Guest Review: New Nintendo 3DS Super Mario 3D Land Edition

We have a very exciting Special Guest Post today! Jess Wong is here to tell us all about her new New Nintendo 3DS.

I assume that most people already have the New Nintendo 3DS XL, but for those who are late to the game, like me, the smaller, more affordable option of the New Nintendo 3DS is worth consideration.

The New Nintendo 3DS was released in America in September 2015 as part of the Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Bundle. Although you can buy the Japanese imported system for approximately $187 on Amazon, all other American retailers currently only offer it in a bundle with a pre-loaded game and a cover plate, or two for $150+. This makes for an appealing purchase, as the New Nintendo 3DS XL will run you $185 – $200 just for the system alone.

I recently got absorbed into the handheld gaming world when I purchased a Nintendo 2DS about a year ago. I looked for the best deal I could find (this was right before they downgraded the price to $79.99) and got myself the Sea Foam Green. I’m very fond of my beloved 2DS, but I knew when I bought it that I would eventually upgrade to the 3DS, like a real adult.

After much consideration, I finally took the plunge and purchased the Super Mario 3D Land Bundle. Here are my first impressions.



First of all, the bundle is as good as deals get with Nintendo for a brand new system. For $150 plus tax, you get the 3DS pre-loaded with Super Mario 3D Land and two face plates–one that is Mario themed and one that is general Nintendo themed. So even though I wasn’t super excited about the game itself, I was sold by the value of the whole bundle. The main annoyance is that it doesn’t come with a charger. Not a problem, if you already have an extra one. But if I decide to trade my 2DS in for credit, I will have to include my charger, then buy a new one, which practically negates the measly credit I would get for the trade-in.



I have never seen this system in person before, so when I took it out of the box, I was pretty surprised by how small it is. To be honest, when I held it up next to my 2DS, I was a bit disappointed to see that the screens aren’t that much bigger, like the luxurious 3DS XL. However, I still think it is an upgrade. I like that it is even more portable than my 2DS. When closed, it is the same length and width of my Samsung Galaxy S5. This is definitely a plus, since I take it with me on my daily commute on the metro to work.

New Nintendo 3DS compared to a Samsung Galaxy S5



The face plates are a big selling point for me. I love customization and getting to change things to reflect my aesthetic and mood. However, the face plates do feel a bit flimsy to me and I was even more surprised to find that the face plates serve as the actual sides of the machine. I had assumed that the whole DS would be white and you could just click on the face plates. But in actuality, the face plates themselves house the battery, microSD card, etc. You can’t opt to not use one of the face plates, unless you want the internal mechanics exposed. And every time you change it, you have to use a little screwdriver to remove screws that keep it in place. This was very unexpected and more work than I’d like. Furthermore, every time I remove the plate, I think I might snap the thin, flimsy plastic that it is made out of. However, once they’re on, they feel pretty secure and they don’t feel cheap.

Here’s a side view of the faceplate so you can get an idea of how thin it is.

New Capabilities

Other than the shape of the system, there’s not much noticeable difference in the way of specs between the 3DS and 2DS. The box mentions faster processing power, but it’s not really noticeable in my opinion. The main additional feature is the 3D capability. I find this feature to be interesting, but not a huge selling point if you’re considering upgrading from a 2DS. The effect is a little dizzying and off-putting at first. But because you can control the level of intensity, or turn it off altogether, it can be fun to experiment with. The other new capability is the NFC reader, which is nice to have now that many games are offering amiibos that can unlock additional characters or features. I’m just a little wary that this will end up being bad news for my wallet.


I have to say, there is no way that I would not be in love with my new 3DS, because I love Nintendo and I primarily game on my DS more than any other console. With that said, I don’t necessarily think the New 3DS is a revolutionary change over the 2DS. If you have the money to spend and would like to upgrade, then this is a nice purchase. If you don’t care for the face plates and would like a more significant upgrade, then I think the New 3DS XL is the way to go. But if you’re unsure of the purchase and don’t have the budget, then holding off until a better deal, or a new system comes around wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Want to see more from Jess? You can find her as @jpuiwong on Twitter and Instagram.

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