The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
I've had the 2DS for a few days now, and I feel like it's time for a review. Obviously, this review is mostly going to focus on the new physicality of the device, since it's software and functioning is identical to the 3DS with the exception of 3D; which reportedly, most people leave turned off anyhow. Now, I know a lot of people don't really care much for the new system, however, being one who has played the 3DS, I'm honestly completely satisfied; and actually prefer Nintendo's 2D counterpart.
The Shape & Comfort
I admit, at first, I thought the design was kind of funky, but it works really well for comfortableness. Having large hands, the gripping space on the 3DS felt very limited to me. My fingers were clenched around what space was there on the bottom portion, but with the 2DS I can freely stretch my thumbs to anywhere on the system with no hassle. I think a big part in what makes the device look odd for some is the fact that the system get's slimmer the further down, but it's possibly my favorite thing about it's shape. For those players with adult hands, the thinness of the bottom portion keeps from irritating your hands in similar fashion to the NES' pointy controller, while the thicker top half gives you plenty of gripping room around the much improved shoulder buttons. As for those with smaller hands, you're forced to grip the device by it's sides without having the rest of your hand to support the bottom potion, but the thinness of the bottom half puts the most weight where you grip the device, making it not awkward, or too weighing to bare.
Raised Controls & Button Positioning
The 2DS has moved the buttons for general game control towards the top screen. This obviously helps reach the shoulder buttons on the top, but also give the top screen a more centered feel. Personally, I've always preferred having my fingers to the side of the main screen as in the GBA, PSP, ect. This also fixes a problem I had with the original 3DS: the position of the start and select buttons. I always found the placement odd on the 3DS. They're placed right underneath the touch screen, in a rather awkward to reach location. Just underneath the button diamond (for lack of a better turn) was the power button, and I can't tell you how many times I've accidently turned off my system while playing Fire Emblem Awakening with the intention of pausing my game. Now the start and select buttons are right underneath the button diamond where I'm used to them being. The power button is located further beneath that, but is now tucked into a groove that makes hitting it on accident, a rather rare event, if it ever becomes a happening event at all.
One more thing I have to mention here involves Pokemon X/Y. The game has the circle pad automatically equipping the rollerskates for movement. However, at times you don't want to use the skates for lack of control, and you're forced to use the d-pad for regular movement. On the 3DS it was a huge discomfort to reach the d-pad with larger hands. To demonstrate the discomfort, clench your fist with the exception of your thumb; now reach for your pinky with you thumb, and imagine the dpad being right in the center of your pinky and ring finger. It's just an awkward and tight place to reach with larger hands. However, now that the buttons are raised to the top screen, I no longer have to reach the bottom of the system to get to the d-pad. The adjustment from using the circle pad and the d-pad, is a much simpler one.
The Color Scheme
This is the one thing I don't really like here. I think the back being black with the red (or blue) stripe looks rather boring (The European exclusive white looks much better). I think if the colors were reversed, it would look much more appealing, but what can you do? The full black face of the product isn't a problem, as it kind of enhances the screen with it's contrast of light on dark.
The 2DS only has one speaker, which means sound comes out you in the form of mono, rather than stereo. The sound quality is still very good, and you're likely not going to be able to tell the difference, unless you're a sound-freak. As always, if you want the best sound, headphones are still the best way to hear all there is to hear.
The front Camera is still a 3D camera. You won't be able to view it in 3D, but those who you send it to with a 3DS, will still see it in 3D. But come on, they're just pictures.
The screen exposure is sure to make some people concerned about the devices protection, but it's pretty durable. I'm certain it can survive a fall. Just don't let your kids throw it across the room. IF you're super concerned about the safety of the screen, Nintendo does have a carrying case for purchase.
As I've said, I'm 100% satisfied with my new 2DS. It's much cheaper in return for a couple not-so-missed features that you don't really need to fully enjoy the 3DS games. A fair trade if you ask me. Looks great minus the back color scheme (not too important), and is much more comfortable (at least for me) than the 3DS. Unless you absolute must experience the 3D feature, can't stand mono sound, or need a closing function; save yourself some money by picking this one up instead. You're really not missing out on much.
Anything you want to know that I didn't cover? Leave a comment, and I'll be sure to provide you with some kind of answer. Also feel free to check out my other blog about why I think the 2DS is a beneficial choice for Nintendo: http://www.gameinformer.com/blogs/members/b/blindfates_blog/archive/2013/10/18/the-secret-weapon-behind-the-2ds.aspx
And now for some side by side photos of my new 2DS next to my brothers 3DS, as requested!