The Gratuitous Rainbow Spectrum

What to Get on the Nintendo eShops Before They're Gone

What to Get on the Nintendo eShops Before They're Gone

Kris Randazzo
10 minute read

Nintendo is closing down the eShops on both Wii U and 3DS. Like the dearly departed Wii Shop Channel before them, these closures mean a whole lot of great games might be lost for good. Here are Kris's recommendations on what to get before the shops shut their doors forever.

Oh hey, if you liked the games in this video, here are some products you might like! 

NES Flash Carts:

Game Boy Flash Carts:

Super NES Flash Carts:

PC Engine options:

Gameplay credits: World of Longplays - Super Mario Advance 4 Played by Tsunao 

All other footage was pulled from official trailers.

Transcript of the video:

Alright, let’s start with the Mario stuff, which there is seriously quite a lot of. And let’s start off with my personal favorite thing not to miss out on, and that’s Super Mario Advance 4 on Wii U. The Super Mario Advance games are pretty neat to begin with, and while they’re all available on the Wii U, only Mario Advance 4 offers something truly unique and special. When this game came out on GBA, there were a whole mess of levels only available via the e-reader accessory. Many of them never even saw release outside of Japan or at all, and they’re bonkers. They combine elements of all 4 Mario Advance games, and each and every one of them is included in this Virtual Console release. It’s basically a whole new Mario adventure that unless you already have this Wii U release, you’ve more than likely never played before.

Next there’s Super Mario 64 DS on Wii U, and you’re going to see a bunch of DS games here because the Wii U had the unique distinction of being a home console that can actually properly support DS games. So for the unique opportunity of playing DS games on your TV, the Wii U is the way to go, and Super Mario 64 DS is an interesting animal. It’s a full on remake of Mario 64, and if you’re a fan of that game, this is a way better way to experience it than on an actual DS system. Speaking of the DS, the original New Super Mario Bros is a great choice. These games get a lot of flack for being kind of sterile, but this first game is incredibly charming and clever, and well worth playing on your TV.

There were a ton of these Mario vs. DK minis games, but Minis on the Move for 3DS is probably my favorite because it’s quite an interesting little game. It’s got a great soundtrack too.

Back to the 2D Mario platformers, did you know there were DLC levels for New Super Mario Bros. 2? They exist, and they’re probably more interesting than most of what’s in the actual game, including a couple of remakes of old Mario stages. Neat!

If you’re an RPG fan, the original Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga is available on the Wii U Virtual Console, and it’s a pretty great way to play the game on your TV. But it’s reasonable to expect that someday Nintendo will offer GBA games on another service, DS games are by nature a different animal, so grabbing Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time on Wii U might be the only official way you’ll ever get to play that one on a TV.

Dr. Mario is an excellent puzzle game, and as of now the only way to play it in HD is to grab Dr. Luigi on Wii U. It’s got a bunch of extra modes, and while it isn’t perfect, classic head to head Dr. Mario is probably best played here. It’s no Dr. Mario 64, but it’ll do. And speaking of puzzles, have you been enjoying the litany of Picross games on Switch? Well they all got their start on the original Game Boy, and that first game, Mario’s Picross, is available for a couple of bucks on the 3DS eShop. It’s excellent. And speaking of Game Boy excellence, you should absolutely drop the couple of dollars on one of the best games Nintendo has ever produced, Donkey Kong for Game boy on 3DS. It’s beyond outstanding.

Finally, warioware. The original game is on the Wii U Virtual Console, as is Touched and Smooth Moves, though Touched on Wii U is probably the only way you’ll ever see to play that one on a TV, and while it’s also available physically, WarioWare Gold on 3DS is well worth yor time.

Let’s move on over to the Zelda stuff. It’s a much shorter list than the Mario one, but there are some really interesting options here that are going away for good.

First we have The DS games, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. These games are a bit on the divisive side, but if you’ve ever been curious about them, this is currently the only option to actually play them on a TV. Same goes for Minish cap, though again I'd be surprised if Nitnedo kept GBA games off the Switch for all eternity. Still, it’s a great game that looks great on TV.

Over on the 3DS, both Oracle games, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for Game Boy Color are on the 3DS eShop. It may not be the ONLY way to play these games, but it is still a very good one.

