continue to support the 2DS/3DS console with new games and exclusive titles through to 2018 so there is still a slew of games coming in for the console and while we still have our mitts glued to the new Nintendo Switch, this is definitely a more casual experience that can be utilised while the Switch is on recharge. Daily checking into Animal Crossing, a few more Pokemon to collect in Moon and the RPG addictiveness of Miitopia should see me through some daily gaming routines on this console.

Overall the Nintendo new 2DSXL is a welcome addition to the console’s evolution, boasting better features, the removal of the 3D craze and a massive back catalogue to play with, previous owners will update if they want better battery life, micro SD card ease and a better looking portable. If you are new to the DS consoles and are keen to dive into the game library this is well worth your dollars. Any parent who aren’t willing to hand their Switch over to their kids yet should also consider this a great bridging device. The Nintendo 2DS XL is available in stores now in Black and Blue and Orange and White.

Be sure to check out Alaisdair’s video review on our YouTube page here 

Review by Alaisdair Leith

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