There's something fishy going on...

I’m flapping around on the surface desperately gasping for air; a cold metal hook protrudes from my swollen cheek. An old Japanese man stares at me from across the fishing boat, wooden club in hand, ready to strike and end my suffering. Frantically, I reach up and try to remove the stinging barb from my mouth. No use, the hook was in too deep this time.

As I succumb to the inevitable, I’m left to ponder how I ended up in this troublesome predicament. When did I drop my guard? How did I get reeled in so unknowingly? Suddenly, the cause of my impending demise becomes crystal clear.

For the past two months I’d been unknowingly nibbling on a new type of bait. It felt more fulfilling, more wholesome and satisfying than anything I’d eaten before. Savouring every stolen bite with ecstatic glee, I never stopped to realise the implications that these magical mouthfuls would have once I finally returned to my regular feed. So I kept coming back, shunning the old in favour of the newest delicacy that dangled from a glistening hook.

But now I’ve wound up here, wriggling on the cold floor of the fisherman’s boat. I took too many bites, spent too long away from the norm, all because I’m hooked on this bigger, better bait. Bigger is without a doubt better.

WHACK! Without warning the fisherman’s club connects and everything fades to black…

Back To Reality

As I return to the realms of reality, it’s obvious that something has changed inside of me; it’s been clear for some time now if I’m honest. Because in a world where people generally crave smaller, lighter and thinner devices, I suddenly find myself seduced by the beauty of bulkier, bigger products, turned off by the more minimalist, smaller offerings.

It’s almost as though someone has delved into my subconscious and planted this idea themselves: that bigger is unequivocally better – because it certainly wasn’t there two months ago. Something must have been gradually swaying my opinion and preferences without me even realising. But what?

wii u inception

Cobb couldn’t tell whether this was reality or not.

After another late night session playing New Super Mario Bros. U in bed – the optimal place to play it in my opinion – the answer was quite literally right in my hands. What’s the bulkiest, biggest, most behemoth device I own? The Wii U GamePad of course! It all made sense now.

I’m not afraid to admit that I absolutely love the Wii U’s GamePad. Yes it feels rather cheap, is covered in that horrible glossy plastic and the face buttons rattle when you shake it, but the heft of the controller is spot on, not to mention that delightfully clear and crisp 6.2-inch screen. Everything about the device. from the stylus to the shoulder buttons, feels great in my hands. Honestly, you have to pick one up to completely understand just how ergonomic the Wii U GamePad is.


But there’s an unexpected catch that comes with the GamePad. And I’m starting to think this was Nintendo’s plan all along. (It may seem far-fetched, but I really wouldn’t put it past them.)

After months of using the Wii U’s GamePad, I can’t go back. And that’s created a big problem in my life; a big problem for my wallet, to be precise.

After months of using the Wii U’s GamePad, I can’t go back. And that’s created a big problem in my life; a big problem for my wallet, to be precise. Because now, whenever I pick up my previously acceptable and beloved Nintendo 3DS, I can’t help but feel a touch of contempt for the device I once cherished. The disappointingly small screens are underwhelming; the rectangular, awkward, compact shape was never designed for comfort; and the horrible placement of the telescopic stylus continues to baffle. It just feels unnatural to hold and uncomfortable to use. And as for long gaming sessions? They’ve always been out of the question, unless you enjoy fits of hand cramps – which I’m positive no-one does.

miyamoto fishing

Miyamoto’s gone fishing and reeled me in.

Hook, Line And Sinker

So Nintendo has planted an idea: the idea that I must now upgrade to a 3DS XL. They used the GamePad as their Trojan Horse, their fresh new bait, and managed to turn the unnecessary into a necessity; the unthinkable into the plausible; a luxury purchase into a must-buy. My once peaceful 3DS sessions are now rudely interrupted by thoughts of the XL’s 90% bigger screens; the more comfortable design; the correctly placed, thicker stylus; a desire to own a handheld that I can really grab hold of at night.

However, whenever I do manage to shake the feeling that I don’t actually need an XL, my resolve doesn’t last long. As soon as I pick up the Wii U GamePad – WHACK! – the fisherman’s wooden club hits. Every time I pick up my aqua blue 3DS – WHACK! – the fisherman’s wooden club hits.

I guess it’s only a matter of time before I part ways with the sum of £164.99 for a brand new Nintendo 3DS XL.