I recently bought a Nintendo 3DS XL (add my friend-code if you have one! 0232-7880-2450) — primarily because I wanted to play Pokemon (yes) but also because I’m tired of the ‘Western’ games of the iPad. I mean, they’re fun and addicting, but you don’t always get a cute story like that of Okamiden (Chibiterasu IS SO FUCKING CUTE, HELLO). Sure I’m like, more than a year late or something, but I was in a spending mood and I haven’t bought a toy for myself in the longest, longest time.

Excited as I was, there were a lot of things that frustrated me with the DS. Trying to do the simplest things take me more than minutes to accomplish and the experience is something that you just have to get used to rather than enjoy. 3D is cool, but it hurts the eyes when you’re not viewing it from a straight angle so I’m not even on that mode so often. It’s the games that keep me on the device — but that’s it. Basically, if not for the games, the device and other native things on the DS are so ancient because of how smooth and fast tablets and phones are these days.

1. Similar apps that should be merged together exist as 2 different programs.

See, there is this “Mii Maker” where you make or edit your avatar, and then you close that and open the “Mii Plaza” to meet other players and see their avatars. From the “Mii Plaza” you can only edit your Mii’s hat, but not anything much. The color of your Mii/avatar, the name, and other avatar details you have to edit at “Mii Maker.”

That’s bad. Just, really bad. You should be able to edit your Mii directly from Mii Plaza because the whole closing-this-app-and-switching-and-then-going-back is really tiring. Maybe I wouldn’t complain so much about this except you can’t even multi-task or open these two apps at the same time.


Every time I load a new app (such as the Mii Maker, Plaza, or any of those that are stored within the DS), the “Nintendo 3DS” loading screen appears on my screen for like, 5 seconds. Those 5 seconds multiplied by the number of times I have to use these apps make me really, really sick of the Nintendo loading screen and it gives the impression that the app is loading really slow.

3. No multi-tasking (even similar apps)

Just try playing with your Mii and then editing it when you win a hat and you want to color-coordinate your avatar’s color. JUST TRY IT.

I don’t even understand why they put the app on suspension (“Suspended Software”) when you have to close it to do much of anything else.

4. Swapnote: Sending notes made complicated.

I’m pretty sure I’m not super stupid, but it took me a lot of chatting with my friends who had a DS to finally understand how to actually send notes.

  • first I save it 
  • the note I just saved and that I want to send gets listed along with ALL the other notes that I have received/sent/saved
  • then you get asked if you want to send it, but only if you’ve activated your Spot Pass or Street Pass because otherwise, it doesn’t tell you anything. I was so confused because initially I was only able to ‘save’ my notes.
  • and apparently sending via the internet is called sending via “Spot Pass” (naming consistency!) 
  • once you press ‘reply’ to a note, the ‘reply’ button (for that specific note) seems to be gone forever. 
  • I think there is a way to add more pages to a note, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

5. You can only save 3 different internet connections.

6. Those internet connections are different from the “Nintendo Wifi Connection” which is limited to WEP-security connections or no security at all. 

when I changed our wifi at home fro WPA2 to WEP, it seemed to slow down the net considerably so I had to settle to removing our wifi password just so I can connect to the Nintendo wifi. Because I paid so much for this shit I want to play it for what it’s worth.

7. The e-shop is more limited than I’ve expected.

I don’t have a credit card with a US account, and the regions where credit cards work are also limited. My other option is to buy a prepaid card from Data Blitz, which is obviously overpriced. But I really want to get the Pokemon Dream game thing.

At least with the Apple Store I can buy a considerable amount of games and apps with my local credit card.

8. There is a browser but forget about browsing the internet on the DS. 

9. I actually don’t know if I can take in-game screenshots with the device because I really want to. 

10. There is nearly an inch of black space between the two screens.

When you’re browsing, the page is cut awkwardly. When the game tries to make use of both screens, it is again cut awkwardly.

The 3DS definitely sucks in its user experience. At a time when iOS and Android are smoother, faster, and both platforms being used for gaming (with great graphics, I must say), I think Nintendo needs to up their game. Android was able to price itself within a budget, much like Nintendo, but the experiences on the devices are so different (with Nintendo pretty much lacking a lot of things).

Although I know that I got it for the games and not for the graphics/UX so I’m keeping it and investing some hard-earned pesos for a small DS/3DS game collection, I just wish that their next DS device offers better UX. I don’t know how fast they could improve on these things though because they’ve really fallen behind.

Now I will just settle with the gameplay their titles offer. :P

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