Nintendo 3DS XL owners will surely get a kick out of this must have add-on yet to be released in the west. The Circle Pad Pro LL is, however, doing the rounds on eBay for as little as $15 so its certainly worth the asking price if you want to run a fully complete 3D handheld gaming platform.
The aesthetic design of the Circle Pad Pro is somewhat of a departure form the 3DS XL console itself. The ergonomic curves of the attachment serve to rectify the unwieldiness of the square box it offers to house. Having gotten some serious gamer claw syndrome from playing Ocarina of Time it is a welcome feeling to grip the Circle Pad Pro’s curved outer casing.
The error of not including a secondary analogue stick are rectified here and additional triggers add more credence to the Circle Pad Pro’s existence. Indeed, the ZL and ZR triggers bring the over-all console more in keeping with its under-the-TV cousins and bring with them the opportunity for a greater breadth of games in the future.
The downside to this device is the same as its little brother, You can’t just plug in the Circle Pad Pro and leave it there forever. If you want to take out the stylus, replace a game cartridge or turn on/off the WiFi you will need to extract your 3DS XL from the Circle Pad Pro. Another not so obvious bugbear is the new R button which unless used with Circle Pad Pro enabled software does nothing, forcing you to reach past it to the original R button. A very uncomfortable prospect and one that could be rectified with a software patch allowing the 3DS XL to recognise when the Circle Pad Pro is attached.
It’s Still Ugly
So once again Nintendo have made up for their short sightedness by introducing another shortsighted product into the market. If you can get over the bulk and its accessibility issues the Circle Pad Pro may make a permanent fixture on your 3DS and very much worth the price for what it can do. Lets hope 3rd party support gets behind the extra functionality.