Topic: 3DS v XL and RPG Recommendations

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Hi all

I have always been a very casual gamer (apart from those crazy Sinclair ZX Spectrum days….ahhh Manic Miner!) My 7 year old loves the WiiU and also has a 2DS for occasional play. I am thinking I might jump back in myself.

My dilemma is whether I should go the XL version (as I am tempted to do). Those that have tried both…any strong opinions?

I am also yet to be convinced that there are any games that will hold my attention for that long a period. What I’d really like is a fantasy game that totally immerses me – I’m thinking of those fighting fantasy gamebooks (again, years ago) by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone where a book and a pair of dice would take you to a world of dungeons, trolls and danger. Any thoughts on what might be able to do similar on a 3DS?

Many thanks all



I personally find the XL to be an overall better experience, its just awesome. I find even playing DS games so much more fun on big screens XD
about RPGs, you pretty much described crimson shroud. you can get it in the eshop. if you want other great RPGs, look into tales of the abyss and bravely default, both are great story wise and gameplay wise

enjoy =]



Crimson Shroud looks right up your alley. Heck, it even uses virtual dice to determine stuff. Here's a trailer:

The only real problem with it is it isn't super long, by genre standards. Only about 7 or 8 hours. But it's also cheap, so that makes up for it, and seeing as it's your foray into gaming in a long while, it'd be a good thing to start with that plays to your sensibilities, I think.

Etrian Odyssey IV may be up your alley. I'm not a huge fan of the series, but it may play to your sensibilities. The main gimmick of the franchise is that you have to draw a map yourself on the bottom screen, harkening back to the old days where you'd play an RPG and you wouldn't have access to a map by the game, but would make it on grid paper yourself. You crawl through dungeons with a party that you make yourself and fight monsters in a turn-based fashion. Thankfully, there's a demo for it that you can check out on the eShop, so I'd recommend checking that out.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of the very best games on the system and also seems like something you may like. It's a turn-based strategy game, and there's also a demo for it on the eShop. So check that out too. It's an incredibly polished game and quite lengthy as well.

Now, this isn't strictly an RPG, per se, but I think it's worth a look: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It is one of the most widely beloved games ever made, and a large portion of video game fans consider it the single greatest video game of all time. The 3DS version is widely considered the best version of the game, as well. It's more action oriented, but you explore a vast world, meeting different people and creatures along the way. It's a long game, and an absolute classic that should not be missed. It's also kid friendly, so your son could play it if you don't like it for whatever reason.

As for which 3DS, I think you would find the XL more comfortable, as you're an adult and have bigger hands. However, be aware of the difference between the regular XL and the New XL. The only real benefit of the newer version is a nub that can control the camera for a few certain games (that don't seem to be up your alley, besides maybe Zedla: Majora's Mask if you like Ocarina), and the ability to play Xenoblade: Chronicles (and a few other games)... that is, unless if you want to play Xenoblade, which may very well be up your alley. It is a MASSIVE game. We're talking 70 hours MINIMUM. It features one of the largest and vast game worlds ever created, with a huge story that actually manages to be quite good. It's one of my favorite games, as well. It manages the rare feat of actually justifying its crazy length, something I can only attest to a few select games. The music is a treat, as well.

Hope this was somewhat helpful.

EDIT: Oh, and since the 3DS can also play DS games, I want to give a shout out to Chrono Trigger. It is the RPG by which all others are judged. It is an all time classic, one of the best games ever (according to a lot of people, anyway), and is relatively long without overstaying its welcome (about 20 hours or so). Also, it has lots of endings that you can go for, so if you want it to last longer, you can go for those. And if you don't like it, you can give it to your son/daughter, as it is kid friendly.

Edited on by moomoo

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The choice between regular and XL comes down to personal preference at the end of the day, I find the XL to be far more comfortable to use over longer stretches of time but I imagine it's more practical to use a regular 3DS on the go if that's how you intend to use it.
As for games I'll echo the sentiment above about Etrian Odyssey IV, honestly the best dungeon crawler you'll find on the console.



I'll also reiterate recommendations for Tales of the Abyss, Crimson Shroud, & Fire Emblem Awakening, all of which are great games.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)


I'd like to third fourth Crimson Shroud, as those gamebooks you mentioned, as well as Dungeons & Dragons, are its most obvious inspirations in terms of its gameplay style. Story's not bad, either.

I'll also throw in The Keep, also an eShop title. It's a first person game, but it feels much more old-school, like Dungeon Master, or Dungeon Hack...or more recently Legends of Grimlock, which it seems to have rippped off wholesale, but that's fine, IMO, since both are swell games with excellent puzzles and combat. It's still on the short-side, though, as you'll find with a lot of the more...ambitious eShop titles.

Etrian Odyssey IV is indeed excellent, as the poster above me mentioned. I still consider it one of my top favorite 3DS games since it came out in 2012. I'm not entirely certain it's what you're looking for, but at the very least, it's an excellent game in its own right. In the same vein, I'll also recommend Unchained Blades, which is download-only, but was originally released as a retail game in Japan. For a first-person Dungeon Crawler, it has a great story, and a lot of unique gameplay elements that I'm still finding hard to top. Dungeon Crawlers are admittedly a fairly samey genre, so if you haven't played a ton of dungeon crawlers in the past, or are new to the genre, I'd recommend EO4 first and foremost. However, if you have played a lot, are a bit burnt out on the genre, I'd easily recommend Unchained Blades first as a breathe of fresh air.


