I have pretty big hands, because I’m a pretty big guy. I love my DSi XL for this reason: it’s the most comfortable handheld console I’ve ever owned. I played three hours straight of Dragon Quest on it the other evening. The 3DS is completely different: it makes my hands cramp within half an hour of playing. This is more prevalent in games that use the shoulder buttons such as Mario Kart 7, than it simpler controlled games such as Pushmo.

At the beginning of January I was going to order a Nyko Power Grip for around £30 from the US, but I saw Zavvi selling the Circle Pad Pro and RE: Revelations for £30 delivered so I ordered that instead thinking I’d get a free game and something to solve my hand cramping issues.

The Circle Pad itself is pretty comfortable, but the new buttons (including the replacement R shoulder button) only work in games that support it (such as RE!) making the Pad pretty useless for making the 3DS more comfortable for normal use in the games I’m going to play the most. The R button is still sort of accessible if you have super bendy fingers. For some reason I guess I expected this to work. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t expect the new slider to magically work but the R button was…disappointing to say the least. As the main reason I purchased the unit was the make the 3DS more comfortable, something it does pretty well otherwise! (In my short 1 GP game of Mario Kart to test it)

Including with the Circle Pad Pro is a AAA battery (rated for something like 450 hours), the instructions, and a snazy wrist strap. I didn’t try it out with Resident Evil Revelations as I’d already sold the bundle to my friend who didn’t preorder it in time so I could order just the Pad from Amazon for 15. After trying out the device on Friday however I quickly cancelled my preorder as Amazon had failed to get stock soon enough which was handy!

If Nintendo manage to release an update that allows every game to use at least the replacement R button then I may try it again in the future until then I’ll keep looking at alternatives like the Nyko Power Grip and others.