Release Date: 01/28/2018
Oh, Pikachu, you’re so cute and cuddly and one of the most recognized characters in entertainment history. Nintendo sure does plastering your cute yellow face all over their consoles, and the 2DS XL version is the best yet. Nintendo went all out and went simple, just stick to Pikachu’s. With a raised 3D nose and cheeks on the top lid and is lightning yellow all around the system gives it a simple, minimal design, and isn’t so over the top that it looks like a child’s toy. This is a nice elegant way to show your love for Pikachu and Pokemon in general.
As for the system itself, this is Nintendo’s latest iteration of its 3DS hardware that has come through some drastic changes. Just like its DS cousin, the 3DS went from small to big to new over the last several years. We saw the original 3DS turn into the 3DS XL which was expected as the DSi XL was a huge deal back in the day. Then we got a weird 2DS system that stripped away the foldable efficiency and the 3D model. So people were left wondering if it was an all-new system and if there are 2DS games just for the system. Then came the New Nintendo 3DS and XL which was the best version yet as it included a C stick for camera control, better screens, sound, and overall design. So, here we are at the end with the New 2DS XL which is a much lighter and slimmer version of the New 3DS XL just without the 3D effect.
Honestly, I hesitated on the 2DS XL as I love my 3D effects, but as I play more and more games I realize there are very few that utilize this feature well and it just turned into a huge gimmick. The 2DS XL also has better-looking screens, a more comfortable form factor, and the weight was cut down. The New 3DS XL was a heavy beast and would leave hand cramps just for the sheer weight pulling on your wrist. The 2DS XL just feels so good in the hands and feels more sturdy. The 3DS XL had issues with loose hinges, weird-feeling buttons that kind of felt loose, and an overall clunky design despite looking nice. The 2DS XL has great feeling buttons with the shoulder buttons having nice soft clicks, the face buttons have small hard clicks, and it’s just a good system to play for long periods of time.
There were some things moved around, and not all of it was good. The stylus was shortened by half and has a weird tab that allows you to prop it up next to the headphone jack. The top of the stylus is curved in the same shape as the DS almost like it was an afterthought. The game card access is now behind a door that worries me as these things break over time. At least the SD card is here too instead of behind a panel you have to unscrew like the New 3DS XL. The speakers were moved to the outer bottom edge where the card slot is as little slits rather than on the top screen. It seems to sound better and a little clear, but the location means it will get muffled when playing if you aren’t careful. The volume slider is now on the left side on the bottom half rather than on the top screen like before, and obviously, the 3D slider is absent.
Software-wise, nothing is new here. It’s just the same as the New 3DS XL and that’s perfectly fine. There are no new additions to the firmware or anything special for this system except the exclusion of any 3D stuff. The system also includes the AC adapter which is strangely missing from the New 3DS XL systems, so that’s a plus. Overall, the New 2DS XL is the definitive version of the system and cuts out all the experimentation and issues that were found in the earlier versions. If you like your 3D effects then the New 3DS XL is your system, but if you don’t care, this is definitely it, Pikachu or not.