On a side note: I really do wish the 3DS had some game adaptions of Gamebooks like I've experienced on mobile devices, as well as the PSP (via PS Mini). I think those are more what you're hoping for, and I too could see them working out very well on a system like the 3DS XL, with bigger available fonts, and maybe some 3D page-turning and touchscreen dice-throwing like they have going in Crimson Shroud. Not to mention a constantly maps, so I stop getting lost every time I go to a new room.

Sadly, I don't think anyone's stepped up to the plate just yet, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong here fingers crossed.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

I am the Wolf...Red
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I had the entire collection of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy books back in the day, along with The Riddling Reaver and their spin off books... man, your post brought back some nice memories of my mom buying these books for me at the mall. Every few months a new one would come out. She didn't like buying me toys, but she didn't mind buying me books. I'd stare at the covers forever and ever... too bad they're all gone now, she cleaned house and donated them all when I moved out... back to your question, I would frankly look at getting the New 3DS (not just regular 3DS) or New 3DS XL. It has better performance and an extra little controller on the right side by the buttons. This is a system I love because it is portable and I can play it on the couch, quietly in my car during lunch break, or even in bed while the wife is asleep. The games automatically pause when you close the lid so you can pick up where you last left off, like a book.

There are tons of RPG games for the 3DS, but most have a Japanese look to them. The ones mentioned above by others are great. One I am currently loving and would recommend is Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. It is a DS game, not 3DS, but will work on the 3DS and New 3DS. The game should be very cheap and easy to find on Amazon or used game shops. There is a review of it on NintendoLife. Very simple story, but it is sort of turn based like those books of old, and great fun.

If you want games with a lot of reading, then check out Hotel Dusk (film noir type pulp fiction private eye mystery), Phoenix Wright (slightly alternate world with a lawyer who solves crimes as the trial goes on) and the Zero Escape series (sort of an Escape Room puzzle game, with lots of weird twists and turns in the gripping 'choose-your-own-adventure' style story).

Then there are lots of great looking action video games that will hook even a casual gamer such as Resident Evil Revelations or Resident Evil Mercenaries, to name but just a few to get you started.

Finally, if you do decide to get the 3DS or N3DS, you may want to look into getting a screen protector and a TPU case to protect your investment. Hori makes a nice elegant one, but there are other options out there. You may also want to upgrade your memory card later if you plan on downloading games.

Edited on by RedFinch



I own both. As far as style, portability and size I like the smaller New 3DS more. Plus you can swap face plates and it fits in your back pocket easily. The games look a little better because the smaller screen provides a higher ppi, and it's cheaper. There's a new bundle releasing soon at Walmart and Target for the New 3DS, 2 faceplates and Super Mario 3D Land for $149.99 which is good because previous bundles for it are sold out everywhere else in the US right now.

With that said, the XL is crucial if you're playing more involved games like Monster Hunter or platformers like Donkey Kong Country Returns where you switch between foreground and background (you're too tiny on the smaller model when in the background). It's $25 more (they are on sale for $174.99 at a number of retailers right now) but the extra screen real estate is in valuable depending on the game you're playing.

If you want something more involved, these are your best choices

1 Monster Hunter Generations (in my opinion this is arguably the best video game ever created and I've been gaming for 30 years and own every single platform this generation- I said the same thing about Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate when it released last year, and this is better)

2 Fire Emblem Awakening (The greatest strategy RPG series ever conceived- this game will make you a Fire Emblem fan for life, And it's incredibly involving and deep- are used to dream about this game and think about it all day at work until I got home to play it again... The new entry, Fire Emblem Fates, is great too, but I think this one will pull you in more is a newcomer as I believe the story is more engrossing)

3 Xenoblade Chronicles (many on the site will tell you this is the best traditional RPG of the last decade, and is probably at least in the running for best traditional RPG of all time- it wouldn't be outrageous to entertain that notion at all)

4 Zelda Link Between Worlds (you got to play this just because Zelda is amazing and I really can't think of anyone who has ever played this game and said they hated it- it's a sequel to Link to the Past on SNES which is widely regarded as one of the best games ever created- and this game is, simply put, better in every way- trust me you'll want to put this on your list)

5 Chrono Trigger DS (since you would have DS compatibility, I thought I'd go ahead and re-iterate what one of the above posters recommended with this game- again it's a game that is widely regarded as one of the best of all time- and if you get this system you should definitely get this game and play it)

There are many many many many many many many others, but I'd probably try to prioritize these five above all else and go from there.

NS: Shin Megami Tensei V, MH Rise
Steam: Forza Horizon 5
NS: MH Rise Sunbreak, Bayonetta 3, Splatoon 3, Triangle Strategy, Zelda BotW 2, Metroid Prime 4

Jesus is Lord.


Shin Megami Tensei 4 is a MASSIVE game with a ton of replay value, and it doesn't go for a ton either. You'll easily get 50+ hours out of it.



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