3DS 2013 Gift Buyer’s Guide

3DS 2013 Gift Buyer’s Guide

Nintendo’s handheld is a fantastic gaming device. So if you’re thinking of buying someone more games for their 3DS, or a 3DS itself, here’s a little advice.

DO buy a 3DS if your friend/significant other/mum doesn’t already own one. Chances are there’s something to be found on the platform that they’d enjoy. Especially with recent new additions of the latest Zelda and Pokémon games, it’s hard to live without Nintendo’s most successful piece of hardware. Plus, it can play all of the DS’s games, too. And if you are considering getting someone a 3DS, definitely go for the XL size. The bigger screen is well worth it.

DO buy Pokémon X or Y — they’re the best Pokémon games in the franchise, and a good starting point for newbies, too. With over 700 creatures to capture, train and play with, it’s hard not to be charmed by this RPG adventure. Plus, it lets you dress up and explore its own version of Paris — Eiffel Tower and all — while riding roller skates. Yes.

DO buy The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, because, wow, that’s one good Zelda game. It’s a sequel to the Super Nintendo’s A Link To The Past, a throwback to old-school top-down Zelda-ing. But it’s also a progressive Zelda that shakes up the series’ formula by freeing you to do more things in the order of your choosing. And then there’s the soundtrack. Incredible. Give this game to anyone you like. Withhold this game from anyone you hate.

DO buy Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a lifestyle more than a game and something that you can check in on every so often. Any kind of gamer — and non-gamer! — can find enjoyment in their mayorship. Or pick up Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. It’s the year of Luigi, after all, and this portable entry puts the skinny Mario brother in a hilarious, trippy action/RPG romp. Really, just buy any of these 3DS games.

DO gift a digital copy of Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies, a wonderful, story-heavy game about a goofy lawyer and his band of peppy subordinates. Ignore the M rating — there’s some blood, and some murder, yes, but anyone can enjoy this game.

DO get a pack of those colourful stylus pens if you’re looking for a cheap gift for an acquaintance. They’re definitely not the best quality, but it’s fun to switch up the colours every so often. And, hey, you were the one looking for a low-cost gift!

DO buy a 32GB SD card for 3DS owners. It’ll let them store a ton of downloadable games on their system without every having to swap out a cartridge or worry about storage overhead. Plus, they’re easy to find and pretty inexpensive!

DO get headphones as a stocking stuffer. Portable gaming is better if you can hear it, and the 3DS’ speakers aren’t up to the task. Headphones, even basic earbuds, are.

DON’T get the 2DS unless you’re strapped for cash. The 3DS’ clamshell design makes it easier to carry around. And if you’re worried about the 3D effects on younger players’ eyes, you can just turn them off. But if money is limited, and it’s 2DS or nothing, grab a 2DS. It plays all 3DS games, and the 3DS has a lot of great games.

Feel free to drop your own suggestions down below.


  • Pat from The Two Best Friends Play actually said the 2DS was better and feels a lot better to hold. Especially if you’re like him and don’t care about 3D at all.

    Some might say that it’s harder to carry when you go out, but let’s be honest. How often do you leave your house to play your handheld?

    • I have no idea why someone would down vote that, I’m planning to eventually buy a 2ds SOLELY for Pokemon! 3D doesn’t interest me at all and I have a bad history with devices with hinges 😛

      • I’m going to guess the downvote was for: “How often do you leave your house to play your handheld?” – Isn’t that when most people play their handhelds? On the train, on a break at school/work etc? I just assumed that was the systems main appeal, and why Nintendo included the StreetPass feature.

        I’d actually really like to see the stats on where people play their handhelds. I only play at home personally, because I never ever leave the house. But when I had to spend 2 hours on the train every day, it was always DS time.

        • I’ll downvote it cause for $50 more you can get an XL with a bigger screen, 3d, and a much more portable design. Easy decision if you ask me.

