Having a wife in optometry and a child that gets sick if you ride around the block and gets headaches from watching television sometimes, it was understandable that we were a bit leery about purchasing a Nintendo 3DS. When they first came out, regardless of what is true or not on 3D, we decided to err on the side of caution. So we sat and watched from the sidelines as all of these great games came out for the system and began to suffer from Mario withdrawal.
Yes, I know you can turn off the 3D effects on the 3DS, and maybe there are some kids out there that always listen to their parents, but I knew for us, the kids would not be able to contain themselves and they would be hiding under the blankets turning the 3D all the way up. Now, the tides have turned and Nintendo has released the 2DS, which plays all the games without the 3D and a lower price point.
The device itself is a plastic design that is wedged shape so it may be a bit hard to get into your pockets, but for a kid, stones and bits of gum end up in their pockets so I am ok with them carrying it around. It does feel comfortable in the hand though. Despite it going down to a mono speaker, we didn’t mind as we aren’t trying to throw a dance party.
All of the features of the 3DS are there: touch-screen controls, online multiplayer functionality, StreetPass and also the ability to download games for the device.
Now on to the games themselves.
We got hands on with: Mario Party Island Tour, and both Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.
Mario Party Island Tour
We are a Mario and Wii Party family so this was going to be a win for us. With the familiar gameplay of 7 game boards and a ton of new minigames with our favorite characters, this is going to get a lot of playing time. Orbs are not in the game but rather you have cards and like the other Mario Party games you can select games that can last from 10 minutes up to 60 minutes which is great when you need to tell the kids they have about 20 minutes before devices are off for the night.
All different sorts of minigames mean that each child will have a favorite and with the boards there is always a bit of luck involved, but unlike other Party games the luck portion is tuned down a little for most boards. The bonuses you get for coming in first can turn the tide of the game quickly, where in some other Mario Party Games where you landed could be more important. A very fun game to play when there are multiple 2DS or 3DS devices involved as you can play download play with 4 players sharing off of one game card.
Pokémon X and Y
My kids love these Pokémon games with the ability to be a young Pokémon trainer and travel around and collect all new Pokémon and get new powers. The games up the ante in the graphic department having rendered graphics instead of sprites and while each title is separate you can trade between games and you will need to so you can complete the full Pokedex. I can only say that based on the fact that they kids were super excited to play these games and that they rarely talk to me while playing that they are probably pretty darn good.
Besides the games we actually tested we already know that Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Mario Tennis Open, and the Zelda and Donkey Kong games are all winners, and high priority to fill out our 2DS library. All those games that the kids were asking about are now available to them in a 2D mode only.
So if you are looking for something to get the kids the Nintendo 2DS fills a great price point, with a library full of games that even makes those tablet kids pick their head up to play. A perfect gift for pretty much any occasion and more fun when you are buying them for multiple family members. No need to leave the parents out of this equation, we both love playing our fair share of Nintendo 3DS games as well.
The new Nintendo 2DS system gives you all the features of the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, minus 3D viewing. And the price makes the world of Nintendo games even more accessible.
Note: All products mentioned were provided for review