Testing out the New 3DS XL with Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

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The transition from a 2DS to the New 3DS XL has been like transitioning to an entirely different platform. Technically the games are the same, but the larger screen makes a huge difference. I’m not sure how I managed playing on the 2DS for so long. To truly put the new hardware to the test, however, I decided I should check out Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, one of the games that only runs on the new hardware.

As you know, I’ve only recently been introduced to the Xenoblade series with Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U (I’m only about three or four hours into that game) but I’ve liked what I’ve played so far. Therefore I was excited to check out the previous game on the New 3DS.

From the start I was incredibly impressed. The game features some truly wonderful music, and the story is exciting so far. The combat system was easy to get a grip on, as it’s very similar to Xenoblade Chronicle X’s combat.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

I really like the presentation of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. The menus look very crisp, and the bottom screen is useful, featuring a minimap and crucial information about your party.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3d menus

I’m very early on in the game, but I can definitely see myself sinking many hours into it.

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The game looks pretty darn good on the New 3DS, and the use of the c stick further justifies the upgrade. It’s crazy to think that the 3DS never had a second analog stick until now! I’ve also been impressed with the faster load times on the New 3DS and I can’t wait to see what else Nintendo brings to the beefier hardware!

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Upgrading to the New 3DS XL..a frustrating experience

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Leave it to Nintendo to make what should be a rather simple process exceedingly difficult. I recently bought a New 3DS XL as an upgrade from the 2DS (was getting tired of the small screen and awkward design of the system) but what should’ve been a fun an exciting experience was painfully frustrating.

I remember hearing many people complain about the system transfer process when the New 3DS first came out, but I figured by now the process should’ve been refined and easier. That turned out to be far from the truth. Navigating the menus on the 3DS already feels outdated, but setting up the system transfer process felt like something out of the 90’s. In the modern world, when you buy a new device you simply log into your account (Apple ID, PSN account, Microsoft account, etc.) and you can download all of your content from the cloud, be it saves, games or anything at all you had on your previous device. In Nintendo’s world, nothing’s that simple. In fact none of the digital games you own on a Nintendo console are actually tied to your account. They’re associated with the hardware you purchased it on, not your Nintendo ID which is absurd. All of my 3DS games are digital (all 8 or so), and trying to do a wireless system transfer was slow and filled with frustration. It took something like two and a half hours just to get to 25% and I went to bed only to wake up to an error on my New 3DS. What’s worse, is that since the New 3DS doesn’t come with a charging cord, you can only keep one device charged during the process.

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After failing a wireless transfer three times in two days (starting it before going to bed or work), I decided the only practical way to do the system transfer was the PC method. So I had to head to the Bx and buy a micro SD card adapter, start the transfer process on both devices and then shut them down and transfer all the data via my MacBook. These days almost everything is simpler to do wirelessly, but in the case of Nintendo, the only feasible option is to do it the “old school” way, physically removing SD cards and copying the data over with a computer. This method only took about thirty minutes, however I would’ve much preferred to leave the SD cards in and transfer everything wirelessly.

Hopefully with the NX (expected to release later this year) Nintendo will finally catch up to modern technology and incorporate a system where purchases are tied to an account, and not a piece of hardware. It would be nice to see something like this come to the 3DS and Wii U, but I don’t foresee Nintendo bothering to reshape the way they do things on those systems.

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I haven’t had a chance to play around with the New 3DS yet, but I downloaded Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on it and look forward to seeing what the new hardware can do! It already seems like the device will be more comfortable to use when compared to the 2DS, and I’ve already seen how convenient it is to fold the device and throw it in a pocket or a bag, compared to the awkwardly bulky 2DS.