How the New Nintendo 2DS XL Is Changing the Summer Road Trip

Full Disclosure: I was provided a Nintendo 2DS XL and a game for this review, however, the thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you happen to be driving through the plains of Western Kansas or Eastern Colorado, in the early 90s, you more than likely saw a white Chrysler Town and Country with wood paneling on the side driving either north on highway 83 on our way to see my grandparents or highway 287 headed to Denver, more than likely to watch a Colorado Rockies game.

Laying down in the back seat of the Town and Country there would be an 8-year-old boy, arms extended above his head, holding a Gameboy. Bricks are falling as I move them to make a full row of bricks, hoping a long 5 block brick would appear so that I can finish the level. Many times frustration would hit, and the gray Gameboy would be thrown into the seat of the van as I sat up crossed my arms only to find out we still had 2 hours left in our road trip… AND we still couldn’t see the mountains.

At the time, I didn’t know that the 8-year-old boy sitting in the back seat of our wood-paneled van, was a glimpse into my future. Because what 8-year-old is thinking about his future, as a parent, when he is on a family road trip together.

The family minivan that we had has given way to a silver SUV, and if you see one driving down I-70, we are on our way to one of two places, my grandparents or Denver. If you look in the back seat, you’ll see an 8-year-old boy, NOT laying down, hunched over with nothing else but a what appears to be a Gameboy in his hand.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL

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William making sure that I don’t get first place in Mario Kart

In the passenger seat, my wife has the same New Nintendo 2DS XL in her hands that my son has, I hear an evil laugh from the back seat, and I can only imagine that he is shooting a red shell at Peach who is driving her Kart in first place Rainbow Road. As the shell hits her Kart, an audible gasp and “how could you do that to mom?” is heard as William passes her on his way to his 4th win the Mario Kart 7 Grand Prix.

With each passing mile marker, and an intense Grand Prix going on in the seats next to me, I can’t help but think back on how much the family road trip has not changed from the time that I was the same age as my son. My dad would pick out music that none of us wanted to listen to at the time and here I am picking out music that my family doesn’t want to listen to (or see or hear me rock out to in the driver’s seat), occasionally there is a dad joke about a cow outstanding in his field.

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But now, a game that my wife and I grew up on, Mario Kart (and the Mario family of games, Zelda, and Donkey Kong all of which have games for the 2DS), has made its way to our road trips. The difference though is that with the New Nintendo 2DS XL has the ability to for local play that can pin 8 people. This adds an element to gaming that I never had as a kid. I can see it now as I look up over the gray interior of the minivan imagining bananas appearing behind us and looking behind me to see Bowser on our tail, dropping a banana and he slides across the road as my sister from the middle seat claims I am once again cheating.

It would have indeed made road trips more interesting.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL Filled With Features

Another great feature that would have been nice as a Gameboy owner to the New Nintendo 2DS XL is the ability to play across the line of Nintendo 3DS games. Say you have a 3DS game that you bought for one kid, and the other wants to play it on his 2DS XL, they will be able to play it. Which comes in handy when you have two boys who are going to fight over playing Minecraft constantly.

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And in an age where gaming systems are becoming more almost crowdsourced using the internet, the New Nintendo 2DS XL isn’t any different. But where Nintendo has set it apart from many gaming systems is the Parental Controls. You can pretty much lock the DS down so that your child is unable to access Youtube, Netflix (Yes I said Youtube and Netflix that can be added to your 2DS), and the web so that you can be comfortable knowing that your child is not talking to a stranger while playing.

Beyond a Nintendo Classic, that my son is still trying to figure out how to beat me at Tecmo Bowl, the New Nintendo 2DS is the first gaming system we have brought into our home and it is nice knowing that my kids will be able to play some of the games that I grew up on and I will be able to enjoy it with them.


To learn more about the New Nintendo 2DS XL and all of the features check out the Nintendo website.

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