Holiday console guide 2014: Nintendo 3DS

Ever since the GameBoy, Nintendo has largely cornered the market in handheld gaming. Though competition has become fierce in recent years after Sony released the Playstation Portable and Playstation Vita, Nintendo still reigns supreme in the handheld market with its latest device, the Nintendo 3DS.

Though Nintendo is set to release an upgraded Nintendo 3DS next year, you can still find great deals on the 3DS and 3DS XL this holiday season. You can pick up a 3DS XL for $199 and a regular 3DS for $149. The difference between the two? Screen size, mostly. The bigger one tends to look a little nicer simply because it has a larger screen, but there’s a definite advantage to the XL simply because it feels a little better in your hands.

If you’re like the many people who’ve already bought your child (or yourself) a 3DS, then you might be interested in some of the games released in time for the holiday season:

 “Pokemon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby”: Rated E, available Nov. 21

Odds are, if you own a 3DS, you’ve likely played Pokemon. Pokemon is a ubiquitous series by now: Everyone plays it. Your children in elementary school play it. High schoolers play it. College students love Pokemon. Grown men and women still try to collect ’em all. This year’s updated release of the original Ruby/Sapphire games promise a whole bunch of cool features, so this is a safe bet for any gamer.

 “Ultimate NES Remix”: Rated E, available Dec. 5.

A mishmash of classic 8-bit games, “Ultimate NES Remix” plays like a primer to a lot of older titles many gamers can enjoy, including the Super Mario games, “Dr. Mario,” “Donkey Kong,” “Excitebike” and more. A good grab for younger gamers.

 “Fantasy Life”: Rated E-10+, available now

This fun RPG from developers Level-5 mesh combat with fun strategy simulation games like “Animal Crossing.” Gamers pick from one of 12 classes, or “lives” to battle baddies, harvest crops, make furniture for their home and more. Definitely a fun game and likely a good pick for any age.

 “Super Smash Bros.”: Rated E-10+, available now

This is an incredibly addictive fighting game that’s a good family friendly game. There’s a reason why “Super Smash Bros.” is one of the most highly praised fighting games on the market, and all the characters from various Nintendo properties can expose players to other fun games to check out.

“Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright,”: Rated T for Teen, available now

There’s nothing quite like a good puzzle game, and the combination courtroom drama/magical puzzler is a great buy for gamers who like in-depth stories and a good challenge. This game combines two popular series for a great experience.

If none of these games sound good, the Nintendo 3DS has a huge backlog of games to check out, including “Bravely Default,” “Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth,” “Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley,” “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” “Pokemon X/Y,” “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,” “Kid Icarus: Uprising,” “StarFox 64,” and more.

Look to the Herald over the next few weeks as we cover more consoles and titles for discerning buyers this holiday season.

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