3DS XL Review: David, Meet Goliath

Fatal Flaw

Like Goliath's long, flowing hair, though, the 3DS XL has a single glaring flaw—a vanity, even—that should give anyone second thoughts about trading in an existing 3DS.

For some unfathomable reason, the system is still equipped with just a single analog nub.

Let's not downplay the significance of this omission. The 3DS needed a second stick badly enough for Nintendo and Gamestop to team up on a peripheral solution in the form of the Circle Pad Pro. Some games, like Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D and Resident Evil: Revelations are, if not exactly unplayable without it, vastly improved by its use. And say what you want about the PS Vita, but at least that has two control sticks.

Maybe Nintendo will add it to another 3DS edition down the road, or maybe they're really that determined to keep the 3DS's layout consistent and "pure." Yes, the Circle Pad Pro will launch for the 3DS XL as well, but Nintendo's apparent hubris in this situation shouldn't be downplayed.

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