Metroid stuff is currently very available, and when these eshops close that’s going to change a lot. The original Metroid II: Return of Samus is up on the 3DS Virtual Console, so if you enjoyed Samus REturns, a couple of dollars will allow you to go back and experience the original. Meanwhile the Wii U is a Metroid monster. Both Fusion and Zero Mission are available and look fantastic on TV. Then there’s the DS game Metroid Prime: Hunters, which isn’t perfect, but it is a very interesting game that works surprisingly well on the Wii U. And last but not least we have the Metroid Prime Trilogy. This is an absolute must because it actually runs better than the disc version. Prime 3 has some killer loading times on the Wii disc, and they’re been greatly reduced for this digital release.

If you’re like me, Metroid always reminds you of Kid Icarus, and the 3DS was the ultimate Kid Icarus machine. The exquisite 3D Classics Kid Icarus is far and away the best way to experience the NES original. It plays better with the option to use Pit’s wings to glide down slowly which makes the game’s absurd difficulty at the beginning a bit easier to swallow, and the backgrounds take the whole game to a whole new level. It’s simply wonderful.

The series oft overlooked second entry is also on the 3DS eSop, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. This game has a lot of similarities to Metroid 2 in that it loses some of the NES original’s charm, but it actually plays much better in a lot of ways.

Last we have Uprising. This game isn’t exactly hard to find physically, I just wanted to plug it because if you won a 3DS and are even passively interested, give this game a go. It’s phenomenal!

As for the rest of the Virtual Console, there’s a lot to look at.

The Game Boy Mega MAn games are great if you’re a fan of the series, and they’re completely unique among their NES brethren. All 5 are up on the 3DS eShop. Mole Mania is a Miyamoto joint and honestly plays a little bit like Portal. It’s really quite a good game. Balloon Kid is basically what if they took the balloon trip mode in Balloon Fight for NES and made it into a full blown adventure. It’s marvelous and features a killer Hip Tanaka soundtrack.

There's also a variety of Game Gear games on the service. Yayy!

NES Pinball is the one exception I’d make because it’s inexplicably not on the Switch NSO service, but the game is a joy, even with the Wii U’s abysmal NES emulation.

Super NES has a few gems, like Final Fight 2 and 3 and Axelay, but for the most part if it’s a game you want to play, it’s probably been recently re-released elsewhere.

It’s also currently one of the better ways to play Bomberman 64 and Ogre Battle 64. One of, anyway…

And again, there’s a bunch of DS games worth looking into, but if I had to make just one more recommendation it would be Advance Wars: Dual strike

That just leaves a bunch of random odds and ends, which in all honesty are some of the most fun stuff out there. On the 3ds and Wii u there was a series of really interesting games called Art Style. My favorite was the 3DS game Art Style Pictobits, but there’s a ton of these that are all going to vanish soon, which stinks. The DSi got an exclusive sequel to the Game Boy game X, which itself was the sort of inspiration for Star Fox. The game is called X-Scape, and it’s wild.

Before turning into a sort of a mess of a Kickstarter, the folks at Atooi released a delightful little puzzle platformer called Chicken Wiggle. It’s supposedly coming to Switch in HD form at some point, but it’s called Hatch Tales now, and that’s not Chicken Wiggle, the best video game title of all time.

There’s a great Box Boy game on Switch, but the original Box Boy games are on 3DS, and they’re excellent. Same goes for Pushmo, which is not on Switch in any form just yet, but did have a Wii U game.

HarmoKnight is a fantastic rhythm platformer from Game Freak, and they really do make excellent games when they aren’t making Pokemon. This ones a real gem, do not miss out on it!

If you’re a Picross fanatic, did you know that there’s a metric ton of other Picross games on 3DS? The Picross e series is more picross, so if you've been enjoying those Picross s games on switch, here’s a whole lot more of the same.

Sakura Samurai is a cool game about a samurai dodging and counter attacking. It’s super cool and very fun. Rhythm Heaven Megamix is one of the best games on the 3DS, and it's only digital in the US, which means this is the only way to get it, and it’s absolutely AMAZING.

Affordable Space Adventures on Wii U is a great example of the potential the Wii U gamepad had. It’s a local multiplayer game where you try to work together to pilot a cheap spaceship.

Game & Wario and Wii Sports Club are both available physically, but they’re getting expensive, especially Game & wario. It’s a enat collection of minigames. Meanwhile Wii Sports Club is actually pretty pricey digitally, but it’s an HD version of Wii Sports, and it includes that cool thig where you put the gamepad on the floor for the golf game. Switch Sports will likely replace this game in general, but this is still worth a go.

Finally, we have NES Remix 1&2. These games are indeed available as a dual pack called NES Remix Pack, but no matter how you get them, if you like NES games, these are not to be missed. Even though they are based on the god awful NES emulation on Wii U.

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