Nintendo make their fair share of questionable decisions; there’s no denying that. Moving the latest Legend of Zelda’s release date to 2017, taking Fox McCloud out of his Arwing to give him a pet dinosaur, and *gulp* the virtual boy are just a few examples of Nintendo dropping the ball. Luckily, it would seem that Nintendo fans are a forgiving bunch, given that we come back time and again to buy variation after variation of the same games we’ve been playing our whole lives. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.
But one cardinal sin from Nintendo goes far past the point of forgiveness. That would be the 3DS Ambassador Program; a system implemented four months after the handheld was initially released. The program promised early adopters of the system ten free NES or GBA games to appease disgruntled purchasers after Nintendo significantly reduced the price of the 3DS so quickly after release (from $250 to $170 USD). This was Nintendo rectifying a mistake that they had made, which was an admirable move. However, the company only found itself the target of more hate after they failed to make the Game Boy Advance titles available for purchase to the rest of the gaming public that didn’t buy the handheld when it was first released.
Nintendo then began releasing GBA games on the Wii U virtual console while simultaneously stating that they had no plans of releasing the titles on the 3DS. As you might imagine, fans weren’t happy about this. If ambassadors could get hold of these classics, why couldn’t they? In order to make these games available to ambassadors, the handheld would be simulating the titles rather than emulating them. This meant that the games wouldn’t pause when the screen was shut, they wouldn’t have mappable controls, multiplayer functionality or even save states. Basically, Nintendo was pushing out second-rate ROMs to ambassadors – games that might not actually be worth paying for because they don’t stand up to the same quality that they provide with other virtual console titles. If you want a more in-depth explanation of this, be sure to check out this article by vooks.com writer Daniel Vuckovic.
Unfortunately, for me, I’d rather have the option to purchase these games for 3DS instead of carrying around two handhelds just to get my full nostalgia fix. Within the last month, the Big N has given me some hope on this front as far as their SNES and retro Pokemon releases are concerned. A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Pokemon Yellow and Earthbound have quickly found a home on my system and more plans to release SNES classics such as Mega Man X and Contra III have been made for Japan which gives me something to look forward to. I just wonder why only the New Nintendo 3DS can play these games. Something seems fishy to me.
Regardless, Nintendo have reported record-breaking sales for the Pokemon titles stating the titles sold more than Super Smash Bros. 3DS in its first week – an impressive feat considering SSB for the 3DS sold one million copies in that time.
So what would that mean for sales if they were able to release some fan favorites from the GBA and the SNES? Hopefully Nintendo will answer that question in the months to come. Until then, all I can do is write this list of my most wanted titles and imagine a better life.
Turn-based tactics at their finest. This title has received plenty of sequels since its inception, but it would be nice to get the original on the New 3DS. Pixelated platoons and colorful backdrops gave this title its unmistakable personality, and I think the transition to the modern age of handhelds would be a smart one. If sales were impressive enough Nintendo might even be tempted to reboot the series, which was, in my opinion, a Fire Emblem for military lovers.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
It’s time that this gem sees the light of day again with a New 3DS release. An RPG as intense as Final Fantasy, with all of the childlike charm of Nintendo. Please, Nintendo. Do the right thing.
Speaking of RPGs, Golden Sun is one of the best when it comes to handhelds. At least Nintendo must have thought so, since they have already released the game on the Wii U virtual console in 2014. Just like Advance Wars, if this game does well if it’s released on the New 3DS, they can give fans the second in the series, Golden Sun: The Lost Age as an added bonus. After all, you can never have too much Golden Sun. Shut Up, Dark Dawn never happened.
Secret of Mana
How are you going to give us both Chrono Trigger for the DS and Final Fantasy VI for the GBA and not release Secret of Mana somewhere along the way? This could be Nintendo’s big chance to right this unspeakable wrong. On top of that, Secret of Mana would make for an incredible download title where you and two other friends could link up and fight together. The menu system that was criticized with the title’s first release could also be simplified with the touch screen. Basically, why hasn’t this been done already?
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
While we’re on the topic of multiplayer titles, it’d be silly not to mention the cooperative classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors. This sometimes overlooked run-and-gun game would be another incredible candidate for download play. Especially since overhead zombie shooters are still fairly popular, and a genre Sony and Steam cater for more than Nintendo ever has. I think it’s time to dig this one back up.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Maybe it’s not the Final Fantasy that you thought would be on this list, but it’s definitely a great entry in the tactics series and one any fan of the genre needs to try out.
Wario Ware Twisted
The father of all flatulence brings us a boatload of minigames with a twist in Wario Ware Twisted. Although the Gameboy Advance cartridge housed a gyroscope that lent itself to the title’s quirky play, the New 3DS makes up for that with its own gyroscopic controls. It’s just a shame Nintendo can’t add in 3D functionality to the old game. On second thought it is a Wario game. I might want to be careful about what I wish for.
Metroid: Zero Mission
Okay, so maybe Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a bit of a slap in the face for fans of the series, but Nintendo can at least soften the blow with the release of this GBA goodie. While some might argue that Metroid Fusion is the stronger of the two titles, I don’t think anybody could argue that Zero Mission wasn’t a great game. With the gameplay of Super Metroid and the storyline of the original, you’re bound to be blown away. Plus, what would a list of Nintendo games be without a sidescroller?
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
As a matter of fact, what would a Nintendo list be without at least two sidescrollers? If you can get past the crying baby that’ll forever turn you off to the idea of having your own child, Yoshi’s Island is a Nintendo treasure that I consider to be one of their finest. Except, if it does get released on the New 3DS, Nintendo need to be sure not to leave out one of the most amazing levels in the game titled Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy, a stage that had players steering the babysitting dinosaur through an obstacle course of psychedelic dandelions. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to make the leap to the GBA, but would hopefully be included if the game ever comes to fruition on the 3DS.
Final Fantasy VI
Psyche! How could we leave this baby out? FF VI is considered one of the best in the series by many fans, and rightfully so. With one of the darkest tales in all of the FF games and more espers than the Tonberry King can shake an apathetic knife at, the title’s GBA release was just far too long ago. Time for a virtual console release!
Making sweet, sweet Mario music on the go sounds pretty dang awesome to me! Just look at some of the stuff people have been able to create in this masterpiece of a game on YouTube here. Oh yeah. You can also draw things, but let’s be honest. That might as well have been a secondary feature.
Regardless of how much you agree or disagree with this list, I think it’s pretty obvious that GBA and more SNES games need to see the light of day on the New 3DS. Let us know in the comments which GBA/SNES games you’d like to be able to carry in your pocket.
Editor’s Note: In the opening paragraph, Nintendo was stated as being responsible for poor controls in the original Red Steel when Ubisoft was the developer.