    • I originally only played DS at home. It’s was a great handheld full of games I couldn’t get on consoles. Now I mostly play it on the train between home and work. 2DS isn’t built for that. 3DS XL lives in my back pocket for easy access. I sneak in a minute here and there on it all the time. The 2DS on the other hand doesn’t come out of my backpack unless I have the time to sit down and play it properly.

      The 2DS is great though. Aside from the portability of it being a tad limited the only other problem I have is that I keep covering the single speaker when I play. It’s sort of annoying having the sound go in and out.
      If you think you’ll spend most of your time playing it in one place and want to save some money the 2DS is the way to go. If you’re traveling with it just make sure to spend the extra $10-$15 on a cover, otherwise the screens are exposed 100% of the time.

    • I pretty much only play my hand held devices while travelling… If i was at home I’d game on the PC instead 😛

      I do travel on the bus for about 2hrs a day tho.

  • Gifting it with some microfiber cloths can also be a good idea, those oily fingerprints on the screen usually only smudge using other cloths.

  • I disagree on the 2ds being the less durable system. the hinges on the DS line are /complete crap/. Yes, the 2ds is bigger, but it is likely the more durable of the two, and a 2ds with even a protective bag is just as safe as the clamshell. If it had been announced before I got my 3ds I would have gotten one.

    That said, if you can find one, you really can’t go wrong with the special Zelda 3ds that comes with he game. It’s my son’s birthday/christmas gift (Poor kid being born on the 13th of december!) and it is gorgeous, and costs less than buying a boring 3ds and the game. 🙂

    • You’ve got to factor in that there’s nothing protecting the screen by default. It’d be very easy to pop the plastic off the front of the screen if you put something in your backpack with it. Even with the case I worry a little having my 2DS in my backpack.

      (Poor kid being born on the 13th of december!)

      It’s not that bad. I was born just after New Years and when you start getting cards with money in them it really adds up. Only having to hold onto your money for two weeks really helps avoid temptation. It doesn’t hurt to be able to bargain your way up to a Christmas/Birthday present either. You probably wouldn’t agree to it as readily if he was born in September and you knew he’d forget it was also his Christmas present by December.

      • Funnily enough, my daughter WAS born in September, and yeah, he often gets a slightly bigger ‘birthmas’ combo, which they are both fine with. =) We also sometimes do a half-birthday party for his friends too. He’s got a couple that share December birthdays. Not a present kind of party, just, y’know, cake and a trip to the pool or something. Breaks up the winter blues. 🙂

  • EB Games & Nintendo are supposedly giving me a Gannondorf Statue
    First I have heard about this but they just gave me a rang saying that i can come and get it anytime has anyone else been called up about this?
    I recently bought the Zelda 3ds Console + Oricana of Time + Windwaker
    I know we were meant to get the Gannondorf statue with Windwaker but in Aus that never happened
    I wonder if it’s the First4Figures statue http://www.first4figures.com/component/option,com_myphp/Item
    But I think that will be a bit far fetched so i am going to assume its the statue that should of came with Windwaker
    I’m an avid Zelda fan and this is pretty great
    My current collection https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/111222071827801779938/albums/5951656090814053729
    I’ll post the photos later once i get it if anyone’s interested 😀

  • I’d personally swap Pokemon X & Y, and Animal Crossing, with Super Mario 3d Land, and Luigi’s Mansion 2. I think both Pokemon and Animal Crossing are great, but I think there’s a bit of “Love them Hate them” to those games, especially Animal Crossing.

    Also, the colourful stylus pens, really? I don’t ever use the Stylus that comes with the 3ds, I just use my finger instead. How often do people actually use the stylus?

    • not going to comment on the games since its a personal choice, but i agree with you on the styluses, there like a couple of $ on ebay not really something you would give as a present.

      i do use a stylus though for precision when doing things like typing. damn my fat fingers…

    • I use a stylus when I use it the whole game not once every so often where my finger is better.

      But why would I need fancy colour styluses to make my fancy video game more interesting.

      Imagine somebody just gave you an awesome car WHOO! your not thinking this will be 10x more awesome with seat covers.

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